A while ago, I found myself caught up in a meaty coffee conversation with some key sales leaders of a beloved client of ours … the Australian arm of a global healthcare giant. We were discussing their recent history regarding sales team structure evolution … a few years back, the territories were based on geographic boundaries. Then they made the change to a product portfolio territory structure, and how now they are contemplating a return to a geographic basis.
I couldn’t help but feel a certain sense of déjà vu as I weighed into the debate. This topic will resonate for any sales organisation with a mobile team of Sales Exec road warriors. Unfortunately, too often I find that the basis for structural decisions taken is subjective and lacks scientific rigour.
When the sales team is of the type that lends itself to optimisation (repeat visits on repeat customers making repeat re-order of consumable product or service with switchable supplier choice), we at The Next Level invariably find four guiding principles very useful in this debate. And these guiding principles start with an over-arching principle … the principle of productivity. The roads are so congested these days, that the default position should begin by arguing against geographic concentration as the platform for territory structure.
Continue to host your internal debate by successively arguing against each of these default position principles…
- All customer and prospects within geographic proximity to each other … the principle of efficiency
- All value chain intermediaries also within the same geographic proximity … the principle of channel control
- All products/services allocated to each Sales exec allocated to each geographic territory … the principle of effectiveness
- Redeploy all responsive and reactive tasks away from Sales Execs to other functions … the principle of focus
If you would like some assistance in hosting this debate, click here for a model that will help. And if you want more help … of course call us here at The Next Level … 0418 519 755.