When using any type of Sales Mapping Program there are a few "Best Practices" we recommend. These tips and hints can be applied to any software package that creates new sales territory map or updates older territory alignments.
Make sure you have all of your data imported without any errors. As with any type of data mapping software its important to make sure that your data is correct. If in the import process a few errors appear, it is extremely important to review your account data files and correct these errors to ensure that your sales territory alignment is accurate and up to date.
Typically you will have errors because:
•A missing digit in the 5 digit zip code
•Zip Codes for other countries accidentally included in account list
•Typos in the zip code data
•Outdated zip codes (most historic zip codes are automatically mapped to the new zip code in AlignMix 2016)
When creating brand new sales territories from scratch or designing sales territories from pre-existing ones its important to start in the corners and work inwards.
Using the corners as starting points will help guarantee that the territories that are in the middle will be left with enough index points to become a viable territory. If you end up starting in the middle of the country and work outwards you will without a double spend a good portion of your day shifting territories a few zip codes at a time to try and balance them. This mistake will cost you a day or two of valuable time.
This includes large lakes, rivers, mountain ranges, deserts and anything else that will make an area difficult to cross.
You can't expect a sales rep to traverse a mountain range or swim across a lake to get to only a handful of sales accounts. This is why it is important to take all geographic barriers into consideration when creating sales territories.
In the above example the sales rep in the Miami territory has to cross the everglades to make to a few territories on the west coast of Florida. This is close to a 3-4 hour boring driving just to reach a few sales. Not worth it. It would be much smarter to give the sales rep in the yellow territory those accounts because the drive is much easier and overall a more efficient sales territory design,
Every territory should be balanced, this means that each territory should have the same potential, workload, and current sales. How can you measure all three of these? With an alignment index, for more information on creating a sales territory alignment index click here Creating an Index
As you can see in the image above every territory is within 10% of the 1000 point average index. This is the weighting and tolerance we recommend when designing sales territories.
You will wan to fine tune each territory with the first line/district manager to make sure each one is viable and that no existing relationships will be ruined. This process is usually performed at the very end of the sales territory alignment process right before it is implemented. Each manager should meet with every sales rep to give them a glimpse of their future territory. This fine tuning session allows mangers to take into account important sales rep-customer relationships and also make any changes that only the sales rep would know that need to be made.