Map Business Online Blog

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

Filter Your Imported Data in Map Business Online

Business mapping software usually enables spatial searches and filtering searches of your business data.

Filtering data in Map Business Online is a little different from conducting a spatial search of your business data. Once you’ve imported data into MBO to create business maps or just plain business data visualization you can create subset lists of your data based on geographic queries and data filtering.

A geographic query or spatial search is a search conducted within an area that the user designates using search tools in the product. It might be a radius search or a search based on a polygon or drive time area.  It could be the search of a specific map sales territory or market area of interest.
Spatial Search Examples
A Spatial Search

A filtered search takes place in the Map Business Online Data Window.  Open the Data Window.  In the middle of the Data Window tool bar you will notice two search operations along the Data Window tool bar:

  1. A quick search – A blank white space with a binocular icon and a delete button. Cursor-hover over this and it will say: Enter text to search data rows by name
  2. A filter icon button – Cursor-hover over the filter icon and it will say: Filter data rows

Use the Quick Search function to search data by the Left most column of your imported data. Enter a keyword, a few letters, unique numbers to get a set of results which will display in the data window.
Filtered Data example
A Filter Search

Use the Filter button to open the filter dialogue box which will, allow you to search any column of your data. Within the Filter dialog you may choose the column or columns you wish to search and then use the drop down in the middle to apply a modifier to your search.  A modifier might include symbols like > (greater than), = (equal too), or contains, among a few other modifiers. Once applied these modifiers generate a result that is displayed in the data window – a subset of the originally imported data layer.  You will notice in the lower right of the results a tally of the number of returned results and the original file’s total number of records.

Whether you are working with the Quick Search or the Filter button your data can be filtered on the actual map view too.  You’ll notice a Check-box labeled Filter Data on the Map just below the Data drop down in the upper left hand corner of the data window. Check that box and your data results will be the only data showing on the map.

Also, you will now be able to export your filtered data result to a CSV file and use the data outside of Map Business Online. To export simply click the right most button on the Data Window tool bar. An alternative export method is the old school cut and paste.

Cut and Paste functions in Map Business Online occur when you click the Copy Data & paste button in the lower right corner of the Data Window. You’ll see the double page icon and when you hover over it, the button says: Copy data to clipboard. Pay attention to the Copy Data button dialogue. You will note you can resize the Data Window view to change the number of records visible in the window and copy and paste just those visible records. This comes in handy at times.

To the right of the filter button are two additional tools you can use to create marketing lists out of multiple filtering actions. You could, for instance, create a new marketing list and populate it with data results from multiple filtering operations.

MBO users use data filtering operations in the Data Window to support a variety of business activities:

I’m sure there are many applications for data filtering that your business can dream up. Geographic and spatial searches are core features for business mapping and GIS applications.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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How Can I Query a List of Cities?

Sometimes a business map user wants to conduct a radius search on a data base of cities, and to export the query result out of the application. A search result of cities can be achieved using Map Business Online, and other business mapping software applications.  A few tweaks are necessary to set up the city data.

Cities are present in Map Business Online in multiple ways.  The base map data shows cities as part of the background map tapestry that is included with Map Business Online. However, the cities in the base map data are not query-able because they are part of the base map raster image, as opposed to a layer on top of a vector map background.The background base map is a one continuous image that covers the whole world and that image includes cities and towns.

MBO users can make sure their vector layers, like zip codes, states or counties, are set to transparent which will let those cities and towns show through and into your map analysis. Transparency controls are located in your target map layer in Map and Data. Still, that background map raster image will only show certain cites at certain zoom levels. Zoom further in to expose less populated cities and towns.

Premium Map Layers

Additional map layers are available in Map Business Online for annual subscription holders.  Click the Blue Globe button on the tool bar, now located about seven buttons in from the left.  Here you’ll find City Limits and Cities, as well as other additional layers of interest.

For developing exportable lists of cities, you’ll want to use the City Limits layer.  The layer called Cities is a visual reference of city points only. Users can add the City layer on top of territory or market analysis maps, for reference purposes, but you can’t query the City layer.
City Query
If you Add your City Limits layer to the map you’ll be able to build areas of interest and territories based on City Limits, just like you’ve done using State, County or Zip Code layers. City Limit objects are presented to the map viewer based on city population size – the more populated cities show up at the zoomed out levels.  As you zoom into the map more cities and towns come into view.

City Limit territories and markets areas will include all city limit objects within your designated circular or polygon areas of interest. If you conduct a radius search the resultant dataset will include all the city limits touched by the radius or polygon object as well as all cities included within the circle or polygon.

I love the city limit layer for building demographic maps or for creating map analysis that tends to focus on metropolitan areas.

Adding the City Limits layer to your map lets you build areas of interest and export those city and town names out of MBO as a CSV file. A city limits based areas of interest view is also sharable through interactive map web map sharing, through shared saved image files, or via a printable map. MBO users can also add city names to your zip code analysis as well. Read on.

USPS Zip Codes

When you purchase or try Map Business Online, the application comes setup with Census ZTCA zip codes preloaded.  With ZTCA zips selected, territories and market areas of interest will list zip codes but will not include cities and towns, or placenames in your zip code analysis. To change this, open the Map & Data box.  Choose the Edit Gear on Map and Data tool bar.  You are now in the Manage Map and Data function. Choose the Zip codes tab.

In Zip Codes, along the bottom there is a drop down for Zip Code options.  Choose USPS Zip Codes with Fillers.  Fillers will allow you to fill in territory gaps over national parks; this can be helpful out West or in northern Maine. By choosing the USPS zip codes, your zip code map analysis and sales territory mapping will now include a column for Placename and in this case Placenames refers to a database of cities and towns.

