Map Business Online Blog

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

Premium Map Layers in Map Business Online

Map Business Online offers full-time subscribers a premium set of additional map layers. These additional layers are geographic map data options that were repeatedly requested  by the MBO user base.  To access these layers click the Blue Globe button, currently placed on the toolbar seven buttons in from the left. Select a layer and click Add to Map.

City Limits

My favorite premium layer is City Limits.  There is another city layer called Cities. We added Cities for people who require additional city names to display prominently on the map. Cities are points.  City Limits are the boundaried jurisdictions  associated with each city or town. With both city datasets you’ll expose more of them as your zoom in.

The City Limits data layer lets you edit the layer, as you would a zip code or state layer.  Simply hover over the layer in Map & Data and click the edit gear to edit line and color features or to change the labeling fonts, colors, and text.

City Limit geographies can be used as a base layer for sales territory mapping or creating areas of interest. This means you could establish territories by city limits as opposed to zip codes or counties. This can come in handy for businessmap users.  I also like turning on the city limits layer when trying to assess metropolitan areas form a nationwide zoom level.

And if you just want more city points, more than we offer with the Cities layer (they have specific display rules by zoom level), you can always import your own home-grown dataset of cities.  Be sure to include a state column in your imported city data because you never know how many Meridiths there are in the country.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas
MSA Map View
Metropolitan Statistical Areas or MSA’s are Census Bureau defined metro areas. They can be used to define marketing areas of interest around an urban district largely to support market analysis.  You could build territories using these geographies as well.  Color coded, MSA’s create a striking map of the USA and can help get a viewer’s attention.  If you look online you can find conversion charts for creating similar marketing areas out of zip codes – like converting a list of zip codes into DMA’s. You would than simply import spreadsheet to convert zip codes to DMA’s.

Census Tracts

Census Tracts are also available in the MBO additional map layer offering. Accessed the same way, Census tracts can be used to create territories, and come in handing when defining busy areas of interest in heavily populated areas like downtown Manhattan or Chicago. In urban areas Census Tracts tend to be more granular than zip codes which makes them a nice alternative to zip code maps for describing business processes.  For rural areas Census tracts tend to mirror zip codes.

School Districts

For businesses doing a lot of work for schools we’ve also included school Districts. These could be helpful for transportation companies or service organizations catering to school districts. Once again, you can establish territories based on school districts. School districts are a nice back ground for a multi-stop route planner system supporting bus transportation.

Zip 3 code

Regular zip codes are made up of five digits. I grew up in 01966.  The three digit zip code associated with 01966 is 019.  Three digit zips cover a wider area then their subset five digit zip codes. Three digit zips can be a quick and dirty way to establish zip code territories that combine zips in an organized fashion. Direct mail folks like to monitor mail deliveries by 3 digit zip codes because USPS tends to deliver  to homes in 3 digit zip areas on the same day. I’m sure the Post Office has operational methods that are organized around three digit zips but that information is classified – which means I don’t really know for sure.

Cites and Highways

The city point layer and the highway line layer are included in premium layers largely to support additional referencing over territory maps. With these layers, if you color code in your states, counties or zip codes layers, instead of making those layers transparent to show orienting background map data, you can simply drop the highway layer on top of your area of interest map. It’s an option that can keep your map looking cleaner and more focused.

Request More Layers

The premium layer button is a reminder that we pay attention to user requests. Please hit the contact us button with layer requests, if you run across any.

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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How Do I Plot Incremental Points Using Map Business Online?


Map Business Online users from time to time, desire the ability to plot points on the map manually.  Most often user will import location enabled address spreadsheets and throw multiple, perhaps thousands of points on the map all at one time. Alas, sometimes business mapping software users do not want to import data, they just want to create points on the map manually.  This could be for a variety of reasons:

  • They only have one or just a few records to map
  • They view manual placement as faster
  • They are not comfortable with spreadsheets

Incremental point plotting can be easily done with Map Business Online. It is a Plot, Save and Edit process.  You can insert an address through the address bar or you can grab the Plot Point tool from the Draw Tool options.

If you plot using the Address Bar in the upper left hand corner of the application, make sure to input your address like this: “10 Main St, Rockport, MA”  The commas are emphasized to make sure you use them.

