Sales Territory Mapping for Elvis


I’m a MapPoint refugee and I decided to try this Map Business Online as a MapPoint alternative. I need your business mapping software to create and manage sales territories for my company. So I spent the day building territories with your tool. We have a couple of hundred territories overall. Some of our sales territories are already assigned and I track them by spreadsheet. Others need to be reworked or newly formed. The company is changing and growing fast. I can hardly keep up with the territory growth! A good problem I guess. I was never happy with the way MapPoint’s sales territory mapping worked.

Our sales territories are assigned by zip code. I see that web-based Map Business Online lets you build territories by zip code, zip 3, county, state, city limit, MSA or Census tract. Pretty cool.

One problem I have is that the boss allows our territories to overlap. He says it’s a legacy issue. If it was up to me I’d institute a no overlap policy, even if it means Kenny will quit. Kenny’s our top sales performer, and that’s only because he’s got all the sweet accounts. And he married well, if you catch my drift. However, because we allow overlap I have to accommodate overlap in my territory tool. I believe Map Business Online does this through the territory options control. Once again, pretty cool.

The first thing I do is go into MapBusinessOnline and set up the territory options. I allow overlap and show overlap in Red on the map. Then I click the transparent check box so I can see through my territories to the map data below. Nice recent map data too! MapPoint’s map data was like Woodstock era data. Woodstock is where Kenny met the boss’ daughter whose name at the time was Still Flower. I call her Shrill Power.

Moving on, I import a list of those pre-assigned territories we have already assigned and that don’t change. It’s an Excel spreadsheet with one column for zip code, another for state, and one for territory name. I process the territories into Map Business Online using an Import Territories button. The territories came in fast and easy. Within three minutes I was looking at over one hundred territories placed and named accurately on my map. Slick. I noticed right off the bat that my spreadsheet had assigned a borderline zip code to the wrong territory. I selected the zip code, hit the little Blue button that pops up, and moved it to the other territory faster than you can say, “Kenny’s a suck up.”

Then I wanted to try building a new territory. I grabbed a polygon tool from the tool bar and drew a rough line through all the zip codes I intended to include. Upon completing the polygon all the way back to the beginning point, a Save File dialog pops up and I name the territory. And there it is – a new territory using a draw tool. I notice as I look at each of my territories, the zip code data is displayed in the Data Window. The Data Window also has a Color Box that lets me adjust colors as necessary for appropriate territory differentiation. I can also read how many zip codes I have in each territory, and export those zips as a spreadsheet. This tool is wicked awesome and saves me lots of time.

Even better, I noticed I could add Demographics by zip code to a territory and when I do, those added data layers become the default data for all territories in that map view. And that demographic data is exportable too. You guys are going to get the Nobel Prize for best freakin’ mapping software some day.

Kenny stopped by and I showed him the territory map so far. He, of course, wanted even more zip codes. I let him point to which zips he want and selected them with my mouse. If I held down the shift key, I could add each one to the list as he pointed. Then I rolled my eyes and added the list to his territory with one click. I exported Kenny’s ‘proposed’ territory additions and sent them to the Boss for approval. Then I went out to the parking lot and let the air out of Kenny’s tires. He hates that.

Later we imported all of Kenny’s key accounts that existed in other reps’ territories. We were able to query this list by territory and review those assignments. That’s really going to let the air out of his tires.

Gretchen, a rookie, wanted her new territory set up her way. “I know all the zip codes I want. They are in numerical order.” I was about to tell her the Jerk Store called and that her order was in, but then I thought, “why not try it.” So we opened up the Data Window. I selected the zip code layer – the one that includes every zip across the country. Next I filtered that layer using modifiers. Show me all zip codes >= 90000, and <= to 92547. In two seconds the Data Window presented the list to me. Along the tool bar was an option to Create or Edit a Territory. I clicked it and just like that I had Gretchen’s territory submitted for review. “Make sure Kenny doesn’t see this,” I quipped.

Well, it turns out I lied at the beginning of this email. I didn’t spend a whole day creating territories. It was more like an hour. I spent a day getting caught up on everything else I had to do, thanks to Map Business Online. Losing MapPoint has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Excepting the time when Kenny moved to Las Vegas to explore his Elvis impersonator aspirations. His side burns were fake and fell off when he over-gyrated, so he came back.

My question is, do you guys employ ex-Elvis impersonators?

MapPoint users – please consider as a MapPoint alternative.

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About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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