By territory alignment, we mean the task of assigning accounts or zip codes to a territory (over which the rep reigns). Alignment rightly merits management attention since it can boost both revenue and profit, without requiring additional investment. As an illustration, consider two neighbor territories serviced by Bill and Sally. Bill cannot possibly visit all the accounts/physicians because his territory is too big. Sally, on the contrary, does not have enough customers because her territory is too small. By redrawing the geographic divide, the company gains on two counts. Bill can cover his territory more effectively (less traveling) and generate higher sales. Sally has a larger potential she can tap into, and can generate higher sales as well.
Actually, territory alignment encompasses two inter-dependent problems: account/zip assignment (described above) and rep location (where should the rep live to ensure best coverage of the territory?). Indeed, the best account/zip assignment can only be established once we have established the ideal location of the reps, and the latter can only be established once we have assigned the accounts/zips.
(Published in Feb 2002 issue of Pharmaceutical Representative Online)
(Drug Marketing, Vol. 4(10), March 13, 2002)
For more information also see Bayser Aligner