New sales territories can be daunting. After all, you’ve just been entrusted with a big bucket of potential and it’s your job to turn it into gold (. . . or revenue, but you get it). It’s your name on the spreadsheet, your prospects to win or lose, and your commissions for the taking.
No pressure, right?
Don’t stress. We’re going to show you how to build out a strategy that will help you go from getting the territory to absolutely crushing it in just three months. And the best part is, you even will know when to implement what. The secret is a 30-60-90 plan.
What Is a 30-60-90 Territory Plan?
Simply put, a 30-60-90 plan is when you strategize action steps and goals to accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days of acquiring your new sales territory.
The plan is helpful not only for keeping yourself focused on specific targets but also for keeping your manager in the loop. Truth is, managers love 30-60-90 plans. Many times, hiring managers will even ask potential sales reps to lay one out in their interview process. It’s good stuff.
There’s not a single “right way” to do these plans. But generally, they’re broken down like this:
- Days 1 through 30: Learn all you can
- Days 31 through 60: Put a plan into action
- Days 61 through 90: Make the plan better
Getting down to the details and being on the same page with your manager is a fantastic way to avoid stresses down the road for all parties. For example, if your manager knows you have a big push planned for days 31 to 60, then they’ll be able to take a breath and give you a bit more space to get acquainted with your territory from 1 to 30.
Alright, now that you know what we’re talking about, let’s get into it.
30: Understand and Analyze Your Market With a Strategic Sales Plan
So you were just handed a brand-new territory. Rather than sprinting off blindly into the distance, let’s take these next thirty days to get fully acquainted with the market and create a strategic sales territory plan.
Sales territory plans help you to orient yourself and lay out a clear, intentional approach to your sales. This is absolutely essential because when you are intentional, you’re better able to measure your results and optimize down the road.
This may seem a bit simple, but it’s extremely important—don’t skip it! Before you can do anything, you need to quantitatively define your market and environment. Get started by asking specific questions with objective answers:
- What are the literal geographical bounds of this territory?
- How big is the Serviceable Addressable Market (or SAM) in this territory? Or what is the value of this specific territory? You can look at profitability, potential deal values, total number of prospects or leads—whatever is the most relevant KPI for your goals.
- How big is your Share of the Market (SOM)? Or, how much of the SAM can your company reasonably serve? Think about your available resources.
- What are the demographics of this territory? Are the companies large or small? What industry are they in? How educated are they about your solution?
- What spending power do these prospects have?
- What competitors are already here?
The more questions you ask, the better prepared you will be down the road—so don’t be afraid to dig in.
Once you’ve collected your data, it’s time to make sense of it. Analyze your leads and evaluate them based on overall quality.
“Quality” is defined by your business goals. If your current goal is to maximize revenue, then you should be looking at potential revenue as your main KPI. If your goal is to minimize churn, then you should be looking at the likelihood that the prospects would stick around.
Finally, you can divide your market into segments that help you to target them more efficiently and effectively. It’s important to remember that segments aren’t made arbitrarily. Instead, they are defined by four things:
- Substantiality: Are there enough leads to make this segment worthwhile?
- Measurability: Can you easily identify who belongs in this segment?
- Accessibility: Does this segment represent actual prospects in your territory?
- Responsiveness: Does this segment require different sales or marketing tactics than other segments?
Typically, segments that meet these four criteria will be related to a relevant to your target KPI (noticing a theme here?). Some salespeople choose to create three segments based on the amount of “touch” (or work) involved in converting them: low touch, medium touch, and high touch. The choice is yours!
Complete a SWOT Analysis
Now that you know the basics about your territory, it’s time to evaluate your team’s relationship to it with a SWOT analysis.
“SWOT” is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Like most great tools, it seems simple at first, but you’ll find it to be invaluable as we build up our strategic sales plan.
“Strengths” and “Weaknesses” both look at the internal advantages and disadvantages your team has in this particular territory. They are directly related to your team—for example, the number of resources at your disposal.
“Opportunities” and “Threats” are external advantages and disadvantages. This has to do with the territory itself and the environment. For example, you may include competitors with a strong foothold as a threat or an underserved market as an opportunity.
Complete your own SWOT analysis by dividing a piece of paper into four columns and giving yourself some time to brainstorm. Take this exercise seriously—it’s going to come in handy soon when we start planning action steps.
By now, the answer may be obvious, but it’s still essential to write it out explicitly and concisely: what exactly would success look like in this territory? What is your most important KPI? Based on your research, what is a reasonable but challenging expectation for you to achieve?
This is when you want to set tangible goals for yourself—a process called sales accountability, which has been shown to drive productivity, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction. Sales accountability is all about setting specific sales quotas and goals and holding yourself accountable for hitting them.
When deciding what your goals should be, choose something that’s SMART—you know, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. (We’re really all about the acronyms here at MMC.)
Create Action Items
Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for: action items. This is the final step of creating your strategic sales territory plan. Now, you’re going to write out the blueprint that will be your guide for the following thirty days.
To find specific actions you should take to reach your SMART goals, return to your SWOT analysis and ask yourself how to take advantage of your Strengths and Opportunities, and neutralize your Weakness and Threats. For example:
- Is there an untapped market you can reach? How will you reach it?
