It’s that time of year when most sales and revenue teams are in the depths of grueling sales territory planning and figuring out reps’ account allocations for the year ahead. And those planning conversations always encounter inevitable issues like account hoarding, unequal geographic or vertical territories, and uneven attainment, causing sales leaders to spend weeks carving out countless territory configurations to try and find the most effective and balanced assignments. However, the truth is only 53% of sales reps regularly hit quota even after teams have made significant investments in training, coaching, and sales productivity software to help hit quota more often.
According to Forrester, “When sales territories are out of balance, organizations spend too much money and time on low-potential customers, while spending too little on high-potential customers. As a result, sales organizations can leave millions of dollars in lost productivity unrealized.”
So how can sales teams thrive, even in today’s uncertain market when buyers’ budgets are frozen and many organizations have reduced headcount? While the majority of companies still use traditional geographic or segment-based static territories created using spreadsheets, some sales leaders have changed how they think about their territory management strategy. They’re taking a more contemporary approach to territory design, and use an adaptable, automated model called dynamic book management. It’s a flexible alternative to traditional sales territories that helps companies react more quickly to market changes and increase attainment by continually matching available rep capacity with the highest potential accounts irregardless of geography, industry or company size.
With a dynamic books approach, sales reps have a flexible target book instead of a predefined territory. That book is continually refreshed with new accounts, and unworkable accounts are removed to rest. The size of a rep’s target book is based on their capacity and availability, which means they get new accounts when they need them, and accounts don’t sit collecting dust. As an organization, the highest-potential accounts in an addressable market – based on fit and timing signals – are always assigned out to work.
Using this approach, sales teams won’t experience some of the common drawbacks of static territories. This can include:
- Attainment imbalances: Not every rep gets the same chance for success.
- Change challenges: Keeping territories balanced as teams change and reps come and go is complex.
- Missed opportunities: Inadequate TAM coverage can lead to losing out on deals.
- Painful planning: Endless spreadsheets and meetings cost precious time.
Leveraging a dynamic book management approach helps sales organizations capitalize on opportunity, wherever it presents itself (hint: it’s constantly changing and geography has very little to do with it). While eliminating the headache of having to reassess territory design each year is a significant productivity gain in and of itself, top performing sales teams also implement other modern sales best practices. These often include consistent account scoring, intent data signals, rigorous CRM hygiene, and having a sophisticated revenue operations team, all of which collectively help increase attainment, maximize rep productivity and reduce gaps in TAM coverage.