The importance of assigning and managing key accounts
Territory management in sales is a pivotal component of an organization's growth strategy. It involves creating a well-thought-out business plan that leverages the best tools and processes to allocate key accounts to your sales teams efficiently. This meticulous planning is more than just mapping locations on a field; it requires an intricate understanding of your customers, industry, and the potential opportunities your business can leverage.
Effective sales territory design is based on comprehensive data in this dynamic market. This is where CRM software provides a holistic view of your customer's behaviour, industry trends, and leads. A CRM system maps customer locations and helps chart a course for your territory reps' management, aligning their goals with your company's overall growth strategy.
As the heart of territory management, assigning key accounts to the right teams is important in optimizing performance and generating revenue. This detailed strategy will help your reps to spend their time effectively, nurturing prospects and deepening relationships with existing customers.
This blog article offers businesses a step-by-step guide to optimize their sales territory management. We'll explore using data-driven insights to create a robust team account plan, identify potential leads, and set realistic and achievable goals. This strategy will help your company maximize growth opportunities and improve overall performance. So let's embark on this journey to unlock the full potential of your territories and transform your reps into effective growth drivers.
The 5 keys to optimization
1. Understanding your market
Understanding your market is crucial in optimally managing your territory and allocating key accounts to your teams. It's a process that involves careful analysis of the different dynamics of the market in which your company operates. Here are a few key aspects:
Customer analysis: Who are your customers? What are their needs and buying patterns? What motivates them to choose a specific product or service? By understanding the answers to these questions, you can better align your products or services with their needs, leading to better key account management.
Competitive intelligence: Who are your main competitors? What are their products, services, strengths and weaknesses? How are they positioned in the market? This knowledge can help you develop strategies that set you apart from the competition and position you to manage your territory more effectively.
Market trends: What are the current and future changes in your market? These changes can include technological trends, regulatory developments, economic fluctuations, etc. By monitoring these trends, you can anticipate changes and adjust your territory management and key account strategy accordingly.
SWOT analysis enables you to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with your company and your market. It's a valuable tool that can help you make informed decisions about managing your territory.
In short, understanding your market is a crucial preliminary step that sets the tone for your territory management decisions and key account allocation. The clearer your vision of your market, the better you'll be able to make strategic decisions that promote your company's growth and success.
2. Customer Segmentation
Customer segmentation is a strategic marketing technique that divides the market into distinct sub-groups or segments based on various criteria. Customers within the same segment share similar characteristics or needs. This can help you target your sales and marketing efforts more effectively. Here are some essential aspects of customer segmentation:
Segmentation criteria: Segmentation criteria can vary depending on your business and industry. Some of the most common standards include geography (where your customers are located), demographics (age, gender, income, education level), buying behaviour (frequency of purchase, price sensitivity), and psychographics (values, attitudes, interests).
Key account segmentation: In the context of key account management, segmentation can help you identify the accounts with the highest revenue and growth potential or that are strategically important to your business for other reasons. You can then assign these critical accounts to your teams in a more targeted way.
Offer personalization: Once you've segmented your customers, you can personalize your offers to meet the specific needs of each segment. For example, you can offer different products or services or use other marketing and sales approaches for different parts.
Improved efficiency: Customer segmentation can improve your company's efficiency by helping you focus your resources where they will have the most significant impact. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction, increased sales, and an overall improvement in your business performance.
Customer segmentation is a powerful approach that can help you better understand your customers, refine your approach to key account management, and optimize your territory management. You can make more informed and effective choices that drive business growth by understanding your customers' needs and behaviours more detailedly.
3. Lead Scoring
In territory management and critical account allocation, lead scoring can be an essential strategy for optimizing your sales process. There are two main types of lead scoring: Inbound and Outbound.
Inbound Lead Scoring: This concerns prospects who contact your company on their own, for example, by visiting your website, subscribing to your newsletter or downloading a white paper. Inbound Lead Scoring can include factors such as the prospect's online behaviours (pages visited, downloads, length of visit, etc.), demographic information (company size, industry sector, position, etc.) and level of engagement with your content.
Outbound Lead Scoring: This concerns prospects you actively target, for example, through prospecting or advertising campaigns. Outbound Lead Scoring can include industry data, company size, growth potential, previous purchases of similar products and more.
Regarding territory relocation, lead scoring can help you determine where your most valuable prospects are, enabling you to realign your sales territories to focus on these areas. For example, if your lead scoring reveals you're getting high-quality leads from a particular region, consider reallocating more resources to that territory.
