- Functions of a Sales Manager
- Functions of Sales Manager - Home
- The Empathetic Sales Manager
- Communication Styles
- Sales Forecasting
- Sales Territory Planning
- The Art of Delegating
- Listening Skills
- Scheduling and Running a Meeting
- Managing Time Effectively
- Selected Reading
- UPSC IAS Exams Notes
- Developer's Best Practices
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Sales Territory Planning
Identifying the appropriate sales territory is the most important function of a Sales Manager. It is the most crucial step taken to boost the sales of a company in the least amount of time. The sales territory is always finalized at the end because it involves taking into consideration the inputs of all the salespersons and operators in specific areas.
The Five Phases of Territory Planning
Let us discuss in detail regarding the five phases of territory planning and how it helps in generating better sales.
The First Phase
To create a winning formula of allocating appropriate sales territory, you have to carefully adhere to the rules of the market. This means acknowledging any changes that are happening in the market behavior or customer’s purchasing trends.
A few basic questions which must be asked at this juncture are −
- What are the key trends in the market?
- Who are your top clients or prospects?
- What will attract most of the customers for buying?
- What is the difference between the funding you need and the funding you have?
- What are the new trends which you offer your customers in the market?
- Who are our top clients who are famous and can promote the product?
This is done in the first phase. After getting answers to these questions, a suitable product is designed and then launched into the market. Once the product is open to sales, a lengthy process of watching sales volume, customer objections, query-handling, reporting and sharing feedback takes place.
The Second Phase
After designing a product and releasing it into the market, it is sometimes observed that people don’t appreciate it and the sales volumes are not that high. Hence, after the first phase of production, there is a second phase of introspection, during which you will check, why the customers are not interested to buy your products.
A few questions which are required to be asked in the second phase are given below −
- What are the key features that customers felt were missing in your products?
- Were the facilities that you offered better than your competitors or not?
- What are the marketing problems of your product that you need to solve?
- What were the lack of facilities so the customers don’t buy your products?
In this phase, you have to retrospect on the missing characteristics that customers were expecting in your product, but found them missing. After that, you are supposed to carefully analyze whether the services of your product are better than other competitor products in the market.
If you detect any problem that might affect the sales of your product, then as a Sales Manager, you are supposed to report it to the management. Nowadays, the reputation of a product spreads quite fast on social media, so companies adopt a soft launch of products, before trial consumers, before they release it to mass consumption.
The Third Phase
After taking feedback and understanding the areas of concern in the second phase, the Sales Managers are supposed to do a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Threats and Opportunities) analysis to understand where they currently stand and what direction they have to move towards to implement changes.
The questions that are often tossed in this phase are as follows −
- What are the key Strengths that you need to build upon?
- What are the weaknesses on which you have to work in future?
- What are the different advantageous opportunities available in the market?
- What are the threats to your products that can be defended by you?
As you can see, this phase is all about checking all your strengths and trying to use them for reaching your objectives. It is also important that you analyze all the weaknesses associated with your products, so in future they do not affect sales. In addition to checking the opportunities that are available in the market to promote your product, you also need to identify the threats that affect your product sales. Most of these threats can now be rectified with the advancement of technology and some with various industry standard tools.
The Fourth Phase
In the fourth phase, objectives are drawn out and the concerning market factors are identified. All these objectives are then combined and aligned as per current trends to create a strong action plan.
Some of the important questions that are asked in this phase are −
- Which are the important market factors that you should focus on?
- What are the unique services that you should highlight in the business sales plan?
- Based on characteristics, which are the operational areas you should focus on?
This phase is used to determine various market factors on which you should work to achieve high market sales. After that, some of the best services of the product are identified to promote them as per the business plan.
The Fifth Phase
In the last phase, you have to check the feasible implementation of the entire plan carefully, so that the outcome will enhance the product sales as per the expectations. Here, the Sales Manager actually comes into the implementation role, where he has to manage his team properly to get all the necessary steps and review the implementation and growth of the external partner’s performance on a regular basis.
Some important questions asked during these reviews are −
- What are the strategies needed to get success?
- What are some steps that can be taken to generate leads?
- How Will You Improve Your Conversion Rates?
- What are the areas in which product needs further improvements, if any?
Determine or plan all the strategies that help you to get success. Also check some strategies that help you to generate leads. Get help from some senior officials to improve sales conversion rate and analyze the areas that needs improvement.
Creating and Following an Action Plan
To get successful sales numbers, some high-leverage actions plans are needed to be implemented. First of them is to select the resources that you need for doing the task. The second one is to fix the due dates on which you complete all your necessary tasks.
Newly-appointed Sales Managers often tend to deviate off the action plan to exhibit flexibility. However, it is advised that they stick to their action plan as much as possible to get the desired results.
A couple of important questions asked in this stage include −
- Do you implement the entire plan on a regular basis?
- Have you engaged your management, team members and other partners also?
Following these factors will ensure that a person or a company becomes successful in connecting with the customers and convincing them about the quality of their product.
An effective and communicative manager always motivates his team employees to make an organization grow.