Sales Management Group

Sales Territory Plans: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

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Most companies do strategic planning in September and October, but the fourth quarter is not the best time for your sales team to plan. They’re focused on closing out the current year. 
In January, you recognize team successes for the prior year, assign sales targets and quotas, and kick off the new year. 
Now it’s time to execute. To get started, each of your sales reps needs a territory plan. This is a detailed action plan that shows how your reps will achieve their goals for the year.  
A territory plan is an essential sales management tool. Without one, a sales goal is just a number.
Without a territory plan, your sales reps will not know what it takes to meet their goals. And you will have no assurance they can get there. You’ll be flying blind.
February is the time to conduct planning sessions with each of your sales team members to identify where their sales will come from, what activities they need to engage in to make their sales a reality, and how they will make up any shortfall between their sales targets and identified opportunities.
We recommend having a planning session with each of your sales reps and account teams.  Your reps should prepare in advance and arrive ready to discuss how they will meet their goals. Each rep’s goal should consist of three elements:
  • Flow Business – Will happen (called “flow” business because it just seems to flow every year)
  • Likely Opportunities – Likely to close with routine sales efforts (better than 50/50 chance)
  • Stretch” Opportunities – Will require focused sales efforts to close (less than 50/50 chance). 
Based on this, you can create an action plan for your sales reps including time frames to perform activities so they close business this year.  You will also be able to develop an action plan to aggressively cover the territory to find and close opportunities that your sales reps have not yet identified.
The Sales Management Group leads and facilitates one-day and multi-day planning sessions for companies serious about meeting their sales goals.  We help clients prepare for the sessions so they are as productive as possible. Then, we facilitate the meetings to ensure each of your reps – and you – know exactly what is supposed to happen this year and how they will get it done.
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