Information, tips and tricks you can use every day!

Great Territory Planning: Right on Target! [Week 6 of 6]

Posted by on February 15, 2012

Great Territory PlanningLast week, we discussed how sales reps can harness the power of Consultative Selling to make their client feel comfortable, earn their trust, and create a solid sales foundation. But what about the bigger picture? As a territory/region manager (TM), you are responsible for multiple sales reps and clients in your geographical area. How can you best manage your territory for maximum sales and long-term consultative relationships?

Well, first things first. The development of a sales territory may seem a daunting task. However, with a carefully researched plan and some tenacious implementation, great territory planning will help you meet—and exceed—your sales goals. What is great territory planning? There are four key areas where you as a TM should focus your attention to maximize your time and resources.

Detailed Preparation

Preparation involves knowledge. First, every sales rep in your territory should be totally knowledgeable about every item and service in their product line and intimately familiar with their strengths and weaknesses.

Similarly, they should also understand the advantages and disadvantages of the products offered by the competition. Most importantly, the expert sales rep will have a keen understanding of their clients’ needs. The TM and sales team should identify the top 5-10 clients for each sales rep and make sure reps fully understand each of their clients and the surrounding competitive environment. A competent sales dialogue gives clients full confidence in your sales rep and your company as a whole.

Focused Targeting

Effective selling is not accomplished through a “shotgun” approach, i.e. selling on a per-item, per-service basis as needs pop up. The sales team must concentrate on the most lucrative and easiest sales targets, creating a comprehensive sales plan and nurturing the relationship with each client. Expanding this method throughout your sales territory consistently yields the fastest and most rewarding business deals.

Consultative Selling

As we discussed in Consultative Selling, the expert sales rep must develop a trust-based relationship with their client. This trust is not developed in a single meeting. You must do more than just sell a product or service to develop trust, requiring multiple, meaningful encounters. Perfunctory, once-a-quarter visits simply don’t cut it. Planning, positioning, and closing are essential. Anticipating and offering proactive solutions to the customer is the fastest way to build a trust-based client relationship.

Win-Win Closing

A broad-based selling effort that doesn’t revolve around a single item or service is the only way for both buyer and seller to win. A single-issue deal may result in a sale but it does not push the rep further up the “relationship ladder.” The rep must always be thinking about what else they can offer the client, beyond price. When concessions are required in the course of the sale, the sales rep can agree and then counter with different products, services, or other added value unique to your company. Over time, if the sales team plans well, the client will benefit from the right mix of products and services, coming to view their sales rep as a trusted advisor.

Territory Planning

In short, great territory planning incorporates every other aspect of sales. It requires diligent preparation on the part of the TM, sales team, and individual reps to gain thorough understanding of the clients’ needs and the competitive atmosphere.

At CGWA, our 5 targeted Sales Execution Workshops are each developed, tested, and refined in the field—in response to real sales execution issues faced by very successful commercial teams. We hope you’ve enjoyed and found value in our 6-part Sales Execution series!

Join us next week as we launch a new web page. What is it? You’ll be the first to know, so just wait and see!