Out with the old, in with the new. That's the motto for your 2019 planning goals and sales territory management is no exception.
Given the history of field sales, it makes sense that territory design has historically relied on static geographic segmentation. But, predefined boundaries don't adapt with your business goals and lead to missed opportunities or even misallocation of valuable resources. If you have an inside sales team, then geographic territories prohibit the granular visibility needed to properly balance territories and drive strategic advantages.
The most forward-thinking sales ops executives understand this need for data-driven visibility and are early adopters of tools that support balanced territory management to exceed planned sales objectives. In fact, according to a recent study, "organizations that were effective at territory design outperformed the laggards in sales goal attainment by nearly 30 percent!"
Properly segmented territories improve customer coverage, increase productivity, balance workload versus sales potential, and ensure equal opportunity amongst sales reps. Yet, planning for an effective territory design is not an easy feat.
In this year's Planning Guide by SiriusDecisions, many companies actually report "the entire planning process as their biggest pain point, but the survey results showed that much of the pain actually came after the development and delivery of territory and quota plans. Although 55 percent of respondents successfully complete the planning process before the start of the fiscal year, the most severe pain begins shortly thereafter. Thirty-four percent of respondents stated that between 21 percent and 40 percent of the quota plans they deliver are subsequently modified."
So, we know that sales territory management is vital to business performance but also a challenge to execute. Fortunately with DataFox, it doesn't have to be challenging.
Finding Your Balance
We're here to put your mind at ease and make sure achieving truly balanced sales territories isn't an overwhelming, quarter-long goal that causes you ongoing stress. On the contrary, there's actually a really simple method to the madness. And the process imitates what you already know. Let's break it down.
Fundamentally, every VP of Sales cares more about bookings and meeting sales goals than anything else. To drive bookings, they need to be able to hold their reps accountable. To hold reps accountable, they need to know (and their reps need to know) that they had a fair opportunity to meet quota relative to other reps. To know that reps have a fair shot, there needs to be a standardized measure of the quality for each rep's territory. To have a standard measure of quality, you have to have a way to measure the quality of an individual account and bucket by tiers.
There's an easy framework to follow for this and if you're a sales ops executive tasked with territory management, it's a simple step by step process. At the very end, this methodology will successfully drive balanced territories with equal opportunities for every rep - making your VP of Sales confident in the year ahead.
Arguably the most important driver of successfully balanced sales territories is ensuring quality inputs. After all, any balancing analysis you run will only ever be as good as your input data.
Moving away from arbitrary geographical territory lines means ushering in an account-based focus that mitigates sales reps from fighting over "good" states/cities and instead prioritizes high-value accounts. This requires substantial company data on every account to identify criteria by which to segment.
This data-driven support compiles individual data points to provide a more comprehensive picture of an account, but how do you use this data to evaluate the quality of an account? Even with a company data provider in your tech stack, you need an effective way to score the quality of every account in order to find target accounts and balance sales territories.
With company data as your first input, an account scoring model acts as your standard unit of measure in evaluating account quality. Essentially, this becomes a quality over quantity approach.
Identify relevant data points attributed to high-value customers and add them to the model. Different data points can have different values (based on relevance), all influencing the final score to surface your best-fit accounts.
With an account scoring model automatically evaluating the quality of every account, easily create tiers based on account score. Then, automate the account selection process by evenly distributing accounts so that every rep has the same number of quality accounts.
Finally, design territories by the concentration of high-value accounts, informed by your account score, and keep territories balanced by providing equal opportunities for every rep. Coupled with account tiers, account scoring allows continuous evaluation of territory strength on an ongoing basis.
The Big Picture
The end goal is always easiest to understand: properly balanced territories make it easy to reach your sales goals. Our framework outlines the process for achieving balanced territories and even more so, DataFox solutions specifically address each step.
With AI-sourced and human-audited data, our verified company data integrates directly into your CRM. Automatically enriching accounts with 70+ firmographic data points and 30+ signals, this data provides the quality foundation needed for further analysis.
With transparent and controllable account scoring, create and apply weights to as many data points as you'd like and update the model yourself, anytime. This visibility also allows reps to trust the quality of assigned accounts and understand why an account is a high-value prospect.
Prioritize accounts according to an account score and create tiers to evenly distribute the same number of quality accounts to every rep. With equal opportunity in every territory, easily hold reps accountable to their sales quotas.
Balance territories by the concentration of high-scoring accounts, easily testing and developing territory strength with powerful filters and list segmentation. Find balance between sales potential versus rep workload, increasing coverage and productivity.
Regardless of how you look at it, the fact of the matter is that properly balanced territories increase your ability to meet and exceed sales goals. Take it from one of our customers:
"DataFox provides us with intelligent company data needed to map multiple accounts to the same company. With their account scoring tool, we're evaluating the quality of every account on an ongoing basis and creating tiers for our account selection process. Today, we're not building territories based on square footage or landscape covered. We're basing it on the number of Tier 1 accounts." - Laurie Schrager, VP of Sales Operations at Tealium
Learn more by watching our Territory Carving Webinar and hearing from sales ops experts.