An Insidesales.com survey found that 65% percent – just over half – of field sales reps at the biggest companies hit their quotas each year.
Of course, this issue is problematic for all sales teams, not just those in the life science industry, but pharma companies face unique difficulties such as shifting regulations and rapidly diminishing face time with providers.
These barriers make it hard for reps to effectively focus their efforts on the relationships that drive sales.
In brief, territory alignment resizes sales teams to match the areas they cover.
When done well and updated regularly, territory alignment can significantly improve sales performance, for example by:
- Striking a balance between maintaining old relationships and fostering new ones.
- Meeting client needs without wasting reps’ time.
- Focusing resources on the most lucrative accounts.
- Supporting existing customers and improve satisfaction.
- Minimizing travel and administrative time.
- Facilitating communication between and across teams.
- Improving morale among sales staff by more equitably distributing opportunities and workloads.
Ultimately, territory alignment increases lead, conversions, and overall productivity.
Well-Balanced Territories Improve Performance
When your territories are well aligned, it quickly becomes easier to evaluate performance.
The better territories are balanced, the more level the playing field is for your reps, and the better they can manage their time.
If there are too many reps in a territory (it is overserved), this unnecessarily increases costs in that area and forces reps to compete with each other.
Underserved territories, meanwhile, sees the diminished performance, poorer client relationships, customers lost to competitors and worse returns.
Sales territory alignment helps to immediately map territories and resize sales forces to help reps make the most of their time.
Software Taps Advanced Technology To Do The Heavy Lifting For You
Particularly in life sciences, the size of the territory, the number of providers, current/previous relationships, changing market trends, and other factors should all be taken into account.
These calculations get complicated quickly!
While these tools may have worked adequately in the past, they are often slow and inaccurate, which wastes time and effort and risks disrupting existing customer relationships to the detriment of sales goals.
While there are several approaches to develop territory alignment, sales software often eliminates a lot of the manual work needed to calculate and plan new territories.
Strategic, forward-thinking approaches can use AI, cloud computing and analytic tools to increase productivity without adding extra, complicated tracking work.
Software Makes It Easier To Adapt Territory Maps Over Time
Sales portfolios can expand shrink rapidly; sales managers must often adjust or redraw territories nearly instantaneously.
Even without sudden, major changes, effective sales territory alignment needs to be an ongoing process that uses the available information to adapt over time.
Alignment takes into account factors such as:
- Staffing changes as reps come and go
- Product changes
- Physicians moving in and out of the area
- New treatment centers
- Overall industry trends
To adapt, most companies will need to realign or re-evaluate their maps and resource allocations every 2-3 years, if not more frequently.
Effective tools for alignment need to draw from the most recent data available about your geography, channels, customers, and other relevant factors.
They also need to be agile enough to adjust to changes in your organization’s strategy or other market factors that are likely to occur over time.
The right sales software provides not only mapping capability but also faster visibility into current performance, which is essential to predict results.
On top of that, changes to territory assignments need to be communicated effectively and quickly to reps. Digital tech and cloud computing are essential tools to share updates in real-time with reps.
Territory Alignment Leads To Improved Resource Allocation and Customer Relationships
Sales are inherently social, and it takes strategic time management to build productive relationships between reps and customers over time.
Maintaining connections with previous customers, while also nurturing new business and leads, takes significant juggling.
It can be difficult to keep track of accounts and allocate resources effectively, both for management and for individual reps.
One study found that 72 percent of companies allocate more resources to high profile clients, disproportionate to the revenue generated. This isn’t that surprising, given that many small customers take significantly more support and time than a single larger customer responsible for the same amount of revenue.
In these situations, sales alignment software and CTMS software help to align teams based not only on sales numbers but also the actual amount of time required to maintain and build relationships.
Balanced Territories Equals Less Time Wasted!
Sales reps typically spend as little as a third of their time selling.
A study also found that 64 percent of surveyed reps spend the majority of their working hours on tasks not related to sales.
Looking closer at that “non-sales” time often reveals that the majority of this time is spent in administrative work and transportation.
Territory alignment software can reduce geographic inefficiency by ensuring that account is as close to each other as possible, minimizing travel time and allowing reps to serve more accounts.
Territory alignment software, on top of just assigning reps to specific areas or accounts, can also help reps allocate their own time and effort more efficiently with embedded scheduling tools.
Time management tools reduce the need for administrative recordkeeping, empowering reps while ensuring that they can plan and use their time as effectively as possible.
Well-Balanced Territories Have Major Benefits
While the adaptation of digital technologies such as pharma sales management software is beginning to take off, many companies are still missing out on unrealized sale potential due to misaligned territories.
- Increase leads
- Increase conversions
- Drive greater productivity
- Enhance both sales rep and customer satisfaction
Software specifically allows sales teams to easily adapt alignment strategies and communicate them with reps, leading to:
- Increased revenue by focusing resources on the most responsive or lucrative clients or territories.
- Minimizing wasted time and energy by evenly distributing workloads and reducing sales reps’ travel time.
- Improving coverage, leading to better customer retention and satisfaction.
- Distributing both workloads and rewards more fairly among sales reps.
Even a small realignment can have an immediate, major impact on sales force productivity and bottom lines.
If you feel as if we have missed anything or you would just like to add your input, feel free to do so in the comment section below!