Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Friday Dilemma - Is Marketing Responsible for Individual Territory Performance?

Friday Dilemma - Is Marketing Responsible for Individual Territory Performance?

It’s been awhile since I posted a Friday Dilemma, but I think I have a good one for you today. Those of you who have been in marketing management have surely been in this situation a time or two.

In today’s scenario, you are a marketing manager responsible for generating qualified leads for a team of 6 sales people in the US. Each of these sales people has an assigned territory based on geography – Northeast, Southeast, North Central, South Central, Pacific Northwest and Southwest. Each of the sales people has been with the company a number of years and has a relatively successful track record. (If they didn’t, they wouldn’t still be with this company.) Each territory carries the same quota.

Because there isn’t a significant difference in the messaging you use for buyers in different parts of the country, the campaigns you run are all nationwide in scope. The buyers in each region receive the same mailers, email campaigns, webinar invitations etc.

This year, lead generation in the Northeast, North Central, and Pacific Northwest is doing fairly well. It’s down from last year, but staying within sight of goal. The sales people in these regions have been happy with the quality of the leads as well.

The Southwest is outperforming goal and because of this performance, you are actually at 110% of your overall lead generation numbers for the year.

On the other hand, the South Central and Southeast regions are struggling. Lead generation is about a quarter of agreed upon goals. Again, the same marketing programs are being run in these regions, but for some reason, they just aren’t pulling the same level of responses as they are in other regions.

The salespeople in the South Central and Southeast regions are desperate. They are calling you every week with requests to run special programs for their region alone. Or, if you can’t do that, they want you to teach them how to run their own campaigns. They’ve even resorted to cold calling despite not having any success with it in the past.

First, I think the larger question needs to be asked. Is marketing responsible for the performance of individual territories? Should this marketer feel accountable for the lead generation goals and quota attainment of each sales person?

Whether you decide that the marketer is or is not responsible, I think we can all feel for the sales people in the territories that are underperforming. How do you respond to them? Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo


  1. Various factors such as industry concentration, economy, unemployment, etc. influence regional market conditions. Marketing success is ultimately measured by sales generated. If sales in some regions are below plan, then the marketer in question must figure out how to better target prospective buyers in that region based on prevailing market conditions. Regional factors should be part of market segmentation in this example. The regional salesperson usually has some good insights. Bottom line - yes the marketer should be responsible - the regional revenue dependence should be part of the market segmentation - if each of the regional salespeople don't make their quotas then the marketer in question has not succeeded.

  2. The conversation goes way better if 1) sales management has made it clear that reps are 100% responsible for meeting their numbers, and any leads they get from HQ are gravy, and 2) there was some reasonable math used to create the territories. If the rep is good and working hard, I would meet the rep and sales mgmnt in the territory and analyze pipeline activity there versus the southwest, and depending how that goes I'd be ready to do some heavy-up prospecting in the weaker areas. Telemarketing blitz days are good for this, as long as the rep participates.


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