Map Business Online Blog

Read about business mapping and how it can help your business succeed.

Web Maps for Those Intimidated by Technology

(If you’re comfortable with technology, do not read this. “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”)

October, 1974: Rockport High School, Rockport MA. I first noticed it in the Math Department room. Rick Cabrell, Kevin Baker, and James Day were using this new fangled machine. They were typing some sort of cryptic code into a machine which appeared to generate a mechanical process that controlled some sort of typewriter. Someone said it was a computer. Hmm, that was news to me. I went on to gym class.

January, 1978: Colby College, Waterville ME. Four years later I took a short “January Plan” in computer coding at Colby College, but all the if/then statements were still Greek to me. I passed that short course by the grace of God Almighty.

It wasn’t until I was three or four years out of college, in the early eighties, that I started working with computers. And it was another seven years before I sent my first email and used word processing software on a PC.

And at every step, for me it was intimidating. Sure I warmed to the legacy business systems of the 80’s and 90’s. And I cut my techno-teeth on Apple products handed down from my generous and technology-empowered bother in-law, but the intimidation hung in there for over a decade. At work the trend was towards PC’s. I got used to AmiPro and Word Perfect, before moving on to MS Word. I also mastered spread sheets, to an extent. No classes and for the most part with no training, so my abilities are probably ‘meh’ – especially to an accountant or a statistician or my wife – a database wizard.

The intimidating part for me was all about the trudge through the learning curve, finally mastering software only to find that in very short order, there was a new tool required for my job. It might be a software upgrade, or that the company changed providers, or perhaps I changed jobs – but there was always new technology to learn and lots of it.

Today, my laptop is running hundreds of applications that require some level of my awareness, almost every day. And I manage it. It’s not always pretty – like when I pick-up the latest virus or trojan – but I manage it.

Because I relate to this intimidation factor, I penned this blog post for the people who need web maps or mapping software for work, but who are intimidated by the technology for whatever reason. Maybe you’re a late computer bloomer, or maybe you’re a slow learner. It doesn’t matter. Web maps are entirely within your ability to manage. Sure, they require some basic web skills, but you can master this and apply basic mapping skills to your business processes like a pro.

The required skills to work with our web map – Map Business Online – are the following:
• The ability to use a web browser. Web maps work within a standard web browser – just like a Google search. Simply type in http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com and sign in.
• The ability to login and set-up a password. That’s right – remember your email and the password you created. Write it down. This opens the door to sales planning maps, territory mapping, and radius search maps.
• The ability to import a spreadsheet. All data points on the map – your customers, your target customers – are imported as a spreadsheet. Choose the import data button and navigate to your target spreadsheet. Follow the dialogue box process. You’ll display your business data points on a map in no time.
• The ability to try things and cancel out of them. Click on a tool across the tool bar on the top of the screen. If your get overwhelmed – click the “X” in the upper right hand corner. Now breathe.
• The ability to email or call us – if you get stuck, let us know. We can help.

That’s it. We believe we created a business web mapping tool that is truly easy for all to use. And the benefit for taking this technology leap into the void is the ability to work with your business data on a map; to see where your customers are; to search for your business data by geography; to find the droids that you are looking for.

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Use Business Mapping Software to Rethink Your Strategic Sales Plan

All businesses have problems. Successful businesses solve problems. I spoke with a Southwest US company that had plenty of sales in the Houston and Dallas areas. The sales people in those areas were overwhelmed with customer calls, technical support, and requests from potential customers. They also netted more commission by far, then the more remotely located sales people.

Outside of those key metropolitan areas, as far north as Nebraska and as far west as Arizona, company sales efforts where far less effective. Sales people faced much longer drive times between customer locations.  Windshield time does not drive sales.

This company needed to shift their sales thinking, reconfigure their sales territories, and create new objectives for their sales people.

Part of this challenge was solved by applying a web-based mapping software.  The simple process of importing company business data including sales peoples’ homes, customer locations, and the most lucrative customer accounts, created the business intelligence and location awareness required to start solving the problem. These business data points displayed on a map, all together or in separate files, highlighted the lopsided nature of the company’s current sales organization.

It was immediately apparent that most of the sales were located in the East Texas quadrant. It also became clear that there were sales people living along a line between San Antonio and Oklahoma City that could easily absorb customers and prospects typically associated with Houston and Dallas sales territories. This helped balance workloads and made incentive plans more effective to all. This was the low hanging fruit derived from this sales territory analysis.