When you enter an address and click the binoculars a point is placed on the map and a mini-toolbar appears near the point.  You have to save the point by clicking that red Mappoint Save button on the mini-tool bar. This initial mappoint placement process will create a dataset called Locations.

If you use the Draw Tool Add Location button to place your point, the new location will be added to your Location data set too.  You’ll note an address is not viewable in the Data Window. Instead you’ll have lat/long coordinates.  You can add address information later, as required.

Whichever way you plot points, you have to choose to either create a new data set or add to an existing dataset. Just follow the add data dialog.  MBO will automatically create a dataset called Locations. You’ll see the new dataset in the Map & Data check list, and you’ll find it in the Data Window view. As you add new points, if you choose, you can create new datasets. It’s up to you.

To edit data locations in Map Business Online you have options. One is to click a point to activate the Mini-Toobar. Choose the Edit Gear and do what editors do.  Use this method of editing to change the symbol set of your added point or points.

Users can also open the Data Window to edit data. Simply select the dataset and hover over the left hand column of the data – those Green and Yellow dots. You’ll see a Pencil Icon pop-up. Click that to Edit location information or field content.

Don’t forget to look up common operations in the Help documentation if you have questions.

Business map users add data to Map Business Online for so many reasons. For the most part it is to simply visualize where customers, staff, or business locations are located.  Additional points may be added to create some sort of comparison or highlight.
MissBruce
In Map Business Online a user can add up to 100,000 records to a map. Remember you are currently limited to no more than twelve datasets per map. That’s why we recommend consolidating like datasets.  Don’t use up you dataset allocation on small quantity datasets that could be combined into one import.  You can always symbolize and color code like dataset points by a category in your data for differentiation on the map and map legend.

Simple data imports and comparisons in MBO turn your business map into competitive analysis, market analysis, expansion plans, a customer map, or operational maps.

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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Predicting the Future with Business Mapping Software


As a business manager I’ve always wished I could predict the future. Visualizing the next big thing could greatly improve my business decision making. But the reality is I can’t just dream-up where all my new customers will be next year. I need something more scientific to do that.

Map Visualizations Better Than a Ouija Board
As it turns out, business mapping software may be just scientific enough. I can start by importing a spreadsheet of current customer addresses and visualize where all my customers are located today. This is sometimes called customer mapping. Customer densities appear – areas where our customers tend to congregate on the map. That map now clearly defines where our customers are located and, more importantly, where they are not located. And where customers are not is where I predict they will be in the future.

I can add to my map view a simple demographics by zip code layer that displays population gradations by a selection of zip codes. Now I can consider where large populations are concentrated and where our current customer densities are light. Knowing that our product offering is applicable to almost any sales and marketing organization I can safely assume that areas where we are not doing business is related more to customer awareness than to geographic eccentricities that might preclude the use of MBO. It’s like selling toilets to town residents with no plumbing, you know they want toilets but they haven’t got the hook ups yet. Fortunately I’m in the mapping business.

Maps Inform Good Business Decisions
So my business decisions will be focused on areas where we think we can sell more. Those decisions might include:
• Hiring a sales calling service to focus on a few target areas of high population densities where we see low MBO user densities
• Launching an advertising insert into the local papers in those low density areas to generate some interest
• Set up a MBO roadside hot dog stand manned by scantily clad male and female millennials during the B2B weekday lunch hour in those low density districts

Expansion Planning
But I’ve got large business customers that require more face-to-face time. A few traveling sales people might be just the ticket to land some big companies and drive more respectable testimonials. So we’ve interviewed several prospects and they’ll be coming on board shortly. To accommodate their sales capabilities and manage their time we’re tapping into Map Business Onlines’s sales territory mapping capabilities. We’ve developed three sales territories by county across the Eastern USA – the Mississippi East Region.

We used counties because states boundaries didn’t adequately represent large business proximities that correlated efficiently with our new sales peoples’ home bases. By basing our territories on counties we can divide states where necessary preserving a map visualization balance between estimated windshield time and sales compensation coverage.

As we planned our expansion we used MapBusinessOnline to estimate drive times around key metro areas. Each targeted metro area included at least four major businesses that were qualified MBO leads. We imported a list of additional business addresses by metro area that we secured from an online business listing service. Drive time polygons were used to query those lists and saved results, or MBO marketing lists, were turned into optimized multi-stop vehicle routes.

