Creating Sales Territories

In AlignMix you can import existing sales territories into AlignMix or create sales territories from scratch. The video above explains how you can use the touch align tool and the lasso tools to create brand new sales territories from a blank map when no data has been imported into your file. Ideally you will have some sort of data imported either at the zip code level (population, or demographic data) or account based data (sales, workload or potential value). Using data that has been imported you will be able to create balanced sales territories that give every sales rep a equal chance of reach sales targets. The touch align tool is the first tool that you will use. This tool is similar to a paint brush. It allows you to click and create custom shapes on the map. You can also use the CTRL key on the keyboard to hug the state boundaries to create clean alignments that maintain state lines. This video also shows how to use the lasso tools to create a custom sales territory on your map. These tools are also used to modify existing sales territories.

Creating New Territories in Existing Sales Territory Map

AlignMix can be used to create sales territories from scratch using a blank map or you can import your current sales territories using a zip to territory import. You can also import Sales accounts with data into your map so that you can see where those accounts are located within your sales territories. The tools shown in this video can be used in a blank map or in existing maps to create new territories and modify existing sales territories. The touch align tool is the first tool most AlignMix users will use to create and modify sales territories. It’s just like finger painting, you simply click, hold and move the cursor to moved territory boundaries. To use the touch align tool to create a new territory inside of a territory you will need to click and hold the “A” button on the keyboard. If you don’t click and hold the “A” button, the touch align tool will simply expand the territory you clicked on, instead of creating a new territory.

The lasso zip code tool will allow you to lasso a custom area and then you can choose to either create a new territory from the lassoed area or assign that area to an existing sales territory. When using the lasso tools you need to make sure that you have the correct alignment scope set. The alignment scope can be set to zip codes and accounts, only zip codes, and only accounts. By default it is set to both zip codes and accounts meaning that when you lasso an area the lasso will grab zip codes and accounts. When you let go of the lasso tool that is when you will see a map query appear showing you all the data found in the lassoed section.

When creating new territories or modifying existing sales territories you can use a combination of all the tools. There is no set order for these tools. You can first use the lasso tools to create the territories and then use the touch align tool to touch up area and clean up the borders to match the state boundaries.

Using the Touch Align Tool

The Touch Align Tool is one of the most powerful tools you can use to create and mange sales territories. It is basically like digital finger painting. All you have to do is click and hold down the left button on your mouse to create a new sales territory. The touch align tool can be used for creating brand new sales territories or to modify existing sales territories. 

You can also hug the state boundaries by holding down the “CTRL” button on your keyboard while using the touch align too. 

Lasso Tool

The lasso tool allows you to lasso zip codes and/or accounts. When you let go of the lasso tool you will see a summary of everything you have just lassoed. From this summary view you can then view the zip code and account tabs that will show you everything you have lassoed using the lasso tool.

You can also click next and then choose what to do with this lassoed area.

When using the lasso tool its important to have the correct alignment scope set. By default, it is set to zip codes and accounts. This means that when you lasso an area it will select both accounts and also the zip codes.

Then when you assign this lassoed area to a new territory the zip and accounts will included in this change. If you set the alignment scope to accounts only then when you lasso an area you will only lasso accounts and not any zip codes. From here you can then easily assign just the accounts to a new or different sales territory, or even delete the lassoed accounts.

When the alignment scope is set to accounts only you will not be able to use the touch align tool. If you set the alignment scope to zip codes only then you will only lasso zip codes and the accounts will remain not selected. You can then assign just the zip codes to a new or existing sales territory.

The map query will appear when you let go of the lasso tool. This view will show you everything that you have lassoed. If your file had data sets imported or created, then the lasso tool will show you a total sum of every data set that is found in the lassoed zip codes and accounts.

The query will also show a full list of every sales territory that has been lassoed and also a count of all the account segments. There are 3 more tabs in this query view Zip codes, accounts, and filter. The zip code tab will show you the full list of every zip code that has been lassoed and any data that has been imported at the zip code level.

The account tab will show you every account that is included in the lassoed area including the account segmentation and any account data sets. The final tab is the filter tab where you can filter by territory or account type. If you have lassoed multiple territories but only want to include one in the lasso, then you would click on the drop-down menu and choose the one territory to filter by.

