By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Revenue Operations

Taking the Guesswork Out of Territory Design: What Sales Wants

swirled squiggle accent

RevOps teams work hard to create territory plans that lead to positive outcomes. But sales leaders are not always included in the decision making process. We brought together a panel of sales experts to talk about what’s really important to them when territory planning.

Join Kevin Davis, Founder of BoogieBoard, Brooke Adair, Director of Mid-Market Sales at Ironclad, and Ryan Huckabee, Regional VP of Commercial Sales at DataRobot, as they chat about design challenges, ensuring fairness, and communicating with sales reps.

Territory design isn’t just about generating more revenue. It’s also about setting up your sales team for success. Otherwise, you’ll quickly lose reps–no one wants to work a book of business that can’t reach quota. Make design a joint operation where RevOps works with sales leaders to make decisions that promote both fairness and sales efficiency.

What does sales want from territory design?

“When we’re designing territories, sometimes we forget how personal it gets.” - Brooke Adair

Above all, sales leaders want patches to be equitable. This helps ensure 100% participation from the team when pursuing quota attainment. They’re also very concerned with timeliness. If books aren’t ready for January and February, reps won’t be able focus on the right accounts for the year.

The best territory design process allows for healthy debate and friction between RevOps and sales. It means that the GTM organization is being honest about what’s realistic when assigning territories and setting compensation plans.

How should sales work with Ops to prioritize accounts?

“Think about this as an exercise in focus” - Kevin Davis

Start by analyzing your install base and look at all factors like verticals, technographics, company sizes, revenue, and geography. Data providers, like BuiltWith, can help you determine the number of accounts in an area and whether you can realistically sell to them. 

Data shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when prioritizing accounts. Never discount the knowledge of successful reps that have boots on the ground and who really understand the landscape. Then dive into your data sets as a way to question the preconceived notions of your reps. 

How does sales think about fairness?

“The concept of absolute fairness in territory design is fundamentally flawed. You’ll never get things to be completely even, there are too many factors.” - Ryan Huckabee


No territory plan can be 100% fair but it should be as equitable as possible. Be clear upfront about how and why you made your territory design decisions and openly share your methodology. 

If you’re allowing holdovers or assigning entirely new markets to certain reps, make sure your policy is uniform and documented. Don’t play favorites. Otherwise, your reps will be stressed and worried about their chances at success.

How do you communicate the territory design process?

Leave room for feedback while still setting guardrails to help everyone maintain their focus on the larger plan. Never send territory plans out in an email with no context and expect reps to be happy. 

Instead, introduce new territories in a live session and explain how and why you chose your design. Be clear about improvements that you made this year, like clearing out bad data from territories. Everyone will understand the new plan and it gives you the chance to get people excited about their patches.

Sales and RevOps must work together

RevOps shouldn’t be left holding the bag, sales leadership needs to take ownership of new territory plans as well. Ultimately, this is a great opportunity for RevOps to work with sales leaders, reps, managers, and even sales enablement to set everyone up for success in the new year. 

Looking for more great content? Check out our blog and join the community.

Related posts

Join the Co-op!