Previous monthly discourses have touched on the critical importance of visit activity rate benchmarks as part of the solution to the problem of sales team productivity and RoI. This month’s topic will return, albeit from a different perspective. We have already seen that the true cost of a Sales Exec visit when viewed from a cost-of-sales PLUS cost-to-serve viewpoint can run into several hundreds of dollars (click here). Each visit, therefore, should be considered like a discreet investment on the stockmarket……………a finite, expensive resource, with a short lifespan, placed on the best bet of the current period. If any such visits are wasted, they are gone forever……… because the cost base that exists to provide the opportunity is still expended.

With this acute understanding of the cost dynamic that underscores sales visits executed by a sales team, the focus turns to optimising sales team deployment for maximum efficiency, visit productivity, and ultimately return on investment. In the B2B space, some organisations will deploy the Sales Team geographically, providing each sales exec with a defined area. Sometimes there will be a one-to-one relationship between the sales execs and the geographic areas…..sometimes there will be some overlap. When overlap occurs, often it is because the organisation has decided that the best form of deployment is portfolio, industry , sector, segment or channel based, with partial or no heed to geographic structure.

The pros and cons for each are beyond the scope of this discussion. An observation we see time and again that I want to share with you, is the frequent under-importance placed on the benefits of geographic concentration and absence of overlap with between Sales Exec colleagues. Driving times can easily create a big (and ugly!) impact on the cost of a visit, and this becomes increasingly so as our roads become more and more clogged.

The better sales organisations take territory mapping structure very seriously and apply scientific analyses to optimise driving efficiencies. These techniques go further than discrete itinerary run and geographic sub-unit structuring within a territory. These techniques also go further than weighting these runs in accordance to the proportional representation of high vs low value customers and prospects. They go further than re-balancing territories to gain evenness of workload based on the visit frequency regimes associated with the customer classification system. Click here for a 11 step methodology that features these principles. They also take account of the size of the territory, the average driving speeds based on metro build up, and ratio target visit workloads against these other factors to gain pin point precision for territory structuring and maximum efficiency. Click here for example map.

Next month we will be looking into crafting the right face to face selling methodology for your organisation. An interesting discussion…one to ponder.

Visiting The Next Level’s website can help put this discussion in perspective. Or simply send us a message via the Contact Us section and we will gladly answer any questions you may have or organise to come out and have a discussion as to what The Next Level Sales System can do for you and your business.