It's October, which means Q4 for many of us and 2023 planning for most of us. For B2B sales and revenue teams, this is the time of year when you sit down to figure out next year's sales territories.
We've pulled together a bunch of free resources - everything you need for more effective sales territory management in 2023.
How will you handle account allocation to sales reps next year? There are three basic types of sales territories.
Geographic or segment-based territories. These tend to be created (or carved) during an annual sales territory planning process and remain relatively stable throughout the year. Territories are divided up based on a company's geography, vertical, or other data. Named account models fall into this category too. This is a static territory design, and it's what most companies use.
No territories. Some companies - usually smaller or earlier-stage companies - don't divvy up territories at all, and instead allow reps to source leads from anywhere in their addressable market. We sometimes refer to this as a wild west territory model.
Dynamic books. This model creates books of accounts for reps that are continuously refreshed based on account fit and timing signals, combined with rep capacity. It's a flexible model without fixed territory assignments.
Traditional geo or segment-based static territories have a number of significant drawbacks. At Gradient Works, we recommend you take a dynamic books approach to territories - it's more flexible, which means it's less brittle in the face of economic and market changes. It's also more productive, ensuring reps have the right number of the right accounts to work at the right time.
Rules of engagement
No matter what your sales territory plan is, you need clear rules of engagement that detail how reps work accounts, who owns what and when.
We've got a free rules of engagement toolkit that includes templates and discussion guides to help your GTM teams codify your RoE.
A few things you will need to consider in your rules of engagement include (but are definitely not limited to) the following.
Lead sources. Where do sales leads come from? Do some reps handle outbound lead generation while others qualify inbound leads? Where do leads from existing product users (PQLs or upgrade/expansion opportunities) fit in? Do you have hybrid BDRs that work a combination of lead sources?
Lead distribution. How do leads actually get to reps? This includes the plumbing lead routing technology to make sure leads are sent to a rep quickly and accurately. It also includes lead-to-account matching to be sure new leads are correctly associated with existing accounts. But it also includes rules about how often reps get new leads and which leads they get. Do you use a simple round robin process? Do you have different rules for different reps or leads? Here's a free lead distribution guide to help you sort through these issues.
Account based marketing. If you're using an account based marketing motion (or account based sales, however you refer to it), what are the guidelines that help sales and marketing work together on the same list of accounts? Get a free guide to ABM for RevOps.
Account scoring. How do you decide which accounts to prioritize for outreach? What criteria factor into your ICP? There are a number of different account scoring models you can use.
Activity and other KPIs. How many accounts can a sales rep work at one time? What has to happen for an account to be worked to completion? How will you measure sales rep success? Here's an SDR productivity calculator to help you determine just how many activities you can expect from an SDR. And here's a list of useful benchmarks to measure rep success.
When done well, sales territory management can increase pipeline and attainment. Bad territories can lead to lost revenue. It's worth it to take the time to make sure yours are set up effectively.