Whitepaper

Accelerate Territory Management and Analysis Processes

Introduction

Four strategies to complete territory design and analysis faster without sacrificing quality

Effective territory management processes result in more accurate quotas, better seller experience and higher productivity. But effective territory management is not easy. Common challenges include a lack of support, prolonged and siloed processes, insufficient inputs and too many mid-period adjustments.

Regardless of your challenge, there are recommended strategies that can assist with timely territory design and analysis. This whitepaper shares how companies are minimizing pressure on territory management time and costs, and realizing increased accuracy and revenue.

Technology and Manufacturing
Market Study

Alexander Group’s recent technology and manufacturing market study focused on curating market practices, establish benchmarks and obtain useful metrics to inform territory management decisions and processes.

The study explored five phases of territory management:

  1. Planning Phase: Preparing inputs to complete territory design and implementation
  2. Design Phase: Build, test, iterate and finalize territories
  3. Implementation Phase: Prepare internal systems and tools to activate territory/account assignments
  4. Administration Phase: Manage active territory/account
    assignments and resolve off-cycle escalations
  5. Evaluation Phase: Monitor and analyze territory performance and equitability

 

Four key strategies emerged from the data and findings.

Increase ROI Through Investments in Automation 

Companies that invest in automated tools reap strong ROI through faster cycle times. The figure below gives an example of those cycle times.

Automation drives operational efficiency. Automated tools offer instantaneous collection and analysis of territory inputs, decrease design errors and require less human capital to complete manual work. Many companies are investing the time and resources to develop a “clean” master database to feed more automated processes.

Companies using a third-party automated tool can:

chart-accelerate-1-black

Create a Partially Centralized Territory Management Process 

Partially centralized corporate teams define the process and business rules for territory management. Field teams are then allowed to modify corporate’s definitions to support local needs.

Partially centralized companies:

Partially centralized companies provide business rules, such as coverage blueprints, account load maximums and segment breakpoints to guide rationalized and consistent territory design. These business rules act as guardrails to ensure the field’s design aligns with the company’s global execution strategy.

Partially centralized companies also utilize an integrated end-to-end program management process. This drives accountability, defines expectations and establishes deadlines. The following are four best practices to establish and manage an end-to-end program management process:

  1. Provide central tools, technology, calendars, timeline, data and deadlines to effectively manage the field’s execution against the worldwide process
  2. Establish clear ownership by attaching names and functions to key activities
  3. Require the PMO leader to continually publish a weekly dashboard on overall status to provide transparency into progress and upcoming risks
  4. Define “triggers” for when delays need to be escalated to the VP-level to provide visibility and a pathway to drive action and mitigate downstream delays.

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Less is More 

Less complexity equals faster cycle times in the territory management process.

As companies grow and evolve, the methodology to design territories tends to become more complex. More inputs are used and the design algorithm becomes extremely convoluted, which prolongs the design process.

Best-in-class companies regularly reevaluate which inputs should be used to design territories, as well as conduct correlation analysis to determine relationship strength between inputs and desired outcomes. This exercise generates a concise, but applicable, list of globally available inputs to design territories to drive consistency and efficiency.

Companies have reduced noise in the end-to-end management process through responsible, accountable, consulted and informed (RACI) charts. RACI charts define each function’s role and expectations throughout the process, with the intention of increasing effectiveness and rationalizing headcount. Similarly, companies are actively trying to reduce the number of approval layers by empowering local and region leaders to make decisions. Granting local autonomy removes up-the-chain checkpoints, which often delays final approval.

Utilize Metrics Effectively 

Utilize metrics effectively to measure territory performance and health

Territory evaluation tends to be primarily on-cycle and no study participant has adopted an innovative end-to-end evaluation process.

Almost every company in the study cited that their biggest gap for territory management is having a robust set of metrics and dashboards to measure territory performance and health. Companies want to move from gut-feel and anecdotal feedback on territory performance, to utilizing data and KPIs to guide decisions. It is absolutely critical to have comprehensive and accurate data to complete territory analysis.

Territories cannot remain stagnant in perpetuity. They need to be adjusted and reconfigured to meet industry, market and company changes. However, how do companies know if those changes have positive or negative impact? Before enacting any territory/account assignment change, more effective companies develop a baseline of territory performance. Throughout and at the end of the performance period, these companies are able to measure the impact of changes against the baseline. This practice draws quantifiable insights to identify how to replicate success or avoid pitfalls with future changes.

Most study participants are looking to adopt a year-round Center of Excellence (COE) territory design team. This would likely be a compilation of functional representatives meeting year round to execute the territory management process, in addition to their core responsibilities. Not only would this team act as a PMO function for the territory management process, but regularly measure and monitor territory performance to glean insights, trends and recommendations for future state design. Chartering a more formal design team enables a more proactive approach to territory management and would highlight impactful insights for off-cycle enhancements and ideas for oncycle optimization.

Many companies are actively testing and adopting new practices to optimize their design processes given the fluid nature of business environments and industry trends. Data, tool and simplified processes are the keys to unlocking territory optimization potential.

Territory Management Expertise

Is your company looking to optimize your territory management practices? Contact the Alexander Group for a briefing to discuss best practices, benchmarks and winning solutions to improve territory management.

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About Alexander Group

Alexander Group understands your revenue growth challenges. Since 1985, we’ve served more than 3,000 companies across the globe. This experience gives us not only a highly sophisticated set of best practices to grow revenue—we also have a rich repository of unique industry data that informs all our recommendations. Aligning product, marketing, operations and finance efforts behind a successful sales organization takes insight and hard work. We help the world’s leading organizations build the right revenue vision, transform their organizations and deliver results.

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