You can then return to the first tab to see the sums of the data sets and accounts for that one filtered area.

After you lasso an area and click next on the map query view you will be presented with several options that you can apply to the lassoed area. The first option will assign the lassoed zip codes and accounts to a brand-new sales territory. When you click that selection and click next you will see a brand territory appear where that lassoed area once was.

The second option will assign the lassoed area to an existing sales territory. Clicking the drop-down menu, you will see every sales territory by proximity. Then when you select the territory you want to assign this lassoed area to, click next you will see that the lassoed area becomes part of the selected sales territory.

The third selection will un-assign the zip codes and accounts that have been lassoed. This option does not delete the accounts or data sets, it will simply un-assign the zips and accounts and they will no longer be assigned to any sales territory. The fourth option will delete the accounts that are in the lassoed area.

This will also delete the data sets that are assigned to these accounts that are found in the lassoed section. The fifth and final option will reset the account overrides that are found in the lassoed area. Account overrides are accounts that are located in one sales territory but are assigned to a different sales territory.

Selecting this fifth option will reset any account overrides that are found in the lassoed area. You can also use the clean up tool to reset all account overrides for the entire map.

The lasso tool can also be used when working in a district or region map. When working in these other map views the lasso tool does change slightly. When in district map view the lasso tool will lasso an entire sales territory instead of single zip codes and accounts.

The same applies when working at the region level. The lasso tool will then select full districts including all the accounts that are found within.

Alignment Scope

The Alignment scope is set to “zip codes and accounts” by default. This means that when you use the lasso tools or the touch align tool that both zip codes and accounts will be moved from one sales territory to another. The touch align tool will only work if its set to “zip codes and accounts” and “only zip codes”, it will not work for the “accounts only” selection. The lasso tools on the other hand will work for any of the three options. The “accounts only” selection will allow you to create account overrides when you assign only lassoed accounts to a different sales territory. 

If you are using the touch align tool and you notice that the data and accounts are not moving (based on changes to the sales territory label) then that means that you have the alignment scope set to “zips only”. When set to this setting you are only moving zip codes to a new territory and all the accounts stay assigned to the initial sales territory.

Locking Sales Territories

The lock territories button allows you to lock a sales territory, district, or region in order to prevent any changes to that locked sales territory. The lock can be accessed a few ways. The first way is via the Radial tool by right clicking on the sales territory. Then you simply click the lock icon to lock that territory. You can then use the same process to unlock that territory. You can also gold down the “L” button on the keyboard to turn on the lock tool. While holding down the “L” button you can click on a sales territory with the left button on your mouse to lock a territory. You can use the same method to unlock those locked sales territories. The final way to lock sales territories is from the territory table view. When you open up the territory table you can lock all sales territories all at once or choose individual sales territories to lock by clicking the check boxes.

Locking a sales territory allows you to prevent changes from being made to completed sales territories and it also acts like a track record to keep track of which sales territories you have balanced and optimized. 

Adding Additional Sales Territory Labels

By Default the sales territory label will appear in the center of every sales territory and show the territory ID. If you imported a sales territory ID and a sales territory name then the ID will be shown by default but you can use Configure layers to change the label to the name. You can also set multiple labels for each sales territory. You simply open up configure layers, select territories from the left and then click the green plus button to add a new label. The label can be any numeric data set you you have imported. You can also set a caption that will appear before the data set in the label. By default each label will appear as a blue color, but you can customize this by clicking on the color box next to each label and then choose a custom color.

Creating a Sales Territory Alignment Index

Creating a Sales Territory Alignment index is the cornerstone of creating balanced and optimized sales territories. AlignMix comes with the “Create Index” tool that allows you to create new sales territory indexes in seconds. The index is calculated for every single territory using the parameters that you set using the data sets that have been imported into your AlignMix file. There are two types of index’s that you can create. FTE index, and Average Index. No matter which option you use you will always need to know the total number of territories you plan to have for your alignment project. If you use FTE’s for 100 sales territories then that means that you will have 100 points scattered across all the accounts and zip codes in your map. Then after you manually balance and optimize you r sales territories each sales territories will have about 1 FTE. If you use the average index for creating sales territories you can enter what an average territory should have for index. Using 1000 as the average index means that you will have 100,000 index points to allocate during your optimization process. Therefore, each sales territory should have about 1000 index points after you have balanced and optimized your sales territories. 

