sales territory mapping

Everything You Need to Know About Sales Territory Mapping

Discover essential insights on sales territory mapping: strategies for optimizing territories, enhancing team performance, and boosting sales efficiency.

Successful sales strategies play a key role in achieving business goals. But what drives these strategies from inception to execution, improving sales operations and on-ground performance?

Sales territory mapping. 

Without the right sales territory map template, your sales team could face challenges, namely:

  • Poor productivity
  • Revenue mismatch or imbalance
  • Subpar revenue performance 
  • Poor customer experience
  • Leading to the loss of clients, and
  • Waste of valuable resources 

So, how do you get sales territory mapping right to achieve business goals and grow your revenue? Let’s find out in this blog.

sales territory mapping

Sales Territory Mapping: Setting On-Ground Sales in Motion

Sales territory mapping defines and visualizes the area, sales amount, and revenue your sales team will target.

It divides and categorizes customers based on specific characteristics within your ideal customer profile (ICP). A sales territory map template also helps you assign categories and customers to the salespersons best equipped to serve them. 

It lets you reach the right customers in the right areas with the right characteristics to achieve targets and improve growth. 

The task of aligning your sales plan with business goals in the most profitable way lies with sales managers. 

From the larger business perspective, sales territory mapping is part of location intelligence. Today, location intelligence helps segment customers and find more relevant target markets for revenue success. 

How Is Sales Territory Mapping Instrumental to Business Growth?

A sales territory map template does more than act as a blueprint. Here are 6 more ways in which it contributes to growth. 

1. Ties Back to Business Goals

Sales territory mapping creates a blueprint for achieving your business goals. It clearly lays out sales targets and directs reps to the most profitable customers or verticals by strategically assigning territories.

2. Maintains Balance

One of sales territory mapping’s primary objectives is to secure a balanced and fair distribution of work among sales teams. It moves and optimizes resources effectively to maximize revenue potential. 

3. Increases Selling Time

Reps can increase facetime with clients by cutting down time spent on planning. This is specifically made possible with sales territory mapping tools that decrease planning time from months to minutes. 

4. Improves Win Rates

Naturally, when reps spend more time selling, they can nurture clients better through the sales funnel. Moreover, each assignment is backed by data. This data offers more visibility into customers and prevents deals from slipping through the cracks. 

As a result, reps can improve customer experience and uncover new leads to increase win rates. 

5. Boosts Morale

A sales territory map template encourages intelligent planning, further improving sales productivity. Additionally, when reps can increase win rates, achieve their quota, and earn more, it boosts their morale. And if reps are happy, it means your attrition rates are lower. 

It’s not just that. A sales territory map template also highlights improvement areas useful for coaching. 

6. Extracts Hidden Insights

Sales territory mapping helps measure sales data by connecting the map to the CRM. Therefore, when multiple salespersons are involved in a deal, you can attribute the sale to the right person

Recognizing the benefits of sales territory mapping is the first step in setting up your own template. Step two is understanding its different types. 

Choosing From 5 Types of Sales Territory Mapping

Conventionally, sales territories were based on locations. However, you can customize them today as per your customer, market, or even product needs. 

Let’s take a look at the 5 types below. 

sales territory

1. Geography

Geographic sales territory mapping is the most commonly used and also the oldest. It classifies your market based on, you guessed it, geographical locations—cities, states, countries, and zip codes. 

For example, Sales Team A can serve Texas, while Sales Team B covers California. 

To get geographic mapping right, your sales team must have a regional, cultural, and linguistic understanding of the territory they’re allocated. 

It’s also important to ensure that the selected sales team is available when customers are active in the designated regions. 

2. Product

Product-based sales territory mapping can be used when you have multiple offerings. You can categorize and assign reps to specific products or technological offerings. 

This method is useful when certain reps have in-depth expertise on specific products. For example, Team A has expertise in CRM solutions and is assigned to this offering, while Team B caters to clients looking for Digital Advertising software.  

Assigning your reps to the right products will ensure they can sell to clients more convincingly. 

3. Customer 

The third way to divide your sales territories is based on specific customer characteristics like demographics or roles. 

For instance, Sales Team A may sell to clients with a yearly revenue of $500,000. On the other hand, Sales Team B focuses on the higher margin clients with yearly revenue of $1 million and upwards. 

4. Industry 

Industry-based sales territory mapping assigns reps to specific industries or verticals

It works best when your product caters to individuals or businesses from multiple industries. 

For example, Team A sells to the construction industry, while Team B covers the education sector. Similarly, Team A could be selling to the education industry overall, while Team B handles specific verticals–like universities or higher education–and Team C is responsible for schools. 

