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In the competitive business landscape, sales is war with another name. Like war, you need an ironclad strategy to make crucial territorial breakthroughs and hold them against competitive onslaughts. No strategy is complete without being plotted on a map. Sales and marketing maps are old tools for businesses but like everything else, maps have gone smart. Map Business Online is one of those intelligent business data mapping tools.
Map Business Online is a web-based sales and marketing mapping solution for businesses from SpatialTEQ. It is a geographical information system powered by ESRI which is aimed at detailed visual analysis, but at the same time user-friendly enough for sales and marketing professionals. Presently, it supports U.S. and Canada. Here’s the official Map Business Online video as a brief introduction:
Like any other visualization tool, a mapping solution helps to make sense of diverse data. In the case of sales, it could be a complicated mix of marketing variables overlying regional demographics. Information stored in flat databases like Excel spreadsheets and text files make it difficult to spot trends and opportunities. Map Business Online helps to juxtapose all the available information and display it clearly on a map for easy analysis. You can start off quickly by logging in and uploading something as simple as a spreadsheet with all your data.
Learn More about Your Business on a Map
As you can see in the screenshot above, the map toolbar has all the neatly marked functions available with a click. Map Business Online is designed for the rank greenhorn. Text files and Excel spreadsheets are the easiest ways to start plotting data in Map Business Online. But it also works seamlessly with more specialized sales support tools like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, Sage ACT, and Intuit QuickBooks. Map Business Online includes easy-to-grasp instructions on how to interface with all the different software. Plotting all the information is as simple as importing the specific file (or multiple files on the same map) and selecting the data columns you want to be represented on the map.
Flexible Territory Mapping
Before you start planning around your data, you have to first plot it. Set up the map with the territories you want to represent. Territory management on a map is a critical step because it envelopes company-wide functions — from sales requirements to travel budgets. The software is flexible as it allows you to import territory information from a spreadsheet or design it completely from scratch.
Flexible territory mapping allows you to define your maps in many ways:
- Use templates to view regions in terms of street view, satellite view, state, county boundaries, or ZIP codes. You can also define your own custom views.
- Filter map view to show only selected states or regions. Create local maps to show only certain counties or ZIP codes from your market area or markets within a radius (i.e. a radius map).
- Overlapping territories can be displayed and highlighted with colors. Demographic information can be correlated with market information on the maps.
- Sales areas can be designed from ZIP codes, counties, and states; and demarcated with color. The software handles overlapping areas which is really useful to resolve territorial conflicts between dealers and even sales representatives. Mapped territory information can be exported out to other software like CRM or workforce management.
- Maps are kept updated with ZIP codes from USPS and demographic information from the US Census Bureau. This makes it easy to quickly build colorful maps and visualize your markets with accurate demographics.
Clearly Identify Business Data on the Map
A visualization tool’s primary purpose is to breakdown all available information and make all the varied data groups easy to identify at a glance. Map Business Online gives you the demographic data to build upon. You can add the layers of sales and marketing information and correlate it with the demographic information that Map Business Online already has for you. Here are a few pointers on how Map Business Online helps you visualize business data and share it with others:
- Map Business Online can easily plot 50,000 locations at once. When you import your data, Map Business Online automatically selects the data columns for you and displays it for any customization. You can drill down to the level of street addresses to map customer information.
- Different data groups can be color-coded depending on their values. Color codes also help to distinguish multiple data sets on the same map.
- For numeric data across locations, one can use colorful bar and pie charts. Change the size of chart types to give a relative sense of maximum and minimum values.
- Fine-tune your own areas on maps with drawing tools. Use multiple callouts to detail business information on the maps.
- Use circular or polygonal areas to focus your market study on a specific area. You can limit your search to the demarcated regions. Create marketing lists or market areas with such radius maps and export the data to a spreadsheet.
- Your marketing and sales maps can be easily printed out to a maximum of 5 feet by 5 feet. Map Business Online supports the export of large maps via a PDF file. Maps can also be saved as JPG or PNG files and inserted into Microsoft PowerPoint or Word.
Route Planning Made Easy
With focus points identified, it becomes easier to plan activities like logistics and sales calls. With tools like radius maps and multi-stop routing, it is easy to plan customer or vendor visits. Map Business Online also measures the distance between any two points on the map. It is easy to see how a company can cut down on travel costs and better utilize their manpower where they are needed more.
With customer visit lists pinpointed on the map, specific symbols can be used to distinguish between prospects and they can be qualified easily for sales or delivery calls.
Business Intelligence Meets a Visual Planning Tool
Just knowing where your customers are is a solid first step. Managers can open up the data window and perform a demographic analysis to filter high-potential areas; then use them to lucidly explain their sales plans and enable everyone to easily visualize different scenarios. From reducing the number of lost sales to expanding the sales network, everything can be accurately forecasted on a map. Map Business Online maps are fully interactive and can be shared across departments.
Map Business Online is an easy online solution. Being a web application, it suffers from the disadvantages of the medium. You need to be connected to upload your data to the server. The responsiveness of the maps of course, depends on your bandwidth. Sometimes, zooming into the street level takes a bit of time. The service also uses Adobe Flash to render the maps. Maps and the demographic information are limited to U.S. and Canada for the moment, but worldwide support is on the radar for the developers. The output of the map depends on the provided data. With the demographic information already there, you just need to select the right data to plan your sales campaigns. The online map solution includes step-by-step tutorials and also a YouTube channel.
Maps may not be only about directions anymore, but with the right intelligence, they can clearly lay out the path for a business. If you are a part of any business organization, Map Business Online is an online service that’s well worth an extensive lookup.