Episode 295: Santino Pasutto
Santino ‘Tino’ Pasutto is a senior principal at Stantec and has held several business development roles, including developing Stantec’s sales and account management training program.
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Leadership and sales management need to be bought into the process of territory management and the thoughtfulness it takes to do it well. If they embrace it, the mindset cascades down to the individual contributor that’s managing the territory.
Santino Pasutto emphasizes that salespeople need to take time to plan out their territory and understand their numbers. If you’re allowed the time to measure twice and cut once, it will expedite the outcomes everyone is looking for.
Santino shares the unique ways that territory management directs his steps in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Don’t miss it!
Outline of This Episode
- [0:42] Why is territory sales planning underrated?
- [1:14] How to reduce reactivity with territory planning
- [2:11] Santino’s ideal territory sales plan
- [5:15] How to determine penetration rates
- [6:54] Attributes and characteristics of a great territory sales planner
- [8:31] Tools, tactics, and strategies to improve territory management
- [11:01] Top 3 territory management dos and don’ts
- [14:35] How territory management directs your steps
Santino’s ideal territory sales plan
Santino notes that your plan boils down to the product or service that you’re selling. Some salespeople sell agnostic products whose client base is broad and varied. Others have a very narrow and prescriptive client base. If you’re in the healthcare space, your targets are likely hospitals. It’s easy to determine who to approach. But if you sell a service that a plethora of businesses can benefit from, your ICP is far different.
Who is going to use your product or service? What is their ICP? You have to determine their firmographic information. How many employees do they have? How do you access them? What industry are they in? Where do you sell well and what do those clients look like? Pinning down the ICP within your geography is key.
Then you must look at buyer personas. Who are you selling to within the accounts? What problems are you solving for them? Santino looks at his existing territory and the margins and penetration rates within those accounts. He looks for where he gets the most bang for his buck.
Which accounts are the most growable? Which are the most at risk? This helps him determine where to prioritize his time. He doesn’t want to spend a lot of time focusing on accounts that are transactional or low-margin. It’s all about looking for a mutual fit where you can earn a fair margin.
How to determine penetration rates
If you’re selling to a hospital, you could correlate the revenue to the number of beds they have. What’s the revenue per operating unit of a business? Use that as a rule of thumb. Look at the number of beds with other accounts and look at your revenue as a percentage of that. How does that compare to an account where you believe you have all their work?
Determining penetration rates helps you establish a benchmark with known accounts where you have a 100% share of wallet. You use that benchmark to compare to similar accounts to estimate your wallet share in them.
What are the attributes and characteristics of a great territory sales planner? Listen to hear Santino’s thoughts.
Tools, tactics, and strategies to improve territory management
Santino emphasizes that sales professionals need LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Santino uses it to define ICPs and identify buyer personas. Santino also uses job boards to look for buyer personas by their titles. He’ll read their job descriptions to learn how his product or service helps them address their everyday tasks.
You also need to calculate the opportunity that you have in each account. You have to leverage the data available to you to scale your territory, sell effectively, and have high win rates. To do that, you have to focus on where you sell the easiest and the most. Look back at your accounts and look at the ICP, revenue, and margin in those accounts. You will see a sweet spot—hone in on it.
How territory management directs your steps
Santino had taken over a territory in the medical device world managed by a top rep. The market penetration within key accounts was solid. Santino had to find somewhere to grow, so he started looking for the easiest accounts to grow into. Leadership felt his time was spent in rural accounts. But Santino realized the effort to sell into those accounts wasn’t the best use of his time.
So Santino looked at key accounts and how he could double down on growth. They were overly focused on top-line growth and not enough on the quality of that growth, i.e. the margin. Santino would have had to sell 2–3x the amount to rural accounts to achieve the same bottom line he was earning in larger accounts. One deal in one of these accounts was equal to 10–20 deals in the potential rural accounts.
So he decided to drip campaign smaller rural accounts and hone in on larger city accounts. His risk was higher because the opportunities were fewer but the sales process was the same. He’d rather spend six months on one deal than several smaller deals. How did his plan play out? Santino shares the whole story in this episode. Give it a listen!
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