I like to occasionally update our blog audience on the reasons why more and more businesses are using Map Business Online. Organizations use business mapping software for a variety of reasons and many of them surprise me, even after seventeen years in the mapping biz. One question I get a lot is:
• “How many people have used Map Business Online?”
A Tool for the Masses
Since we released MapBusinessOnline.com in 2010 over 25,000 people have logged into the program. At that number our users represent a very wide variety of industries. Healthcare, banking, and general sales & marketing verticals lead the pack. But we also get a lot of calls and emails from insurance companies, franchise organizations, delivery and service organizations, and retail sales companies. Map Business Online users sell pools, schedule doctors for home visits, manage inside sales teams, organize Wal-Mart shelves, provide marketing advice, manage car washes, sell restaurant franchises, and clear vegetation. The list never ends.
In general, these thousands of users are creating customer maps, prospect maps, and competitor maps – fundamental visualization of business data. ‘Seeing is believing,’ as the saying goes, and location-based data visualizations will expose threats and opportunities you may have missed, especially if you haven’t been using a business map. Often, a company middle manager or administrator gets the idea to map Excel data for views on a map and that view, when shared, generates interest at many levels within the organization. They might be answering questions like this:
• “How many people making more than $175,000 a year,live within 30 minutes of our proposed new retail store?”
• “How many 50 to 55 year-olds live within 30 minutes of our proposed fitness facility?”
Business maps communicate business realities quickly and effectively – especially when viewed against additional data, like demographics by zip code. When carefully crafted business maps are a great way to get the boss’ attention focused on competitive realities, potential markets, or strategic plans.
Comes with the Territory
I discuss and demo Map Business Online’s sales territory mapping process multiple times each day. Companies new to Map Business Online come to us with various levels of experience in territory management. Some are MapPoint refugees looking for a MapPoint replacement (Microsoft MapPoint was discontinued late last year.) Others are brand new to the concept and need to start from scratch by easily grouping sets of zip codes together based on demographic data or some other business factor. Still other companies use advanced territory mapping tools and just want a simpler, less expensive alternative. They can import their existing territory schemes and start sharing interactive MapBusinessOnline.com sales territory maps at extremely low costs. Sales territory maps answer questions too. For example:
• “Where are the overlapping zip codes between sales person A’s territory and salesperson B?”
• “Did territory A results come within 95% of her sales goal for Q1 2015?”
Companies use territory maps to assign and encourage sales accountability. Sales territory maps provide a platform for sharing sales objectives and results. Sales territory clarity drives sales activities and sales activities drive conversions. Companies with clearly defined sales territories sell more products and services.
Route Planning Software
Many businesses apply business mapping software to their mobile work force. This is where things get really interesting. An independent sales representative could use Map Business Online for basic sales planning. She might use the tool to answer the question:
• “Who am I going to call on next week in Cleveland, OH?”
A mapping tool lets you import your customer base and then search that list by spatial or geographic query, saving the results for record keeping or multi-stop optimized route development. Delivery and service organizations expand on this concept by answering questions like:
• “Where are the closest fuel supply points to my list of delivery customers in southern Nevada?”
• “How far is the closest hospital from my highest risk patients?”
• “What is the distance from zip code center to zip center across my entire market area?”
Each company we speak with has a unique set of business circumstances and work-flows they want to accommodate with business mapping software. A bus company has traveling vehicles just like a hospice care agency but their business realities are completely different. Mapping tools can help a bus company efficiently pick up all the kids in each neighborhood with minimal stops. In school transportation it’s all about efficiency and safety. That same tool can help a hospice organization determine where every resource is scheduled to be right now so the entire organization can accommodate the latest crisis. Hospice agencies need to be ready when ten patients require critical care in the same half hour.
In the end business mapping software provides a set of features that are designed to answer critical questions quickly and communicate those answers effectively. These tools are applicable to a broad set of business situations but they must also be technologically accessible. In other words, when the company needs a business map, almost anyone in the organization should be able to create one. Maps don’t need to be expensive or complex for most organizations. We must remember a fuel company is in business to haul and sell fuel – not to build road maps. A retail marketing company is in the business to conduct market analysis – not to build the greatest GIS map of all time. Business maps should be relatively easy to access and apply for anyone capable of building an Excel spreadsheet and operating a web browser.
This is why we like to answer this question:
“How can business maps help you be successful in your business?”
And the answer is, try a business mapping tool like Map Business Online and find out.
Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com
Contact: Geoffrey Ives firstname.lastname@example.org (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866