- Who is your biggest competitor here? Why is your company the better choice? How will you convey this to your prospects?
- How can you let each of the team members at your disposal shine? How can you utilize their skills?
Write it out. This is going to be your guide for the next 30 days when you execute and evaluate.
60: Execute Your Plan and Get Qualitative Feedback
For days 31 through 60, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal, for the rubber to hit the road, to make like Nike and “just do it.” It’s time to put your strategic sales territory plan into action.
For these thirty days, you’re going to have a fuller calendar than you could possibly imagine. Your goal is to keep your head up and keep moving forward. Think of it like a writer’s first draft—you need to get something on the page so that you can improve upon it later.
In addition to hitting your action items, here are some critical tasks for you to complete during this time.
Find New Leads
I know, I know—you just did research. But there are always more leads out there, and the more acquainted you get with your territory, the better you’ll know how (and where) to look for new customers.
The best way to find new leads is to excel at serving the customers you currently have. When you leave a path of satisfied customers in your wake, you increase your referral rate and generate free positive “press” (people talk!). Even better, these leads are warm, which means less work for a higher close rate.
Optimize Your Route
Now that you know where you need to go, you can start optimizing your route. Use a digital tool like Map My Customers to discover how to get from Customer A to Customer B and then to Customer C more efficiently—and, better yet, what order to visit them in.
Depending on your priorities, you can choose to optimize for time spent driving, distance covered, or a specific order in which you need to meet with clients. You can save up to 30% on gas just by making this simple change!
Get Qualitative Feedback
At this point in the game, it’s too early to have a significant amount of meaningful numerical data. Instead, it’s the perfect time to lean into qualitative feedback from your own team, your customers, and your prospects.
Be sure to regularly check in with your team to see how they think things are going and if they have any ideas. A good way to do this is to schedule a time in advance for a quick touch-base with each person. Try to come to that meeting ready to listen.
You can also meet with a mentor figure at your company. This person may be in another team or higher up. The point is that they have experience and you value their opinion. Ask to grab coffee with them and show them what you’re up to. See if they have any useful pointers.
And, of course, you can always get feedback from your customers—and even the deals that don’t go through (which, as sad as it is, is typically the most helpful of all).
Lastly, use surveys, questionnaires, and interviews to gather as much information as possible from your customers about why they did or didn’t buy, what other solutions they considered, what they think of your business so far, etc. As they say, the customer is always right—so figure out what they think!
90: Optimize and Implement New Strategies by Using Sales Analytics
You’re nearly there—it’s the home stretch! These final thirty days are all about taking what you did up to now and doing it better. Fortunately, you should finally have some of your very own data to work with, which will give you an enormous advantage.
Run the Numbers
Now that you’ve had time for data to accumulate, we can finally get to analyzing. This is the back end of that “sales accountability” we talked about before—it’s time to see if you hit your goals.
By referencing your CRM, lay out your data in a way that helps you to make sense of it all (we love graphs). Be sure to look not just as your main KPI but at all relevant data points. Review the results with your entire team in order to see where you did well, where you can improve, and what was successful.
Look at the numbers and the qualitative feedback you collected side-by-side. What’s the story here? It can be useful at this point to also evaluate how specific action steps you took played out. Did they help you to address the Weakness or Threats that you identified? Or do you need a new plan?
Then, take the numbers even further. Go beyond what’s currently happening with your customers and discern what is likely to happen down the road with predictive analytics and sales forecasting.
For example, if you notice a customer has been calling into customer support more than usual—a red flag that they may churn soon—you can reach out to them with a special or thoughtful offer to keep them onboard.
Individual Account Reviews
Many times, figuring out the best way to serve a current customer is as simple as just asking. Maintaining a positive relationship with your customers is all about staying one step ahead and showing them that you’re thinking of them. Accomplish this by scheduling individual account reviews for each of your clients.
In these meetings, you can ask critical questions to help you better serve your client. For example:
- How has our service been?
- Have we been able to help you improve your KPI?
- How could we serve you better?
- What else are you working towards or struggling with?
This is an opportunity to not only gather invaluable qualitative feedback, but also to upsell or cross-sell existing customers. Whatever you do, be sure to be empathetic—only sell what you genuinely think will be good for them.
Automate Your Sales Processes
It’s hard to automate systems before you’ve worked out the kinks, but by now, you should be prepared to switch some tasks over to some handy-dandy robots (or software, but same thing).
To find the best ways to automate your processes, first, take a day or two to organize your CRM. When you are adjusting to a new territory, it’s normal to be overwhelmed and make silly mistakes with your CRM. Go back through and make sure that you’ve logged all the relevant information completely and correctly.
Then, you can take a look at some of the easiest ways to automate (and the best tools out there). That way, you can focus less on menial tasks and more on selling.
91: What Now?
Congratulations! You’ve officially gone from getting a new sales territory to crushing it in just 90 days. How does it feel?
Remember that “crushing it” is all about constant improvement. If you’re trying new things, looking for new opportunities, seeking out new leads, and generally playing an active role in your territory, you’ll always be crushing it—even if one specific campaign isn’t a resounding success.