Traveling sales people will plan their weekly schedule using a metro area hotel as the central point. All qualified businesses located within a given drive time polygons will be targeted for calls. Any businesses with significant potential within a one hour drive time of the original scope of call is a fair target, at the sales person’s discretion, because we don’t want any more windshield time expended without special permission from corporate.

Share Editable Maps
A shared and editable business map will be created, saved and shared with the team of account managers. The map will show:

• Sales territories by county
• Metro drive time targets
• Prospects color coded by call status and with hover-notes showing the number of potential users

Each week, using shared map editing capabilities, the new account managers will update our shared business map. Account managers are accountable for their own territory updates – this is written into their contract. They edit their maps daily or weekly as long as updates are complete by the day of the monthly sales meeting. If during the meeting we have to waste time speculating about whether an account had been visited or if the data was up-to-date, that account manager will suffer a demerit. Five demerits and they are back to selling roadside hotdogs.

Once a quarter a business decision will be made to hand off accounts to the inside sales team and create new market areas of interest for the traveling account managers to target. Leads from happy customers tend to drive a large percentage of new target development. And it’s a fact today that customers, once set-up, do not want to spend a lot of face time being glad handed by outside sales people.

We’ll follow this process until we feel we’ve saturated our territory scheme. At that point we’ll either move the focus west or drive deeper into detail and setup territories by zip code by metro area. Either way, even though we can’t peer into the future we can plan our way forward and create our own future using business mapping software.

Isn’t it time you developed a work flow that includes location intelligence and business mapping software? The Quija says, “Yes.” The Eight Ball say, “Decidedly so.” And Madame Marie is busy selling roadside MBO hotdogs.

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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The Quest for Map Perfection

Maps have always been an imperfect representation of the real world. Today’s online mapping applications, with the advent of crowd sourced data updates and detailed aerial imagery views, are pretty great representations of our world, but still – they are not perfect. Business mapping software is still far from perfect.

Maps of any sort require map projections to accommodate the compression of real world objects onto flat and limited area surfaces. And map projections always introduce compromises in map accuracy – like making Africa appear too small when compared to Europe, a common complaint for many world map viewers.

Map data address accuracy is by its very nature less than perfect due to the fact that addresses change. New streets get added on a regular basis. Street names get changed. Old street addresses get reconfigured to accommodate new postal rules or local emergency management schemes. Bridges get closed, roads get discontinued, and two-way streets can be turned into one-ways at the whim of a town manager. All of these changes impact map accuracy. What was accurate on Tuesday could be dead wrong on Friday.

Online or desktop mapping software applications can fall far short of the business map user’s expectation of a relatively perfect map. In addition to data accuracy the user has to come to terms with usability issues. Is the business mapping software easy-to-use? Does it efficiently navigate to my area of interest? Is there enough map detail to provide answers to my map related questions? Or is there too much detail; so much detail that I can’t get answers to my questions?

A map maker must consider usability when they decide how labeling of streets, cities, zip codes and counties will occur. At what zoom level should zip code labels appear? At what zoom level should small rivers and streams show? Should I call this road U.S. Route 1 or The Portland Road or both? Mapping software developers must decide how these details will present and how much control over map presentation details the user will get.

Any map user will want to know that the applications they test address the business challenges they seek to resolve through business mapping. Can the tool do more than simply visualize customers on a map? Does it provide demographic maps, sales territory mapping or competitive analysis? A realtor may want to view property lines, a sales person may want to see zip codes, while a banker might prefer to see Census tracts.

Business Mapping Software
The challenge for business mapping software is to present a map view that engages the map user while not intimidating, that provides critical data without overwhelming, that offers additional map related tools without forcing the user to invest too much time and money in post-graduate level professional mapping studies, just to be able to navigate the darn thing. Providing a reasonably compelling and customizable map view is a primary goal for business mapping software companies. The result should be a map with enough information, but not too much information, and with minimal software steps to get there. Your business map should provide just enough user flexibility. It’s a tough balance.

Map Business Online is a business mapping solution that presents users with easy-to-use-tools offering enough map data so that when you’ve added your business data you get compelling and informative results. To date, we’ve focused on providing map administrative layers like zip codes, Census Tracts, MSA’s, and school districts. Map Business Online includes a growing library of demographic data layers including population, income, ethnicity, households, housing and more. These layers are accessible for work in your business map views – exportable for work outside MBO as well.

