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Sales Territory Plan

Apr 22, 2008
Do you have a sales territory plan? You would be shocked at the number of salespeople who I've met who do not write a territory plan unless their manager first asked them. Yet, how many salespeople would raise their hand in confirmation when asked, "are salespeople, in a sense, in business for themselves?"

I'm not sure what the problem is; whether laziness, lack of focus, or other reason for poor planning, but without a plan, you plan to fail.

My first boss out of college, Dick Boren, used to tell me "Plan your work, and work your plan." It was great advice. Our branch went from being a dog at $300K a month to over $1M within one year of implementing Dick's management methods. And one of those methods recommended each salesperson having a plan for their territory.

This article will outline the crucial elements of your territory plan. What you put in it is up to you. If you like, you are granted permission to copy this article and use it as an outline for your own personal territory plan. Otherwise, my firm, http://www.arriive.com/, is available to help you craft your own sales plan.

The elements of a successful territory plan are as follows:

1. Cover Page (make it look like you care, if you're going to show it to someone else)

2. Executive Summary (this is just good protocol)

What are the highlights of the plan? Write this last.

3. Mission

What is my mission? This should be no longer than a paragraph, and succinctly state my primary focus.

"Achieve Quota, be significant contributor in company, enable path to promotion to occur."

4. Objectives

What are my primary objectives? List 3 - 7 items I must accomplish to realize my mission.

"Overachieve Quota each month, Sign 5 new accounts by June 1, develop vertical market strategy by July 1."

a. Set SMART objectives: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-activated.

b. Keys to Success

Identify key items over course of year which will enable attainment of objectives to occur most easily.

"Identify key value proposition, articulate through email, phone, and in-person."

"Solid utilization of company resources, including upper management and technical team."

5. Territory Summary

Provide overview of territory targeting:

a. Current partnershipsb. Current customers and reference accountsc. Geographical description of territory - where are account clusteredd. Top accounts - listed by vertical market

b. Current Competitive landscape, by product/service offeringThis is important. Many salespeople overlook their competition.

6. Sales Strategy

a. Define Customer Buying Criteria, by product/service/solutionb. Define My Company's solutions, by product/service/solutionc. Define Account list by geography, vertical market, solution category (service offering)d. Define which solutions I want to target to which group of prospects/accounts

7. Sales Approach

a. Script out how I want to approach each prospect, by solution
b. Script out how I want to approach each prospect, by phone
c. Script out how I want to approach each prospect, by email.
d. Script out questions for first meeting which must be asked in order to determine needs.
e. Structure how I want to spend my day/week/month -- this should take into consideration my own peak moments.

Example of a Definitive Action plan -- Immediate objectives

Action Plan Target Date Completed?

Write Business Plan January 1
Define Account List January 1
Define Top Prospects January 1
Send Intro Email January 10
Meet Top 10 January 20

Now I have a plan.

Last thing to remember: Work the plan!! Follow-up, change things that don't work, add new ideas to the plan each quarter. This is my personal format I use - hope it works for you. If not, try your own plan. The key is to know who you want to work with, what you're doing, when you want to do it by, how you want to go about it, where you want it to occur, and why this matters (who, what, where, when, why).

If you're seeking help growing your sales, ARRiiVE Business Solutions (http://www.ARRiiVE.com) offers training on sales process and topics like "From Cold to Gold: How to Overcome the Fear of Cold Calling to Build Lasting Relationships."

Learn more about the business challenges we're helping leaders resolve.
About the Author
Copyright 2008 by Scott Andrews, CEO of ARRiiVE Business Solutions. ARRiiVE Business Solutions helps executives improve sales, launch products and services, and build dynamic, cross-functional collaborative teams. Visit http://www.ARRiiVE.com for more details.
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