Is your company experiencing territory design disorder? Do any of the following phrases describe your company’s territory management practice? Inadequate level of support; prolonged and siloed process; insufficient inputs that drive inaccurate territories and seller dissatisfaction; too many mid-period territory adjustments. Effective territory management processes result in more accurate quotas, better seller experience and higher productivity.

Alexander Group’s recent market study focused on large technology and manufacturing companies to curate market practices, establish benchmarks and obtain useful metrics to inform territory management decisions and processes. Four key strategies emerged from the data and findings:

1. Invest in automated tools for stronger ROI through faster cycle times
Companies that invest in automated tools reap strong ROI through faster cycle times.

  • 15 Days – companies that use a third-party automated tool more quickly complete the design phase
  • 35 Days – companies that use a third-party automated tool more quickly complete the planning phase
  • 20 Fewer Design days – companies that curate 50%+ of territory design inputs automatically

Automation drives operational efficiency. Automated tools offer instantaneous collection and analysis of territory inputs, decrease design errors and require less human capital to complete manual work. Many companies are investing the time and resources to develop a “clean” master database to feed more automated processes.

2. Create a partially centralized territory management process to improve cycle times
Partially centralized corporate teams define the processes and business rules for territory management, while allowing field teams to modify corporate’s definitions to support local needs.

  • 35 Days – partially centralized companies more quickly complete planning, design and implementation phases
  • 9 Days – partially centralized companies more quickly resolve territory/account assignment escalations
  • 5 Days – partially centralized companies more quickly finalize quota adjustments associated with off-cycle adjustments

Partially centralized companies provide business rules, such as coverage blueprints, account load maximums and segment breakpoints to guide rationalized and consistent territory design. These business rules act as guardrails to ensure the field’s design aligns with the company’s global execution strategy.

3. Less is more: less complexity in the territory management process = faster cycle times
As companies grow and evolve, the methodology to design territories tends to become more complex. More inputs are used and the design algorithm becomes extremely convoluted, which prolongs the design process.

  • 30 Days to complete planning when <= 4 functions/teams are involved in planning
    60 Days to complete planning when >= 5 functions/teams are involved in planning
  • 28 Days to complete design when <= 4 inputs are used to develop geographic territories
    60 Days to complete design when >= 5 inputs are used to develop geographic territories

Best-in-class companies regularly reevaluate appropriate inputs to design territories. They also conduct correlation analysis to determine relationship strength between inputs and desired outcomes. This exercise generates a concise, but applicable, list of globally available inputs to design territories that drive consistency and efficiency.

4. Utilize metrics effectively to measure territory performance and health
Territory evaluation tends to be primarily on-cycle and no study participant has adopted an innovative end-to-end evaluation process.

  • 57% Companies using dashboards to monitor territory performance/opportunity metrics
  • 79% Companies citing inadequate off-cycle/mid-year territory evaluation practices

Almost every company in the study cited the biggest gap for territory management is having a robust set of metrics and dashboards to measure territory performance and health. Companies want to move from gut-feel and field’s word on territory performance, to utilizing data and KPIs to guide decisions. It is absolutely critical to have comprehensive and accurate data to complete territory analysis.

Learn more about leading territory management practices and market benchmarks best practices in this whitepaper.

Is your company looking to optimize your territory management practice? Contact the Alexander Group for a briefing to discuss best practices, benchmarks and winning solutions to improve territory management.

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