Ask anyone who has gone on a sales visit and they’ll tell you that it’s one of the more daunting tasks in the profession. As for the second most dreaded activity for a sales rep? That’s CRM – or, Customer Relationship Management – data entry.
Let’s talk about important digital tools (and their alternatives) that successful companies provide to their sellers to help them triumph in these two challenging areas.
What is Salesforce Maps?
Salesforce Maps is an extension of the Salesforce CRM sales tool that lets sales teams capture, store, and visualize customer data. Salesforce offers a range of plans with different features ranging from task management to analytics to automated business processes.
Previously MapAnything, Salesforce Maps was purchased by Salesforce in 2019 and has quickly become a renowned strategic tool for field sales. As you might guess, the software comes with a mapping tool, but there’s a whole lot more to it than that!
Salesforce Maps Features
These are the top functions that Salesforce Maps currently executes:
- Sales route planning
Salesforce Maps territory planning finds the most efficient sales route giving sellers the most efficient way to hit all of their stops; sales reps can also find nearby accounts along the route to fill in gaps and optimize their time.
- Sales territory management & visualization
Territory can be divided by geographic location, customer revenue, new or existing customers, and more parameters according to the CRM data – and then viewed with a bird’s-eye map view to easily make location based decisions.
- Map-based sales data visualization
You can also use this map-based visualization to view other key metrics like revenue, sales type, product requirements, and rep activity.
- Prioritized scheduling
According to Maplytics, one of the biggest hindrances to field sales reps getting their job done is a poorly managed schedule. Create sales schedules based on priority and prospect analysis using EinsteinⓇ Score and PardotⓇ Score.
- Team sharing and collaboration
Any proper sales tool needs a collaborative function; Salesforce knows this. That’s why Maps, too, offers cross-platform sharing of schedules, routes, and territories.
Salesforce Maps Pros and Cons
Every business has their own needs. One company might find Maps handy and another might only sell virtually and see no use in such an app.
As with any big purchase, always balance the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.
Salesforce Maps Pros
- 28% of enterprise businesses use Salesforce. If the sales team is already familiar with the UI of the program or reps have used it at some point in the past, training time and investment in the product will be light.
- Direct integration with Salesforce lets you maintain data consistency.
- Mobile access lets reps adjust their day on the go.
- The app is highly customizable and designed for the whole sales team, not just outside sales.
Salesforce Maps Cons
- Maps doesn’t include deal tracking, which makes it difficult to accurately view the sales pipeline within a territory.
- Rerouting due to cancellations or new appointments can be difficult, especially when adding a stop in a different territory.
- The mobile version has limited capabilities, requiring sales reps to return to their desk to complete some activities.
- The price point is higher than alternatives.
How to use Salesforce Maps
Those looking to incorporate Salesforce Maps into their sales processes will certainly need more training than can be extended here, but the basic steps to using the software are:
1. Install and give sales reps access to Salesforce Maps
2. Open the app, click “Maps” and add a new layer for a specific territory
3. Define the parameters of the layer and choose the information you want displayed when that layer is selected
4. Save the layer and plot the markers
5. Click on markers to see relevant information about the account that was defined earlier
6. Use the drawing tool to compare areas if desired
7. Create a new route and select the accounts to be automatically added to the route, save, and select the calendar date on which to embark
8. Sales reps can use the markers to check in and out of their locations
There are also more functions not included in the above steps.
Salesforce Maps Pricing
Salesforce CRM has a base price depending on the tier needed by the company using the software. Additional features are included at extra costs, and Salesforce Maps counts as one of these extensions not included in the base price.
At the time of writing, Salesforce offers its regular Maps data visualization with an additional subscription of $75 USD per month. Users wishing to augment their experience can purchase Salesforce Maps: Advanced which advertises turbocharged field productivity using advanced route optimization and geo-analytics in addition to the base features for $125 USD each month.
Salesforce Maps Alternatives
Each company has its own unique needs depending on its product, market, and sales process. A sales operations manager might at this stage be wondering if the Salesforce Maps cost is worth it.
Unfortunately, we can’t answer that question, but today’s software market is abundant in sales tool choices. It’s easy to arrive at a Salesforce Maps alternative that gives the same advantages and more at different price points.
For instance, Google Maps API takes the generic Google Maps app to another level by expanding the familiar trip-planning function to include better route optimization, dynamic and static maps, and the ability to add markers, notes, and images.
While Google Maps Platform handles the routes, Revenue Grid pairs with Salesforce CRM to cover the data side of things. Revenue Grid’s features include a dashboard that lets companies visualize critical data and gain the insights necessary to improve field operations that drive revenue. CRM and email integration automatically access and capture data right from the inbox and calendar of each rep.
It’s not just about mapping
As with everything else in sales, data is key when plotting sales visits. The who, why, and what are just as important as the where of a client meeting. Whether or not Salesforce Maps is right for your company, make sure to choose a software stack that puts data at the forefront and makes sellers’ jobs easier.