After you create a sales territory index it is best to set the index as a sales territory label so that you can see the index for all of your sales territories before you start making adjustments to your sales territory boundaries. To set a new sales territory label you first need to click on configure layers and then select sales territories on the left and then click the green plus button to add a new label. 

Before you start balancing your sales territories you should also take a look at the sales territory chart to see how the sales territories currently look based on the index. The chart will show you how many sales territories fall in and out of your set range (by default it is set to 15%). After evaluating your current status of territories by using the territory chart view you should then look at the over/under thematic map that will show you where those high and low index sales territories are located on the map.

Clean Alignment Tool

Using the Clean Alignment Tool you can easily assign all the unassigned zip codes to nearby sales territories. You can then use the clean alignment tool a second time to fill in the gaps of un-assigned zip codes to neighboring sales territories. This tool is most often used if you do not have a zip to territory file to import your existing sales territories into AlignMix but you do have an account list with territory assignments. If you import a sales account file you will see that no zip codes will be assigned during this import, only accounts will be imported and assigned to sales territories. This is essentially an account based alignment. In order to create a geographic alignment from this account based data you will need to use the clean alignment tool. AlignMix will then look at each zip code that has an account found within it’s boundaries. If that account is assigned to territory 1, then the zip code will now become assigned to that same territory. If a zip code has 10 accounts and 6 are assigned to territory 1 and 4 of them are assigned to territory 2, then AlignMix will assign this zip code to the majority stake holder. In this case that would be territory 1 because 6/10 of those accounts are assigned to territory 1. Those 4 remaining accounts will not be moved to another sales territories. They will remain assigned to territory 2 and be considered account overrides.  

After using the clean alignment tool your alignment may look like an incomplete jigsaw puzzle. This is because AlignMix has only assigned zip codes to territories if there was an account in that zip code with a sales territory assignment. You can now use the lasso tools or the touch align tool to fill in these gaps, or you can use the clean alignment tool a second time and assign the unassigned zip codes to the nearest sales territory.  

Copy Account Data to Clipboard

You can now copy account data to your clipboard and then choose to either create a new territory, assign to existing sales territory, or delete the selected sales accounts. (TO DO)

Paste From Clipboard

The paste from clipboard tool allows you to take a list of Account IDs and/or Zip codes from excel and paste them directly into AlignMix. You can then move all of those zip codes/accounts from one sales territory to another with just a couple clicks. This tool comes in very handy if you have been sent a list of zip code/account changes by a territory or district manager. Instead of searching for each zip code you can simply paste that list and make all of those changes at the same time. If you plan to use this tool for accounts you will need to make sure that you have imported your sales accounts with a Unique ID. Without this ID you will not be able to locate and update those account assignments in AlignMix. 

Filtering Account and Territory Data

Filtering Accounts is a powerful tool that allows you to select an area on the map and then drill down into the selected area where you can display only certain accounts from certain territories. This comes in very handy if you need to move a particular segment from a geography in a sales territory and then easily reassign those accounts to another territory.

    When you have selected an area to filter you can also:

  • Reassign these accounts to another territory
  • Create a brand new territory for these selected accounts
  • Unassigned the selected accounts
  • Assign these accounts to a territory

Finding and Fixing Non-Contiguous Sales Territories

Non-contiguous territories are territories that have islands or little satellites of zip codes located in another sales territory. Typically these occur by accident and need to be cleaned up and fixed in order to have a properly designed sales territory design. There are occasions where these areas are intentional (similar to special account overrides) where you may have zip overrides that must remain with a particular sales rep for the sake of retaining the business there.

It is important to find these non-contiguous sales territories to make sure that they indeed supposed to be there, if they are there by accident then they need to be fixed. 

Renaming Sales Territories

If you have not imported Sales territory names and are starting from scratch AlignMix will default to naming your sales territories; Sales Territory 1, Sales Territory 2, Sales Territory 3. If this system works for your sales territory design then you do not need to make any changes. But, if you would like to change and edit sales territory names you can do that a couple ways. The first way is to access the sales territory properties. You can access the territory properties by right clicking on the sales territory to pull up the radial tool and then click on the territory properties. From here you can edit the ID and the name of the sales territory. The territory ID must always be unique and cannot be a duplicate. You can also change the name of a sales territory by using a territory table. Open up a territory table and then click on the field you want to edit. You can only edit the Name and ID of a territory from this view. 