Once you’ve chosen your Zip Code option, all territories and areas of interest you create moving forward will include a column for Placenames. Please be aware your old maps will not pick up this change.

Import Your Own List of Cities

Now you might think we’ve got you completely covered in Map Business Online with the various city data options listed above; and for most people, we do.  However, you’ll run into the occasional business map user who has a boss who wants to see only certain cities on his map, or perhaps he or she wants a to see certain cities with labels turned on and some with labels turned off. I just thought I’d mention, you can always create a two column spreadsheet of cities and states for manually placing city points on the map. It’s definitely going old school for city listings, but it will let you tweak the placement and labeling just the way your boss likes it.

Between the Placenames column and the City Limits option, you should have plenty of ways to get lists of cities for your use within or outside of Map Business Online.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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Map Business Online Nooks and Crannies


I’ve eaten English Muffins for breakfast many times in my life. Especially growing up, when Ma was looking for quick, cheap, and easy ways to feed four growing boys before school. I thought Thomas’ English Muffins did a great job using Nooks and Crannies as their advertising tag line. You knew exactly what they meant – you could taste it.

Well, Map Business Online has nooks and crannies too.  There’s a software developer behind every MBO nook and cranny. There are many small details and features we’ve added to our business mapping software that make it a richer, more productive mapping experience for the business mapping user.  I run into these features often, partly because I’m constantly using the product, but also because people ask questions about how to do weird things and often I’m surprised to find out that we actually can do these things.

Copy & Paste Ten Rows

The other day I was providing some training for a collection of Map Business Online team edition users. The team edition is used for shared map editing. We were looking at sales territory mapping based on counties.  We had added demographic data to the territory data base to create a demographic map. The question was asked, “How can we arrange the data in descending order by population and choose the top ten records for export.”  A fair question, and I wasn’t sure what to do.  A quick communication back to headquarters and I had my answer.  Not sure if it’s a nook or a cranny.

Viewing your territory in the Data Window, click the header of the population column until you show the records descending in order from largest to smallest.  Then arrange the data window bounding rectangle to show only your top ten records.  Then, in the lower right-hand corner click the Cut & Paste button. This launches the Copy data dialog box.  Up until now, I had not paid much attention to this box. I don’t copy and paste very often in MBO. Notice that it offers multiple choices for copying.  Choose the lower circle – Rows visible on current page. Now paste into Excel. As they say in Rockport, MA where I grew up when something was wicked easy, “Dimes, or what?”

The Power of the Data Window

Although the Map Business Online Data Window is not Excel by any stretch of the imagination, it does have some unique features that come in pretty handy.  For example, any time you create a query thereby generating a data result in the Data Window, you can take that result and turn it into a territory or an area of interest.  See the button on the Data Window tool bar that shows a green and red arrow over a blue puzzle piece. That button lets you Create new or Edit existing territories.

Using this approach, you are able to filter a dataset by a column of data pertinent only to your business, for instance just the banks in your account list, and then turn all of those geographies into a territory. This could be a nice way to create territories or areas of interest out of a master list without having to create subset data outside of MBO.

And keep in mind, the filtering capability of the data window will let you create multiple criteria for your filter.  For example, determine all of the records with greater than $5,000 in sales, in zip codes 90000 to 90599, and in zip codes 87000 to 87599. And as always the results are exportable.

One more thing – an Area of Interest and a Territory are the exact same thing in MBO. These are simply groups of zip codes, counties, or other geographic districts you’ve selected to represent a focused area of interest. I use the term Area of Interest when applying the tool to market analysis projects and the term Territory when conducting more sales oriented customer mapping projects.

Imported Data Labeling

You know you can import up to one hundred thousand records per map. And you also know that as you import these records you choose the five most important fields to show when someone hovers over the imported data points.  But if you made a mistake when you did this, or if you just want to change the fields that you show upon hover, you can do that. It’s a cranny, Granny.  Hover over your imported Data Layer in the Map & Data Tab, click the Edit Gear when it pops up.  Now along the right side of the dialog box pick the Callout folder tag. Choose Format Callouts and change your fields.

And while you’re in there, get familiar with all the various formatting buttons we’ve added there. Someday your boss is going to request some crazy way to display labels and we just might have it in there.

Imagery Nooks

While you’re in Map & Data, click Map Options along the top to review the imagery options available. Imagery and Streets are new and provide a nice overlay that can combine street level detail with aerial imagery. Very cool in downtown urban areas.

To view more map back ground options, back out to the opening page of Map & Data.  Hover over the Street layer and click the edit gear.  Here you will find two topographic map view options.  One is National Geographic data and the other more of a generic topo quad map.

I’ve run out of blog words and time for this week, but there are many nooks and crannies to Map Business Online. Just don’t go smearing pads of butter on your mapping software. That’s no good for any one. Instead, consider opening up a new map view and just click around. Explore the nooks and crannies that support your business mapping work.

Remember in MBO you can:

  • Import your own symbols
  • Edit data you’ve imported
  • Add incremental records to the map manually
  • Print regular or large format maps
  • Draw free form shapes in the map
  • Summarize your data
  • Export your data query results
  • Add demographic data to your map
  • Share interactive web maps
  • Create map templates
  • Impress family and friends

 

 

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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Ask Not What A Business Map Can Do For You

Ask instead what a business map can do for your business. The answer to that question will vary depending upon your business. Think about your company or organization’s primary goals.  Is your business focused on servicing people or is your company focused on simply driving revenue?  Business mapping tools provide benefits for both types of organizations but in slightly different ways.

