How much do your sales territories shrink?

Try a free territory shrinkage calculator

Static sales territories shrink over time. An SDR's territory can shrink by 70% over the year* just because they do their job well.

In fact, shrinkage starts the day you hand a territory to a rep. It gets worse when reps succeed. And territories don't always shrink the way you expect them to.

So we built a spreadsheet to model territory shrink based on initial territory size, accounts worked, quota, disqualification rate and account rest period. Get it here, free!

How sales territories shrink over time

*Here's how shrinkage works for an SDR territory. We'll call our SDR Jane.

Jane has 600 accounts in her territory in January. You've done the capacity math and decided that at your required activity levels, Jane can work 100 accounts a month, so you expect her to work the whole patch 2x per year. You also want her to set 4 meetings per month.

She hits quota each month. So each month there are 4 fewer accounts for her to work. By the end of the year, 48 accounts are no longer available. Effective territory size at year-end: 552. No big deal, though. There's still plenty to work.

Let's say that she disqualifies 10% of accounts she touches. That could be for any number of reasons, like bad fit, M&A, out of business, on a multi-year contract with a competitor. Effective territory size at year-end: 432. Interesting.

Now let's say that we want each account to rest at least 90 days between sequences. That means somewhere between 250 and 300 accounts are "at rest" (half her total territory!) at any given point in time. Effective territory size at year-end: 132. Yikes, that's tight, but there's still enough.

There's one more aspect to this. Jane's smart. She started out working the best accounts. Some of those have been DQ'd. Chances are good that the dwindling "effective territory" increasingly comprises the lower-quality accounts as the year goes on. Not only are there fewer accounts, they're worse!

As the year goes on, Jane has to do more and more prospecting to have workable accounts. Prospecting that takes away from touching her other accounts. Conversion rates get worse.

Key takeaway: You can't set and forget territories once a year. Model how your territories shrink and make sure you have a process in place to top-up reps dynamically with more accounts over the course of the year.

Thinking about moving from static territories to a more dynamic model?

Gradient Works provides dynamic book software to B2B sales teams, so every rep has a fair allocation of high potential accounts and a real opportunity to succeed.