Unless your company’s management team is made up of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialists or you work for a cartography business, creating a carefully designed business map is a great way to score points with your boss.
Business mapping software provides unique and valuable insights into your business, especially in the realm of sales and marketing. If you are the one that brings this cool new data visualization tool into your organization, you could make somewhat of a name for yourself.
We all want to impress the boss. Certainly, we all hope the boss views us as competent and contributing employees. But impressing busy people can be a challenge. You need an eye-catching tool that helps improve the business.
Business mapping software can provide immediate and significant value to any business through market analysis, territory mapping, or strategic planning visualizations. If your company hasn’t applied business mapping, you’ve potentially got a clear pathway to impressing the boss.
Because a business map combines visualizations of address-based data with the ability to quickly and easily append business datasets to demographics and resource data, your business planning sessions will be suddenly enhanced by introducing business maps to your team’s brain storming sessions. Examples of impressive business analysis might include:
- Market potential maps that describe your best-selling ZIP codes and identify similar ZIP codes around the country that promise additional sales
- Competitor analysis maps clearly depicting where your major competitors are located and where they are not located, further indicating areas of potential growth
- Expansion planning maps that suggest the best locations for new stores or facilities based on likely customer locations, labor availability, or other forces specific and relevant to your industry
Armed with business map information your company will make faster and better decisions. Consider your boss impressed that you’ve uncovered such a valuable resource.
The Evolving Map Organization
Sales organizations utilize territory mapping software (frequently available within any decent business mapping tool) to create territory maps that define sales accountability and as a platform for sharing sales results. By applying shared territory mapping at sales meetings, your sales team will begin to coordinate more effectively, reduce overlapping areas of responsibility, and achieve and surpass results more often.
At the risk of repeating myself, territory maps clearly define accountability. And because your team is viewing these maps together (in virtual or physical meetings) each team member will naturally strive to outdo one another. You’ll be encouraging the sales team to use these map meetings to share success stories and tales of disaster. Maps encourage story telling which will help speed up the learning curve of new employees, and hone a best practices approach across your org.
Hey! Wait a minute. Who brought this business mapping tool into the business anyway? Oh, that’s right. You did. High five!
Remember when the team convinced the boss to invest in CRM software? It wasn’t cheap, so it took some convincing. And today there’s still some sales people who don’t use the tool effectively. Think your boss doesn’t know that? Think again.
Over the years I heard many CRM implementation disaster stories. I heard two, just yesterday. Always the same issue. Only a couple of the modules available were in stalled so X doesn’t communicate with Y. Rarely does a full CRM set of modules get installed.
Fortunately for you, business mapping software improves the utilization of CRM software in most organizations. That’s because the sales department naturally warms up to territory maps and starts to depend on a CRM tool as the accurate source of customer and sales data for sales planning, forecasting and prospecting.
All sales data imported into a territory mapping tool, rolls up into aggregated sales by territory. Prospects are disseminated through the sales territory map as well. With accurate sales results posted and shared, and prospects distributed, that sales territory map becomes the key to sales commission happiness.
Get the picture? CRM generated sales and prospect data informs sales territory maps which drive sales and make commissions achievable. If you can connect CRN utilization to sales growth through business mapping, you are a water walker.
Best Practices for Impressing the Boss
Business maps, once discovered, are exciting to present. It’s easy to get carried away trying to make an impression. Many people, new to business mapping, create crazy, colorful maps with multiple layers and large symbols, in perhaps a subconscious attempt to grab attention. This can often backfire as the maps become less meaningful. Consider a process for creating your boss-impressing business maps.
- Know Why – Get clear about the business reason for creating your business map. Use the tools to define one major problem or opportunity that can, at least in part, be supported by location data (addresses, ZIP codes or lat/lon data.) Don’t try to solve all problems with one map.
- Find Relevant Data – Seek out relevant data for your map project. Find internal data with addresses or Zip codes. Consider customer data, vendor data, product shipment records, sales data by customer, and relevant industry data to your business. Import these data layers but only turn a few key datasets on for viewing. Consider purchasing data from www.RealDatasets.com
- Keep it Easy-on-the-Eyes – Use subdued colors and smaller symbolization when developing your map. Try to not overwhelm the map viewer. Avoid obnoxious or large symbols that monopolize the map view. An attractive, simple, clearly defined map impresses. Cluttered maps fail to achieve their objective. You want people nodding their heads in agreement, not squinting their eyes, trying to comprehend the mess you’ve shared.
- Know Your Audience – Present subjects you know the boss is interested in. Highlight one or two key data layers that support your main point. Use the Heat Map color-shading tool to display your most critical layer. Use text and label placement carefully. Make sure any data you present is accurate. Posting inaccurate data is asking to be dismissed.
The Follow Up
At some point, that boss of yours is going to see you in the mail room or at lunch and she’s going to mention that mapping software you brought to the business. One reason may be the nagging thought that you cost the company a lot of money to put that tool in place. Imagine the relief and the impression you’ll make when you assure her that the company spent less than $500 on the tool and a few industry specific datasets.
You’ve made your mark. The next time there’s a challenging project in the offing the boss is going to ask about that business mapping software person.
So, don’t be on vacation when that happens. OK? No more vacations for you.
Send us your unique business mapping application, we’d love to do a story on it.
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