SSA#26: Territory Planning

2024 Account Strategy:

Plan your territory like Pareto.

Happy Tuesday to 11,204 SaaS sales professionals!

Today's newsletter is about a neglected & overlooked topic: Territory Planning.

Let's dive in👇


Always Plan Your Territory

Territory Planning is a crucial task for every sales professional. You need to do it anytime you join a new company, receive a new territory or start a new fiscal year.

Typically, most sellers glance over their territory for a couple hours. Then they go right into selling. A huge mistake!

Territory Planning is a strategic high-impact task. The quality of your Territory Planning (or lack thereof) has a big impact on the rest of your fiscal year.

The benefits of good territory planning include:

  • Spending your time on accounts where you can WIN
  • Spending your time on prospects who are a FIT
  • Never having to to think: where do I START?
  • Always knowing your territory PROGRESS
  • Never wondering: which accounts NEXT?

I recommend spending up to 2 weeks on Territory Planning. If that means you're going to look at EVERY SINGLE account in your territory, so be it.

What's 2 weeks of territory planning compared to 40+ weeks of execution?

It's worth it!


Pareto Rules In Sales

Pareto's Rule, or the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our effort.

And in sales:

  • 80% of revenue comes from 20% of customers
  • 80% of pipeline comes from 20% of prospects

If we follow Pareto we will want to spend 80% of our time on 20% of the accounts in our territory. So if you have 1,000 accounts in your whitespace hunter patch, you'll only want to spend all your time on the top 200.

But how do we identify the 20% that matter? This is where Account Tiering comes in.


Account Tiering Like A Pro

To plan your territory you need a way to score & rank your accounts.

I recommend categorizing accounts by 2 variables:

1) Solution Fit: the extent to which you can identify how & where your solution will be used

One way to measure solution fit is the number of robust use cases you can identify for your solution. This will depend on their business model. So check out their website as well as other online resources.

2) Potential: the likelihood of this account to invest in your solution

In other words: does this company have the budget? Triggers for this are the use of a competitor solution, or if they see growing headcount in a key department. Look at open job descriptions, the LinkedIn profiles of key employees & Sales Navigator Account Insights.

As a result of these 2 variables, we have 4 categories of accounts.


Strategic Prospecting Approach

1) Big Bets: 1% of accounts

No more than 10 out of 1,000 accounts should be Big Bets. These are the companies with high solution fit and high potential. They deserve strategic AE prospecting: deep research, high personalisation etc.

2) Tier 1: 4% of accounts

No more than 40 out of 1,000 accounts should be Tier 1. These companies also have quite good solution fit and potential, but not quite as good as the Big Bets. Target them with AE prospecting, but less strategic. You can work more with industry- & persona-specific sequences here.

Tier 2): 15% of accounts

No more than 150 out of 1,000 accounts should be Tier 2. These company either don't have great solution fit or not a lot of potential. BUT they are still an important & relevant part of your territory! This is SDR & BDR land: you can use a high-level of activity, sequences and automation.

Tier 3): 80% of accounts

The remaining 800 out of 1,000 accounts are Tier 3. They lack both solution fit and potential. Disqualify them upfront. They don't deserve your time & effort, nor that of your SDR/BDR.

Last tip: aim to touch all accounts by end of Q2. That way, you have a chance to close deals within the fiscal year.

  • For AEs that means: prospect 2 or more accounts per week.

  • For an SDR that means: prospect 6 or more accounts per week.


Want to work with me to build a systematic territory & prospecting strategy in 2024?

Book a free Strategy Call with me to see if you're a fit for my private coaching program.




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Christian Krause

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