Territory Lasso Tool

The territory lasso tool operates the same way that the zip code lasso does. You simply click and drag out an area that you want lassoed. The main different between the tools is that the zip code lasso tool will lasso zip codes and then you can lasso a custom shape. The territory lasso only lassos entire sales territories.

You can lasso an individual sales territory or multiple territories at the same time. You can also have the labels show the total sum of a data set as you lasso. As you lasso territories the label showing sales or population will increase as you lasso more sales territories.

When you release the left button on the mouse you will see a map query appear showing you all the details pertaining to the lassoed sales territories. You can then view the zip codes and accounts that are found in those lassoed territories. When you click on next you can then choose to delete the territories, assign them to a new district or assign them to an existing district.

To toggle on the lasso territory tool, you simply click the lasso button that is found on the home menu. When you click this button a drop down will appear, and you can then select the territory lasso tool. To use the tool, you simply left click on a territory, hold that left button down, and then move it.

As soon as the tool moves slightly in the territory it will lasso it. You will see a red outline showing the territory has been lassoed. You can then keep holding down the left button and move the tool to lasso another territory.

The tool will capture the territory as soon as it crossed the border and touches any part of that second sales territory. If you have additional territory labels enabled to show data sets then you will see this total increase with every sales territory that you lasso. You can set these labels in configure layers.

When you release the territory lasso tool a summary will appear showing everything that you have lassoed. The name and ID of every sales territory will be shown in addition to the data sets that are linked to each sales territory. If you lassoed ten sales territories, then you will see the details for all ten of those territories in this view.

If you lassoed only one sales territory, then you will see just one row of data showing only the details for that one sales territory. This summary has two more tabs that you can click on. The first tab you can select is the zip code tab. This section will show you a full list of every zip code that is assigned to the territories that have been lassoed.

If these zip codes also had any data sets linked to them then you would see those data sets shown in this view. If your file has accounts imported, then you will see a count of the account segments that are found in each zip code. You can also sort data by clicking on the column labels.

Each click will sort it from highest to lowest or lowest to highest.

The second tab shows the accounts that are found in the lassoed sales territories. If you imported your sales account data with an Account ID then you will see that ID appear first on the left side of the pop up followed by the name of the account and then all the data linked to each sales account. Only account-based data will appear in this view.

If you imported population data linked to a zip code then that data will not appear in the accounts tab, it will only appear in the zip code tab. You can also sort the data by clicking on the column labels.

After lassoing your sales territories you can click on the next button to view the next screen. In this new view you can now choose to assign the lassoed sales territories to a brand new district. By default the second level of hierarchy is set to district.

The second option allows you to assign the lassoed sales territories to an existing district. Select this second option and then you will see a drop-down menu appear that will show all the names of the districts that currently exist in this AlignMix file. If no districts appear in this drop-down, that means you have not created any districts yet.

The third option will delete the territories that you have lassoed. This will not delete the accounts or any data sets that are found in these territories. It will only delete the territory that was lassoed leaving a blank unassigned area where that territory once was.

Delete Territories

Deleting a sales territory will delete a sales territory. This process will not delete the sales accounts that were located inside of those zip codes. Only the zip code to territory assignment will be deleted.

There are three ways to delete a sales territory. 

  1. Radial Tool
  2. Territory Lasso
  3. Territory Table View

If you have deleted a sales territory by accident you can use the undo button to reverse that action and bring that territory back into your file. All three options can also be used at the district and region level to delete districts and regions. 

Un-assign Zip Codes

To un-assign zip codes you can use the lasso tools and lasso an area. When you let go of the lasso tool the map query will appear, and then click on next. You now have several options to choose from. This is where you select un-assign zip codes. This process will only un-assign the lassoed zip codes and not the accounts, if you have imported sales accounts into your file. 

If you plan to un-assign only zip codes then its best to change the alignment scope to “zip codes only”, this way you will only lasso zip codes during the lasso. If you plan to un-assign zip codes and accounts then you can leave the default setting for alignment scope. 

