26 June 2018

Excel and its limitations for sales sectorization

26 June 2018,
 0

In geopolitics, borders are a thorny issue; however, sectorization represents a real opportunity for sales departments. Provided you use something more sophisticated than pivot tables, that is.


Drawing up borders has never been easy. Just ask the revolutionaries in France, when they decided to divide the country into départements after 1789. Diversity of landscape, demographics and the constraint of being a day’s horse ride away from the main town made the task extremely difficult. All things considered, it’s the same challenge that sales directors or territory managers have to face today. Every salesman and woman must therefore have a well-defined territory to avoid the risks of veering off course and derailing the entire team.

And the exercise certainly isn’t an easy one. Distributing accounts between sales staff means a number of criteria have to be respected. To prevent guerilla warfare in border areas or internal mutiny, demarcation must be completely unambiguous at the same time as being fair and equally balanced. Furthermore, it must be scalable to adapt to the accounts and players involved.

Use Excel at your peril

The basic way to divide sales areas up is by using Excel to define sectors. This boils down to grouping accounts together in a given geographical area, French départements for example, and then allocating them to your sales team. But very often, you’re forever going back and forth between a map and a spreadsheet, only to realize that the scale adopted wasn’t really appropriate.

Defining sectors with a mapping application

If you want to work quicker, you absolutely have to work from a map: you define the sectors using a mapping application. Territories are visually marked out and can be set alongside sales data so you can check that they are equally distributed. The only thing is, importing data into software as well as exporting the results into CRM takes a great deal of time. And during that time, the data may well have already changed.

Optimum sales routes with a mapping application

For the best possible results, relying on a sectorization tool that is an integral part of CRM seems to be the must-have solution. In this way, handling is reduced and sectorization becomes faster and more relevant.

The ideal scenario is to integrate other factors into sectorization. For example, if a salesman leaves home in the morning to make customer visits, his place of residence can be the base from which he operates. By first drawing out an area which incorporates accounts less than 45 minutes from home by car, it is then possible to use this base to balance out the territories of the various salespeople.

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