There’s a lot of strategy that goes into proper sales territory mapping. It can be a tedious process, but it helps you distribute the workload fairly across sales teams and ensure you’ve got the right reps working each territory.
In this post, we’ll look at the sales territory mapping process— what it is, what it entails, and how sales managers can improve it.
What is a Sales Territory Map?
A sales territory map is a visual layout of your sales territories. With territory mapping software, you can define territories that meet your criteria and assign them to the reps that are the best fit for each one.
Mapping out and assigning territories means you’re only targeting prospects that are most likely to make a purchase. Sales territory maps also prevent reps from duplicating each other’s efforts and poaching each other’s sales.
What Is Sales Territory Mapping?
Sales territory mapping is the creation and assignment of sales territories based on factors like geography, revenue potential, and the individual expertise of sales reps.
The Old Approach to Sales Territory Mapping
Territory mapping with Google Maps and a highlighter leaves room for error and confusion. You have no way to determine how many prospects you’re assigning to each rep, how many customers you have in each territory, or whether prospect demographics in each territory align with your ideal customer profile.
Not to mention once you send a rep out with their printed sales territory map, you’ll rarely get it back — and therefore have no idea where you’ve worked or haven’t worked.
Consider this situation:
- A rep made a sale outside of the territory you assigned them, claiming they weren’t sure where it ended.
- The rep who was assigned to that territory lost the opportunity to make that sale.
Who do you give the sale to — the rep who closed the deal, or the rep who covers the territory where the sale occurred?
The same issues can occur with other legacy solutions like Streets and Trips and MapPoint. Today, sales organizations can use software to design sales territories, prevent territory disputes among sales teams, and gather the insights sales managers need to adjust territory boundaries or reassign reps.
The Benefits Of Modern Sales Territory Mapping
Modern sales territory mapping tools help sales managers:
Assign territories strategically
You wouldn’t assign a junior sales rep to your highest-value territory. With the multiple data points available in territory mapping platforms, you can segment sales territories. i.e. you can assign reps to territories that align with their experience level.. This approach to sales territory mapping ensures your best reps are working the most valuable territories.
To maintain harmony among your sales team, you should be mapping sales territories in a way that balances the workload. That means looking at more than just the geographic area of each territory — a small territory could contain just as many leads as a territory that spans two ZIP Codes.
Increase rep selling time
The way you define your territories can help reps maximize their selling time. For example, you might find that shifting the territory boundaries gives each rep a simple sales route, with little distance between stops. Route optimization is one of the best features of territory mapping apps.
Boost rep productivity
In the days of analog territory mapping, field sales reps wasted countless hours jotting notes on paper and marking up maps to keep track of their progress. Digital territory maps integrate with CRM data, giving reps instant access to important data when they’re in the field. And they can update notes from their mobile phones, which eliminates the need for manual entry and increases sales productivity.
4 Ways To Create A Sales Territory
To save time, be more efficient, eliminate confusion, and increase performance, create territories for your sales team using the following strategies:
- Target Market Demographics
- Include Current Customers In Each Territory
- Distribute by Number of Prospects
- Distribute by City/ZIP Code
1. Target Market Demographics
One of the most effective strategies for creating territories is to gather the demographics of your target market before sending your team out to knock on doors. This will minimize unproductive time for your reps in the field.
Using a tool like SPOTIO’s Lead Machine will help you to identify key territories, target qualified customers that match your ideal customer profile (ICP), and ensure that your team is targeting prospects that have real buying potential.
You’ll also have the ability to track the progress of each of these leads in your funnel through the app. This will prevent leads that you’ve spent money on from slipping through the cracks and increase the return on your investment. This is one of the main features that is causing many outside sales reps to switch from the competition.
The more information you have about your current customers, the better. It will allow you to understand where you’re having the most success and help you to identify higher-quality potential customers with a greater chance of buying.
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2. Include Current Customers In Each Territory
Your current customers are extremely valuable to your business, and not just because they purchased your product or service.
Your customers can provide you with some of the highest converting and cheapest leads: referrals. You just have to ask.
Start by generating a list of all of your current customers. If you use a sales tracking app like SPOTIO, it’s simple to upload this list into your account, or you can simply sort the pins in your account by the status you created to signify a closed-won deal.
If you’re not using a sales tracking app, you’ll have to map these addresses by hand individually. It will be a much longer process, but well worth it.
Once you’re able to see all of your customers on a map, draw out territories for your reps to work based on these locations.
There are two strategies for this approach:
- The first is to evenly distribute the number of customers in each territory for your sales reps.
- The other option if your customers are more spread out, is to assign a couple of smaller territories to each rep, but still distribute them as evenly as possible.
The goal in doing this is to use your current customers as references when pitching a new prospect. You can also have your team visit satisfied customers to ask for referrals.
3. Distribute By Number Of Prospects
Making sure that sales reps have enough prospects to visit is essential to their performance and production.
Without sales territory mapping software, you can spend hours on this process. Sales territory mapping software significantly simplifies this process, saving you many hours and ensuring greater accuracy.
Create and assign territories based on the number of contacts you want each rep to work with at one time.
As you start drawing out a sales territory plan in SPOTIO, the app will tell you the estimated number of prospects in that territory.
Using territory mapping software will allow you to create equitable territories for your entire team in less than 10 minutes.
4. Distribute By City/ZIP Code
Creating territories by city or ZIP Code is a little bit trickier because of the size of the area. Even so, distributing territories by city or ZIP Code is one of the easiest methods because there’s no room for misinterpretation.
You can tell a rep, “This is your ZIP Code, and if you get a lead or sale outside of your territory, it’s going to the rep that territory belongs to.” Creating territories this way eliminates a lot of the conflict and guesswork for sales reps.
