Succession Planning for Territories
You should have the leaders in your organization get together to evaluate the talent landscape. Who are you likely going to get rid of because they are just not bringing their performance up? Who is a likely risk for leaving? Maybe they’re retiring, looking for other opportunities, or their personality suggests they are on the brink of leaving? Who are all of these people in the organization and, should they leave unexpectedly, where would you find the talent to put in their place? More importantly, as you know, when that territory stays open for a long time, you run the risk of not just eroding sales in that particular territory, but you also lose them completely to a competitor.
Look at Other Departments
Are there people in other positions within the company who might be able to backfill into those sales roles quickly and effectively? Look for staff in departments such as customer service, marketing, account management, business development, or other staff who have experience managing customers. For some of my clients, they have been able to utilize delivery drivers, installers, or the consulting team who are looking for sales opportunities.
Network, build relationships with sales reps on LinkedIn, and talk to customers to see who else they buy from that they really love as a seller. When you are doing those on a regular basis, you’ll never be caught unaware and, if someone leaves you unexpectedly, you would have done the research and recruiting to backfill those positions quickly.