Episode #282 – Liz Heiman

The Nuts and Bolts of Territorial Sales Planning


Liz Heiman

Liz Heiman is a national sales expert and the founder and CEO of Regarding Sales, LLC. Her firm focuses on building B2B Sales Operating Systems that drive extraordinary growth.

It’s not often that we have the honor of hosting a productivity and systems expert on the podcast, but on this episode we have just that. Liz Heiman is a national sales expert and the Founder and CEO of “Regarding Sales, LLC.” The firm she’s created focuses on building B2B sales operating systems that drive extraordinary growth. Liz and Paul continue the series on the topic of territorial sales planning by focusing on the nuts and bolts of what it takes to build a successful plan for your territorial sales efforts.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:57] Why Liz believes territorial sales planning to be underrated in general
  • [1:38] The challenge of “reactive selling”
  • [2:35] Ingredients of the perfect territorial sales plan
  • [5:08] What makes for a great territorial salesperson
  • [6:03] Characteristics of a great territorial salesperson
  • [9:50] Liz’s top three territorial sales planning DOs and DON’Ts
  • [11:50] A territorial sales story (that happens over and over)

Why is territorial sales planning underestimated (and underutilized)?

It’s clear from a brief look across the sales landscape that the importance of territorial sales planning is not understood. Liz believes that it’s a huge mistake to think sellers can simply begin calling leads and make sales. A plan is needed to be most effective. But why don’t sellers and sales leaders build plans?

  1. They think that a number (sales goal) is a strategy, but it’s not
  2. They don’t know how to structure an effective plan, try it, and it doesn’t work. So they never do it again because it didn’t work
  3. Management pushes them to sell but doesn’t help them accomplish that goal

Reactive selling: an Achilles heel when it comes to territorial sales planning

Liz explains that one of the worst habits a salesperson can fall into is what she refers to as “reactive selling.” What is it? What is urgent, what comes across their desk or email each morning is what absorbs their attention. This sort of focus on what’s coming to them is misleading because what’s coming to them doesn’t necessarily get them where they want to go. To avoid reactive selling, a plan is in order. It’s vital to have an endpoint in mind and therefore be clear about the activities that will get them there. Planning is the only way to prioritize those specific activities, which is what makes the achievement of sales goals a reality.

What goes into the perfect territorial sales plan?

Before moving into the elements of a territorial sales plan, Liz reiterates a foundational principle: You must have a funnel/pipeline and understand what is in it. Understand your sales cycle and its velocity. Understand your qualifying process. Understand how many leads need to go into the top of the pipeline to generate the number of sales you need. Your pipeline is the main tool you use to execute your plan. When you understand it, you can create your plan by doing the following…

  1. Assess what you sold last year, who you sold to, how it happened
  2. Break up your territory into different segments (top clients, undersold clients, referral partners)
  3. Leverage existing relationships for referrals
  4. Uncover the sales activities that fill in the gaps and generate more qualified leads

A successful territorial salesperson looks like this…

A person who is successful at territorial sales is a person who can and does learn from their mistakes. Instead of beating themselves up over their missteps, they learn the lesson it has to teach them so that they never make that mistake again. It’s learning the skill of leveraging the mistake to serve you instead of holding you back. You use it to reach where you want to go.

Liz also points out that consistency is a multiplier. When you have a well-considered plan for your sales territory and implement it every day, regardless of what comes to you, success is going to come. The right behaviors done repeatedly build success.

This episode is full of actionable tips and powerful insights to help you build a territorial sales plan that will win. Listen to get all the details from Liz Heiman.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Liz Heiman

Connect With Paul Watts


Audio Production and Show notes by

More About Liz Heiman

Are there any books on or including Territory Sales Planning that you recommend? Read “The New Successful Large Account Management.” It is really about Key Account Planning, but it will help with the territory planning as a result.

In the field of Territory Sales Planning – Who do you most admire and why? My Father – Stephen Heiman (of Miller-Heiman Fame)

Are there any aspects of your own Territory Sales Planning skills that you are working on improving at the moment? I’m always working on priorities.

Hobbies, Interests? I make jewelry to relax.

How can our listeners connect with you? https://RegardingSales.com | Twitter | LinkedIn