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TAM – The First Step Every Territory Sales Rep Must Take


There’s no question that sales pros—especially territory-based sellers—have a weakness in a key skill. Let me explain, these sales pros are typically given a geographic territory or a specific vertical – but their weakness is that they lack the understanding that they need to treat their territory as if they’re the CEO of that territory.

As the CEO of your territory, it’s your responsibility to understand the Total Addressable Market (“TAM”) of your industry, and be able to segment it between what customers they have, what opportunities are in the pipeline, what accounts you’ve never addressed, and which ones are of no interest to you.

TAM is the first fundamental thing that every business plan needs to address. 

Imagine me walking into a room with a Board of advisors and not being able to explain to them what the total addressable market is—the results would not be positive!

Your responsibility is to guide and coach every rep – how can you be making business plans in a territory without fully understanding what the total addressable market is in a region?

What are the next steps for sellers?

If you’re a seller reading this, and you’ve been assigned a territory, you need to do the following:

  1. Map every possible account in your territory.
  2. Segment that territory between which accounts consist of existing customers, and what accounts are open opportunities for you or other teams in your company.
  3. Identify which prospective accounts you’d like to target that you’ve engaged with, but there have been no opportunities yet.
  4. Which accounts have your team never engaged with?
  5. What accounts are of no interest to your business?

This becomes the blueprint of your business plan that will help you understand which accounts are remaining, which slices of the pie you should target first, and you’ll be able to analyze relationships and buying intent from the open opportunity accounts. You’ll see which accounts you have an asymmetrical competitive advantage with, by analyzing social proximity (your relationships within those companies). 

As the blueprint for the accounts you should target, you need to be able to present this business plan to your sales leaders.

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