Subscribing to the most up-to-date world-wide street level map data has been of primary importance to Map Business Online, since the very beginning. This should be sweet relief to former MapPoint customers seeking a MapPoint replacement. To put it nicely, Microsoft MapPoint and Streets & Trips Street map data was stale. The map data had not been made current for many years. And then, of course, they simply shut down both software products. I would have expected much better from Microsoft.

Map Data
Map Business Online street data is compiled by www.Esri.com , the world leader in GIS software, from the world’s finest map data providers. Rarely do we find errors within our map data, but if we do these errors are reported and repaired. Google will repair data errors as well. Just make them aware of the issues and wait a little while. Data errors in any map application are, for the most part, repaired pretty quickly.

Demographic data is a marvelous addition to business mapping. These generalized datasets compiled by regular US Census Bureau data surveys provide details about the populace by jurisdiction. Information like this can be critical to strategic business planning, expansion planning, or just retail mapping. Yet Census data has its limits. How current is the data, how detailed is the data, did the Census even ask the right questions?

Map Imperfections Can Impact Business
Imperfections in mapping can have a direct impact on business. Christopher Columbus almost turned back because his maps severely underestimated the distance from Spain, across the Atlantic Ocean to promised lands in the west. His crew was near mutiny when land was finally spotted.

Napoleon relied on accurate and recent mapping as a key component to his military strategy, which often entailed a feint assault to hold an enemy force in place while another force conducted a rapid and concealed march over rough and unknown terrain, surprising the enemy and winning the day. “Napoleon wanted quick, accurate mapping as the army advanced. Part of the staff was made responsible for the army’s map supply, terrain studies and map making. It was accompanied by a mobile printing shop and a small copper-plate press. It could produce hundreds of rough maps in a few hours.” (Source – http://www.napolun.com.)

Napoleon’s cartographer, how cool would that job be? Pretty cool until you messed up a contour map delaying the main attack-force by a day or more. Really cool unless you failed to note the swamp located between the mountain and the field of battle, resulting in the loss of half the artillery required to subdue the Prussian army. “Préparer la guillotine. C’est un doofus cartographique.”

And that’s why today’s map makers like to keep map errors to a minimum. Most of us are not planning world domination – well perhaps Microsoft and Google are – but we like to keep customers satisfied, informed, and happy with the business mapping software they’ve paid for. Because no matter what your business strategy is, you need to get there before your enemy realizes what you’re doing.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Let a digital map help you learn about your business

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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Welcoming 2015 – Out with the MapPoint!

Wrapping up 2014, our busiest year yet, Map Business Online looks forward to assisting many more business mapping software customers in 2015. Setting aside for a moment the demise of Microsoft MapPoint, we’ve noticed a major uptick in sales to business managers who use Map Business Online as a way to communicate business strategies and drive sales accountability through shared, interactive digital maps.

We think 2015 is going to be the year of the shared map. Business managers need to efficiently communicate company objectives – especially sales objectives – with their team members. And what better way to communicate than by sharing a web map? Shared maps communicate quickly and effectively because they combine facts with places in a way that helps to clarify business objectives. Shared maps say, “Your responsibility starts and ends here,” or “Your customers live and behave in this area in this way,” or “Your patient expects your assistance with this problem right here, at 6:00PM.” By relating customer targets with locations, maps help tie objectives to results.

Dare to Map Share – Securely
There’s no longer a need to ask or answer the question, “Didn’t you get the memo?” In just a few clicks a shared interactive web map can communicate the latest sales territory boundaries, display this month’s sales results by territory, and perhaps show a heat map of key account sales activity across a sales region. And all of this information is visualized and understood in one glance – as opposed to reading a boring memo.

Most businesses have warmed to the idea of uploading a spreadsheet of customer locations onto a cloud-based digital map. There’s some understandable wariness about importing business data into a cloud service, but those security concerns aren’t stopping people from doing it. The best cloud services providers encrypt imported datasets and effectively secure all map access through SSL protocols. You have to actually give bad guys your password for them to access your business data or view maps without your permission. With security in place, and advanced mapping features more broadly available, businesses are ready to move beyond MapPoint’s ten year-old feature set and get creative with their business planning.

