Now is a good time to rethink how you are managing your sales territory. No salesperson can afford to waste any time calling on the wrong customers or selling low payoff products and services. Customers, products, technology and competitors are constantly changing. Great performance starts with an outstanding territory sales plan.
Like any business plan, a sales plan provides a predicable road map of a goals and activities to ensure a successful year. Knowing whom you will call on, what sales activities are required and how much time and effort must be expended on each prospect is a critical step in making your goals. Establishing the most effective course of action to achieve sales objectives can be done using a simple planning process.
Many salespeople fail to adequately adjust when things go wrong. Those who don’t plan tend to repeat the same tactic and strategies regardless of whether they work or not. A territory sales plan should be prepared annually and updated quarterly.
Here are three good reasons to develop, update and review your sales plans, strategies and tactics:
- The print industry is transitioning quickly. Now, print provider organizations are difficult to categorize since more and more of them are offering a broader range of products and services to complement existing business models. The types of hardware utilized, output produced or types of customers served no longer easily distinguish our industry. Your competitors may be more vulnerable than ever.
- The industry is becoming more democratized. More and more print providers have adopted new technology and consequently added more services. In the past, customers would go to a specific type of printer, agency and creative to obtain specific solutions. Today they are becoming more comfortable with printers who are able to supply all of their communication and communication services needs. If you do not have the all the solutions, then partner with someone. This is a terrific opportunity for creative and aggressive sales people to generate new business.
- There has never been a better time in recent history to sell print. With so many changes, customers are looking for new and better ways to communicate. Any statement an organization can make can be expressed clearly and pervasively with a printed image. In this day of the myriad clutter of written, spoken and electronic messages, customers will appreciate the opportunity to have their message stand out. Customers are looking for salespeople who can present then with new ideas and ways to improve their business.
What Do You Need To Do?
As you might guess, an important part of a territory sales plan is determining what needs to be done and how long it will take to reach your goals. Your plan must be intelligent effort directed toward clearly defined goals. Be sure to analyze sales activity in terms of your important goals; your income and your quota.
Ask yourself, have I attained the income level that I expect and have I generated the sales levels that my company expects? What is going well and what is not working. Then ask the question how much income can I reasonably expect this year and specifically what do I need to do to make it happen. You will need to target specific companies and develop a calendar of activities. This will include how many prospecting phone calls, customer appointments, presentations, surveys and proposals; it will take to get your desired income. All of this will allow you to build a plan that includes specific sales activities.
Key Elements of a Territory Sales Plan
Here are some suggestions for assessing, planning and implementing a territory plan.