Everything You Need to Know about Sales Mapping (Top Tips, Steps, and Software Advice to Get Your Team Started Right)

Dec 2, 2019

When is the last time you used a map?

From ride sharing, to food delivery, to figuring out what to do on a Friday night, maps help us make decisions. By visually analyzing the distances around us, and the options available within those distances, they can instantly communicate much more than text or lists.

And it can do the same thing for your sales strategy. Through the use of geolocation and mapping, there are loads you can discover about your territories and customers that spreadsheets or other kinds of visualizations might miss.

Photo by delfi de la Rua on Unsplash

Is Sales Mapping For You?

Simply put, if you’re putting addresses into your CRM, the answer is probably yes. But consider the following factors as well:

  • If your team focuses on outside sales, sales mapping will provide key insights that are intrinsically relevant to what your team does every day.
  • Does your team have or use any physical, tangible maps in your office? A software solution can help you modernize your operations and save time.
  • Did your sales team previously used Microsoft Streets & Trips or Mappoint?
  • If your team is assigned sales territories, the visualizations and user interface will make managing or reassigning them a breeze.
  • If your team focuses on inside sales, but you’re interested in geographical data that can help you better understand your customers, sales mapping does just that.

Do any of these benefits sound good to you? If so, read on to understand just how you can achieve them.

How Does Sales Mapping Work?

The simplest way to think about it is by visualizing your spreadsheet or CRM form fields overlayed on a physical geographic map.

Much like plopping addresses into Google Maps, sales mapping allows you to see where your prospective and current customers are and how they’re distributed across your target territory.

But unlike said plopping, the real value of sales mapping is when you apply various filters to analyze your opportunities. This means making sure that you’re collecting as much data about your customers as possible in your CRM, so these can then be used as filters in the future.

From company size to industry type to the many other important details you need to truly paint a portrait of your customer’s needs, it’s crucial to make sure your form fields are collecting the right information and accurately. A fun tool to help you discover the kinds of geographical segmentation available is City Data.

Let’s look at sales mapping through the lens of common sales team needs to further understand what kinds of analysis are possible for you.

Sales Mapping For Lead Generation

By collecting demographic data about your contacts, you can pick up on trends through filters — such as learning that one kind of industry is particularly receptive to your product in one kind of area — and then searching for similar leads to contact there.

If your sales mapping tool is integrated with a lead finder, finding new leads can be easily done. And they can be easily assigned to the appropriate salesperson based on the territory they’re in or their particular customer focus.

Similar to this is looking at your customers by their position in the pipeline. Scanning leads that are in need of more or less support can help your sales team more efficiently plot their daily routes to nurture as needed.

Sales Mapping For Customer Insights

Much like lead generation, applying filters to your active clients can reveal more selling opportunities. Or you can use it to anticipate challenges or resource bandwidth issues.

A filter to consider is urgency level. By viewing the status of your clients filtered by the last time you’ve contacted them, or by the kind of last communication, you can easily prioritize and hit your most important customers with ease.

It’s also a crucial way to understand how assigned territories are performing or if any leads are outside of those assigned territories altogether. This can help you redesign new territories or understand how to adequately invest in the areas that are overperforming.

Sales Mapping For Team Management

No one likes a poorly balanced sales territory. If it’s too small, your team won’t get enough opportunities or challenges to keep them happy. If it’s too big, your morale will be busted through overwork and stress.

With sales mapping, you can easily compare assignments between your salespeople so that all leads and customers are fairly distributed. Redistributing leads or customers can be done easily with a few simple clicks. And by keeping them in similar areas, you’ll also help keep travel costs low as different kinds of leads can be maintained at the same time.  

Making these maps fully visible to your entire team can also help with transparency and accountability. This eliminates any ideas of favoritism and can encourage poor performers to pick up the slack (which means less micromanagement for sales managers, too).

Features To Look For In Sales Mapping Software

So now that you know what you can do, it’s time to find the tech that does it. But not all sales mapping software is designed equally. Pay special attention to these features as you peruse your options:

  • Mobile optimization: An app or an extremely easy-to-use in-browser portal should be a mandatory feature, especially if your team specializes in outside sales.
  • Automatic check-ins: Good software makes life easier, not harder. Many aspects of manual data entry should be eliminated in truly modern sales mapping options — and a great example of this is the ability for it to automatically log client visits into its CRM.
  • Route optimization: A huge reason to invest in a sales mapping strategy is in the travel savings you can get by making your sales routes as efficient as possible. Modern software should make this easy and intuitive.
  • Integrations: It’s crucial that whatever solution you choose works with your preferred customer retention software, like Salesforce Hubspot, or Dynamics.
  • Enhanced visualizations: Heat maps, color coding, or other visual signals are great time savers. There also should be a way you can export them into presentations or to easily share within your team.
  • Reminders and reports: Make sure to consider the kinds of automatic reminders or generated reports the software offers.

How To Create A Sales Mapping Plan

So now that you know what is possible with sales mapping and the software solutions available to you, you may be wondering how to create your sales mapping plan from scratch.

First of all, if your team has never used a sales mapping strategy, carefully consider your communications roll-out to your team. This is a big culture shift and you’ll need to provide the right education and sales enablement to support a new way of thinking about their sales strategy.

If you’re interested in creating territories or auditing existing ones, a 30-60-90 day strategy can put you on a path to success. The gist of it goes like this:

  • Dedicate the first 30 days to understanding your market, determining your goals, and creating a plan to reach them. This may include revising your CRM form fields to capture the right kind of geographic or demographic data that you intend to use in the filters of your sales mapping tool.
  • Then, from day 31 to 60, it’s time to put your plan into action. Test out your hypothesis in the field and stick to it. Note down what’s working and, even more importantly, what’s not working.
  • Use the final 30 days to pay particular attention to your results as they’re coming in and start analyzing.

Remember to involve your salespeople as you craft your plan. Discuss the kinds of territories that sound fair to them, whether it’s zip codes, existing customer base, or specific profile attributes. A transition to sales mapping should feel like a conversation, not a dictatorial command.

Photo by N. on Unsplash

Strategize In 3D With Sales Mapping

Bring your sales strategy into the third dimension with sales mapping. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a sales mapping strategy can combine dozens of analyses with one interactive tool. It’s a powerful strategy that turns lines of information into your very own treasure map.