Managing director of Vincent Consulting
Some sales representatives seem to operate in a state of chaos in regard to managing their respective territories, and others call on the same clients at the same frequency, irrespective of that client’s potential or lack thereof.
But using some simple tools means managing a sales territory can be very productive and give you a far greater return on investment.
I believe there are three interacting variables in managing a territory successfully. They are: Effective routing, appropriate call allocation, and efficient time management. In this article I will discuss the first variable – effective routing.
Routing refers to the specific “style” you use and the paths you choose to cover your territory and your accounts.
The routing styles are:
Calling by Crisis
In crisis mode people tend to be quite unstructured. While some flexibility is good, effective territory management requires planning rather than quick reflexes. A crisis-prone salesperson often has difficulty in following a structured territory plan.
The Crisis style of territory routing allows for great flexibility and for quick reaction to opportunities and problems. However, crisis-prone salespeople have a tendency to call on accounts — large or small — without sufficient analysis regarding whether they really need to handle the so-called crisis immediately, and to do so in person.
Calling by Milk Route
In the Milk Route style people arrange their calls in sequence and visit all accounts with the same frequency. While this is efficient in utilising travel time, it is very costly in terms of allocating calls according to yield. You should visit the high-yield accounts more frequently and allocate fewer calls to low-potential accounts.
Calling by Priority
While the Milk Route and Crisis styles are useful in special situations, the best method for consistent and effective territory management is the Priority style. That is by allocating calls according to account potential.
Priority call allocation will enhance your coverage and enable you to allocate your calls according to where you get the best return on your call investment.
This is the preferred style because it helps ensure that you put your time and energy toward those accounts most likely to yield the greatest sales results.