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Charting Your Course. Effective Sales Territory Mapping Strategies

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Maps have been an integral part of our daily lives for centuries, guiding us through unknown territories and helping us navigate from point A to point B. From the fold-out paper maps of the past to the digital navigation apps of today, maps play a crucial role in guiding us to our desired destinations. In the realm of sales, the concept of mapping takes on a new significance, particularly in the context of sales territory mapping. This strategic practice is designed to help sales teams not only reach their sales targets but also exceed them, by carefully assigning each team member to the most suitable territory.

Understanding Sales Territory Mapping

Sales territory mapping is a methodical process that involves segmenting potential prospects based on specific attributes and characteristics and then assigning these segments to individual sales team members. The goal is to create a sales territory map that optimizes the distribution of prospects, ensuring that each salesperson has a fair share of viable leads to pursue.

The attributes used for segmenting prospects can vary widely based on the company’s unique strategy, market dynamics, and customer profiles. By tailoring territories to match these factors, sales managers can provide each member of their sales team with a territory that aligns with their strengths and expertise.

Importance of Territory Mapping

The significance of sales territory mapping cannot be overstated. Without a well-defined and thoughtfully crafted territory map, a sales team can quickly devolve into chaos. Instead of collaborating effectively, team members may compete for the same high-value leads or face a shortage of viable prospects in their territory. To avoid this, an effective territory mapping strategy offers several key benefits:

Team Talents

A sales team is a diverse group, with individuals possessing different strengths, skills, and expertise. An astute sales manager understands these differences and allocates territories accordingly. For instance, a salesperson with deep technical knowledge may excel at selling complex solutions to tech-savvy clients, while another with excellent interpersonal skills may thrive in cultivating relationships with clients in a certain industry.


Fair and well-structured sales territories contribute to higher team morale. When territories are assigned in a thoughtful and considerate manner, team members are less likely to complain about unfair treatment. This results in a more positive work environment and a collective focus on achieving sales goals.


A balanced workload is essential for maintaining consistent sales performance across the team. Territory mapping takes into account factors such as the sales cycle and potential closing rates, ensuring that each salesperson has a manageable workload and an equitable opportunity to succeed.


Repetition fosters expertise. By concentrating on specific territories, salespeople gain familiarity with the prospects, their pain points, and buying behaviors. Over time, this expertise enables salespeople to navigate the sales process more efficiently and effectively, resulting in higher conversion rates.

Exploring Different Types of Sales Territories

Sales territories are no longer confined to geographic boundaries; they are multi-dimensional and cater to various factors. For instance, consider the case of Uber, which redefined sales territories based on two distinct customer groups: drivers and riders. This example illustrates that effective territory mapping requires an understanding of the target audience and aligning territories with relevant attributes.

Here are some common categories used for defining sales territories:

  • Product: Tailoring territories based on the products or services offered, such as basic offerings and premium upgrades.
  • Geographic: Segmenting territories based on geographical regions to accommodate language, culture, and time zone differences.
  • Technographic: Assigning territories based on the technology stack used by prospects, allowing specialized salespeople to address specific needs.
  • Firmographic: Defining territories based on company characteristics, such as industry, company size, and revenue.
  • Sales Channel: Distributing territories based on different sales channels, like wholesale, retail, or online.

Strategies for Determining Sales Territories

Effective territory planning requires a comprehensive understanding of various factors:

  • The Market: Knowing your target market, ideal customer profile, and pain points.
  • Competitors: Understanding how competitors manage their territories and differentiate your approach.
  • The Team: Recognizing the strengths, weaknesses, and experience levels of your sales team members.
  • The Sales Plan: Aligning territories with sales goals, strategies, action items, and timelines.
  • Metrics: Evaluating key performance indicators like closing rates and productivity metrics.

Regular performance assessments allow sales managers to fine-tune territories based on real-time data, ensuring that territories remain effective in driving sales growth.

Creating an Effective Sales Territory Map

While traditional methods like geography-based territory mapping still exist, modern technology offers more sophisticated solutions:

  • Geography-Based Mapping: Using traditional maps or digital tools like Google Maps to visually define geographic territories.
  • Spreadsheet Tools: Utilizing software like Microsoft Excel to rank prospects, then associating them with specific salespeople.
  • CRM-Based Solutions: Leveraging CRM platforms with territory mapping capabilities, such as Maptive, which uses data from spreadsheets and CRMs to create territories based on chosen variables.

Key Takeaways

  • Sales Territory Mapping optimizes sales efficiency by aligning territories with the strengths of sales team members.
  • Categories such as geographyproducttechnographicsfirmographics, and sales channel help define territories.
  • Effective territory mapping is a result of thorough research, data-driven insights, and ongoing adjustments.

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