Sales Territory Planning & Management: Step-by-Step Guide, Tools, Importance, and More

Effective sales strategies and territory plans are essential to help field sales teams achieve their goals. Territory planning is a strategic process that divides a target market into defined geographic areas or territories. The main aim is to optimize resource allocation, improve customer coverage, and enhance sales performance. However, ineffective territory plans and frequent alterations to territory boundaries can hamper growth and weaken customer relationships. About 65% of organizations struggle with inadequate sales territory planning and design, as per report from SMA Research.

Businesses can identify key factors to establish well-balanced territories by leveraging data analysis and location intelligence. Modern territory planning requires balancing opportunities vs. resources to hit your sales targets.

Let’s dive deep into steps, tools, and the importance of creating a sales territory plan.

Why Organizations Need a Sales Territory Strategy

Territory planning empowers sales managers to get the most out of their sales teams. However, they must be tweaked and aligned occasionally to reap various benefits. By leveraging sales territory mapping technology, businesses can design a robust strategy to expand customer coverage.

Sales Territory Strategy

Having a sales territory strategy will help you:

  • Improve Reps and Customer Alignment

Aligning the right sales team to the right territory is crucial to effectively cover the maximum number of customers. They can allot territories to the reps based on parameters like skillset, proximity, capacity, etc. A well-designed territory structure leads to balanced workloads for sales teams and equitable distribution of opportunities.

Also Read: Consumer Packaged Goods Major Improves Sales Territory Planning with Dista Insight

  • Optimal Workload Balance

As a field sales manager, it is critical to ensure that you are balancing workloads across territories between sales reps. A territory planning software automatically balances accounts by considering your business constraints and variables. According to a recent report, optimizing territory design can increase sales by 2-7% without any change in total resources or sales strategy.

  • Boost Sales Rep Productivity

Right alignment and optimal workload balance help outside sales teams spend more time engaging with customers and reduce travel time. This results in a higher possibility of lead conversions.

  • Strengthen Customer Relationships

Aligning the right sales rep to the right customer as per their needs is key for better sales performance as it equips them to understand customer needs and upsell/cross-sell to meet their expectations. This will help strengthen customer relationships and can result in long-term connections.

Tools Needed for Territory Planning

Having the right tools to execute an effective sales territory plan is essential. Let’s look at key software you can use to improve productivity and boost lead engagement.

1. Territory Mapping Software

With sales territory mapping software, sales leaders can visualize their territories and manage resources effectively. It offers valuable insights that help identify gaps and tweak your territory planning to improve coverage area. Managers can measure the sales performance of individual sales reps and teams.

2. CRM

CRM software help you track customer information and keep sales activity records. It allows seamless compilation of data and offers automated sales reports and detailed analytics from multiple sources that help with sales decisions.

3. Field Sales Management

A comprehensive field sales management software allows sales reps to communicate and sell effectively via a dedicated app that acts as a mobile office. Meanwhile, sales managers can track field force activity and measure their performance.

Also Read: How Dista Helps With Effective Territory Planning

7 Steps to Create a Sales Territory Plan

Having a systematic approach to sales territory management is vital to maximize sales productivity and customer engagement. Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing effective sales territory planning.

1. Identify and Define Objectives

The first step is identifying and defining your business objectives and goals and understanding industry trends. Some of the common goals can be related to focusing on finance, strategies, marketing, and more. It is necessary to decide your objectives before designing your territories. This helps you understand what your sales team plans to accomplish with the sales territory plan.

2. Analyze and Segment Customers

Analyzing and segmenting your customers involves dividing the target market into distinct groups based on geographic boundaries, behavioral demographics, revenue potential, and more. This process ensures focused and tailored strategies for each segment, maximizing the effectiveness of sales efforts.

3. Evaluate Competition

Identify your competitors in each territory and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Visualize and evaluate their market presence across certain regions with the help of spatial analytics software. Assess them by considering factors like product pricing, use cases, market positioning, reviews, and more. Use these actionable insights to devise effective strategies to differentiate your offerings, capitalize on untapped opportunities, and gain a competitive edge.

4. Establish Goals and Target

Once you have identified your goals and analyzed the customer and competition, it’s time to set measurable, specific, and achievable targets. Establish individual and sales team targets that help motivate and be productive. Formulate benchmarks to set performance standards or milestones that measure progress toward achieving the established goals. These benchmarks act as checkpoints, allowing businesses to evaluate the effectiveness of the territory plan.

5. Allocate Resources and Assign Territories

Now that you have done the initial groundwork and decided on your territories, it’s time to allocate sales resources to them. Territory assignment to sales reps should be transparent and fair. An intelligent territory mapping tool can help you balance and distribute resources evenly to cover sales areas effectively.

6. Set up a Routing Plan

Schedule and create a routing plan for your outside sales teams to streamline their daily visits. Sales managers can use field sales management software to create individual sales beat plans for their teams that consider location, serviceable area, skillset, and more.

Sales Beat Plan

7. Monitor and Evaluate Performance

The final step for sales territory planning is monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of your territory plan. Sales leaders need to track and measure essential sales KPIs to find gaps, capitalize on successful strategies, and make innovative data-driven decisions. Continuous monitoring provides real-time insights into sales performance, customer feedback, and market dynamics, enabling businesses to adapt swiftly to changing market conditions.

Leverage Dista to Build a High-impact Sales Territory Plan

Leverage Dista to craft a result-driven sales territory plan and optimize your sales strategy. Our AI-enabled location intelligence tool offers robust data analysis and visualization features that aid in creating well-balanced territories, identify customer demographics, market potential, and competitor locations with precision with our territory mapping tool. 

Make data-driven decisions, adapt swiftly to changing conditions, and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Embrace Dista to maximize productivity, increase revenue, and achieve remarkable success in your sales territory planning endeavors. 

Master your sales territory and management with Dista. Get in touch with us for a free demo.