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Scenario for Running Territory Alignments

This scenario provides an example of how alignments are set up and run by the territory administrator and his team. Your company may follow a different process according to its business requirements.

A pharmaceutical company is preparing for a major alignment of its neurology sales force. The group working on the territory alignment begin work well in advance of the due date. They want to make sure that all parties involved have input into the territory alignment and that there is time to do as many trial runs as necessary to get the alignment right.

The Administrator Sets Up Rules and Conditions

The first step is to set up the rules and conditions for the territory alignment.

Position rules. The group begin by creating the position rules that map each sales representative, sales manager, and district manager in the sales force to a territory. The sales representatives are assigned to territories that are child territories of the sales managers. Sales managers are assigned to territories that are child territories of the district managers. In some cases, multiple positions are assigned to one territory (where an experienced sales representative is working with a trainee). In other cases, multiple territories are assigned to a single position (where a high-performing sales representative has two territories).

Indirect rules. To a first approximation, this company bases its territory assignments on postal codes. They create rules that map postal codes to territories. Then, all contacts with addresses in those postal codes are indirectly mapped to territories.

Direct rules. In addition to assigning contacts to territories according to postal code, the company has some contacts that it wants to assign to certain sales representatives' territories even though the contacts are outside the geographic area of the representative's territory. In many cases, assignments outside the geographic area occur because particular representatives have long-standing relationships with these contacts. Such assignments are made by creating direct rules that can assign individual contacts to particular territories.

Global Conditions. Because the neurology sales force does not call on all the contacts in the company's database, global constraints are used to constrict the contacts assigned. Only contacts who specialize in neurology are to be assigned.

Local Conditions. In addition to the global conditions, some extra conditions are applied to specific postal codes. In some metropolitan areas, the company wants to further limit the neurologists assigned; for certain postal codes, only neurologists who have been called on within the last six months will be assigned.

The Administrator Runs, Reviews, Refines, and Reruns the Territory Alignment

After the rules and conditions have been set up, the administrator runs the alignment to review what the resulting territory assignments look like. He does a series of trial runs, making edits to the rules after each run. (These results are just written to a list. No actual changes are made to the sales representatives' territories until the alignment is activated.)

The administrator then creates a report of the results (territories listed with their assigned accounts, contacts, and sales representatives). He distributes this report to the sales managers, asking them for their feedback. The responses that the administrator receives lead to some rule changes and rerunning of the territory alignment. Now, he has a finalized set of rules and conditions that are ready to be used to roll out new territories for the sales force at the beginning of the next quarter.

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