December 7, 2023

The RevOps Mindset Shift to Data-Driven Territory Design

Jessica Denny
The RevOps Mindset Shift to Data-Driven Territory Design

Table of Contents

Redesigning and optimizing your organization’s sales territories is not an easy task. But in an increasingly challenging business landscape, it’s proven to produce significant results. 

How significant? 

Sales organizations that thoughtfully design and optimize sales territories are proven to realize 10-20% increases in sales productivity

If you’re using traditional territory design strategies, you may be missing out on revenue opportunities. And your new sales reps could be paying the price.

So, how can RevOps leaders increase rep productivity sales capacity, and accelerate new rep ramp time? In short, by shifting your mindset and taking a data-driven approach to territory design. 

Shortcomings of Traditional Territory Design

Loyalty to legacy reps may be holding your team back

As a RevOps leader, it’s easy to get caught up in showing loyalty to legacy reps, especially when they’re hitting goals quarter after quarter. But is this loyalty holding your team back from realizing their true revenue potential?

Legacy reps often hit their numbers due to cross-sells and up-sells from existing accounts rather than tracking down new ones. They may be sitting on high-potential accounts better served by newer reps with a more aggressive mentality. 

You should regularly re-examine whether legacy reps are subsisting on cross-sells and upsells from existing accounts and leaving top-tier accounts untouched, and re-distribute those accounts to other reps. 

New reps miss out on the best accounts and have longer ramp times

People.ai’s VP of Revenue Operations Jamie Carney, shared some compelling stats:

  • ⅔ of Enterprise accounts have not been engaged in the last 12 months
  • It takes 93 days, on average, for a first touch to occur when an account switches to a new rep

With legacy reps sitting on the best accounts, new reps are forced to spend their time working on low-potential accounts. Your new reps face longer ramp times, limited success rates, and unnecessary frustration.

“The old school sales mentality out there is “skill X will = outcome.” That’s not always the case. Someone can come in with all the will in the world and not succeed as well as someone else because of the account structure and territory design given to them.” - Jamie Carney, VP of Revenue Operations at People.ai

As a RevOps leader, there are the questions you need to consider:

  • What are reps doing with their time?
  • How are they competing in this marketplace?
  • Are they doing what we’re asking them to do and selling into the best accounts for the company?
  • Are they just reaping benefits from past sales?
  • Are they being assigned the best accounts and only tackling a few? 
  • Are they leaving others to feed off of the smaller accounts? 

These questions are setting you up for the RevOps mindset shift. 

The RevOps mindset shift: from owning to renting 

Who owns the accounts? 

The old way of thinking: each rep owns their accounts. 

The RevOps mindset shift: the company owns the accounts and their reps “rent” them. 

Many organizations are now embracing the RevOps mindset shift, where the company takes ownership of accounts and rent them out to their reps based on agreed-upon parameters or “rent.”
When organizations and sales reps establish this kind of partnership, sales reps approach their accounts from a position of responsibility rather than privilege.

Activity Accountability

Accountability between sales organizations and reps fosters a shared understanding of consequences when accounts don't have the expected level of activity.

If you are a rep who is not paying rent (working an account), you’re not going to be able to keep the account.

Sales reps can expect to work accounts actively or see them re-distributed to other team members. It might be a bit frustrating at first, but everyone will come to expect and understand this redistribution of accounts. 

This also serves as a fantastic way to reward reps who are grinding.

Eliminate the guessing game with AI-powered activity tracking

Be a RevOps hero by giving your reps the gift of time. Implementing an AI-powered activity tracking tool frees them up to spend more time on those untouched accounts and gives you real insights into the activities in each account.

Leaders can easily track how much headway reps are making within each account by viewing emails sent and upcoming meetings. Reps can see which executives they’re interacting with and suggestions for other people to connect with, where they are making progress, whitespace in accounts, and gaps in their sales methodology. 

Using real data – not guesswork and rep stories – you, as a RevOps leader, can make smarter, faster decisions on how to organize accounts. Acknowledging and tracking rep activities will also benefit your hardest-working reps and help you offer support and guidance to lower-performers.

Now, you’re making data-based decisions to proactively shuffle top-tier accounts.

Rethinking Geographic Territories

Geo should not be the primary reason you’re assigning accounts. Spread the best accounts across the board and make sure they are not sitting cold. Make the best possible bets with your best reps.

Boost Rep Productivity with Data-Driven Account Rebalancing

Organizations that employ a data-driven approach (with AI-powered activity capture) to rebalancing accounts will: 

  • Increase rep productivity
  • Increase sales capacity without increasing headcount
  • Increase sales and quota 
  • Decrease ramp time 

Take People.ai, for instance. It has been proven to dramatically reduce new rep ramp times from an industry average of 93 days down to just 2.5 weeks.

Unleash your sales potential with intelligent territory planning 

With a potential 10-20% revenue boost, a well-thought-out territory redesign is a game-changer.

Successful territory planning starts with a RevOps mindset shift in the relationship between companies and sales reps. With this mindset shift companies are more likely to hold reps accountable for working their accounts.

Ready to be a RevOps leader who makes data-driven decisions to optimize territory design? Accelerate new rep ramp time and increase rep productivity and sales capacity by embracing this RevOps mindset shift and taking advantage of AI-native tools like People.ai.

> For more ways to enhance the GTM motions that matter most, check out our Sales Rituals series and a 15-minute video on Rev Ops: Territory Design w/ Engagement Data.

Learn all of the ways People.ai can  drive revenue growth for your business