I Hope This Isn’t Too Revealing

Business mapping software and GIS tools transform location-based business data into new perspectives on business issues. These new views of your business data are used to confirm suspected trends in business, or they may reveal something completely unexpected.  “My heavens,” said Granny, “Business maps are so very revealing.”

Examples of what business maps reveal to the Map Business Online customers who subscribe to them include:

ZIP codes with High Populations Expose Inadequate Sales Coverage – Sales territory alignment and sales coverage areas are common applications of business mapping software.  Demographic ZIP code maps, while less common, are created regularly. Combining these layers, perhaps with an overlay of the locations where salespeople start their day, can be revelatory. Look for areas with high population counts. The map view can be a simple ZIP code heat map based on population. Make a note of all high population ZIPs that do not have a salesperson starting their day within 20 miles of that ZIP code center point (radius distances will vary based on business type.)

Insurance organizations often match agent or adjuster density with population density. Retail and restaurant chains also consider population densities when expanding.  Matching sales coverages to demographic statistics are so revealing, it’s absolutely shocking.

The Top Five Most Lucrative Cities for Expansion – Market analysis can feel overwhelming. The opportunity to expand your business is a great problem to face. But you are busy managing your unique business, not the business of market analysis. How can you get it all done?  The good news is that business mapping software can easily reveal your best markets for expansion if you provide your critical business metrics.

Armed with your best performing ZIP codes and a general sense of who your ideal customer is, business mapping software can generate a ZIP code profile of your business. This analysis might include a demographic breakdown of your typical customer and the rough size of your best performing service area. You know this. City income levels by age and sex are often a crucial demographic for consumer businesses, as are population statistics. Presented with the ten most lucrative urban or rural options, you and your team can think through which of these cities is your best expansion option based on additional factors related to your specific business  – like the job market, city climate, childcare resources, and crime statistics.

Armed with your everyday understanding of your business, business maps can be daringly revealing.

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Sales Territories are Defined by Critical Business Elements – Sales territories are often created and assigned based on legacy sales dollars per region, demographic income statistics, or population levels. These are classic applications of Map Business Online. But sales realities don’t remain static after the first territories are posted. Over time markets change, while industries rise and fall. By regularly reviewing the sales territory structure with respect to sales trends, savvy sales managers can tweak account assignments and coverage areas to address changing markets. These reviews need only take place once or twice a year, but online business mapping makes this analysis fast and painless.

Sales territory maps should consider emerging industry opportunities.  Are all salespeople calling on alternative energy and biotech companies? If not, why? Does any single customer organization constitute more than 25% of a salesperson’s total revenue stream? (allowable percentage may vary.) Why?  These are questions that business maps can help expose and answer.

Reviewing your sales territory structure on a regular basis is revealing, rewarding, and comforting.

A Single Salesperson’s Territory – The humble traveling salesperson. To the traveling salesperson, the sales territory map is a Godsend. An affordable solution with optimized vehicle routing, many road warriors use Map Business Online to manage their sales routes. The salesperson’s customer views are just as critical. Some with basic requirements including just a few hundred customers and prospects might even use the tool as a CRM. Their sales map represents their world. They take notes on accounts and plan their visits, all within Map Business Online. A revelation here might be the fact that they haven’t called on an account in several sales cycles. Regularly color-coding customer locations by the date of last sales call will provide an informative map view for the salesperson on the go.

Other Map Business Online map views helpful to sales associates include:

  • Business listings from specific NAICS industry categories by coverage area
  • A map view of lost accounts for occasional follow-up
  • A map layer of all coffee shops and diners with WiFi

Salespeople’s maps leave little to the imagination.

Manhattan Home Care Clinician Territories – We all know New York is unlike anywhere else on Earth. Well, that fact impacts home care clinicians too. Map Business Online territories arranged by Census tracts are used to accommodate high population areas around Manhattan and other densely populated urban areas. Typically, ZIP codes are applied, but in New York, a ZIP code could include a half a million people. A switch to Census tracts, as a base map layer, allows the healthcare map-user to focus in on smaller city segments.

Census Tract Map Layer in Use

Home care scheduling can be an overwhelming task to manage. I’ve spent time with a home care agency scheduling team. So many aspects of home care appointment management are subject to change at any moment:

  • Patient status – sudden hospitalizations or just not feeling well
  • Homecare agency overloads or staff shortages (think the Flu)
  • Traffic issues
  • Weather emergencies
  • Patient deaths
  • They forgot their appointment
  • Car trouble

And any of these sorts of issues will throw off appointment scheduling balance leading to more delays and cancelations. I was horrified to realize how difficult homecare scheduling really is.

Digital map views with patient and clinician overlays can institute organization over a chaotic environment.  Start of day staff visualizations helps schedulers view options when things get crazy. Territory assignments based on realistic driving time estimates, and peak traffic time-of-day assessments, help to guide decision making and ease scheduling nightmares.  They don’t all go away at once, but things can be managed more effectively using business maps.

And homecare scheduling with maps isn’t for everyone. But you may find within your organization a person who loves maps and also understands scheduling. Mash those two facts together and watch your system improve. Reveal that map geek and leverage their spatial skills towards business problems.

No matter what they are wearing, maps can never be too revealing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

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Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.  Discover Map Business Online – tools for making maps by map makers.

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