3 Reasons to Drop Manual Sales Territory Planning for Good

Jun 29, 2020
2 min read
Learn everything you need to know about why automated sales territory planning is imperative to take advantage of your sales landscape and selling potential.

When it comes to sales performance management (SPM) functions, the difference between “nice to have” and “need to have” can seem difficult to determine. There’s no doubt that sales performance has the most tangible effect on your business success, and yet, deciding where and when to invest in your sales process can seem both risky and convoluted. Sure, you know you need ICM to handle accurate and timely payments, but do you really need automated sales territory planning as well?

Yes, you do, but let me prove it to you.

Although automating technology for territory design can increase your sales productivity by up to 20 percent, territory planning is often categorized as a luxury in SPM—instead of the necessity it is. This misconception can cost far more than you may realize. Integrating sales territory planning into your SPM arsenal is absolutely imperative in taking full advantage of your sales landscape and selling potential.

In fact, digital territory planning can result in very positive business benefits, including:

  • 15% higher revenue
  • 15% increase in territory efficiency
  • 75% reduced planning time
  • Up to 30% higher sales objective attainment

Statistics aside, let’s look at three ‘bigger picture’ reasons why it’s time to drop manual sales planning for good.

Unleashed Virtual: Ready for a Quick Pivot? Redesigning Territories Mid-Year

1. Your ICM is getting lonely

By now, we can all agree that automating incentive compensation management (ICM) is exponentially more effective than using excel to manage sales comp. In fact, it happens to be the key driver in SPM ROI. Unfortunately, territories that don’t offer the right potential will never be able to be fully effective (no matter how wonderful your incentive program is). By integrating territory planning with your ICM, you can ensure the value of your sales territories, and therefore ensure the value of your sales compensation. Likewise, by integrating your ICM and territory planning functions you can actually create fair and achievable quotas for your sales reps.   

2. Your sales reps will thank you

Speaking of reps, assigning territories that are too large or too small can have huge implications on quota attainment, team motivation, and rep attrition. The Sales Management Association 2018 research update determined that companies that are able to effectively measure territory design data have eight percent higher sales objective achievement. Eight percent is by no means an insignificant amount—and one that is sure to impress both your reps and your stakeholders. Investing in sales territory planning will help you avoid a dissatisfied, unproductive rep team and the resulting lost sales.

Also, for the sake of your reps, keeping territories balanced should be seen as an ongoing process as markets and demographics evolve quickly. There may be several changing dynamics that affect how your territories respond to your goals and strategies. If territories aren't balanced, then your sales reps can't take advantage of the potential business opportunities within the defined geographical area—which could result in reps to feel dissatisfied, leading to costly attrition.

3. Your opportunities will expand

Companies that optimize territory size and deployment can drive up to 20 percent revenue lift, according to the Alexander Group. By investing in territory planning, you can easily identify, design, and cultivate sales opportunities in a way that enables your reps to do their best work—and maximize every square inch of their assigned territories. This gives your team the competitive advantage it needs to increase efficiencies and revenue. When you integrate sales territory planning with your other SPM functions, you are better able to save time, improve ROI, and stop process frustrations and data inaccuracies from getting in the way of your expanding business.

So the question is, can you really afford not to take full advantage of your sales territories? To learn more about why adopting and implementing a digital territory planning solution can help you build a foundation for sales success, check out our ebook, “The Guide to Fair and Productive Sales Territories”. 

Or, if you’re ready to automate your territories or request a demo, check out our solutions page for Xactly Territories to learn more about how to create fair and balanced territories for your remote salesforce. 

  • Sales Planning
  • Territory Design
Emily Jahn
Content Marketing Manager

Emily Jahn is a Content Marketing Manager at Xactly. She earned a degree in advertising from The University of Colorado - Boulder and has experience in copywriting, social media, and digital marketing.