The hard truth about Territory planning

The hard truth about Territory planning 640 427 Boldandsharp

Strategic planning is the foundation of operational excellence. Territory planning is a powerful sales strategy and management tool. It is no wonder therefore that the most advanced territory planning systems look like strategic planning standards such as V2MOM, OKR or OGSM. This is the strategic planning framework for sales managers and reps.

Since the creation of Bold & Sharp in June 2021, after 5 months working with executives, start-uppers or entrepreneurs, the truth is strategic planning is an exercise that few leaders are comfortable with. The sames goes with sales managers and reps on territory planing.

Whatever framework you may use, we should first acknowledge that territory planning is first and foremost a tool to define substantial goals and execute against them. Territory planning should precede and include an helicopter view of account planning and sales opportunities management. Properly designed and leveraged, it becomes a powerful means of two- way communication between sales, managers, and their supporting teams. How to get the most out of it?

Step 1: run away from sales. Onboard them on the command deck of a ship. Get them define a destination and a route, including stages and reefs. These are their strategy, their missions, and identified obstacles. Ask them what the perfect boat would look like and how they would outfit it to identify their needs and constraints. Finally, ask them what crew members are needed and how they would get them work effectively together. The point is to get familiar with the distinction and combination of components such as vision, goals, metrics, obstacles, then initiatives, orchestration and ownership.

Step 2: Take them back to earth, but not immediately to their daily business life. Ask them about their hobbies and their personal projects. Whether this is sport, personal wealth management or their family life, there must be something great they want to achieve. They must have ideas about what they try to do, but do they have clear commitments on how and when they will measure success? This approach will help them avoid the confusion between the end and the means, the missions, and the goals, and get a grasp of two fundamental components of territory planning: realistic deadlines and metrics.

What should be included in territory planning is another kettle of fish.

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