You may be a manager in a large business or an owner of a small business, either way an investment in territory mapping software can help your business grow and grow faster. Let’s review how.
Territory Maps Define and Enforce Accountability
One of the reasons man invented maps was to show boundaries. Bosses from Alexander the Great to Warren Buffet want to see clear boundaries describing their areas of influence. It’s the same with your business. You don’t need two sales reps arguing over a piece of business because they’re not sure whose responsibility it is. Use a web-based mapping service to define their areas of responsibility.
Clearly defined territories help to determine sales responsibility over critical accounts. By displaying all customer locations against territory maps sales managers can develop Customer Decision Maker flow charts that show geographically where spending/buying decisions are made. By tracking sales by decision maker location you can define revenue hot spots and more appropriately assign account responsibility. It might not make sense to send your best sales person to Grand Junction every month if the purchasing decisions are made consistently in Denver.
Territory Maps Organize Prospecting Campaigns
Marketing and sales operations are always dreaming up new campaigns. These could be product presentations, direct mail campaigns or a sales contest. A business mapping software allows your sales and marketing directors to easily control their campaigns geographically by creating marketing territories. Popular examples include direct mail test areas, call center callout campaigns to a metro-region, or radius zip code map established at X miles from a hotel event.
By establishing smaller campaign territories marketing and sales managers can test different approaches on a limited basis and tweak future approaches based on results. Such testing can save big chunks of your marketing budget. And ultimately, testing by geographic segment can mean the difference between a failed campaign and a runaway success.
Sales Territory Mapping Software Addresses Overlap in Sales Coverage
Few companies choose to have overlapping sales coverage but let’s face it – sometimes overlap is simply necessary. Good territory mapping software understands this reality. You should be able to adjust settings within your software to allow or disallow sales overlap. Hopefully your territory tool let’s you easily identify those overlap areas. This is necessary because overlap can cause confusion like double coverage or no coverage at all. By keeping overlap front and center in the sales conversation – making it a regular topic at meetings – your team will be aware of the overlap and will work to extract the best sales possible result from the situation.
Possible reasons for overlap in my experience include: legacy relationships, highly technical customer requirements that warrant the most experienced representatives, or physical proximity to other accounts. Whether or not overlap is appropriate is not the mapping software’s problem. We must admit overlap exists and address it systematically. Territory mapping software may help you manage overlap or eliminate it.
Territory Maps Organize Your Customers and Prospects
So many companies just total the sales at the end of the month and roll them up into legacy categories. Territory maps give you the opportunity to break outdated sales measurement structures and determine new ways of measuring success.
I like to compare sales to warfare. Progress in World War II was not measured just by how many battles were won, or by how many of the enemy had been killed; progress was analyzed by theater, by army group, by operation, and by front. It’s great to review overall sales numbers month-to-month, but a great sales general will review each territory and consider the customers and prospects located within that territory:
• How many new prospects and customers have appeared this quarter?
• How many new prospect have been contacted year to date?
• How many prospects have been converted to customers by a particular sales person and how does that compare to average conversions?
• Overall, where are we winning and where are we losing and why?
• Do we need more troops?
• Are our supply lines too long?
By asking questions about a specific territory a manager may find the answers she has been looking for – for a long time.
Territory Mapping Is an Exercise in Understanding Your Business
Data visualization is a commonly cited benefit to business mapping software. I’ve been selling mapping software for many years but this benefit just never gets old. Every day I witness people importing data onto a map and being surprised by what they see. Basic visualization is powerful. But more powerful still is the power of seeing your data and its relationship to other datasets – viewing spatial relationships. Territory mapping provides the structure that enables spatial analysis of your business data. Your data can be compared, and contrasted with other data layers:
• View your business sales by zip code and include Census population, and growth rates
• Compare business points with competitor locations and include median income by county
• Show all of your medical sales in the Northeast and include all hospitals
• Create a mapping software review of your business
These views tend to inform your business especially when considered over time, making you the better sales representative, sales manager and business owner.
Sales territory mapping software belongs in your arsenal of business tools alongside ERP, CRM, and SEO. Sales territory mapping software is well on its way to becoming business acronym worthy.
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