Critical Data That Wants to Be Shared
CRM software providers have recognized the power of a map used to share critical customer data and are actively seeking out mapping integration partners. Picture a call center associate’s computer screen. An incoming call is more quickly and accurately managed when there is a map involved. Maps provide context for a rapid resolution pathway for customer questions or needs. An incoming customer, identified by location, can be instantly visualized offering immediate options for outside contact, or service center referral, based on a quick radius search or a zip code locator. Critical contact data, account information, and other key details are a simple click from the customer location symbol. A fast resolution pathway means a happy customer – more product sales, more renewals, better conversions.

As cloud services become the new software distribution model, affordable business mapping software applications have become standard tools for customer mapping, retail competitor analysis, demographic analysis, and sales planning. By sharing these popular visual perspectives on the business landscape, companies are achieving more efficient planning and improving work-flows. There’s no sense in preserving the company sales territory map on the wall of the headquarters’ boardroom. These data visualizations need to be more universally shared to derive maximum value from your entire planning process. And sharing sales territory assignments across the corporate network just makes so much sense. Sharing territory maps drives accountability – more product sales, more renewals, better conversions.

Today, with a little more investment and some planning, your team can share map editing privileges as well. This takes map sharing to a whole new level – beyond map viewing to shared editing. Got a rep complaining about slow or inaccurate data updates? Enable team shared map editing. Empower them to make changes on the map. Cloud services rule when it comes to shared editing. Legacy desktop software, like MapPoint, struggled with shared editing.

Contemporary mapping tools way outstrip MapPoint capabilities in the category of sales territory management. They are easier, more flexible, and visually more appealing than Microsoft’s last iteration – developed some eight years back. Prepare to be sales territory mapping amazed, MapPoint users. Your MapPoint replacement has arrived.
MBO Map Image

Seek Your Map Geeks
CAUTION: Sharing maps for editing and viewing is not for everyone on your staff. This is just a simple, albeit sad fact. Some of your associates are not comfortable viewing maps or they just don’t get their value. So don’t go buying everyone a mapping subscription right off. Be selective with your investment. Your business mapping team will be made up of a continuum of map-geeks. The true map geeks will grab hold of this technology and run with it. The map-peeks will use it for monthly reporting or for critical looks-ups when they have to. And a map-weak will not look at the map unless Chris Christie calls and scream-threatens them with twenty-one days of Ebola Quarantine. Protect your investment – be selective based on your understanding of your people.

Maps Inform Strategic Plans
Any strategic plan that doesn’t include a location-based analysis today is less strategic than it could be. Massive energy companies down to local mom and pop variety stores all develop their business plans based on an understanding of sales potential by coverage area. Can you imagine a business that wouldn’t want to understand its market potential by demography if the tools were readily available at a reasonable price? Of course not. That’s why smart companies, companies who look for competitive edges, are applying customer mapping tools in their strategic planning processes.

Business mapping tools as applied to strategic planning are the modern-day equivalent of radar during the Battle of Britain. The Germans didn’t understand how the British were using radar, so they left those strange-looking stations largely untouched. Bad move Adolph. Upon a Luftwaffe sortie launch, the British knew exactly how many bombers and fighters were on their way and exactly where they were headed, twenty minutes before they reached the British shoreline. This gave them time to assign RAF fighters to an appropriate rendezvous point for a successful counter attack. Picture those uniformed British women raking toy planes across a massive map while the big-wigs looked on – today that’s your business map! Likewise, your competitors could be unaware of your mapping advantage or they may be outwitting you at this very moment with their own mapping tools. Didn’t you get the memo?

Business mapping software in 2015 is a core planning tool complementary to other business systems like CRM, business intelligence, or order processing. Twitter may be history in five years – business mapping software will be more advanced and even more ubiquitous.

A MapPoint Alternative to Valhalla
As the MapPoint Viking longship is lit a-fire and pushed off to Valhalla, business managers don’t need to jump on board and sacrifice their sad selves. This is their chance to reassess their use of business mapping software and start exploring new mapping opportunities – in territory management, customer mapping visualizations, retail mapping, and strategic planning. There is life after MapPoint replacement. The smart competitive business person is already on our website exploring the vast benefits of up-to-date business mapping software. They’ll be sharing maps in 2015. Don’t wait for the memo.

Wishing everyone a spatial holiday season and a very mappy new year!

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Let a digital map help you learn about your business

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

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

Review us at Capterra g2crowd, chekkt , or Best Vendor

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A Sales Territory Management Manual for Map Business Online

Many Map Business Online business mapping users apply the tool for sales territory management. A few of those users have requested a manual describing the actual map processes as applied to territory management. This blog post provides that Manual.

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One of http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com’s most powerful tools is sales territory management software. Our software developers have been developing solutions for sales territory management since 1996. With Map Business Online (MBO) they’ve really released a tool that is intuitive, easy, and full-featured. MBO territory management is the most affordable and complete solution available as a web-based/Cloud service. Territory mapping begins with territory creations.

Key Definitions
Administrative districts – Map Business Online comes with preformatted map layers which include administrative districts 5 digit zip code, 3 digit zip code, county, city limits, states, and more layers. Those listed here are the most commonly used as a basis for territory areas.

Tool bar – MBO’s 22 map tools are accessed across the top of the application and noted in this article by position 1 through 22 from left to right.

Map & Data – This tab is located on the left side of the map. Map & Data displays map layers and imported data layers. Here you can edit layers – change colors, line widths, turn labels on and off, fonts, data formats, manage territory overlap, access satellite imagery, and change zip code sources.

Data Window – Located at position 20 from the left on the Tool Bar the Data Window displays and controls dataset views within MBO. It displays upon importing data and upon territory creation. Here you can change territory colors, names, delete territories, filter data, create route stops, and export spreadsheets.

Territory Creation
There are four ways to create territories using Map Business Online.

1. Import Territories from pre-assigned spreadsheets. Use the Create Territories button at position 6 from the left on the tool bar. Your spreadsheet should have a column for administrative district (zip or county), state, and for territory name. Navigate to your data and import the dataset. Pay attention as you navigate the dialog boxes to assure your territory zip codes, counties, states or cities are falling into place as expected.

2. Create territories from search tools. In the Map & Data tab turn on a target layer of administrative districts you plan to base your territory scheme on – zip codes, counties. Typically a Polygon tool is selected from Position 15 from the left on the tool bar. Click the little down arrow and it’s the second option down. You’ll notice the tool is highlighted in Green when it is active. Click on the map and start your polygon. Lasso as many districts as you like. Complete the polygon back to your starting point – end it in the little circle you see there. If only one layer of data is turned on you will be directed to a Naming dialog. If there are multiple layers of data selected you will have to choose which layer to base your territory on. Name your territory. When the Data Window pops op you can choose to change the Territory Color in the color box along the Data Window tool bar. You can also Delete the territory or change the Name by click the Data Window Edit Marketing List button – two sheets with a check mark.

3. Incremental selection. Use your cursor to incrementally select a zip code, county or state. Once you have the initial administrative district selected, hold down the Shift key and you can continue to add districts to your list. When you’ve gathered your territory, click the Blue Puzzle Piece Icon on the map, near your selection. Choose Create New to name your new territory. You will note you can also edit territories using the same Blue button – the options include Add to, Remove from, Remove all except, and Update.

4. Data Window filter. At times a user may want to filter the Administrative District layer in the Data Window to create a territory. For instance, you could select the entire USA zip code layer and filter it for a range of zip codes greater than 01001 and less than 01050. The resultant Data Window list can be made into a territory by clicking the Create New Territory button on the Data Window tool bar.

Map Business Online includes a Territory Options tab in the Map & Data tab. Along the top of Map & Data, click the Gear icon. Choose the Territory Options tab. Here you can choose to make territories transparent on the map allowing the street data to come through. You can also allow territories to intersect or overlap and highlight the intersection. Once turned on, overlapping territory districts will be highlighted in red or whatever color you choose to highlight overlap.

Map Storage & Templates – Once your territory map is complete you should save the map. Simply click the Save Map icon at position 3. You should consider saving your territory map as a map template. A template can be used as the starting point for future maps. Consider your work flow and decide if you require a saved map template for future use.

Territory Labels. To turn off a territory label simply hover over it and click the X in the upper right hand corner of the label. To turn on a territory label that’s been turned off, select any territory administrative district and then click once within that district.

Territory Display & MapShare
Posting Imported Sales Results can be displayed as numeric values on territory labels. Import your data. In Map & Data hover over the administrative district your territories are based on. Click the Gear icon that pops up. On the right vertical tabs choose Labels & Callouts. Choose Format Labels and Callouts. Choose Territory Callouts. Check the Line #1 box. Choose your imported data in the Line #1 data drop down. Choose your sales data column of your imported data in the second drop down. Edit the Prefix to the label as required. Click Change Labels & Callouts on the bottom right.

