When it comes to managing the sales territory, some b-to-b organizations are better than others, said Lee Salz, president of Sales Architects. Forward-thinking companies tend to provide their sales reps with specific characteristics of their ideal client and how to get the most out of existing accounts with regard to upselling and cross-selling.
Then there are those managers who give sales reps “a piece of land or a vertical, and say. ‘Go sell,’” Salz said. This approach may work for some reps, but in today’s hyper-competitive sales environment – with budgets increasingly finite – sales people need guidance to help them pursue the right opportunities at the right time.
“Territory management is a synonym for time management,” Salz added. “Time is a sales person’s most precious resource. Rather than take a shotgun approach and pursue every account, the best approach is the sharpshooter approach where you focus on your target and develop a strategy for pursuit.” Salz shared a few tips on how sales reps can be more strategic with their territory, which, in turn, should save precious time.
• Create a detailed profile of the ideal client, such as size of the prospect, purchasing circumstance, buying style, etc. “If you don’t have an ideal client profile you end up chasing the wrong opportunities,” Salz said.
• Identify opportunities in your client profile that best match the profile. It’s crucial for sellers “to look in their own backyard” at existing customers for upsell and cross-selling opportunities.” When a complete solution has not been sold, not only is revenue lost, but also you are exposed to a competitor that positions the comprehensive offering.
• Craft a needs analysis process that is designed to separate prospects from suspects. The goal is to identify synergies between the ideal client profile and the suspect, with the goal of creating a prospect. Here are some baseline questions to consider during needs analysis:
- Do they have a budget in place for your offering?
- Are they under contract for an extended period of time?
- Is this person the right prospect to engage to begin the process?
- What are the identified challenges that are being experienced?
- Do you have a solution that better meets their needs?