Time, Territory and Prospecting Planning


A sales territory is made up of a group of customers or potential customers in a geographic area which is assigned to a salesperson to work. Managing time and territory is one of the most important factors in selling. Since there is only so much time in a day, self-management is a discipline that becomes part of a salesperson’s life, starting with setting objectives and using resources successfully. Without goals, it’s impossible to have direction in self- management.

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Furthermore, not all customers in a territory have the same sales potential and therefore need be classified according to their short or long-term profitability. Proper prospecting enables you to compile a list of potential customers and to spend more time on sales presentations and the successful closing of transactions. But what if you have no previous knowledge of who might purchase a product? In this case, you will need to locate individuals and organisations that have the money, authority, and the desire to purchase your products and services.

Since people tend to do business with people they know, the process of prospecting is not always easy. All salespeople who begin their sales careers prospecting look forward to the day when most of their sales come from present customers. Frequently, new customers are gained through referrals from current customers. Referrals are earned by demonstrating integrity, trustworthiness, and character to the customer who eventually provides the referral.

Building a network is important, but cultivating that network brings sales. Most salespeople do not like to cold call and are reluctant to ask for referrals. While there is no one optimal mode of prospecting to fit all situations, there are some best practices that salespeople can apply to improve their chances for getting referrals. A way to reach referral goals is the referral cycle which places equal emphasis on both the product sale and the referral sale at each stage of the selling cycle. Once you understand this process you will realise how many opportunities you have every day to build your referral pool and that the referral is not something that only happens at the end of the selling cycle. Knowing when to ask, how to ask and most importantly ensuring you don’t abuse a referral are equally important.

The rise of social media has given us the ability to super-charge our online networking and sales prospecting. The major social media networks include Facebook, Twitter, Google and Instagram. While these sites have some benefits for sales prospecting, the real powerhouse for business networking and prospecting is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has over 450 million members world-wide and is the top social media choice for business networking.

Astute businesspeople are using LinkedIn more and more as a revenue generating, sales prospecting tool to make lead and sales prospecting smoother, quicker, and ultimately profitable. Modern sales techniques have changed, and LinkedIn allows you to connect directly    with    and    gather    information    on    companies    and    prospects,    as    well as develop relationships with decision makers directly.