There’s a lot of strategy and leg-work that goes into proper sales territory mapping. This is a crucial part in setting your team up for success.
It can be a tedious process, but it’s necessary to ensure your team is canvassing the right area and not just going in blindly.
The Old School Approach to Sales Territory Mapping
One of the reasons this process has been such a pain for so long is because of how it’s been done.
Using the “highlighter and Google Maps” method leaves a ton of room for error and confusion.
You have no way to determine how many homes you’re assigning to each rep, how many customers you have in each territory you assign, or the demographics for the homeowners you should be targeting.
Not to mention once you send the team out with their printed maps you rarely ever get them back therefore have no historical idea where you’ve worked or haven’t worked.
Using highlighters and maps leaves a lot of room for dispute between sales reps.
Consider this situation –
- They’ll knock outside of the territory you assigned them claiming they weren’t sure where it ended.
- Then, the rep who is assigned to that territory will get upset about the sale another rep made in their territory.
Who do you give the sale to; the rep who closed the deal or the rep whose territory that sale is assigned to?
One way or another, someone is going to be unhappy, turn what should be a celebration into a dramatic debacle.
How You Should Be Mapping Sales Territories
To save time, be more efficient, eliminate confusion and increase performance, create and assign territories for your team using the following strategies:
- Lead Machine / Target Market Demographics
- Current Customers in Each Territory
- Evenly Distributed by Number of Homes
- Evenly Distributed by City / Zip
Lead Machine & 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 doors.
This will eliminate the amount of time your reps spend in the field knocking aimlessly. You shouldn’t want your reps making attempts on homes you know either won’t close, or have a low possibility of closing.
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 knocking doors 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.
Obviously you have to be able to identify your target market in order to purchase any type of leads. Some criteria are more important than others, like homeowners vs. renters, credit score, home market value and median home income.
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.
Another tool you can check out is a website called City Data. Scroll down and choose your state and then you’ll have access to hundreds of segmentation options.
Current Customers by 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’s two strategies to 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 smaller territories to each rep, but still distribute them as evenly as possible.
The goal by 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.
Evenly Distributed by Number of Homes
Making sure that sales reps have enough doors to knock is essential to their performance and production.
Without a sales territory mapping software, you can spend hours on this process. A 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 houses you want each rep to work at one time.
Start this process by determining the number of houses you want each rep on your team to have. As you start drawing out an area in SPOTIO, the app will tell you the estimated number of homes in that territory. You can always adjust it if there’s too many or note enough.
Using a territory mapping software will allow you to create even territories for your entire team in less than 10 minutes. If you choose 500 as the total number of homes you want to be in each territory, you just need to be close to that number. It’s not important for it to be exact; 475 or 525 is close enough.
If you want to guesstimate the number of houses in a sales territory consider that on ¼ acre lots which are common you will get 1,000 houses in a 1mile by 1mile areas.
Distributed by City or Zip Code
Creating territories by city or zip code is a little bit trickier because of the size of the area. Even if every city was the exact same size, the number of homes wouldn’t be.
There’s a variety of factors in play when creating territories by city or zip code. The demographics in each city can vary dramatically and will influence the number of potential customers for a rep to visit.
Distributing territories by city or zip code is one of the easiest methods because it’s black and white; there’s no grey area.
You tell a rep, “This is your city or 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.
Because cities or zip codes vary in the number of houses, you may need to assign two or three to a rep.
These territories will have a ton of homes to work. They’re not going to be quick to work through and shouldn’t be changed frequently like smaller territories may be. U
sing a territory mapping software will help you to ensure you distribute the number of houses for each rep to work evenly by the city or zip code.
Bonus: Here’s a free Zip Code map you can use to slice and dice your marketplace by zip codes if you want to create your sales territories this way.
What to Do Next
At this point you’ve either already been creating sales territories for your team or you haven’t. If you have, congrats! You’re one of the organized ones. Feel free to modify your approach based on the information above and if you have anything to add feel free to chime in.
If you don’t currently use sales territories for your team don’t fret. It’s not too late!
Check out these other blog posts to learn more about Territory Management
Below you will find great information on territory management and how you can set your team up for success by utilizing the best practices associated with it. Feel free to check it out and if you have any input let us know.
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