The Top 6 Questions We are Asked About Sales Territory Mapping

Sales territory alignment or territory management is a very common application of MapBusinessOnline, or any business mapping software for that matter.  For years, first as BusinessMAP and later as MapBusinessOnline, our software developers competed with Microsoft MapPoint, targeting MapPoint’s sales territory mapping tools as a key feature to beat.  And beat it we did, so much so that Microsoft canceled MapPoint in 2014.

MapBusinessOnline sales territory management tools are second to none, in my opinion.  Both easy and affordable, they are a fun set of tools to demonstrate or sell. For the most part, a user’s ability to create territory maps is just a few clicks away. There’s the option to lasso a group of ZIP codes to create territories or just import a list of counties and states to generate a territory scheme from an Excel spreadsheet.

The below-listed aspects of sales territory mapping are the top 6 questions we get asked about territory mapping.

How do I export all my territories with a list of Corresponding ZIP Codes?

I write about this process often, and we respond to this question at least once a week through chats and emails. Once you understand the process, it’s really easy. In the Data Window select the Map Layer (ZIP, County, State) in the data drop-down (upper left) that your territories are based on, then move your cursor over to the right, along the Data Window toolbar and click on the Yellow Puzzle Piece button. Once you’ve done that you’ll be presented with a few formatting options for exporting your territories. Watch a Video

Why Can’t I Create or Edit Territories? Do you hate me?

No, we don’t hate you. When you place a check in the Filter Data on Map box to isolate a territory, you must uncheck it. That’s why you can’t add or delete territories. Probably our most common technical support question. Go to the Map and Data box and hover your mouse over the Territory Data Layer listed there. Click the Edit Gear, and in the General dialogue panel that opens up uncheck the Filter Data on the Map box. Watch a Video

How Do I Edit a Territory?

If it was a snake, it would have bit you. Use your mouse cursor to select a ZIP code or a County, or any other base map layer map object you’ve already used to build your territory. You can select more than one by holding down the Shift Key. Notice the mini-toolbar associated with that map object. Select the Blue Puzzle Piece button in that mini-toolbar. A list of edit options appears – Create New, Add to, Remove From, Update. You choose what you want to do. And BTW – selecting a map layer object with your cursor is another way to create a territory from scratch – Create New. Your welcome. Watch a Video

How Do I Mix ZIP Codes and Counties in a Territory?

The short answer is you don’t. In MapBusinessOnline you must choose to build your territory structure-based either on ZIP Codes or Counties. (You can build them on States, City Limits, Census Tracts, MSA’s and ZIP 3 Codes too.) In general, think about the extent of your territories. Do they include full states and a section of a state? If they do you should build your territories on Counties or ZIP codes. But you cannot mix the map layers in one territory.  Read more.

My Territory Label is Gone, How Do I Get It Back?

Double click your cursor on the Territory in question while holding down the control key. Eh, voila! Your label is back Monsieur.

How Do I Manage Overlapping Territories in MapBusinessOnline?

After you’ve created your first territory In Map & Data click the overall Edit Gear on the Map & Data toolbar. Choose Territory Options. Here you will find controls that allow territory overlap and designate the color that defines an overlapping territory. This feature allows the map creator to alert the viewer to the fact that an overlapping territory exists on this territory map.

In addition to the above proactive approach to territory overlap, we sometimes get questions about ZIP Codes appearing in the wrong territory. This is almost always a result of including Point ZIP codes when importing a dataset to create territories. MapBusinessOnline territories are created from Boundary Territories. Point ZIP codes are different then boundary ZIP codes. Point ZIP codes are a point on the map that represents large mail drop-offs like skyscrapers, military installations, or assisted living centers. When these two distinctly different types of ZIP codes, points and boundaries, are imported together to create territories, point ZIP codes can get incorrectly assigned.

In general, keep point ZIP codes out of territory creation imports. Import point ZIP codes separately as points for inclusion in sales analysis. Read more about Point ZIP Codes here.

Those are the most common questions we get surrounding sales territory management. MapBusinessOnline is an intuitive territory alignment solution. With a little practice, you can add Sales Territory Management as a bullet on your resume. You know, for when we all have jobs again.


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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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