Why are more businesses turning to mapping? The software is becoming easier to use and less expensive. Mapping software is designed to link information from a company’s back-end databases and to display data such as sales patterns, results of marketing campaigns, or concentrations of potential clients. Many programs are now meant for sales or marketing employees rather than techies. The Internet is also playing a role, allowing for more users at a lower cost.
Territory alignment has always been mapping’s most classic use. In their basic forms, mapping programs help managers decide the most effective deployment of their sales and service forces to balance account loads and achieve the biggest profits. They can also help managers recommend which accounts a salesperson should try to cover each day, ensure territories are geographically compact, and estimate driving time associated with servicing an account.
“When you think about it, the majority of all data that companies collect can be tied back to a physical address and can be displayed on a map,” says Jim Brown, vice president of TerrAlign, a Reston, Virginia-based company that specializes in sales and marketing consulting and mapping software. “So it isn’t surprising that mapping can be a powerful tool for understanding a business, its markets, and its customers.”
But before executives invest in a tool, they have to know how to choose Read the rest of this entry »