Further west the geographic realities showed that company travel policies were getting in the way of sales growth. Using territory mapping software the sales management team reformatted sales territories to maximize efficiencies based on where sales people lived and where customer and prospect decision makers were located.  A quick analysis using optimized routing tools let managers decide which sales territories suffered from extended drive times.

Two of the sales people were given permission to fly to certain critical account locations. A radius search of prospects around those key accounts helped to create a list of target accounts that further justified the flying expenses.  The sales people had one year to plan sales trips to each set of prospect accounts, meet with contacts, and build interest in their product offerings. The idea was to spend the time saved by flying, on prospecting.

https://www.mapbusinessonline.com:443/Viewer.aspx/31548391-072f-4e80-9f6b-947fdd42fe31
In the end, an overall master sales territory was created to help coordinate strategic planning outside of the company’s existing sales territories.  Another set of outlying prospects was imported into the online web map that showed possible new accounts lying within 250 miles outside of the current master sales territory borders. Whichever sales person met their first or second quarter goals would have the option to fly to a new area of their choosing and start working the new sales territory.

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SpatialTEQ Releases MapBusinessOnline.com 4.0

Sales Territory Planning & Field Resource Mapping for Businesses

NEWBURYPORT, MA (September 5, 2013) — Map publisher SpatialTEQ, the leader in affordable and easy-to-use business mapping software, today announced the release of Map Business Online 4.0, an expansive list of enhancements to the award winning, web-based mapping software used by thousands of North American sales, marketing, finance, and health care professionals. Map Business Online (MBO) users import business data for easy map display, color coding, sales territory mapping, demographic analysis, and web map sharing.

These extensive updates to SpatialTEQ’s cloud-based mapping software are the result of ongoing efforts to improve MBO by adding features requested by users who apply MBO’s powerful visualization tools to their business and resource planning activities.

 Expanded Territory Management Tools for Advanced Sales Planning

  • Territory managers may now highlight territory assignment intersections to identify overlapping sales responsibilities or coverage area holes.
  • Territory Count feature reveals overlapping and unassigned zip codes, counties, or states for easy and fast territory maintenance.
  • Territory managers can now draw and label user defined territory regions with the enhanced Draw Tool.

New Base Map Layer Options Offer a Variety of Compelling Map Views

  • Map Business Online 4.0 now offers National Geographic World Map and World Topographic Map views.
  • Satellite imagery views are now provided as an alternative map background option to the Streets map template.
  • Zip code layer data options – users may now choose between Census ZCTA and USPS zip codes styles. 

Enhanced Draw Tool Added to MBO

A popular request from the growing Map Business Online user-base is a draw tool that enables user defined map shapes and lines. This new tool allows users to create their own graphic objects on the map.

  • Draw circles, polygons and choose from a selection of line sizes and colors
  • Select from a variety of colors for fill shading.
  • Identify created objects with text labels. 

Distance Measurements

Map Business Online 4.0 includes a basic measuring tool for quick point-to-point distance measurements.  Examples of how users would apply the Measure Tool include determining territory widths, measuring the minimum distance between two retail locations, or estimating how far a new home is located from work.

Map Printing and Map Display Enhancements

Professional business users often use Map Business Online to create presentation graphics or wall maps that inform constituents about business objectives or results.

  • Large format printing through PDF file format now provides rectangle and circle print previews, defining the area of interest for printing. 
  • In addition to Map Legend control, MBO now provide s a flexible Map Title Bar that can be conveniently placed anywhere on the map to further define business maps.  

New Map Data & Filtering Options

With MBO 4.0 users may now include web and email links with their imported business data and customer mapping software.  Embedded links will display and open from the map. MBO 4.0 offers a wide array of data filters within the Data Window. With this release users may assign unique symbolization to filtered datasets and marketing lists for easy map identification.  Users now have the ability to filter imported datasets, displaying just those results on the map.

 

About Map Business Online

Brought to you by the creators of BusinessMAP, www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive solutions to geographic challenges since 2010. Create, edit, and share maps that reflect your business. Create optimized multi-stop routes to drive down travel costs. No other map software solves so much for so little.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives                   geoffives@spatialteq.com  (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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