5. Sales Channel

An upcoming type of sales territory map template categorizes territories per the sales channels your reps or clients use. 

That’s because buyers now use ten or more channels, on average, as they move through the buying process. They use a combination of digital self-serve channels for certain activities and videos or in-person channels for others. 

Consider this example. Team A is responsible for selling via digital channels like social media, and Team B sells through offline channels such as cold calling. 

You may also get more granular by assigning reps with expertise in certain platforms to those mediums. For instance, Rep A sells via emails, and Rep B may use LinkedIn. 

Knowing the key types of sales territories is awesome. But figuring out the type of sales territory mapping that suits you best requires a systematic process. And that’s what we dive into next. 

Building Your Sales Territory Map Template

Whether it’s your first sales territory map template or 17th, the below steps will help streamline and simplify the process. 

sales territory mapping

Step 1: Define Goals and Objectives

The best way to start is by defining your goals and objectives, mainly relating to sales. Determine what you want to achieve with your sales territories and set measurable goals

Take on revenue goals first by using the revenue forecast. Use the growth goal to determine how much new revenue you need to make from each territory. This new revenue could come from upsells, cross-sells, or new leads. 

Once you’ve defined your revenue goal, you can focus on setting up the territory map to achieve it. 

For example, your goal is to drive sales for your latest product functionality. This functionality will benefit certain industries more than others. So, that’s the goal you want to focus on and set up an industry-based sales territory map. 

You may also have certain non-financial objectives. For example, your goal may be to deepen sales prospecting in a certain region to drive more sales. In that case, you may assign more reps to the region. 

Step 2: Analyze Data

Data, insights, and metrics help understand your team’s past and current performance. 

Look at your sales history, customer buying behavior, changes or trends, and new opportunities. You can use this information to spot inefficiencies and iron them out in your sales territory plan. 

Analyzing data also provides more information to answer the following questions: 

  • Where are most of your sales coming from?
  • Which regions have the highest LTV?
  • Which industries are underperforming? 

Besides the above, you can gather deeper insights on how long it takes to establish a contact, get new leads, the best time to connect with leads, and the overall impact on the sales funnel. 

Data analysis helps design a balanced sales territory map with effective sales compensation. 

Step 3: Know Thy Customer

Understanding your customers is super essential and critical because if you don’t understand your customers, you won’t be able to sell. If you don’t understand your customers, you can’t make them stay and keep using the product and then expand.

Leore spira, head of revops at buildots

Begin with understanding what pain points or problems you’re solving for your customers. Also, consider why customers should choose your solution over others. 

Consider customer data like demographic, firmographics, company, size, revenue, and role to find the best possible answers. 

Once you’ve figured out the “what” and “why,” create an ICP. This leads you to the “how” by designing territories tailored to your customer needs and making it a tighter fit. 

For example, if your ICP is a B2B customer, an industry or a customer-based sales territory mapping makes more sense. But if you’re selling to B2C, a geographic or product-based territory may be a better choice.  

Knowing your customer pushes your reps to maximize their wins by focusing on accounts that truly matter. They can polish their sales content and messaging to attract leads with a high probability of conversion. 

Step 4: Leverage Reps With SWOT Analysis

Knowing your customers is great. But what makes it even better is knowing your reps and playing to their strengths and weaknesses. 

A SWOT analysis puts you in a better position to map territories to your reps’ real capabilities

It also shows you what competitors are up to, primarily to whom their reps are selling and in what territories. This exercise is particularly important when you want to go head-to-head with competitors and capture a larger market share. 

For example, industries like healthcare may need an experienced rep to convince buyers to purchase from you. If they’re not confident, the presence of a strong competitor may pose problems. Your rep must study the industry inside out to showcase your expertise. 

SWOT analysis helps spot trends and hidden opportunities.

You can develop a competitive edge by leveraging these opportunities. From a business context, it gives you the information you need to devise smarter and better sales strategies. 

Step 5: Define Territories

Once you’ve set your goals, built an ICP, and finished a SWOT analysis, you’ll better understand your reps’ capabilities, experience, and expertise. You can then match them to the territories. 

Remember, modern sales territory map templates need not rely on geographical or physical territories alone. Maintaining a balanced distribution of work for your teams is important. 

And for that reason, you may want to use a single type of sales territory mapping or choose a combination of types. 

For instance, you may start with geographical territories, such as Asia Pacific or North America, and then divide them further by customer type, such as those with different deal sizes. 

