How to Effectively Manage a Territory with 150+ B2B Customers & Prospects
Over the years we have worked with many sales people who have 100 to 150+ customers in their territory. Some of these sales people are a little overwhelmed with how busy they are managing this volume of customers, whilst others seem to manage them with relative ease and achieve consistent growth (these are the high performers).
So, what's different in the way high performance sales people approach this challenge?
The high performers, the ones who manage their territory with ease, have put in place a three-step strategy:
They categorize their customers based on future potential
They formulate a call cycle to ensure they spend more time with the high potential customer's
They implement their call cycle, and they don't miss, driving excellent cadence
The first stage of categorizing customers is handled by determining the attributes of customers that would indicate their potential. This may include the current share of wallet (SOW) being achieve with each customer, the market segments they participate in, if they have a plan in place for growth, their customer base and target new business, etc. The outcome of this exercise is every customer and prospect are categorized by their future potential. We use the following scale:
AA = the highest potential customers regardless of current value
A = high current value customers to protect with low growth potential
B = reasonable current value customers and current low value customers with good potential
C = moderate current value customers and those current low value with some potential to grow
D = low current value customers with low potential
The second stage commences by determining the realistic number of proactive face-to-face meetings and phone calls possible each and every month. Once this is set, the next step is to set a call cycle for each category and calculate if this is achievable based on the realistic number for Face-to-face meetings and phone calls. For example:
AA and A = monthly face-to-face meeting
B = face-to-face meeting every second month
C = face-to-face meeting every quarter and one phone call every 6 weeks
D = face-to-face meeting every six months and one phone call every 2 months
The third stage is to ensure the call cycles are achieved each and every week. If any compromises need to be made due to unforeseen issues (such as illness or company driven initiatives) to high performer will ensure the AA, A and B customers are looked after as a priority to catch up. The high performers are also comfortable to drive past those customers that are nearby to the high potential customer 5 times before they visit them.
If you undertake this cadence exercise you might be surprised how much time you have for more business development and the rate of growth you can achieve in your territory.
If you would like more information on how to put approach in place, please give me a call on 0419 879 699 or send me an email, email@example.com