Defining The Challenges
Many factors are contributing to increased challenges for copier dealerships as they try to align their sales territories, but let’s focus on two of the most egregious: Turnover in the sales force and the changing landscape for print sales in 2022 and 2023. These challenges mean that managers must exploit new strategies to create functional and successful territories for their sales representatives. The goal is to define territories that optimize sales rep performance and drive revenue growth while also giving them a practical number of existing accounts to manage.
So, what are imaging industry sales managers doing to rise to these challenges and provide their teams with the best subset of accounts possible?
What is a Sales Territory?
A sales territory is simply a geographical area assigned to a sales rep. It is their job to identify and approach potential customers within that region. To be profitable, companies keep track of current clients and continuously search for new business. Leads (opportunities for new sales) can come from many sources, but a critical component of recruiting new business is targeting sales territories.
“Sales territory mapping is the process of building a visual action plan for outside sales. With a focus on getting ahead of competitors, reps are assigned target prospects without overlapping with each other.” – ZoomInfo
The lines which create and define the boundaries of sales territories have been traditionally set using only one factor: geography. Maps were consulted and sales reps were assigned non-overlapping regions of an area (sometimes by zip code or home base for the rep), often without consideration of what existed within those boundaries. These territory maps are certainly important. Sales managers utilize them to configure their sales reps’ traveling routes and evaluate their sales performance.
What are the Challenges of Drawing Territories for Dealerships?
The goal of drawing effective sales territories is to optimize revenue while making efficient use of reps as the most important sales resource. Challenges that dealers face include:
- Upgrading technology infrastructure to take advantage of electronic mapping and database demographics.
- Creating balanced workloads for sales representatives with territories.
- Matching sales representatives to clients who speak to their strengths and experience.
- Putting in place an effective business management system to correctly track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of territory boundaries.
Additionally, the post-pandemic landscape for the office technology channel reflects a major change in print sales. With the expansion of work-from-home situations for many dealerships’ clients, residential solutions have become more profitable, and client offices are not all doing the same print volume they once were. Dealerships are having to re-draw a lot of territories because of this to balance the playing field for their sales reps.
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What are Copier Dealerships Doing Today?
Copier dealerships today can take advantage of sophisticated sales territory mapping technology. Available software tools go far beyond simple geographic mapping for distribution. Sales managers may segment territories using many other criteria, such as:
- Industry type – Using SIC codes, DNB numbers or more generic industry segments, businesses can sort companies by their industry and identify higher volume opportunities like school districts, law firms and hospitals.
- Customer type – How many customers are in each area? How many Prospect accounts? Having a good balance can serve to give salespeople a balanced workload between easy repeat sales and profitable net-new sales.
- Business size – a territory with fewer large companies may indeed be more profitable than one with many small companies, or vice versa. A balance of business sizes within territories, or a balance of geographic sizes based on the scale of businesses within them is certainly critical.
- Deal potential – Does a certain geographical region have more known opportunities than others? If so, a re-balance may be in order.
Many businesses today are employing the use of digital sales territory management tools. Like other automated tools, they bring multiple advantages including:
- Eliminating the need for error-prone manual data entry using spreadsheets.
- Freeing up sales managers’ time to make them more efficient.
- Producing an effective workflow for sales reps, saving time and travel expenditures.
- Helping managers to capitalize on their sales teams’ strengths.
- Focusing on targeted regions.
- Setting goals, tracking progress, and analyzing sales strategies.
- Ensuring equitable and balanced sales territories between reps.
- Ensuring that all potential customers are covered by sales reps.
Dealerships Using SalesChain Have Just Received A New Territory Analytics Tool
SalesChain’s software goes beyond just partitioning territories by zip code rules. It can help dealers fine-tune their sales opportunities and balance sales reps’ customer base in an area by providing population averages, business density, customer density, and the number of leases with corresponding information. Sales managers and leadership teams may run scenarios to help make calculated decisions to effectively distribute territory customer bases and accounts. Lease data gives them important information on the “size of opportunity” in a given territory. Revenue analytics allow for a spot-in-time analysis of sales data and help managers keep balanced territories in a dynamic sales environment.
Ready to assess your prospect and account quality more accurately and improve your sales plan? SalesChain can help!