One of the greatest challenges when managing a large sales territory is planning your time effectively to make the most of your day, week, month and quarter. We all fall into the patterns of talking to clients we all have a good relationship with because it is easy. A good client will always take time to talk with you when you reach out to them. A successful Account Consultant will balance their time efficiently to continue to look for new opportunities and maintain a strong trusted relationship with an existing client (Hunting vs Farming).
Planning a full quarter in advance will help you stay on track and keep your focus where it needs to be. It will also allow you to refocus when those unexpected situations come up that need to be dealt with.
1) Quarter – Take a look at what goals you want to accomplish for that quarter. Talk to your manager to see if there are any areas the corporation wants to focus on (Ie: Accounting help for year end, Christmas Rush, and the summer season). Look at all your customers and determine which ones you want to make sure to talk to that quarter. Also make sure you do not start planning your quarter on the first day of that quarter. Take some time a couple of weeks before the quarter starts to begin your plans.
2) Month – Focus on the prospect you know will need help based on past service. Record when you want to talk to them and plan the month accordingly. Look at specific areas of your sales territory and concentrate on one area for that month.
3) Week – List all the clients you need to follow up with, reach out too and cold call then slot them into times throughout the week. Near the end of each week make the necessary calls to the clients that you want to visit the next week.
4) Day – By this time you should already know exactly what your plan is for that day. There is no need to start your day off by planning where you want to go, you should be able to just start your day with your first call and take it from there.
Remember that looking over your territory quarter to quarter as opposed to day by day will help you keep organized, allow you to deal with unexpected situations and manage your territory effectively.