Sales territories can be a touchy topic at the office, especially if you’re looking to divide them or break them up in any way. Some people hate the idea of having to only work within a specific territory, but it’s actually quite helpful for a variety of reasons…

Possibly the most important one is that it divides a team evenly, and gives everyone a chance to get a client without poaching them from a team member. It’s also great for preventing a new hire from becoming overwhelmed with options. If someone has a starting place, it’s easier to get off the ground.

However, even within a territory, it’s still important to have proper management skills. Understanding the dynamics of your area is vital to success. Working in a predictable, detailed method not only makes you a better salesperson, it also gives you the best chance at finding people who want to be clients.

1. Move

Move around your territory. Don’t sit in your office all day, looking people and places up online and calling out of the blue. Some small businesses aren’t listed online, and you may be able to pick up tips and ideas of who needs your service by actually being out there. This also gives you a better idea of what the people in your territory need.

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Creating a sales territory for each sales person allows them to focus their efforts and get to know their potential customers on a deeper level. If you’re an Uber driver, you should know how far businesses are from the airport. If you’re a roofing contractor, you should know who experiences heavy snowfall within your sales territory. This information gives you a starting point that’s years ahead of the competition.

2. Prioritise

Accounts can often fall into one of three categories – A, B and C accounts.

      • A accounts are high volume, high profit and usually labor intensive. In business, you can almost always expect to get the highest return on your time and money from an A account.
      • B accounts are smaller, usually a bit less labour intensive and will provide some returns but not as much as the A accounts. These may also be small, ongoing accounts that are pretty straightforward and don’t require a great deal of time from you. You’ll probably get a reasonable return on these accounts, but nothing like what you would get from an A account.
    • C accounts are small, quick and can often be one-time deals. They may also be medium-sized accounts that have gotten excessively complicated or difficult to work with. Of course you’ll receive returns from them, but this is on the lower end.

Based on this, it’s smart to give the most attention to your A accounts. Don’t sacrifice the quality of the others, but your A accounts should be more challenging and require more time. Give them priority in your territory and you’ll see a high return.

3. Work it

Here, “it” refers to the relationships you create with other people and businesses in your territory. You’ll form relationships with clients in your A, B and C accounts. Leverage those relationships! If you’ve done your job well, your clients will be more than happy to spread the word about how you helped, but you may well need to ask them.

If you’ve done your job poorly, clients will also be more than happy to tell you all about how you let them down. It’s a bummer, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn from your mistakes, if you can handle it. You’ll not only know what to correct in the future, but you might also be able to prove to someone that you deserve a second chance.

4. Time management

Avoiding the paperwork isn’t good for anyone – not you, your clients, your team or your company. You won’t get paid without the paperwork. There are lots of ways to do it, but it’s common to break your day or week up into segments that allow you to handle the non-selling aspects of sales.

Scheduling your calendar is as simple as relegating emails to a specific hour, and checking into complicated customer complaints only after a specific time. You may want to change it up and only do proposals after you’ve reached a certain number on the wait-list.

5. Big-picture thinking

As a salesperson, your job is to create business. You bring business to your company, you create better business for your clients and you solve the problems that might otherwise close a company. Your ability to be knowledgeable both in your field and the fields you work with are paramount. It not only gives a good impression of your company and lands you a sale, but it also gives a good impression of you as a person.

Remember, sales is about relationship-building and problem-solving. Your goal is to help people. Keep that as your objective and the rest will fall into place.