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Sales territory alignment is a very underutilized, yet powerful sales force productivity tool.
Companies have turned to Sales Force Automation (SFA) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, enhanced sales training and account management programs to gain more productivity from their sales force.
The result of these inefficiencies is that companies not only often leave millions of dollars on the table, they suffer from low morale and high turnover among sales people. Aligning sales territories is an important initiative and can lead to many benefits for a business.
Increased sales and customer coverage — When territories are properly aligned, issues of under- and over-capacity are reduced or eliminated. Reduced travel time and associated expenses — Due to the geographic nature of sales territories, better alignment means less travel time to reach customers. Equity and morale — Nothing can be more discouraging to a sales person than to see an associate milking a highly profitable territory while they’re stuck servicing an area with low potential.
If you have a new or changed sales team due to acquisition, merger, partnering or restructuring. If your company is launching a major strategic initiative and sales staffing is not matched to it. Each of these situations is ripe with the potential for decreased productivity, missed customer opportunity, and confusion and competition among sales people.
Determining a Sales Territory by Ian Linton Effective territory planning gives sales reps more time to spend with customers.

Most organizations overlook a significant opportunity to increase sales and profits by not aligning and balancing sales territories appropriately. While each of these initiatives has merit, many companies have found that a sales territory alignment initiative can increase productivity and sales at a relatively low cost. When they are out of balance, some areas with high potential customers may be underserved while other areas are saturated.
Good territory alignment will increase sales and customer coverage, reduce travel time and associated costs, provide a competitive advantage, and foster equity and morale among sales people.
Less time spent in the car means more time spent with customers, thus more time for selling.
However, if you have better coverage in your territories, you can reach new opportunities faster than your competitors, again leading to increased sales.
Properly aligned territories provide a more equitable distribution of accounts, level the playing field in terms of achieving rewards, and boost morale among sales people.
The year’s performance may or may not lead to a change in the shape or makeup of the sales territories.
Some are simple and may lack the functionality required to align multi-tiered territories and account for complex relationships.
You may want to engage a firm with expertise in sales territory alignment that can advise on the territory alignment process and provide software and analysis services. You may want to expand sales quickly or increase your share of a particular market segment.

Compare the revenue from your existing customers with the revenue targets for your sales goals. Focus on areas where there is the greatest concentration of prospects and existing customers.
The business magazine “Inc.” notes that sales professionals rank customers and prospects by comparing the revenue potential of each account with the time required to service it. Other companies may have good revenue potential but require considerable investment of sales resources. It may not be practical to deal with customers and prospects in parts of the country that your sales team cannot reach without excessive travel. Select representatives for the most important territories based on their sales performance and product or market knowledge. If a territory has a high concentration of companies in a specific market sector, such as auto manufacturing or financial services, choose a representative who understands the sector. In territories with a large number of small customers, consider appointing a distributor to deal with them and market your products.
Develop a solution that makes the most effective use of your sales team while serving all your potential customers.

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