You can also use the Touch Align tool to un-assign zip codes by clicking the right button on your mouse on an already un-assigned area. You’ll then be able to un-assign zip codes by moving the touch align tool into the zip codes that do have a territory assignment.

Keeping Sales Territories Within State Borders

One of the most useful tricks that you need in your sales territory design arsenal is the state border alignment trick. While using the touch align tool click and hold “CTRL” on your keyboard, and now move the touch align tool. The territory you are creating will not cross state borders as long as you hold down the “CTRL” button on the keyboard. When you let go of the “CTRL” button the hug boundaries option will be turned off and you will be able to cross state boundaries. This is very useful when you are creating state based sales territories from a zip code based map or have some sales territories that cannot cross state boundaries.

Merge Territories

Using the territory lasso tool you can lasso 2 or more sales territories and then merge those territories into one. To lasso a territory all you need to do is click and drag out a sliver within the territory you want to capture. The territory that has been lassoed will be outlined in a red color to indicate that it has been captured in the lasso. If you plan to lasso more than one territory then you simply keep holding down the left button on the mouse and lasso the other territories. When you let go of the lasso tool you will see a summary of the territories that you have lassoed. From here you click on the next button. Now you have the option to assign the lassoed territories to a new district, assign them to an existing district, delete the lassoed territories, or merge the territories. Selecting the merge option will merge those territories into one territory. All of the accounts that were assigned to the lassoed territories will now be assigned to the same sales territory.

Where are my Sales Territories?

There are many ways to import your data into AlignMix. Sometimes when you import data you may not see what you were expecting to see. For example, when you import a list of your sales accounts that includes the assigned sales territory and sales rep you may expect to see geographic sales territories appear on the map when the import is completed.

But you will not see geographic sales territories. This is because you have only imported sales accounts and assigned those sales accounts to a sales territory. The zip codes have not been assigned.

Even though you did import a zip code with the sales account data this does not mean you have assigned the zip code to a sales territory.

It is important to remember that in AlignMix you have two levels of assignment. Accounts and zip codes. The reason there are two levels is to allow for account overrides which are accounts that located in one territory but are actually assigned to a different sales territory.

Therefore, when you import only sales accounts with territory assignments you will not see any geographic sales territories. The software does import everything correctly. Each account is imported, placed into a zip code, and assigned to a sales territory and sales rep.

You can confirm this by using the lasso tool to lasso an area where you have sales accounts. When you let go of the lasso tool you will see the lasso summary appear showing you what territories you have selected.

How can there be any sales territories if I do not see any territories? This is because you can have a strictly account based alignment. This is what you will have if you only import account data.

All of the accounts are assigned to a sales territory but there is no geographic portion. Therefore, you will not see any colored in areas representing sales territories. Another way to confirm that you have imported accounts correctly is to open up a new tab and view a territory table.

This table will show you that there are sales territories created. Account based sales territories.

In order to create the geographic sales territories out of your account-based sales territory alignment you have three options.

  1. You can import a zip code to territory file that will assign all the zip codes to the correct sales territory.
  2. You can use the clean up tool to have the software automatically assign each zip code to the same territory that the accounts that are found in that zip code.
  3. You can manually create geographic sales territories using the touch align tool or lasso tools.

The easiest way to create geographic sales territories is to perform a zip to territory import. Not every company has this type of excel file. All you need is a full list of zip codes and the assigned sales territory for each zip code.

Just two data columns. Then you import these two columns of data and AlignMix will assign each zip code to the correct sales territory.

The clean up tool is another easy way to create the geographic sales territories. You can access this tool by opening up the software, click on tools at the top, and then select clean up. This process will look at every zip code that has an account found within that zip code.

AlignMix will then assign each zip code to the same territory that the account is assigned to. If a zip code has multiple accounts that are assigned to different sales territories, then the software will assign this zip code to the territory that has the most accounts assigned to it in that zip code.

For example. A zip code has ten accounts, 6 belong to territory 1, and 4 belong to territory 2. The clean up tool will assign this entire zip code to majority account holder.

In this case it would be territory 1. Those remaining 4 accounts will still be assigned to territory 2 and they will be considered account overrides, or “special ownership” accounts.

The final way of creating your geographic sales territories is to create each shape manually. You can use the lasso tool to lasso an area and then assign each lassoed area to a territory. The nearest account-based territories will appear in order in the drop-down menu.

