What Is Territory Management? 6 Smart Tips for Sales Managers

Half of your sales reps’ time is spent on unproductive prospecting. That’s time spent reaching out to customers who have no use for your product, are in no position to make a purchase, or are looking for information on something that has nothing to do with your product. 

With stiff sales quotas on the line, sales teams can’t afford to waste time chasing poor leads. The solution is territory management: a strategic tool that uses customer data to gather well-matched leads based on specific customer criteria and then distributes them equitably among sales reps. 

You’re probably using portions of territory management to fill gaps in your “divide and conquer” sales strategy. But there are other sales quota-smashing territory-based factors that can save your sales team valuable time. 

Let’s explore six areas within territory management that can improve your sales results.

1. Territory Management Goes beyond Geography 

Geographic boundaries are the most common way for sales teams to define territories. To make strategic inroads with customers, territory management should also include unique customer characteristics, sales potential, or strategic importance. This flexible approach allows for more customized and effective territory allocation.

2. Territories Can be Dynamic

Territories are often more dynamic than static. Noting changes in market conditions within geographic areas and tracking organizational restructuring ensures your territories provide current information for your sales rep. 

However, if you rely on spreadsheets to keep sales reps informed of changes in company status, where they now stand in the sales funnel, changes in management, or even changes on the sales team, know that 25 percent of sales reps blame frequent CRM updates for taking up valuable selling time. 

3. Microterritories Exist

You’ve assigned territories, but what about microterritories like industry verticals, customer segments, or product lines? 

“When you’re thinking about criteria for territories, don’t just think about customer segments (such as company size, industry, or product). Consider the sales team that’s best suited for them,” suggests Paul Bookstaber at Salesforce. 

But keep it simple. “Using too many attributes to define your territories can make it harder to measure what’s working, and can slow you down as you try to adapt,” Bookstaber says. Figuring these more granular areas into your sales strategies allows for more targeted sales efforts.

4. Recognize That Overlap Happens

Despite efforts to allocate territories efficiently, overlap between territories can sometimes occur. Before the gloves come off among sales reps, managers need to be clear on how to navigate this overlap to ensure fairness. 

Perception can derail the most detailed territory plan, which means fair and equitable territory assignments, along with transparent processes for territory management, are crucial for maintaining a positive work environment and fostering a culture of collaboration within the sales team.

5. Territory Management Requires Continuous Evaluation 

Looking for an excuse for another SKO blowout? You’re in luck. Effective territory management is not a one-time task but should be an ongoing process that requires better alignment among sales and marketing teams and regular evaluation and adjustment. 

“You can reinforce the content that was delivered throughout the year, with more targeted quarterly events,” said experts at winningbydesign.com, who suggest teams should move beyond SKOs to RKOs. “This allows you to stay better connected to the team, respond more quickly to events happening in your market throughout the year, and will be less of a strain on your planning team to produce a traditional large-scale event once a year that is overloaded with logistics planning.”

Since market dynamics, customer needs, and internal factors can change over time, periodic reviews and updates to territory designs and allocations will ensure teams stay informed and focused on shared goals. 

6. Technology Is Transforming Territory Management 

Did you know high-performing sales teams use almost three times the amount of sales technology than teams that are not performing up to scratch? 

When Zones, a multibillion-dollar global IT solutions provider, wanted to modernize its sales account management and GTM strategies, it turned to Fullcast

“We were trying to make sure that we could segment our whole customer base and balance our customer base against our internal resources,” explains John Shaffer, who managed Zones’ sales operations team when it made the decision to implement Fullcast into its tech stack.

The solution was an automated, AI-supported territory management tool that incorporated the six features we’ve discussed into results that improved territory visibility, forecasting, customized territory planning, and ensured more balanced, equitable distribution among the sales team. 

By harnessing customer data to pinpoint promising leads, territory management introduces additional avenues for maximizing sales quotas and empowering sales teams to navigate often complex territories and leverage valuable resources to drive success. 

See an overview of our territory management tools that generate AI data-driven territory planning strategies in minutes!


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Fullcast was built for RevOps leaders by RevOps leaders with a goal of bringing together all of the moving pieces of our clients’ sales go-to-market strategies and automating their execution.