The Product Rep Myth of The Monster Territory Too Big to Handle
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“Improving time and territory management is an example of doing the wrong thing right. Time and territory management is an archaic concept relevant for both door-to-door and route salespeople,” says author Jeffery Fox. Does time and territory management misdirect salespeople? Let’s find out . . .
Are You Spread Thin?
So, you have a sales territory the size of Texas and no help. You drive a million miles a week pounding the pavement to hit your sales call quota. Are you making too many sales calls but not spending enough time per call to make a conversion? This is a common problem.
Many sales reps claim their sales territory is too big to handle. They can’t visit all the potential customers in their region. This is a good problem to have. Too big is better than too little. No sales person is going to get terminated for bringing in a lot of business from a large territory. People get fired for not bringing in enough revenue. It doesn’t matter how big or small a sales territory is.
Territory Management Rules of Engagement
Building product reps need to be resourceful when working a large territory. A typical building product rep might be able to deliver five AIA Lunch and Learns to important AEC firms in a week. Most product reps will be lucky to deliver 2-3 AIA presentations. A very resourceful and over achieving product rep might also deliver AIA face to face courses for breakfast or a late afternoon happy hour presentation. Bottom line, product reps must be mindful of their time and budget in a large territory.
Some reps waste time on non-sales calls or architectural visits. Instead of sitting down with the decision makers, they are too busy analyzing spreadsheets. Product reps need to be on the ground running first thing in the morning and making as many productive visits and presentations as possible.
Time management is crucial for a large territory. Planning meetings, coordinating travel, answering questions, should all be done beforehand. Cold calls are great, but product reps should attempt to line up as many scheduled visits weeks in advance. Creating a rotation plan to visit top accounts and major decision makers is crucial.
Resources for Large Sales Territories
One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen over the past 15 years are product reps who can’t deliver their AIA courses to every AEC firm that requests one. Product reps only have so many hours in a day and limited budgets. An AIA online course helps to reduce the pressure on reps by offering an alternative to face to face presentations. Not every AEC firm is going to be happy but it offers crucial information about your product to the people who will hopefully specify it.
Webinars also offer a solution to trying to cover a large territory. If your territory covers multiple states, several metro areas, and countless high-profile AEC firms, you may want to consider hosting an AIA webinar to educate hundreds of architects about your products. Webinars save time, resources, and can connect you with dozens upon dozens of firms.
Overall, a product rep needs to be patient, persistent, and resourceful when covering a large sales territory. What strategies does your company use to handle big sales territories?
For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank