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Would you work in a sales org with no defined territories or verticals?

I had an interview last week and asked the VP of sales at this large saas company how the team was divided in to territories/segments/verticals/etc... He said they didn't do any of that and any rep could go after any company they want. My gut feeling is this is going to be chaos and that's not somewhere I would want to work. Is this a major red flag or I am overthinking it?

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25
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
I would because I think I thrive in such a startup-y environment. If I can define my own territories and clients then the world is my playground. As long as there's no cap in commission I can do it
Kiona
Opinionated
+2
Head of Business Development
100% agree - and I am currently doing this today for a SaaS company. The world is my oyster. 
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
That's a good way to think about it. I've just been screwed before in a similar situation where we've changed to territories and then we all lost our legacy accounts and referral regions.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Well that can definitely be a scenario you learned from. You can leverage it. So if someone asks you to do it again, you can point out the problems with that model and your conditions if you consider working. More often than not, they'll give in to your conditions and demand as along as its fair
Ma
MadRosie921
Account Executive
Dependent on the situation I am sure it could be fun.  However, I experienced this early on in my career and it was a cluster fuck to say the least.  It led to a lot of uncomfortable conversations when 2 reps would get meetings at the same account in different departments and leadership liked playing favorites with it.  



JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
I’ve also been in this situation too many times. I’m too old for constant clusters 
kelun8
Politicker
+4
AE
That is currently what I'm doing now. However, we're still a small sales team of 4, we just raised series A with 30 FTE. It's great because you have no limits on who you can go after (our product works internationally as well) so if you put in the grind, the leads are limitless. However, we do agree that at a certain stage, it would make sense to break it up based on territories. 
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
I think with 4 people that makes sense. This is a sales team of 40 in the US alone.
kelun8
Politicker
+4
AE
Oh yeah with that size there definitely needs to be some boundaries or I can imagine the chaos.
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funcoupons
WR Officer
+12
that's queen coups to u
Yup, I currently do. My only restrictions are that I have to hold a license in the provinces I want to do business in, but I get to choose.

I don't think I'd want to work in an environment where there were defined territories/verticals, seems like someone always gets the shit end of the stick in those situations. 
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
And you have no conflict with your coworkers who also want to sell in to the same provinces as you? Are you just adding every account possible in SFDC with you as the owner?
funcoupons
WR Officer
+12
that's queen coups to u
Nah, I sell employee benefits which I'd say 80% of businesses offer so the opportunities are pretty much endless, especially in a province like Ontario or Alberta. I work for a very small company compared to most insurers, so there are plenty of leads to go around. 

I have certain industries I like going after better than others so yes, I will go farm leads and add them under my name. We also have hundreds of thousands of leads in the CRM that anyone can call as long as nobody currently "owns" it aka already in talks/recently talked to/actively pitching. 

The biggest rule in my company is literally "don't be an asshole." Poaching leads/infighting is not tolerated at all, and if you're caught doing it it's a one way street to getting fired.
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Riss
Opinionated
+4
I don’t even know anymore 🤪
Depends on large the company actually is (or how saturated). We had territories for a second and it was so ridiculous b/c there was so many companies that would have a related news article, intent, etc. that one person in that region couldn't handle or just would miss. It makes sense to not have any of that right now for our group. But we have a collaborative group and very defined rules of engagement.
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
If your team is truly collaborative and plays by the rules, I can see it working
cw95
Politicker
+6
Sales Development Lead
I have been in a start up for two years now and the only salesperson, I can go after any company I want (within reason) they then brought in a part-time person and split industries down the middle and it just messed everything up...as soon as they left it then became fine again. It's the whole classic case of people defining territories not being on the front line to actually see what is going on. 
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
That's what concerns me! Unless your manager/leadership are in the trenches, things can go sideways quick as the org scales up.
cw95
Politicker
+6
Sales Development Lead
I would also find out how large the sales team is as well as define the industry they sell into, it could be such a large industry that you won't step on anyone toes or it could be a small niche one where the exact opposite might happen. 
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
@JuicyKlay How many AEs are there? What's quota? Are they outbounding?

What would you think about the company if it was more standardized?
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
30 AE’s. 100k monthly quota. 50% outbound activity. 
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
I would think better about it if there were less reps and I knew they were cool. 
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
30 is a LOT. I'm with your take. Seems like a problem waiting to happen.
MrNiche
Valued Contributor
+5
Senior Account Executive
I currently work in a segment with no defined territories & it's great. I get to work with clients all over the US and Canada. It's a cool experience to expand your cultural horizon since you talk to people from all areas.

Just don't be surprised if you find yourself working 10-12 hour days sometimes. I'm in central time, so I'm pretty much on call from 7:00am to 7:00pm some days, depending on the prospects.
Prizrak
Politicker
+6
Disruptor of worlds
I wouldn't work anywhere else. Why limit yourself with so much structure. Pick a vertical and go nuts. When you get bored grab another vertical.
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
I’m starting to think you all are right about this. 
Prizrak
Politicker
+6
Disruptor of worlds
Its also shitty the other way too. You know what you're going to get as a vertical for a new rep? Whatever everyone else doesnt want. Give the new guy schools heh heh heh... 
This way, if you get traction in a vertical, you sell all day in that. Could be oil, could be tech. 
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PayMeInSteak
Valued Contributor
+5
AE
If it was a small org I would consider it and then that would be dependant on your trust in the leadership team and if they're offering some nice bennies - large org sounds like chaos to me my friend - red flag
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
That’s how I’m feeling right now as well. I would really need to trust leadership and ideally AE colleagues as well 
HoldemCaulfield
Politicker
+8
Sales Training & Enablement
I've been in this situation. It was a detriment to the sales org in my opinion. Despite the small amount of inbound leads, we routed everything round-robin, or it was also a free-for-all for outbound leads in any territory. 

We found that some reps were better at selling to targeted personas. Others were better at going into a new, untapped market. Not only this, if you don't have good SFDC hygiene or a strong Account-mapping strategy from your Sales Ops team, you'll likely run into a shit-ton of cross-over and rep frustration (possibly, also customer frustration if it's a segment or subsidiary of a current customer).

I think it's best to align to your target customer first and then branch out from there. I think it does helps reps to prospect better by knowing a certain territory, knowing the customers already there who they can reference (ones that are in the same vertical), and also break into larger Accounts. 
popepius
OG Sales Savage
+7
Enterprise Sales Lead
That’s my exact situation and it works pretty well. That said it’s a pretty small pool potential enterprise clients and long sales cycles, so it’s able to be collaborative and not a big deal. Can see where a large company might be different and have other challenges. 
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
I'm currently working in the VOIP telecom industry and well the verticals is ANY BUSINESS, in ANY INDUSTRY. It makes work harder if you don't have teams that are focused on certain verticals. The benefit is that it allows you to really see who the ideal customer buyer is for a region and you can work that down and then the next in line. But still, it's a lot of work if you don't have a marketing team that's dedicated to getting all info good for you or a BDA team. And you get to really know the product.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Hell no that's a big ass green flag boo! Do it!!!
braintank
Politicker
+7
Enterprise Account Executive
Trust your gut, that's going to be chaos. Especially with 30 AEs. You'll be low on the totem pole so you'll get the leftover accounts no one wants.
DonDraper
Politicker
+4
National Sales Manager
I currently do this and it proves to be challenging. However, there are rules of engagement that are stipulated via SF activity. 
NorthernSalesGuru
Politicker
+5
Manager, Outbound Sales
I have and would do it again depending on circumstances. 

most companies start this way...
BullDawg
Politicker
+6
AE
This is pretty much how we do it - I think it only works because we’re a small team and trust each other not to be assholes. Wouldn’t want this in a larger org or a place with shit culture though 
SheWOLF
Opinionated
+2
Director
We just started verticals... its... interesting.. 
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
Hoping you at least got a good one!
SheWOLF
Opinionated
+2
Director
still trying to figure it out.. much confusion still lol
Th
Theloanemperor
Opinionated
+5
Loan Officer
I currently do and i love it. Why wouldn't you want that? Unlimited potential business. I get the "competition" part, but competition is the name of the game.
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
It’s just hard to trust 30 AE’s I don’t know who have had years in SFDC claiming the best current and target accounts and may be a serious grind for a while to lag my claim. I could also just be overthinking this and it may be fine. There are a lot of companies out there to be sold to 
Th
Theloanemperor
Opinionated
+5
Loan Officer
You should ask in your sales pitch early on if your company is that prevalent who the prospect is working with. It's always a good question to have in there; not saying you don't, just a suggestion :)
Badger41
Business Development Manager
This is my preferred sales org... make your own luck and not limited by what you are assigned. 
softwaresails
Politicker
+4
Sales Manager
I think this 100% depends on the type of business / product / and prospects. 

Also depends on how many AEs are there at the company. 
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jo Ae
+41
johndoe ,   AessK ,   airpistols   and 41 people voted
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