Territory Management

Let’s look at territory management. For a company whose primary goal is driving revenue or profit, effective and clearly communicated sales territory management can provide clear guidelines for success, a place for sharing progress toward goals, and many ways to drive accountability into the sales organization.

Applying business sales territory designs to your business will inevitably help drive revenue. You grow what you track. Use territory mapping tools to define where your salespeople can and should sell.  Use route planning software and drive time tools to minimize windshield time. Reduce overlap and legacy relationships that may no longer drive revenue. Sales managers know exactly what I’m talking about here. Leverage the power of business geography to apply these fixes and then use the map to share the results. You’ll be amazed at how a little map communication can enhance your business processes.

Organizations focused on servicing people can also benefit from territory mapping tools. What home care agency doesn’t want to minimize clinicians and aides driving back and forth across town to service patients?  Establishing clear areas of responsibility drives efficiency and productivity into your organization. And there’s a difference between the two.  Reducing day-to-day travel expenses is a result of efficient route planning with minimal overlap between staff members. Reducing travel times while increasing face time with patients improves overall productivity. More productivity is going to:

  • Keep more patients at home for longer periods
  • Increase the satisfaction of your patients
  • Both of above points will drive more referrals

Now that is productivity and it starts with establishing territories.

Drive Time Analysis

Understanding the time it takes to drive from point A to point B to point C may, at times, be critical to your business.  Business mapping software can conduct this analysis for you quickly and in multiple ways. Perhaps it’s simply answering the question of how long will it take me to get to my meeting on time based on a generated multi-stop route.  I have two stops prior to my meeting. This calculation is dirt simple and will provide a reasonable estimate of your time to drive. But what if you want to know how long it will take for the closest 50,000 households, making more than $75,000 per year, to reach your retail outlet? A drive time map can answer that question.

In fact drive time analysis can be easily converted into demographic analysis simply by assigning demographic categories to any zip codes touched by a drive time polygon. For more granular detail use Census tracts instead of zip codes. And don’t stop there. Import a list of competitor locations to get a sense of where the competition locates their stores.

I always find a business map increases in value as you stare at it. The longer you look, the more data you find.

And Drive Time analysis is great for operational planning too.  Home care agencies use drive time estimates to determine how far a clinician or aide must drive to reach a group of clients. Here are a few scenarios home care agencies might implement:

  • Develop maps that display all clients residing within a half hour drive of a clinician’s home address. These half hour drive time territories could become a standard rule for client assignment, designed to lower fuel costs and increase client face-time
  • Create a business map showing the current client/clinician locations during a week prior to a holiday weekend to help plan for the hospital release/admission rush common at these times. Knowing your current staffing realities helps better position your agency for periods of overload.
  • Create an outlier map showing clients living beyond a 40 minute drive of all clinicians. Are there more than one? Is there a reason to hire a clinician to cover a new area? Should these clients be referred to other agencies or contractors?

Ask Instead, Again

Now perhaps driving revenue and caring for people isn’t your company’s bailiwick. Many business mapping users work for organizations dedicated to other things.  Here are a few examples:

  • Billboard management firms
  • Waster material collection and recycling
  • Lawn mowing companies
  • Copier repair services
  • Insurance claim management
  • Booze distribution and wholesale
  • Compressed air machine distribution
  • Ice cream retailer franchises
  • Nation-wide flower distribution and wholesale
  • Real estate mortgage management
  • Banks and finance companies
  • Robotic companies
  • Houseware and gift sales orgs
  • Manufacturers rep associations
  • Truck distribution and repair
  • Moving companies

That list was generated by looking at my notes covering the last two weeks’ of incoming calls.  Ask not where all these companies come from, ask instead why they all are using Map Business Online.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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Some Recent Favorite Map Business Online Application Examples

I speak with many business mapping customers every week. Many are novices, perhaps new to the concept of business mapping and may require a little basic assistance just to get rolling importing customer locations or building a zip code map. Others have used mapping tools like MapPoint before and are interested in specific mapping applications that supplement their business workflows. Listed below are a few of my most recent favorite map applications from MBO users.

Importing Telecom customer sales dollars by zip code and summarizing the totals of the zip code sales by Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Map Business Online is able to easily import your business data by address, zip code, lat/lon, county, or state for instant visualizations against an accurate and up-to-date web map. (So it’s different then MapPoint in that the data is actually up-to-date!) Once imported to the map, the application can total or average your numeric values (sales dollars) by geographic district.

Compare Year Over Year Demographic Data. I realized Map Business Online could do this on the fly one day during a web demo. I was using the Calculate Data Column tool in the Map & Data Tab to compile four or five segments of population data into one file. The customer said they really wanted to compare three years worth of data. I remembered we had three years of data listed in the MBO demographics library. All we needed to do was compile the columns in the same manner for three years running and access the data either from a Market Area of Interest view or as a Summary File which you can now add to your map.

Team Map Editing – We released a collaborative business mapping product about 9 months ago. We’ve now got many companies applying teams of map editors of five or more users to their location based business work flows. Collaborative map editing combines the convenience of shared map views with the ability to actually allow someone else to edit your map or your map data.

We’ve had customers use the team feature for a variety of business work flows including market analysis, sales territory management, and operational awareness.

In general there are really three reasons a business uses shared map editing:
1. To leverage multiple people towards solving a business problem. Here the old adage “two heads are better than one” holds sway. With team editing, you get a whole group of heads considering a shared problem. And the amazing thing is collaborative map editing helps solve problems more completely and faster. Think about it, instead of generating departmental silos that don’t communicate you’ve just created a team using a shared tool to solve a shared problem. I think that fact that maps are fun helps.

