Hot Tip: Managing Territory Collisions
Stephen Wald, CEO of Naturally Knits, believes faxes, cell phones, and the Internet are wreaking havoc on the old geographic sales territory. It's whom you know, not geography, that matters, he says. "How do you respect one sales rep's customer relationship when it gets in the way of someone else's territory?" he asks. You might split the commission between the two reps, but Wald says that's a "Solomonic solution." Instead, he's added to sales contracts what he calls a "cherry-picking clause," which spells out exceptions to the home-territory rule. Two big accounts came to the company through relationships developed long-distance--and they are now worth millions to the $11 million textile business. " ' If it's on the map, it's mine' is a very dubious strategy today," says Wald. "Salespeople still need a home territory, but there have to be exceptions."