You can use CRM tools that include lead-scoring functionality or marketing automation platforms to implement lead scoring. It's important to note that the lead scoring system needs to be tailored to your business and market and may need to be adjusted over time to remain accurate and effective.
4. Your super-powered tool: CRM
Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system is a critical step in optimizing the management of your territory and allocating key accounts to your teams. A CRM can centralize all information relating to your customers, help you track interactions with them, anticipate their needs, and manage your key accounts more effectively. Here are a few aspects to consider when setting up a CRM system:
Choosing the right CRM: There are many CRM systems on the market, each with strengths and weaknesses. Your choice will depend on the specific needs of your business. You'll need to evaluate various factors, such as the CRM's ease of use, integration with other systems you use, features, cost, and customer support.
We've written an article listing the ten most widely used and promising CRMs.We invite you to consult it to choose the CRM that best suits your needs.
Data integration: Once you've chosen a CRM, you must integrate all your customer data. This can include data from various sources, such as your website, sales and marketing systems, social networks, and other systems you use.
Team training: Your team must be well-trained in the use of CRM. This includes understanding how to enter and manage data, track customer interactions, and use CRM analysis tools to gain insights.
Use for territory management: A CRM can be a powerful tool for territory management. It can help you understand where your customers are, segment them according to various criteria, track the performance of your teams, and identify growth opportunities.
Continuous improvement: Once you've implemented your CRM, it's important to keep evaluating and improving it. This can include adding new functionality, integrating new data sources, or training your team in new ways of using CRM.
Implementing a CRM system can be complex, but the benefits are worth the effort. A CRM can help you better understand your customers, manage your key accounts more effectively, and optimize the management of your territory.
5. Continuous assessment and improvement
Continuous assessment and improvement are fundamental to optimizing the management of your territory and allocating key accounts to your teams. These processes enable you to identify working areas that need improvement and implement plans to improve performance and efficiency. Here are a few points to consider:
Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs): KPIs help you measure the performance of your territory management and key accounts. This could include metrics such as sales per crucial account, customer retention rate, average sales time, and lead conversion rate. Tracking these metrics regularly gives you a clear idea of your performance and where to focus to improve.
Regular feedback: Encourage feedback from both your team and your customers. Your team members are out in the field and may have valuable ideas for improving things. Similarly, customer feedback can give you direct insight into what's working well and what could be improved.
Strategic reviews and adjustments: Based on your KPIs and feedback, you should regularly review and adjust your territory and key account management strategy. Being fearless in making changes is essential - flexibility and adaptability are crucial to success in the ever-changing business world.
Ongoing training and development: Continuous assessment and improvement must also extend to your team. This may mean providing additional training in areas where gaps are identified, encouraging ongoing professional development, or setting up mentoring and coaching programs.
Improve tools and systems: Tools and techniques like your CRM should also be subject to ongoing evaluation and improvement. This may involve adding new functionality, improving data integration, or simplifying processes to increase efficiency.
In short, continuous evaluation and improvement are essential to ensure that your territory management and critical account allocation remain efficient and competitive. It's an ongoing process that requires a commitment to constant learning, adaptation and improvement.
6. Monitor Sales Territory Performance
Sales territory performance monitoring is a crucial element of effective territory management. It enables you to measure your territory strategy's success, identify growth opportunities, and adjust to improve efficiency. Here's how you can do it:
Define key performance indicators (KPIs): KPIs are quantitative measures that help you evaluate the effectiveness of your sales territory strategy. These KPIs could include sales per territory, number of new business wins, customer retention rate, and average time to close a deal.
Data collection: A customer relationship management (CRM) system can help collect and organize performance data for each sales territory. This data can include sales made, leads generated, customer interactions, etc.
Performance analysis: Use the data collected to analyze the performance of each territory. This could involve comparing actual performance with defined targets, comparing the performance of different parts, or determining trends over time.
Performance reporting: Create regular reports on the performance of each sales territory. These reports can help communicate results to your team, identify areas that need attention, and track progress over time.
Strategy adjustments: Make necessary adjustments to your territory strategy based on your performance analyses. This could involve reallocating resources, modifying your sales approach, and revising your objectives, among other things.
In short, sales territory performance monitoring is an ongoing activity that requires regular data collection, in-depth analysis, and strategy adjustments based on the results obtained. This approach optimizes your territory management and improves your company's overall performance.