2. To share business data efficiently and keep it up to date. Shared map editing provides a platform for viewing and editing data. Sharing marketing and sales results on a location-based platform means that when people view it they see values, trends, and location placements all at once. Results and edits have more meaning when viewed against a map. Consider a sales meeting to review progress. One view the group might see is an Excel sheet highlighting sales results for June. OK, so there a numbers there. That’s fine. But another view might be the same sales results totaled by zip code on top of a sales territory map. Now the team is considering where and why sales are happening.

3. Conduct operational monitoring. Some companies require their sales people to report how many people they contact each day, week or month. By applying a team map collaboration tool to the business work flow they can encourage their people to update customer records on shared editable maps. Thus everyone gets a quick sense of the latest customer feedback, orders or problems. Good or bad news, it’s always better to get the news sooner rather than later.

And speaking of a MapPoint replacement, MapPoint is the gift that keeps on giving as more and more people drop by the Map Business Online website to explore the possibility of MBO as an alternative to the now defunct MapPoint. Many businesses built work flows around the Microsoft mapping tool. These basic functionalities are common requests from MapPoint users easily transitioned over to MBO:

• Easily look up a zip code and zoom to that area of the map. Simply key the target zip code into the upper left hand corner search bar and click the binoculars.

• Lasso a bunch of points on the map for routing. Select a group of destinations or imported address using a polygon or free form draw object tool to create a subset list for routing stops. Just a couple of clicks and you’ve got your list.

• Multi-stop optimized routing. MBO lets you build multi-stop optimized routes of up to one hundred stops per route. For more routing stops that that you’ll need to contact routing companies like Route Smart, Esri’s ArcLogistics, or Telogis.

• Up-to-date Map Data. This MapPoint hadn’t offered in years. It was killing MapPoint users. We get many users weary of failed address locator operations, but fear not for in MBO most location locate correctly on the first pass. And if they do not geocode correctly you’ll have an opportunity to fix the error by simply choosing to edit the point location and selecting a corrected point on the map. You’re done and good in seconds.

Keep us informed about your map use. This makes us aware of new feature requirements. Our customer’s application of mapping software always surprises us.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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A Change Can Do You Good – with Business Mapping

Managing change is critical to your organization’s ability to grow and achieve goals. Change is also inevitable, like death and taxes, right? Change has to be managed – as a business manager you can’t just let things change and do nothing about it. Sometimes change has to be pro-actively implemented. If your current business model is no longer achieving what it used to, then a change is required. On occasion change can be sudden and, as a manager, it’s your job to help lead the organization out of any crisis.

But Cheryl Crow was right when she sang, “A change (pause) will do you good.” Sudden or gradual, good or bad, changes in our business environment inform us about our business. Because understanding your business better is always good.

A downturn in the economy can quickly tell us that the company payroll and operating expenses are oversized for our target market. A gradual decline of sales in a market niche tells us we need to change our sales strategy. Reacting appropriately and reacting quickly can turn a threat into a business opportunity. Responding to change can turn the loss of a customer into the discovery of new markets. You see, it’s good!

Business mapping software provides analysis tools that can help unravel market shifts and provide clues as to what business direction to take next. Map data visualizations and location-based analysis suggest new directions in the face of old and failing business patterns. Don’t make the mistake of implementing radical strategic change in your business without spending time viewing your location-based data against a business map. Regardless of what business mapping application you use, today’s tools are completely affordable. There’s really no excuse not to take the time to import your business data onto a web-based business map and look at it. Then spend some time considering what you see.

When I Was a Boy…
When I first moved to Maine I worked for an industrial electrical wholesaler that catered to the paper mill industry. Business was great. The paper mills were major employers in Maine and they purchased lots of industrial electrical parts. The whole world needed paper back then. About six months after I came on I was introduced to my first IBM business PC. A strange looking machine with its own huge table at the back of the office. No email yet, no Internet, but that large piece of equipment held the seeds of the decline of the paper industry. Unbeknownst to us, big change was coming.

Thirty years later, with the paper businesses largely gone, Maine’s industrial wholesalers are somehow still selling industrial products. Many have merged with national chains to assure survival, but all of them learned to sell products into new and growing industries – biotech, telecom, local food, alternative energy, and health care industries to name just a few. Most of these industries didn’t exist in 1985, including business mapping software.

In 2007 I was managing a mapping software publisher’s professional sales team. Much of our revenue was generated from the oil and gas industry. That year our team noticed orders coming in from wind energy companies. When we mapped their locations we saw new wind energy businesses located all over the country, but coming to use for low cost GIS software. We sent sales people to meet with these new accounts. We decided to exhibit at the American Wind Energy Association. By paying attention, conducting some basic map market analysis, and acting immediately, our team was one of the first to market in the booming wind energy field. For two years that revenue stream helped us meet our sales objectives.

Like a Shark, Keep Moving Forward
There are many ways a business map can help a business navigate or manifest significant change. Here are some real life examples:

Franchise Organizations utilize several geographic visualization features from mapping software. Typically they like to arrange franchise territories by zip code maps. A shared web map can provide a dirt simple visualization of zip code sales territories for new franchise owners, keeping the competing retailers or service orgs out of each other’s way. Additionally, a franchiser might use a business map to explore potential new markets through demographic analysis by zip code or county, or by setting up competitor franchise maps that show where they might do well by increasing their presence around the nation. At times, a franchise company may choose to manage their franchise sales by color coding zip codes, red and green zip codes denote sold or available territories. Although these companies tend to use zip codes, any district geography like counties or Census tracts, would do.

Cross Industry Sales & Marketing Teams – Competitor maps should be a basic tool for any sales or marketing department. It’s quite simple. Compile a spreadsheet of your top ten competitors by address. Import the spreadsheet into your business map application and view those competitor points on the map. Add some demographic data; perhaps population and median income. Add a spreadsheet of your own company’s locations. Now sit back and think about what you are seeing. If there are areas where your competitor exists and you don’t what should you do? Open a store? Hire an outside sales person? Conduct a direct mail campaign? Or perhaps, based on demographic trends, you should skip that area and focus on more lucrative markets. Sometimes I hear people complain about what a chore it will be to compile those competitor addresses. Ever wonder if your competitor took the time to compile a map of your locations?

Retail StoresDrive time maps come in handy for market analysis simply because driving time is always a consideration for measuring retail store potential or sales call efficiency. The question answered by a drive time query is, “How long will it take a customer to drive from their home or office to my store location?” Think like a pizza store. There’s got to be a sweet spot for customer driving time to pick up a pizza. I’d drive ten minutes to buy a pizza, but I probably would not drive a half hour (especially with kids under the age of ten in the car.) Now reverse the analysis and consider how far you want to drive to deliver pizza or how far your sales people should drive to talk to a customer. Windshield time vs. talk time should always be a consideration. Maps can help us assess how many possible customers live within a radius of our sales force and how likely it would be to interface with them.

Health Care Expansion Planning – Expansion happens constantly in the healthcare field. As hospitals and insurance companies expand into new markets and adjust to the Affordable Care Act, they are forced to consider how they will interface with related medical businesses within any new market areas. It’s not unusual for hospital systems to create business analysis maps that display every possible medical business within a 25 mile radius of a hospital center. This radius analysis compares the customer and ambulance drive times with rural medical coverage areas, home care agencies, and quick care opportunities, thereby providing a geographic starting point for strategic expansion planning. Market expansion possibilities are side-by-side with operational realities in a map like this. Medical systems are complex and maps help to organize complexity into a business strategy.

Business Listings are often used to describe a market’s potential or to populate a business area of interest with potential customers. Business maps may or may not offer business listings but you can always secure datasets through online services like http://www.infousa.com, http://www.specialdatabases.com, or https://www.dandb.com. Add a list of potential customer addresses into your business mapping software to your market analysis maps. Apply the business mapping filtering tools to develop and manage call lists across your sales organization. A small investment in a target area prospect list will provide new objectives for your sales team and ultimately should lead to new industries that require your products and services.

There are many ways in which technology can help us face change effectively. Mapping software is one tool that is available, relatively easy to use, and affordable. If you’re using spreadsheets and web browsers you are capable of using business mapping software. At the pace our business mapping software is growing, I can assure you that others in your industry are considering their business by looking at a business map.

Don’t wait for change to happen to you. Take control over your business direction. Start business mapping before your competitors do.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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Map Business Online Now Integrated with Act! – But why?

Over the last six months Map Business Online has been upgraded to integrate with both Act! and Salesforce.com. Users of both of these popular CRM systems should find this upgrade extremely convenient for viewing contacts and prospects against an accurate map, creating marketing campaigns based on map filters, and for achieving more effective route optimizations.

Business Mapping and Customer Relationship Management are natural technology partners. Both Act! and Saleforce.com users apply their CRM software to their customer lists. These powerful software products allow sales and marketing teams to organize their customer and prospect lists for more effective utilization in sales campaigns and general lead management. The critical element for sales people is to make sure to actually use the CRM systems provided.

For both Act! and Salesforce.com integrations Map Business Online provides an easy-to-access import process. Act! users can actually export their list of customers directly to Map Business Online from within Act! to build customer maps. Salesforce.com users launch Map Business Online and proceed with an import process that offers Salesforce data, contacts, prospects, or accounts, as an import options. MBO is a true sales mapping software.

Act! users will also find an easy ability to create vehicle routing stop lists from their Act! dashboard. They can choose to export a segment of customers specifically for generating an optimized sales call route. This makes the tool perfect for the individual sales person who wants an efficient route focused on a particular city or hotel location. The MBO multi-stop route planner is derived from the base map data. It takes into consideration road classifications, bridges, turn restrictions, and speed limits to develop the most efficient way to get from a starting point through a list of stop required for the day or the week.

Both Act! and Salesforce.com integrations with Map Business Online offer an on-map tool bar button that lets the user view the customer record all the way back in the CRM database. Just click a point on the map and hit that CRM button on the mini-toolbar and you are viewing your contact details in your Act! or Salesforce.com CRM.

Those are the major features of the integration. However, the real power of Map Business Online for CRM users goes way beyond these direct integration conveniences. As a CRM user and Map Business Online subscriber you now have access to some pretty cool benefits:

Business Data Visualizations – At the click of a mouse you can visualize a segment of your customer list on a map. You can see where your customers cluster and more importantly, where they do not cluster. No sales or marketing strategy is complete without map visualizations
Sales Territory Mapping – You CRM environment now has direct access to Sales Territory Management. You’ll be able to clearly define who calls on specific areas of interest for your company. You can show overlapping territories, query accounts by territory, and publish and share periodic performance results using shared maps. Business maps define sales accountability for CRM organizations. Use them!
Shared Map Editing – Map Business Online can be used to set up teams of collaborative map editors. These share map projects can further drive results within your organization. Collaboration leverages your best minds towards your toughest problems. You will encourage cross department problem solving with shared map editing. Team editing is perfect for sales territory sharing, market analysis, and customer payment monitoring.
Market Analysis has many elements that are enhanced through the application of business mapping. With MBO you can bring demographic analysis to every map view your make. A competitor map view will reveal places you may want to consider or stay away from. And MBO’s advanced Market Analysis tool lets you compare two data sets to derive distance matrixes or query records around multiple points.
Classify & Color Code – Symbolization options abound with Map Business Online – import your own symbols or use the heat map view to liven up your business maps. The beauty of Map Business Online is its ability to customize your map based on your terminology, your business data, and your organization’s goals and objectives.
Access Geographic Layers – Every business has their own work flows and often they involve zip code look ups or zip code maps, county views, or some other district level operation on a map. Access these map layers in MBO for use in your particular business model. Share view-only maps with constituents at no cost.
Up-to-date Map Data – Finally, view a business map with updated and accurate road maps and addressing. Throw out that old MapPoint mapping with the outdated maps. MBO will geocode your address databases faster and more accurately than any mapping application you’ve tried. And if a point doesn’t geocode (locate), for whatever reason, you’ll have an opportunity to correct it.

All this is what I mean when I say that Map Business Online is the perfect complementary software for a CRM organization. Expand the reach of your CRM tools through business mapping. Explore the power of adding up to 100,000 customer locations per map to your business map view. Extend the strategic vision of your organization through the power of location based market analysis.

Win with business mapping and CRM. Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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Who Put the Business in Business Mapping Software?

New customers to Map Business Online often ask questions about customizing their business map data layers for their map viewing audience or their team shared-map editors. It’s natural that before you jump into a new technical product you want assurances that tool will work adequately for your team.

The truth is Map Business Online is rarely customized by our software developers for specific customers. If it is customized it generally involves creating an entirely new hosted product that entails a larger business opportunity for both Map Business Online and for the customer. It’s not cheap but could be a winner for the right opportunity. Don’t hesitate to ask about such customizations.

However, Map Business Online as released is in fact very customizable by the business map customer using the tools already provided. This means the application is designed to give business customers plenty of opportunities to customize their maps up to support their specific work flows. It’s kind of what we’re all about. We made Map Business Online to be a mapping software that can enhance your work in a variety of ways.

Templates
Firstly, the new MBO map administrator or creator can establish customer mapping that represents their basic business data visualizations and save them as a template for their users start from. This is especially effective for team sharing applications where you can pro-actively share a map, complete with imported data layers and geographic map layers, for your team to use as a starter map for more detailed work.
Import the data you want, keeping in mind that any data you import will be shared with your team and anyone they share with. If you don’t want someone to see it – don’t import it. Once you’ve got the map to your liking, save it as a MyTemplate map. Then go through the sharing process with your team or map viewing audience, as the case warrants.

Map Templates allow you to control what your editors and viewers start with. They also allow you to build a baseline map for your own future work. Perhaps you build a monthly map out of data that only changes once a year? In January you might build the template map and thereafter open a monthly version from that template.

Import a Unique ID Column
Or maybe you reimport a monthly dataset that’s usually pretty close to a previous release and you don’t want to have resymbolize and re-color code your data every dang month. If you have a Unique ID number associated with your data records you can use that upon import to set up more automatic updates for later work.

Your unique ID must actually be unique to make this work. No duplicates allowed. But if you do this upfront it will allow an easy button click to update the data. To update hover over the Map & Data Tab’s imported data layer and click the Edit Gear. You’ll find the update data buttons at the bottom of the dialog page. Test it out to make sure it works for you.

The nice part is that you don’t have to resymbolize and reclassify your data ever month. Combined with the saved template map work flow MBO processing just became what we New Englanders call, “wicked easy.”

Edit Your Data Map Side
Yes you can. Once you’ve imported a data layer you can edit the data on the map. I know I’ve talked about this before but it is important. In the Data Window, by hovering over the left hand column of green and yellow locator dots, you can choose to edit your data’s placement on the map or your data’s actual data records. This is beneficial for updating a few records, or to add a few new records.
If I was going to add a whole bunch of records, I’d boot up Excel, make my changes and update my data through reimporting or through auto-updates. But that’s me. You just need to know you can update your data on the map if you want to.

In fact, Map Business Online let’s you create entire new datasets on the map by adding new addresses. So you could set up a work flow where a user inspects an imported dataset, record by record, and culls out certain data records based on sales activity or patient acuity, and turn those data points into a new dataset on the fly. Pretty cool.

Generating Reports
In Map Business Online the business map user creates territories or areas of interest out of geographic districts like zip codes, Census tracts, or counties – to name a few. Once you established a sales territory, for instance, you’ll end up with a Data Window spreadsheet describing your area of interest by zip code or county or Census tract. These market analysis results can be appended with other data. So, for instance, you could add:

• Data from data you’ve imported like counts per zip, or sales per county
• Data from included MBO Demographic Data like population, income or ethnicity to name just a few
• Calculate column results – this advanced work can be done in MBO. It’s in the Map & Data Tab

The resulting dataset can then be exported as a CSV file report for use outside the application. And from within your MBO spreadsheet you can now generate summation reports for export as well.
Once you understand how Map Business Online transforms simple map data visualizations into a market area of interest or sales territory you’ll begin to understand how to generate report information applying the tool to your own specific work flows.

Enhance your work flows with business mapping software. Release your business data from boring and hard to access silos and let it soar above beautiful maps enlightening your overall business processes. Leverage the power of location in your business data and expose your next strategy. Or just create a zip code map.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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Five Steps to Creating a Valuable Customer Map from Business Data

Business mapping software is all about the data visualization of your business data. Business owners and sales managers are deriving business intelligence and strategies by viewing their business data against an accurate base map. So, what are the best ways to start building a useful business map?

Customer mapping starts and ends with your location based business data spreadsheet:
1. Include Addresses – Create an Excel spreadsheet of your business data that includes address records. Don’t skimp on the address data. I know, you’re a busy person and zip codes should be good enough. But if you’ve got addresses in your data, use them. Create columns in your spreadsheet for address, city, state and zip code. Alternatively you can use latitude and longitude coordinates, which are even more accurate.

By using full addressing you’re providing your business map with the most realistic visualization of your critical business locations. If you simply list zip codes, you’ll get multiple business data points located at the same location. That’s not your business reality. Keep it real, bro.

2. Include Additional Data – Include with your imported business location data any pertinent information that informs your business decisions. Perhaps include a column showing sales associated with each location. Does each customer falls into a certain category or type: retail, industrial, government? On your map you’ll be able to color code based on the data types or numeric ranges included in your additional data columns.

3. Consider importing your own symbols – Perhaps customer logo images or product jpegs will help you’re your business map quickly communicate critical data to your business map audience. Medical maps often use medical symbology to reflect clinician disciplines – A stethoscope image for doctors, life saving symbols for nurses, and a tooth for the dentist. Your map should quickly communicate to your map users. Make your map sing to your map viewers.

4. Define Coverage Areas – Areas of interest, sales territories, and medical coverage areas can be easily displayed as a function of an imported location data sheet. If zip codes, counties or even Census tracts define your coverage areas, you can include a column in your data that defines those location segments. For instances, a list of zip codes for an entire home care coverage area, with another column for any preassigned CNA’s, will provide a coverage area map that displays the designated accountable nurse managing each zip code area. The zips will be colored according to the map legend or key.

5. Double check your data – I know. It’s you. You never screw up. But the old adage ‘garbage in, garbage out’ still applies. Make sure you don’t leave empty records where information should go. Glance at your addressing data – does it look right? No weird country abbreviations are included by mistake, right? It happens. A lot. Take your time and double check that the data you are importing is solid, location based information. Your map and your map viewers will thank you.

The Wrap Up
Your location based data sets are the key elements in deriving new perspectives on your business from business mapping. So think it through. An excel spreadsheet of zip codes doesn’t tell you much about where your customers are versus where your competitors are until you import them onto a map and visually absorb the information. You’ll be amazed at what a zip code mapping tool, like Map Business Online will do for your perspective.

Imagine going on an automobile trip around New England with your family for a week. Would you bring just a spreadsheet of all the planned stops and use that to navigate and determine driving times? No way. Your significant other would significantly kill you. A travel map can help pull a family through a vacation and ready them to face the next crisis in their personal drama called life. Wait. Did I say that out loud? Well anyway, it’s the same with a business map. Turn that spreadsheet into a data filled business map and start viewing your business strategically.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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A Business Mapping Sales Process

Managing a sales team takes a combination of patience, maturity, and vision. And on occasion you’ve got to be willing to kick a few butts. You spend a lot of your time coaching sales people, asking questions about opportunities, and making sure your people are doing the basics – following up on leads, quoting prospects, qualifying the sales pipeline, and following up on quotes.

Another aspect of your sales manager role is presenting to the executive team. They have expectations that your sales pipeline is going to grow, and grow quickly. In fact, that’s the real reason they hired you. Your job from their perspective is to generate or purchase leads, convert them into qualified prospects, and then convert those prospects into orders. In short, you must manage your sales pipeline and thereby grow sales revenues.

The job of sales manager can be challenging yet rewarding, or it can be challenging and terrifying. I prefer the former. Creating a geographic model of your sales organization based on a business map can help turn terrifying into challenging. You can achieve a business mapping sales process using opular business mapping software available online.

You’ve Got To Get Organized

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ve57l3c19g

Successful sales management can occur when a team gets organized. We’ve all seen sales teams that are not clearly directed flail about looking for sales growth. Sales chaos can happen in any economy. In many ways it’s a function of the leader of the sales team. I have watched a flailing sales team suddenly start to produce under a new manager’s firm and steady guidance. Simple things like phone queue management, organized customer assignment, rules on discounting, or fun lunch-time sales meetings, can have a rapid impact on a department’s ability to generate sales. Just knowing there’s an accessible, reasonable listening ear to go to can make a sales team feel empowered and get the orders rolling in.

Part of the sales organizing process should be developing an understanding of the geography of your sales environment. Business mapping software can help the sales manager and the sales team create that location-based sales model and integrate it into your overall strategic sales approach. There is power in location and market analysis maps – ignore this at your peril.

A first step might be building a customer location map complete with your sales representative’s home addresses, and your major competitor locations. Viewing these three core datasets against an accurate map creates an immediate field of view on your sales operational theater. This simple business data import and data visualization process opens up a world of understanding:

· You now know where all your customers are, and where they are not

· You have an understanding of how well positioned your competitors are to service your market

· You have a logistical model with real locations from which you can derive sales progress and productivity assessments

Basic data visualizations like this should be a standard practice for any sales organization.

Here’s an example of how a business map can impact your sales process when you simply plot locations on a map. Considering purchasing a prospect list? Get some sample data with addressing and view the data on a map. This process can tell you many things, like how accurately the addresses are geocoded, which can indicate how up-to-date the list is. Are there too many duplicate addresses? And how many of these prospects are located close to existing customers? This can have an impact on sales productivity. Let someone familiar with the area view the prospects against a map – do the names look right? Ask what they think is missing.

Let a geographic perspective add value to your prospect list analysis. Business mapping can provide new perspectives that drive creative thinking. Creative thinking will improve sales.

Accountability and Sales Territory Management

Now that you are getting a grip on your theater of sales operations, let’s think about accountability. One of the biggest challenges a sales manager faces is driving accountability into the sales process. Sure, your whole team means well. From the poorest to the best performers, I’m sure they are giving it their very best. Still, your job is to hold everyone on the team accountable for appropriate follow-up with their assigned customers. This means your sales people should:

· Have a clear understanding of their goals and objectives

· Communicating the correct messages to their assigned accounts in a timely fashion

· Be focused on the sales potential of their book of business – not those assigned to others

· Be posting regular and accurate updates in your CRM system – updates that accurately reflect realistic opportunities and customer expectations

Accountability – what is it anyway? For you the sales manager or business owner, accountability is a fair presentation of goals and expectations, not a constant manipulation of the rules to limit or cap commissions. Be fair and honest. At the same time, accountability is making sure the goals are challenging and benefit overall company profitability. Accountability is management keeping the company in business so people have jobs.

For you sales people, accountability is balancing an awareness of company goals and objectives with the requirements and stated objectives of the customer. It is leaving your ego at the coat rack, and shouldering today’s business load. Accountability is you, the sales person, doing the job you said you would do. Accountability is focusing on your goals and objectives not the goals and objectives of other sales people.

Sales accountability is understanding that you work for a living and that that living requires a certain number of phone calls, follow-up emails, and meetings to achieve your sales goal. Accountability means you listen to understand, ask questions when you don’t understand, and that you have the gumption and clarity of thought to speak up when you believe something is amiss.

Sales territory management helps with many aspects of sales accountability. By arranging sales territories by zip code, county or state, a sales manager makes very clear what the sales person’s area of responsibility is. And usually that sales territory is going to define which accounts they are responsible for. Armed with that knowledge, a salesperson should take control of their customer base and begin looking for and accurately processing opportunities. Without territories in place the sales team is at high risk for sales chaos. And you know what that means – your sales manager role is now up for grabs.

Communicate Goals Effectively and Share Business Data

Sales territory mapping is a great way to assign and shared sales goals. Mapping applications let you aggregate numeric values by geographic area of interest. Moreover, business map visualizations are easily shared as interactive web maps, image files for presentations, even printed wall maps. Posted and shared sales goals are viewed and understood by the entire sales team – preferably in a shared meeting and over a shared network. With the entire team now well aware of the overall and individual goals, sales activities can become the primary focus.

And there are further productivity improvements possible through sales territory management. A shared interactive business map usually means your team has access to customer maps, and prospect maps. These business data visualizations will offer the ability to conduct spatial queries. Spatial queries are nothing more than the ability to search data within a radius, a polygon, a drive time area, or a territory.

Encourage your people to conduct spatial queries to segment their lists of customers and prospects geographically. Segmented customer lists allow the sales person to bite off manageable sections of their overall list of customer contacts. Segmenting the data could make physical sales calls more productive, perhaps creating a potential list for a week long sales trip. And segmenting data makes sense for outbound calling or email campaigns as well.

Customer data segmentation exercises for sales and marketing people:

· Color code your prospects by total purchasing responsibility using dollar values

· Create a list of prospects that reside within one half hours drive time of your planned hotel for next week’s trip

· Create a prospect list against a map of zip codes or counties with high median income rates. Choose only those zips or counties that have minimal existing customers located within those areas

Creating a Sales Pipeline Using a Map

Here’s a new approach. The challenge is this: how many of the customers on your client list have been recently and truly qualified as potential buyers of your products within the next six months? Admit it – your sales pipeline data is getting stale.

Share a business map with each sales rep that displays a full list of clients to contact on the map. They are to contact each client and ask qualifying questions about potential orders for the next six months. They will note each customer response in the mapping database and save that MapPoint. When a clear potential for upcoming purchases is recognized they immediately convert that client in the overall customer database to a pipeline database on their map. That is they move client A from the overall client list to a new qualified pipeline dataset on the map application.

Business mapping software will allow your reps to create these datasets at just the click of a mouse. In a matter of weeks you will have an up-to-date sales pipeline with specific dollars projected by date. Hold them accountable to this new list. Keep it updated moving forward. Welcome to the power of the business mapping sales process.

Once you mastered these three basic aspects of geosales:

· Business data map visualizations

· Sales territory management

· Geographic sales pipeline construction

You’ll be able to recognize the power of applying business mapping software to your other business challenges. You will find business mapping to be an indispensable tool for common business intelligence exercises including:

· Strategic planning

· Market analysis

· Expansion planning

The list goes on. In many ways you’ll just be using the same data import and visualization tools over and over in different applications. For instance, building a competitor analysis map will supplement your strategic planning as much as it will your expansion planning.

Now let’s go back to the presentation requirement – that of you, the sales manager, presenting to the executive team. I’ve just outlined above a bunch of ways for you to enhance your visual presentation to the management team; including the bit about using maps to verify and upgrade the sales pipeline. How do you think that’s going to play? A new visual approach to presenting the pipeline, complete with enhanced sales accountability across your department of ‘misfits’ – as they are known in the Executive Suite. I think you can count on holding your job for a few more months.

In the long run, you’re going to find the use of business mapping software to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. And like Rick and Louis, you’ll come to understand that in business you focus on your little piece of the world and you make it your hill of beans and that it does matter.

Visualize, make it accountable, verify and report. Um, “Here’s looking at you kid.”

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

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

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, g2crowd

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