These territories won’t be quick to work through and shouldn’t be changed frequently like smaller territories.
How To Evaluate And Optimize Sales Territories
You’ll need to periodically review your sales territories, because circumstances change. Your prospects might move to a new area, a competitor may begin working in your territories, or your staffing levels may increase or decrease.
Review Your Rep Count
If you’ve gained or lost sales reps or customers since you first defined sales territories, you’ll need to reevaluate. You may need to adjust or merge territories quarterly or yearly.
Consider Your Team’s Skills
You may have new hires with expertise in a certain aspect of sales that makes them a good fit for a territory, or you may find you need two people to cover one territory if you’ve lost the superstar who once covered it.
Analyze Existing Territory Performance
Poor territory performance might not be a result of sales performance. B2B and B2C prospects might have shrinking budgets or new priorities, or a competitor might be luring your prospects away. An underperforming territory always merits closer inspection.
Reassess Market Potential
Has the spending potential within your territories changed? That’s an important question to consider as you review your territories. Review your sales data for the past year to detect any trends that may help you forecast market potential.
3 Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Territory Mapping Phase
1. Using Limited Data – And The Wrong Territory Management Tool
If you don’t know your client and/or account data, you can’t accurately know how well the sales rep is doing, let alone make improvements.
Refrain from making continuous changes to sales territories, as it will negatively impact client engagement. However, you will want the ability to make modifications in the territories occasionally.
Find the ‘BEST’ CRM tool to aid you in this process.
2. Failing To Include Your Sales Team
In order to be effective in territory mapping, you NEED to involve your sales reps and teams. Taking into account the experience of your sales reps/teams will help to motivate them. This will encourage you to have the right reps in the right territories and make sure that the business is in its prospective territory.
By doing so, you will ensure you have a plan in place that your sales reps/teams can embrace.
3. Relying On Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets won’t help your reps see their territory boundaries. If you want to ‘win’ in sales performance and motivate your reps/teams, you MUST incorporate the right tools and applications that improve territory visibility.
8 Reasons To Use Sales Territory Mapping Software
Science is finally backing up what you’ve always known: A picture is worth a thousand words. According to an MIT study, 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. It’s no surprise that visual management tools are especially helpful for sales leaders.
One of these useful visual tools is sales territory mapping software, which provides a simple way for sales leaders to visualize geographical areas and ensure:
- Territories are a manageable size for reps
- There is no overlap between reps
- Sales leaders and managers are thoughtfully and strategically assigning the top performers
Here are eight reasons to use sales territory mapping software:
1. Prevent deals from falling through the cracks
If one rep has too many leads to manage, some leads will fall through the cracks. Sales territory mapping software helps you balance territories and ensure reps have the capacity to manage all leads in their territory.
2. Uncover new leads in existing territories
The temptation to expand to new territories is only natural. But it’s likely that your team hasn’t covered all potential leads within their existing sales territories.
With sales territory management tools like SPOTIO, you can use insights about your territories to reveal new leads in your existing territories.
3. Save hours with segmentation
Without territory mapping software, sales leaders often have to spend hours creating sales maps.
Solutions like SPOTIO make it easier to categorize areas or regions by:
- High or low sales potential
- High sales volume
- High-quality leads
These features make it easy to map territories quickly while providing a simple-to-use interface for the reps in each territory.
4. Improve close rates with data-driven area assignments
Sales territory mapping solutions help sales leaders place their reps strategically.
With integrated key insights like sales performance, geographical history, total revenue earned, and leads converted, sales leaders can use SPOTIO to place people where they can make the most impact.
Whether this is about placing high performers where they’re needed most, or placing average performers in an environment that allows them to reach their potential, consider your team’s strengths and opportunities as you adjust your mapping strategy.
5. Optimize sales routes and improve productivity
Without an effective and comprehensive system, territory mapping and sales route planning tend to be two separate activities.
Using smart features like those offered by SPOTIO, you can quickly see which territories landed the most accounts and where the highest-value clients are.
Sales route planning is adjustable on the fly. When new leads arise, the app helps users adjust their route and plan efficiently.
6. Measure Sales Data Across Territories
A dynamic sales territory mapping software solution makes it easy to measure and compare sales data across multiple territories.
For example, using SPOTIO’s smart reporting features, you can quickly see which territories landed the most accounts, where the highest-value clients are, and which territories are underperforming.
This gives you strong visual data to understand where to invest as well as how sales reps are performing by region.
7. Boost Team Morale
When sales territories are unevenly distributed, morale suffers. Whether a territory is too small and lacks potential, or the territory is too big for a rep to manage, a workload imbalance can cause frustration and resentment among your team.
With the data you gather from smart sales territory mapping software, you can closely monitor the level of work required to support each territory and allocate your sales team accordingly.
8. Help Your Team Succeed
Most sales territory mapping tools are part of a field sales enablement platform (like SPOTIO). That means you get a suite of tools that sales reps can use to:
- Add notes about prospects and leads using their mobile device
- Drop real-time location pins as they move through their territories
- Automate reminders to follow up with leads
- Sync data to your CRM remotely
- Share notes and reports
- Access a complete history of all interactions with leads and prospects
- Review essential steps in your sales process
All of these features help reps work more effectively — and reduce the need for time-consuming manual data entry.
Supercharge Productivity And Increase Revenue With Sales Territory Mapping
Organize and divide territories: Define and reorganize territories in just a few minutes with SPOTIO’s intuitive interface.
Visualize lead and customer data: SPOTIO lets reps color-code map pins based on any data point, such as previously contacted leads, new prospects, and existing customers.
Monitor territory performance: Click on a territory to see performance data for sales teams and sales reps, and run reports that show performance metrics for all territories.
Find out how SPOTIO helps field sales teams stay organized, increase productivity, and close more deals. Request a demo today!