How do you approach CS territory planning?

John Bosch
John Bosch Member Posts: 26 Expert
First Comment First Anniversary
edited April 2022 in Metrics & Analytics

We've hit August and that's always been the kick-off to planning season for me.  I'm starting to think about team structure, customer tiers, and territory assignments.  I'd love to hear what others are doing in terms of the following:

Customer Segmentation:  How many tiers?  How do you determine tiers?
Territory Assignments:  Regional Considerations, tiers, skill level etc...?
Model:  High/Mid/Low/Tech Touch
Ratios:  Headcount vs Revenue Managed, Headcount vs. Number of Customers

I'm at an early stage company now but as we hit the accelerated growth curve, I'd like to have a staffing model in place that will help us simplify staffing needs (and budget requests) in 2021 based on hitting key milestones in our growth plan.   

Now I just need to build the model!  Easy right?  All help, advice, success stories, and lessons learned are welcome!



  • Scott Morgan
    Scott Morgan Member Posts: 24 Expert
    First Anniversary
    edited August 2020
    Always good to plan ahead. We use the model of high, low, and tech touch. High touch are 20 customers to one, low are about 50:1, tech are 200+:1.  Typically, high touch is 250K, low touch is 249k-50k, and tech is 49k and below. We also, segment based on where the client is on the journey. Also, we strive to align the CSMs to the regional sales AVP and AE.
    It is much easier to have the same accounts and the same account executives.
    If you would like to talk further, please reach out.
  • Parker Chase-Corwin
    Parker Chase-Corwin Member Posts: 9 Contributor
    First Anniversary
    edited August 2020

    Bosch - Couple of thoughts here:

    1) Challenge previous assumptions on bandwidth... remote work and covid have had an impact on how much coverage you can expect from each CSM in terms of bandwidth and reach. Be sure to update your utilization and time allocation before assigning accounts.

    2) If you are hitting accelerated growth, I'm imaging sales is going to be driving a lot of changes to their territory model... so will it be more important for you to preserve CSM relationships and focus on maintaining continuity, or will it be more important for you to align to account teams and partnering with the sales strategy?

    3) What multi-channel ways can you leverage to augment customer engagement?  Help your CSMs with coverage with finding alternative ways to engage with customers that aren't CSM-reliant. 

    4) Get super clear on ideal target customers and start with them.  If you can create a customer rating it will help you figure out where you need max coverage and where you can find alternatives (see 3 above)

    Hope that helps!