Should sellers be aligned to a specific geography, a list of named accounts or a combination of both? It’s a simple but important question that sales leaders often overlook in sales deployment discussions. The ultimate decision can have a wide range of downstream impact on the organization; from the seller’s style of territory management to the workload of day-to-day sales operations and administration. Before considering any deployment decisions, it is critical for sales leadership and operations to agree upon the basis and methodology for defining the sales team alignments. The wrong territory alignment methodology can spawn unintended conflict between sales teams and distract sellers from their primary objective – delivering revenue growth.
The three most common territory alignment methodologies used to define territories include:
Determining the most effective territory alignment methodology is primarily dependent upon:
In some scenarios, the alignment methodology will be obvious. For example, if sellers enter an unknown market and generate new accounts, it’s likely difficult to assign them to a list of target accounts and prospects rather than a geographic territory (e.g., New England). Likewise, if a key account manager is responsible for seven named accounts, it wouldn’t make sense to define their territory as a series of postal codes or counties. But what about when an organization wants sellers to “hunt” within a specific geography while managing a set of named accounts that overlap neighboring geographic territories? The discussion can become complicated rather quickly. Consider the following questions to help guide the decision-making process …
Strategy and Structure
Roles and Responsibilities
The table below provides examples and summarizes the pros and cons of each methodology approach.
While selecting an alignment methodology is a critical step to territory design, it’s only the first of many steps towards a successful sales deployment. The Alexander Group has the experience to guide you through your sales deployment plan and territory design. Please visit the Alexander Group’s Territory Design practice area page to learn more.
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