Territorial Planning: are you sure that the number of kilometers covered by your salespeople can tell how effective and resourceful they are?

Territorial Planning: are you sure that the number of kilometers covered by your salespeople can tell how effective and resourceful they are?

Learn how you can reduce costs and increase your sales network’s revenues by optimising the time dedicated to route scheduling tasks.

Lots of companies still measure the skills and talent of a sales professional over the total number of kilometres covered in a year. 

However, if you have made an optimised territorial planning, you shouldn’t really need to travel long distances to get good results in terms of revenues. 

You may find it challenging to make up a definition for “scheduling” that is coherent with what your salespeople do when they are touring the clients and that’s because each of them has a different working method and organises his/her work according to personal experience.

It’s very common for sales managers not to apply any strategic planning to selling activities, which would in fact optimise costs and allow sales professionals to get better results with way less effort.

In many cases, a sales team’s everyday activities depend on the general concept of common sense and on the sales agents’ individual experience, when they should actually be based on data analysis.

For instance, it is a very common assumption that a good salesperson will drive long distances with his car. 

However, as previously mentioned, it probably doesn’t make sense to spend a huge amount of time in a car every day if the activities had been properly scheduled beforehand.

Perhaps your company adopted a CRM like Salesforce, so that your clients’ data could be organised efficiently.

Nevertheless, is having a CRM enough to guarantee an efficient and effective activity planning?

First of all, let’s cast some light on the process of strategic planning.

In order to reach the set quota, you need to consider two fundamental elements:

  • It is fundamental that you have a clear understanding of your objectives and of the destination towards which you want to drive your sales network.

Such an observation could perhaps appear naive, but to periodically stop and consider your objectives is actually a practice far from being trivial.

In a business environment that keeps changing, to always have clear, consistent and continuously updated objectives it’s easier said than done. 

It should therefore be considered as a good exercise to critically reconsider, analyse and consolidate the current company objectives.

  • It is necessary to have the right tools to follow the outlined path and reach the company goals.

The changes that sales transformation is bringing forth in sales environments offer the most advanced tools to help both you and your agents optimise all planning activities.

In this sense, by investing in a CRM like Salesforce, you would be able to organise your data effectively. This is the first crucial step that will later allow you to implement a strategic tool to maximise your sales network’s results, such as Mapadore.

Once this tool has been integrated within your CRM, it will allow both you and your salespeople to optimise scheduling time and travelling costs. 

Therefore, to answer the above question, you can’t simply adopt a CRM and expect it to solve all the problems for you.

Generally speaking, we could say that strategic planning is a crucial activity that needs to be performed at the start of the year to set the major tasks, by completing which the desired objectives will be met.

Territorial planning is but the execution of such ever evolving company strategies.

Considering the extraordinary importance of such activity, your salespeople should dedicate time and attention to it, as it is crucial to have an overall view of the clients and decide which amongst these are more important.

When is the last time your sales professionals planned a sales route that was consistent with the actual potential of your clients?

Perhaps your company focuses mainly on those clients with a long term revenue and relationship history, leaving behind the least developed leads, which anyway are not less important in terms of potential opportunity. 

In order to make a better territorial planning, you can rely on the following steps:  

  • First of all, you need to segment the area in a way that will allow you to cover it efficiently.
  • Secondly, you need to use a tool like Mapadore, that allows you to visualise the clients on map and prioritise them according to your company criteria. Once you manage to give an accurate priority to your clients, you are able to focus on the 20% yielding 80% results. 

It is therefore important to set a number of actions that will allow you to find the clients who represent real closing opportunities, regardless of the relational history between your agents and the clients.

Which are the criteria allowing you to put order in your client base and establish the priority level of each them?

A single, universally relevant answer is not possible.

  • Every company is different and priority criteria differ, depending on the current year specific goals. For instance, they may be related either to historical revenue, or to a certain product, to the industry rather than to a specific industry area, or again to the potential level of clients.   
  • It often proves necessary to find a difficult compromise between priority criteria that are very distant from one another but of comparable importance.
  • Another important criteria is the client’s position in the sales cycle. Of course a client with an advanced position in the sales’ process is more important than a client that you haven’t met yet.

As you may well know, these priority criteria keep changing and it’s nearly impossible for a human being to track them in real time.

Then how can you take into consideration all these factors in real time in order to make an efficient territorial planning?

If you are already using Salesforce as a CRM, by installing Mapadore you would be able to draw value from the uploaded data and execute a geo-optimised planning in few minutes. 

All this, keeping into consideration all the business criteria set by your company, in real time.

If you still haven’t got a CRM or have adopted one only recently, Read the article on How to Choose Your CRM, or the one with the 5 Recommendations to Implement Your CRM.

Thanks to Mapadore, hours and hours spent over planning activities are reduced to only few minutes. The exclusive Algorithm Driven Execution process (ADE) applies geolocation to artificial intelligence, to guide you through the optimisation of your agents’ related costs.

Digital assistants will advise you on how to operatively schedule a full sales route and which clients to contact first, depending on their stage in the sales funnel, their level of priority, geographical position and relevance for your company. 

By integrating the geographical and time criteria with your own priority criteria, you can be sure that the agents’ action on the field will be perfectly in line with the strategies and set quota of your company.   

Moreover, Mapadore’s Smart Journey function calculates and suggests the time slots for appointments that best optimise the current agenda of your sales people, keeping into account the already scheduled tasks, meetings and commitments and the geographical position of the clients.  

To learn more on how to optimise your agents’ sales diary, click here and read the article.

Implementing Mapadore on your Salesforce CRM would allow you to make a geographically optimised planning in few minutes, hence save a huge amount of time and reduce your sales network’s costs.

This is why Gartner named Mapadore Cool Vendor in 2018, in reference to the results yielded to companies like General Electric Healthcare, Supersolar, Raffmetal and Abitare In. Mapadore was also mentioned by Italian newspapers like Il Sole 24 Ore, La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera.

If you are a sales manager using Salesforce and want to understand how to optimise your scheduling time and your sales network’s costs, then I suggest you watch the following free webinar: