Successful Territory Management
The best territory management plans often start simple, then real-world pressures and business strategies add complexity. While it would be great to be able to keep it simple, what’s really important is a system that easily adapts to your team’s needs.
Whether you work for a boutique or a large asset manager, your distribution team focuses on relationships or channels that will grow your assets under management. You may also work with third-party distribution partners to handle specific areas or strategies. Each firm manages territories in a unique way, but every firm wants to:
- Compensate accurately and fairly. Whether it is a wholesaler on your team or a third-party distributor, you want to make sure they are being paid for the business they generated.
- Allocate coverage to avoid overlaps. No advisor wants to be approached by multiple people representing the same firm.
- Realign territories to maximize distribution potential. New people are hired, prospects become clients, and new products are launched—territories need constant evaluation and adjustment.
Obstacles to Territory Management
Territories can represent simple geographies or reflect complex channel, subchannel, firm, and product layers. Without an assist from technology, manpower associated with relying on complex spreadsheets and calculations can be very costly.
Lack of sales reporting capabilities, siloed data, challenges in resolving data to the responsible parties, and late trades all add challenges to territory management. Many asset managers solve these problems with brute force: the application of people and manual processes. Accurate sales attribution improves your productivity and your ability to compensate, allocate coverage, and realign territories to maximize distribution opportunities.
A Right-sized Approach to Territory Management
Start by assessing where your firm lands on the continuum of complexity when it comes to defining and managing your territories. Ask yourself:
- What granularity (city, state, ZIP) of geographical division makes sense for my firm?
- How many channels do we support?
- Is there any overlap of channels? How will we handle the overlay of Key Accounts, Broker/Dealers, or DCIO?
- If we’re working with a third-party distributor, what products, channels, or relationships are they covering?
- How often do we change territory structure? How long does it take to implement a territory realignment?
- How do we handle errors in assigning territories to trades? Do we sometimes get sales that need to be re-allocated using a territory structure we’re no longer using?
- How does product impact my territory structure? Do certain channels cover certain products?
- How do I keep territory information updated continuously in CRM and compensation systems?
While your answers to these questions will all inform your territory management strategy, you’ll still have to determine how to find a solution that covers all of the needs those answers reveal. Let’s look at a couple of examples that illustrate how SalesPage supplies the right processes and technology to provide that solution.
Boutique asset manager with a straightforward territory structure
You’re a boutique asset manager with $800 million AUM in two mutual funds and a budding ETF. You have three executives who focus on mutual fund distribution, and you have a relationship with a third-party distributor to help sell your ETF. You decide that using a simple geographical territory structure makes sense, and you divide into three regions: East, Central, and West.
While this territory structure is straightforward, you want to ensure alignment between the compensation structure and revenue. You can’t rely on just end-of-month AUM. SalesPage supports calculations for compensation reporting, and also provides sales reporting and resolution services so that you can see where business is coming from and ensure that you’re compensating your teams accurately. Your wholesaler or marketer can begin the day by thanking the new producers who bought your funds for the first time on the previous day. When it comes time to pay your team, you know that the records are accurate, because our transfer agent and platform data sources have been reconciled to the penny.
Key differentiator: SalesPage provides territory management and sales reporting that integrates daily with Salesforce CRM, seamlessly keeping territories and alignments up to date.
You can leverage SalesPage through Salesforce or business intelligence reporting tools, easily viewing and changing territories and distribution direction. Many SalesPage clients use Salesforce integrated with SalesPage, taking advantage of built-in territory management capabilities while keeping the territories in sync with your BI tool. By integrating SalesPage sales reporting with Salesforce, you can focus on picking the best territory alignment, and let us handle the technical challenges. As your firm grows and your territory management needs get more complex, SalesPage can help. We accommodate a very simple single set of territories or multiple sets of complex ones.
Large asset manager with a complex territory structure
You’re a large asset manager with $150 billion AUM in a variety of products split across multiple distinct distribution channels. When it comes to territory management:
- Sales leadership wants to redefine channel and territory structures to focus in-person sales coverage on high-value areas with marketing covering those outside these areas. This new structure requires delineation based on multiple vectors such as geography, channel, and product. Those assigned to territories need to see and focus only on the people and companies with whom they’ll work; ideally, data security ensures that those are the only companies, people, and sales data that they see in your systems.
- Finance needs rules based on product and an individual’s role in each trade to accurately pay out commissions. Ideally, roles not only help the firm pay commissions, but also help the firm to plan for the future, forecasting compensation to assist in evaluating territories on a regular basis.
- Sales administration needs a way to test out this new structure, analyzing it to confirm the proposed structure will be effective. They also need the ability to revert to past versions if necessary, and to do all of this again later, proposing and analyzing new territory structure as often as needed for each channel or line of business.
SalesPage includes flexible territory definition and management tools that make it easy for you to build out complex territories and territory assignments, to maintain historical versions, and to propose new territory models and see the impact of changes you make them.
Key differentiator: Because attribution is done systematically in SalesPage, most realignments can be completed in minutes or overnight versus the weeks needed to realign manually.
SalesPage makes it possible to define different sets of territories based primarily on channel, product, or any meaningful division for you. You can have overlapping but distinct territories for each of these divisions. When a transaction comes in, that trade is attributed to multiple people in your firm if that’s appropriate, based on the territory rules you have defined. All records are attributed to the current territory in each active set, before they are sent to downstream systems (CRM, compensation, BI) to be used by your teams.
Your next step?
If you want to improve how you compensate, allocate coverage, and manage territories to maximize your distribution potential, contact us! We look forward to helping you navigate the continuum of complexity with territory management.