“Sales Territory Design: 30 Years of Modeling and Implementation” by Andris Zoltners and Prabhakant Sinha.
ZS Associates, a large marketing science consulting firm, traces the evolution of models and processes over a 30-year period, during which they developed and implemented their sales territory alignment approaches in over 1,500 projects for over 500 companies in 39 countries and designed an estimated 500,000 sales territories. Those implementations have lead to revenue increases of 2% to 7% for these companies or over $5 Billion in total. The increase in effective selling time with their approach has a capacity equivalent to 12,500 added salespeople. Technology has enabled the models to get closer to sales managers, and they describe an effective implementation processes that enhances the model-based answer and generates sales manager buy-in at the same time. They describe a process that first creates a model-based answer, then integrates field manager input in a structured way by having the manager work one-on-one with an alignment expert and the model. This process led to a 100% implementation rate for the models.