Every sales rep wants a better book of business. Everyone wants those Glengarry leads and the hottest inbounds. Sellers want access to new accounts and the ability to hold on to the accounts they're working hard on closing.
And every sales leader wants higher attainment and better rep efficiency. They want balanced books and focused sellers.
As you've heard us say over and over, the dynamic books approach to territories and account assignment helps solve all those problems.
But we also know that dynamic books can sound complicated. Moving away from geographic or segment-based territories seems like a lot of work. But it doesn't need to be that difficult. Every single sales organization can take steps toward a more dynamic approach to territories.
Here are 7 ways you can begin to build better books of business for your sales reps.
1. Develop a simple account scoring or ranking model if you don’t already have one. If you do have a scoring model already, consider revisiting it to make sure it’s up-to-date. Use simple factors like ICP fit and timing signals, like intent or marketing engagement, to rate an account's potential and priority. Use this scoring methodology to decide how you assign accounts. If you're assigning every account like it has the same priority, you're probably wasting effort on low-potential accounts and not spending enough time on the higher-potential ones.
2. Keep rep books small, probably smaller than you think they should be. You need to be sure reps are working every account in their book, and none of your highest priority accounts are going unworked. Figure out how much each rep can realistically handle at once - what's your ideal rep capacity? This will likely vary by segment. For example, enterprise reps may be able to work 50 accounts in a month, but a mid-market rep can handle 150. Figure out what your reps’ capacity actually is, and distribute new accounts accordingly.
3. Regularly assign new accounts to keep rep books fresh. Don’t assign accounts that aren’t ready to work or that reps can’t work yet. Depending on your sales cycle, you may want to distribute a batch of new accounts every week or every month. This ensures that you’re continuously identifying and assigning the highest priority accounts as timing and intent signals emerge.
4. Give reps the ability to return an account with clear definitions for when this is acceptable. This allows you to rinse and repeat frequently by distributing new accounts while also keeping reps at a reasonable book size. It also has the incredibly useful data hygiene benefit of reps returning incomplete accounts or accounts with bad data to operations to update and then redistribute.
5. Hold reps accountable for account coverage. We've seen too many teams hand out patches in January, then monitor activity levels, without truly understanding how those activities translate to prioritized engagement with accounts. Accounts become opps, not tasks. Statements like "it takes 100 dials to get a meeting" are meaningless. Be sure reps are actually covering accounts, which means you'll need to clearly define what account coverage is, and have a way to measure it.
6. Retrieve unworked accounts if reps aren't engaging them. Take those accounts back and redistribute them to other reps who have available capacity. Use-it-or-lose-it is a powerful behavior driver. Make sure to combine with strong rules of engagement to prevent bad behavior like just tossing an email over the fence once a month to keep an account. This also helps keep rep books balanced, so you don't end up with reps with huge books of accounts they can never fully work.
7. Clearly define rules of engagement around account ownership and engagement. Be sure you’re clear about who can own which accounts when, what counts as “working” an account, and more. (We've got a great ROE resource here. Templates, discussion guides, challenges to look for, and more.)
The good thing about these building blocks is that you don't have to do all of them to build a better book of business. Even just implementing a few more dynamic components can drastically improve your sales team's opportunity creation rate.