Aside from requests for Motivational training, Time and Territory management training is one of the most inappropriate requests I receive each week. And I've been getting requests like that for more than 25 years!
Time and Territory management is what sales managers and VP's ask for when they:
- don't know what to ask for,
- don't know how to identify the real problem,
- don't know how to fix the real problem,
- are fearful of being exposed or shown up,
- feel threatened,
- are not tough enough to demand resources from management,
- are not strong enough to get their salespeople focused on key selling activities.
I could teach territory management in 5 minutes. It comes down to 5 things:
- knowing which customers/clients/opportunities of a certain target, vertical, or niche are in the territory
- scheduling days, weeks and time in the territory by the geography of the territory
- forecasting where the business will come from within the territory to meet plan
- making the best use of time with opportunities/accounts that are mostly likely to produce revenue
- leveraging the best accounts in the territory
Time management is even simpler and I could teach that in 5 minutes too. It comes down to these 6 things:
- scheduling - in the calendar - time to hunt/prospect for new business each day
- scheduling meetings and calls AROUND the hunting time
- assuring that meetings in specific geographies are combined on the same day(s)
- prioritizing tasks as A's (must be done today), B's (should be done today) and C's (could be done another day).
- Remaining faithful, disciplined, focused and consistent to the calendar/plan and task list
- Identifying tasks (like CRM entry, call reports, etc.) that get procrastinated (left off, put-off, forgotten, incomplete) and scheduling time for them in the calendar.
So what should Sales VP's and sales managers be asking for instead?
- Sales Force Evaluation - this identifies all of the specific issues that need to be addressed. No guess work, just everything one needs to know about their systems, processes, strategies, people, selection, pipeline, growth potential, training requirements, reasons for under-performance, effectiveness and more.
- Sales Management Development - sales coaching, sales motivation, sales selection, sales accountability, pipeline management, mentoring, sales environment/culture
- Sales Training and Development - sales process, sales methodology, sales approach, sales tools, sales expectations, sales tips, best practices, sales core competencies, role-play, relationship development, strategic account management, etc.
- Coaching - bringing their own skills to the next level
When salespeople under perform, sales forces fail to meet their goals. For many sales leaders, rather than identify the real cause of the problem, it's simply easier to ask for motivation, time, and/or territory training. That's all well and good but none of those three topics, regardless of who is presenting them, ever address or solve the real problem.