You then select the territory that this lassoed area should belong to and then click on ok. This will create a geographic territory that contains the accounts found in that lassoed area.

If you import all of your data and you still do not see any geographic sales territories…. Do not worry. You are just a few steps away from seeing those colored in areas representing geographic sales territories.

Where is the Territory Label?

When importing or creating sales territories you may notice that sometimes you will notice that one or two labels are missing. Most often this situation will occur with Alaska and Seattle. AlignMix by default will center the label over the largest mass of that territory.

With Seattle and Alaska that label will fall over the Alaska area and you won’t see the label when looking at just the contiguous United States.

If you see no labels appear on your sales territories that means that you may not have the labels turned on. To Turn on the labels you first need to click on the view tab at the top of the screen and then click on the territory label button. Another way to turn on the labels for all the sales territories is to open up configure layers, select territories, and then make sure the checkbox for labels is checked.

In this view you can also add additional territory labels by clicking the green plus button.

The label will also appear when you lasso an area on the map. Any data set that has been set as the territory label will appear and increase as you increase the diameter of the lasso tools. This applies to all of the lasso tools.

The most common reason for a label to not appear is that the sales territories are non-contagious and the label is actually hovering over another part of that territory. Many companies combine Alaska into Seattle and this is where the label will most often look like it is missing. The label is there but when you have the continental USA displayed you will not see the label because its centered over Alaska.

To move the label to the Seattle part of the sales territory you will need to right click on the territory and then click on territory properties. Below the drop-downs you will see a button that says “set clicked” if you click this button the label for the territory will be shifted to the are where you have right clicked on. If you have this Seattle/Alaska issue, then simply right click on Seattle and click set clicked.

This will move the label to hover over the Seattle portion of the sales territory.

If you have multiple non-contiguous areas of the sales territory you can move the label to any of those by either clicking the “set clicked” button or changing the number in the field next to “set clicked”. The number 1 means that the label is set to appear in the largest part of that territory. If you change the number to 2, then the label will appear in the second largest part of that sales territory.

If there are three non-contiguous parts of the sales territory then you can type a 3 and then the label will appear in the third largest portion of that sales territory.

The same methods for moving labels can be used at the district or region level. 

Where to Start When Creating New Sales Territories

Know How Many Sales Territories

When starting a new sales territory design project you should always have a number of sales territories to start with. This number can always be changed in the future, but you need to have a firm sales territory number decided before starting a new sales territory design.You need this number in order to create a sales territory index that will allow you to create balanced and optimized sales territories based on the total number of sales territories you plan to have.

 

Number of Sales Territories
Data for creating Sales territories

Use Data

You can use any type of data from demographic data, sales data, potential data, or proxy data. Any of these data sets can be used to help create sales territories. If you create a sales territory Index you will be able to use all the data sets as part of the sales territory index.

You do not need to have data to create sales territories, you can simply create sales territories based on mileage or any other criteria your organization has decided to use. 

Start in the Corners

When creating brand new sales territories its best to start in the corners of any geography you are working on. This is best practice that we use when creating sales territories for our clients. Starting in the corners allows you to create and complete sales territories and work your way to the inside of the country.

This helps prevent the territory domino effect when you need to squeeze in a single sales territory in the middle of a map by chipping away from every surrounding sales territory. 

Start in the Corners

Key Principles When Creating Sales Territories

In this video you will learn a few key principles that we use when creating sales territories

  • Keeping within state boundaries
  • Using highways as arteries and not boundaries
  • Keep sales reps in the territory they work in
  • TODO

Change Territory Color

You may notice that as you create more and more new sales territories that the same color may appear for two neighboring sales territories. When this happens you will need to change the color of one of those sales territories. 

There are several ways to change the territory colors:

  1. Re-color Tool
  2. Changing the Color Pallet
  3. Radial Tool
  4. Territory Properties
  5. Territory Table

Creating Territory Static Layers

Static layers can be created and used in the same file or in a different file. By default each file will have the US States set as a static layer. The state boundaries will appear on the map when you move around the screen. You can also create static layers from your existing territory, district, or region boundaries. You can then view where your original sales territory boundaries used to be, before you made changes to the sales territories using the touch align or lasso tools