There are several ways to share your territories with your constituents. One way is to simply print territory map views. Follow the print dialog box for printed maps – position 18 from the left on the tool bar. For digital sharing decide if your viewers require static maps or interactive web maps.

Static map image files are available at position 19 from the left on the tool bar. An image file can be saved as a Jpeg or as a PNG file. These saved map views can be attached to an email or embedded in a Power Point presentation.

Interactive web maps are popular with sales organizations for sharing territory maps. Once your territory map is finalized save the map using the Save Icon at position 3 on the tool bar. Next click the Share Map button at position 4 on the tool bar. Choose from among the public and team sharing or private sharing options.

Public Sharing enables a web-map URL to be generated and shared via email or text message. You can also embed the URL in a web page. Password protection is available through the password dialog. Public sharing is allowed at no charge for up to 100 MapShare views per month with each annual subscription. Additional MapShares can be purchased for a fee. One MapShare view is defined as a map session initiated by clicking on the shared URL and completed by exiting the application. A MapShare viewer may pan and zoom all around the world, conduct multiple radius or polygon queries on shared data, view the shared Data Window, print and save map views – all under one MapShare session.
Team Sharing enables shared map and or data editing privileges for other Map Business Online annual subscribers. Under Team Sharing the map administrator chooses the email login of the subscriber requiring map editing, data editing or viewing of the share maps. The map administrator assigns the specific role to each team member. A separate team dialog is available for team creation and management.

Reporting
Query all sales accounts by Territory
At times a user will desire to identify a list of accounts pertaining to a specific territory. To do this first import a total list of sales accounts. Open the Data Window. In the upper left hand corner of the Data Window select your imported account list as the target for territory querying. Next choose the Yellow Puzzle Piece icon towards the right of the Data Window tool bar. Choose which territory you would like to query by. Name the query results as a Marketing List. Use the Export button on the extreme right of the Data Window tool bar to export the list.

Creating a list of territory assignments
After you’ve created your territories you can create a list of territories and export that list for use in other applications or for archiving. First, remember the administrative layer you built your territories from – let’s assume for this exercise it is zip codes.

Next, in the Data Window select the Zip Code Layer – the one that lists the whole country’s postal codes. Click the Add Data button in the lower right, or hover over a column header and click the Gear icon. This brings up the Add Data dialog. In the All Column option on the left, choose General to display Territory and Territories in your options – select Territory. Using the Blue Arrow move Territory from the Left panel to the Right panel. Click Set Data Columns.

Now you need to Filter you data. Choose the Filter Funnel Icon on the Data Window tool bar. In the Filter Dialog, on the left, in the top drop down choose General. Then in the lower drop down choose Territory. Now focus on the right, on the top you’re going to choose a modifier. In the modifier drop down, pick the ‘Greater Than’ symbol – “”. In the far right empty box put a zero. Now click Filter in the lower right.

4. Export this list by clicking the Far Right button on the Data Window tool bar. To save it as an Excel sheet name the file: .xls.

Using the Draw Tools
MBO Tool Bar icon position 16 from the left is a set of Draw Tools. These tools allow the user to create circles, polygons, lines and text boxes on the map in a free form fashion. Each polygon, circle or line can be adjusted for thickness, color, and placement. There is also a MapPoint drop button for placing new location records manually on the map.

Bisecting zip codes, counties or state. In general, we recommend divisions of larger administrative districts be handled with smaller administrative districts. Split a state in half by creating two county groupings – as an example. But sometimes sales managers simply want to show a split across an administrative district. Draw lines or polygons can be used for this purpose. Draw lines can also be used to highlight key highways, railroads, rivers, or other geographic objects for the purposes of territory planning.

Circle and polygon objects can be used to query data. Simply click the Binocular icon to start a data query.

Help
For assistance in general MBO operations refer to our extensive Help Section on the application and the web-site. You’ll found a library of common mapping application instructions and access to a library of how-to videos we have posted on YouTube.com.

More Advanced Operations
There are a few more advanced territory management features that require instructions with application video or image examples. Be sure to ask for assistance if you do not see a solution listed above.

Click the Contact Button on the Map Business Online application or the Contact Us button at http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com. You can also call us at 800-425-9035.

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