How to support your sales team with Salesforce Territory management?
In our Salesforce consulting practice, we’ve met sales managers that asked us whether they would benefit from using territory management in Salesforce. Though the question is quite common, answers may vary. The reason for that is simple: though the absolute majority of companies have sales territories, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a company needs to enable the Salesforce territory management functionality. That is why we have decided to unveil the main concepts of territory management in Salesforce and explain when companies may need this functionality.
When to use Salesforce territory management
Let’s start with an example. Your company decided to automate the account sharing process for your sales team using Salesforce. With this aim, your Salesforce admin created a custom picklist field named Market within the Account object and created a criteria-based sharing rule that shares all accounts with the Market field set to APAC with, say, an APAC sales team. The admin created similar sharing rules for Canada, Mexico, and Europe sales teams. Everything worked well until your company grew up in size: the number of sales reps and sales territories has significantly increased, the hierarchical structure of the company has become more complicated and your sales reps now have to prepare more reports and share them with a bigger number of high-level executives. This is when you eventually realize that the amount of sharing rules needed to reflect all these changes and support such a complicated structure in Salesforce will be enormous.
In such cases, we advise companies to consider Salesforce territory management functionality, since it gives the chance to slice and dice sales territories, assign sales reps to a particular territory and easily transfer them to another one, create account sharing rules for territories, retain opportunities and draw territory reports.
Thus, if you need to provide users with access to accounts and opportunities based on territory, not on record ownership and have a complex territory structure where standard sharing mechanisms are not adequate, Salesforce territory management module is the right choice.
What is Salesforce territory management
The main benefit of territory management is that it grants access to accounts based on various account characteristics. What does it practically mean for companies? Once enabled, territory management allows using various criteria (not only geographic boundaries) to organize a sales team’s efforts thereby creating well-balanced territories that will meet sales reps’ expectations about the market potential and the number of accounts on a particular territory. As a result, a company less often hear a sales rep complaining of having too few accounts spread across a huge territory while others operate on easier-to-cover territories. Besides, you’ll dispose of over- serviced territories where a sales team has too little work and too many team members to service a small area.
Thus, to create well-balanced territories in Salesforce, you can use various account characteristics, such as:
- Zip code
- Number of employees
- Revenue, etc.
Note: You can create territories using one of the characteristics or create a multi-factor territory assignment formula. In case you still can’t create well-balanced territories, you can try to shift quotas to find the balance.
Thus, by taking into account various factors, you can create a more precise model to divide your territories in Salesforce.
By enabling territory management in Salesforce, you’ll be able to do the following:
Create a territory hierarchy. For example, you can create a master territory “North America” and break it into smaller territories, say, “United States“, “Canada”, and “Mexico.” Then, you can add more child territories, such as “Western,” “Central,” “Southern,” and “Eastern” regions and expand each of them with more detailed territories.
Define assignment rules. Once you’ve prepared a territory chart, you can create territory Assignment Rules based on defined characteristics. For example, accounts with X state, Y revenue, and Z industry belong to Territory A. This gives all users of the Territory immediate access to corresponding accounts.
When you need Enterprise territory management 2.0
Starting from Winter ’15 release, companies that use the Enterprise and the Unlimited editions of Salesforce Classic can enable Enterprise territory management. It builds upon the original functionality by introducing territory types, territory models, and territory model states. Having added these new concepts, Salesforce allows creating and previewing multiple territory structures and strategies without touching your real data in Salesforce. By taking these steps, you’ll always implement the territory model that works best for you.
What should be considered before introducing Enterprise Territory Management
The activation of Enterprise Territory Management requires Customizable Forecasting to be disabled in your Salesforce organization, because a parallel use of Enterprise Territory Management and Customizable Forecasting is not possible at the moment. However, you do not have to refrain from Salesforce’s forecast functionality completely. If you need to activate Enterprise Territory Management in your Salesforce organization, you can use Collaborative Forecasts instead of Customizable Forecasting. To know more about the differences between Customizable Forecasting and Collaborative Forecasts, we advise you to study the official Salesforce documentation.
If you want to introduce specialized assignment logic, such as distance- or driving time-based assignment rules, or extensive map-based territory manipulation, you can go beyond the out-of-the-box Enterprise Territory Management functionality. For such particular cases, you can explore AppExchange, the official Salesforce app store, and get extra options, such as Realzips or Geopointe, build to extend the traditional Salesforce territory management capabilities.
On a final noteWhen analyzing data by territories, sales managers have a better understanding of whether they’ve assigned the right number of sales reps to a territory. In case the sales managers are not satisfied with the number of calls, conversions, orders or revenue generated in each territory, they may make prompt changes to the chosen tactics.
Thus, using Salesforce territory management, companies can get the following benefits:
- Support for complex and frequently changed sales organization structures.
- Support for transferring sales reps between territories, with the option to retain opportunities.
- Multiple forecasts per sales rep, based on territory membership.
- Territory-based sales reports.
If you do find yourself unsure whether territory management fits your company’s business needs, we advise you to contact a Salesforce consultant.