And that’s it. You’re all set to start building your template. But after you’re done, remember that you must also optimize it.

Optimizing a Sales Territory Map Template for Resounding Success

For sales territory mapping to work in the long term, you can’t use a set-and-forget approach. Don’t come back only at the end of the period to look at it. Instead, optimize it regularly–every 3 to 6 months as needed

Here are some best practices to optimize your sales territory mapping template. 

mapping sales territories

1. Use Clean Data

The foundation of a solid sales strategy is built on accurate, reliable, and complete data. If you don’t keep returning to your data, you’re essentially setting territories based on incomplete and inaccurate information

Regularly optimizing your template avoids a build-up of data inaccuracies. 

Intent data, particularly, plays a key role in sales. Leverage it throughout the period, and don’t let reps miss out on valuable opportunities within their territories. 

2. Re-evaluate Market Potential

Use current and historical data to track your market performance. You can rank your territories—most profitable, emerging market, high growth market—to determine each one’s results. 

If you notice a territory consistently on the backseat, you may need to redistribute your resources to improve its performance. 

Re-evaluating market potential also helps you identify more revenue sources from customers and leads. For instance, higher upsells could show that you can still generate revenue from customers in a territory after a deal is won. 

To understand market potential, you can track the following KPIs:

  • Renewal opportunities
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU)
  • Net revenue retention (NRR)
  • Upsells and cross-sells
  • Churn rate

3. Re-evaluate Resource Potential and Performance

Like territories, resource performance also changes with time. You can track results using these sales KPIs:

  • Total revenue 
  • Quota attainment
  • Win rate
  • Sales cycle length
  • Customer lifetime value (LTV)
  • Annual contract value (ACV)

To evaluate reps, score them, and identify the bottom, middle and top performers. 

Figure out how much of their respective quotas they are achieving consistently, how they prospect, and how many viable leads currently exist in their funnel. 

Also, consider the sales team’s roles and responsibilities. Managers must be evaluated based on the overarching impact on business strategy, while reps could be evaluated on operational performance. 

Team collaboration is another important element to watch out for.

Territory mapping must complement each team member’s skills and help them benefit from collaboration. 

Depending on what you find, redistribute or reassign reps to the best-suited territories. 

4. Make It Adaptable

Resilience in the face of unpredictability and change is essential. For 85% of sales leaders, adopting agile working methods is critical for success. 

Organizational changes like mergers, turnover, alliances, and change in leadership affect sales territory mapping. 

A well-made template will adapt to changing situations, clearly avoiding confusion and redistributing responsibilities. 

5. Account for the Budget

Consider not only the overall sales budget but the budget for individual territories, too. This is different for each territory depending on its profitability and growth opportunities. 

Reps may need to spend more time in certain areas to take extra care of clients. Some may need additional functions like their own customer success team. 

Your sales territory map template must provide the necessary wiggle room for your reps to maximize growth. 

6. Use Technology

Traditionally, sales used spreadsheets with minimal layers for sales territory mapping. With advancing technology, it’s easier and faster to map your sales territory with tools. 

You can also layer your sales maps with in-depth industry and customer information. 

What’s more? 

  • You get real-time updates from territories and teams. 
  • Multiple reps and sales teams can access a single dashboard with all information. 
  • They can also sync their sales territory map with the CRM, ensuring data flows seamlessly between both tools. 

Sales territory mapping tools are also useful for measuring rep performance and building reports and forecasts. 

Some effective tools today include Maptive (powered by Google Maps), Salesforce Maps, and Spotio. 

Remember these tips to maintain a profitable sales territory map template, starting with clean data. 

Create Your Sales Territory Map Template With the Right Data

Account and historical data are important starting points for creating a sales territory. But the quality of this data is what matters most because it impacts the entire sales hierarchy. 

Data health can be the difference between hitting your revenue targets or not, and that could mean the company’s missing opportunities. Ultimately, there’s potential for failure from missing out on (those opportunities).

melissa mccready, founder & ceo, navigate consulting group

Unfortunately, we leave data in silos and crowded sales tech stats which never reach the CRM. 

Clean data = Effective sales strategies = Balanced & profitable sales territories. 

Simplify your sales territory mapping, avoid imbalance, and clear a path for employees to follow, all with unified activity data through a single source of truth

That’s what Nektar does for you

Nektar plugs in data and revenue leakage, unlocks hidden data, and provides visibility into accounts and rep activity for efficient sales territory mapping within your CRM. 

Let reps customize their approach for the customer journey and get results from territory mapping using clean data. Start with Nektar today


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