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In my career as a Salesforce® Consultant, I’ve discovered there’s one very valuable use for this technology that is particularly often overlooked. Many are aware that Salesforce can transform sales and marketing departments, eCommerce storefronts, customer service and many other areas. But what’s less well-known are the huge benefits the platform can have when applied to operations out in the field, on the road. That’s why we’ll be exploring the value of Salesforce Maps Territory Planning in this article.
Let’s start by answering an important question:
What is Salesforce Maps Territory Planning?
Salesforce Maps Territory Planning is a tool for Salesforce Maps that helps organizations to identify and plan the best possible territories for their sales and service teams. Successful territory planning for sales, for instance, means a business must use their sales data to balance reps or teams’ assignments across the relevant locations. Performing this task manually is very often laborious and time-consuming — it can take months, but it’s vital.
Good territory planning prevents unbalanced territories — for instance, where one rep is spread too thinly and unable to work effectively, or too many reps may be covering the same area, “stepping on each others’ toes” and constituting wasted resources. What’s more, rebalancing territories is often crucial to meet changing business needs and goals. Assignments may need to be adjusted based on factors such as staffing levels, new performance targets and even cost-saving initiatives that limit drive time.
Using this powerful tool, businesses can quickly and easily perform service and sales territory mapping with Salesforce, harnessing all the data they have available in order to make better decisions.
Advantages your company can gain
This advanced mapping software for sales territories first requires a dataset, compiled from your relevant business data on accounts, opportunities, leads and cases. With this dataset, you can create a territory model, known as an “alignment”, and compare it with others you’ve created, to gain insights and optimize how reps are balanced. You can then publish your alignments across your different Salesforce (or external) systems.
Gathering your data and making this kind of analysis manually would take much longer and be far more prone to error, but with this technology, it’s simple, fast and delivers better results. When you can amend or build a sales territory map quicker, you can respond to business needs with greater agility. If your sales rep territory map is up to date, and it’s easily available to everyone who needs it, everyone in your team can be coordinated perfectly.
Those are only two of Salesforce Maps Territory Planning’s core benefits. It gets even smarter, by helping you factor in other business values when planning out territories. For example, you can use data on distances and traffic to optimize territory assignments and minimize travel time, or ensure reps have a balanced number of territories based on data you hold about revenue and other business drivers. You can use a whole new, additional layer of data-driven insight to push an even smarter approach to planning territories.
But there’s more. The right implementation of this software also allows you to see if your plans are being carried out correctly and if any further optimizations can be made.
How I helped a client in the ASEAN region
I’d like to tell the story of how I helped a leading fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company here in the Philippines, home to one of VRP’s ASEAN hubs — although VRP can do the same for you, wherever you are. In this case, my client wanted to streamline merchandising activities in their retail stores. To do that they wanted to visualize all stores and reps on a map, so they could improve scheduling so that reps could complete more visits. However, there was also something else that the client wanted: the ability to verify reps’ locations in the field, so they could see if all their assigned visits had actually been conducted.
To enable all this, my team implemented a new mapping solution based on Salesforce Maps and Consumer Goods Cloud. We configured Maps with layers for Account, Retail Store and Visit records, so they could create sales territory map alignments for their merchandising operations. We also gave the client guidance on preparing their records for accurate results on the map. And, we also implemented important check-in/out functionality which would record the dates and times of visits as well as the reps’ exact location coordinates. Using this data, Salesforce Maps would automatically compute the distance between the rep’s recorded check in/out point and the store’s location, verifying that the visit had taken place.
Now this company has a powerful, easy, intelligent tool that has increased the efficiency and effectiveness of how they plan and execute activities in the field. In fact, they’ve reduced the time it takes to approve schedules from two weeks to just two days. And, crucially, they also have accurate, tracked and recorded verification of store visits, safeguarding productivity.
Implementing a solution for your business
If you’d like to implement your own Salesforce Maps Territory Planning, don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy process. VRP Consulting offers a Maps Territory Planning QuickStart Implementation. These high value, limited-duration engagements are designed to get you up and running as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, with a solution crafted around your organization.
We use a templated approach based on our knowledge of your industry and other companies like yours, combined with learnings about your business needs and processes, to find the right fit. It can take as little as four weeks and includes end-user training and self-access training documentation, so your staff have all you need to pick up your solution and run with it.
Want to get started with Salesforce Maps Territory Planning?
Salesforce Maps Territory Planning can be very valuable for organizations of all kinds and sizes, from smaller businesses to international enterprises. In fact, if you hope to grow your business, it may be especially vital to invest in a flexible, easily-scalable sales rep territory map solution. Even if you’re currently managing to get by via manual methods, in our experience, territory balancing and planning is likely to become even more complex with growth and expansion. Like agility, scalability is always a good attribute to have in any aspect of your business. If you’d like to learn more about a Maps Territory Planning QuickStart Implementation, you can find a brief guide with all the most important information on our QuickStarts page. We can also discuss the possibilities for your business together — get in touch and we’ll be glad to explore how we can help you.
About the Author
Senior Salesforce Consultant, VRP Consulting
About the Author
Dea Ferrer is a Senior Salesforce Consultant at VRP Consulting’s office in Manila, Philippines. She holds several Salesforce certifications, including as a consultant for Salesforce Maps, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Field Service and more.