Sales territory planning was once a tedious process that involved ops teams manually organizing and connecting disparate data sources, gathering feedback, and devising a strategy that delivered growth. Every hour spent digging through data and working on administrative tasks was less time for team selling activities. And with the accelerating digital transformation, the competition was only getting fiercer. Sales managers needed a better solution.
Enter territory mapping software. These tools have revolutionized the way businesses visualize and manage territories, making it faster, easier, and smarter than ever before.
For many companies, MapAnything was a popular choice. When Salesforce acquired (then released) the software as Salesforce Maps in 2019, many sales leaders were excited. But, while Salesforce Maps is a great tool for some organizations, others have found it limited and difficult to use.
So, what are the pros and cons of Salesforce Maps territory planning, and is there a better alternative? Let's discuss.
What is Salesforce Maps territory planning?
Territory Planning is a feature of Salesforce Maps that's designed to help you build optimal territories for your sales reps. But what does that mean, exactly?
Planning is all part of effective territory management. During this stage, you work on aligning each region with geographic, account, and sales data to ensure the best coverage for priority customers and high-value areas. Balancing these territories allows you to distribute opportunities for your sales reps in an equitable way. And, as plans change, optimization enables you to swiftly pivot as needed to stay agile.
Ultimately, planning out each territory map can help your organization boost sales team efficiency and productivity while maximizing revenue potential.
How does Salesforce territory planning work?
Planning territories in Salesforce Maps starts by importing a data set from your CRM to generate a map. From there, you can start dividing it into equitable territories based on accounts, revenue potential, and sales quotas.
Salesforce Maps also offers a scenario-planning feature to help you forecast the impact of different decisions and factors, such as staffing availability, travel time, performance goals, and much more. As you make adjustments to your sales territory plan, you can further optimize each region so that your reps' routes are logical and account for real-world considerations, like drive time between locations.
But while Salesforce Maps offers a night-and-day improvement over manual processes, that doesn't mean it's free of difficulties.
The challenges of sales territory management
It's true that Salesforce Maps can make territory management much easier, but the platform does come with some limitations. Before you make a decision on your sales territory mapping software, it's important to consider some of the common challenges organizations face while using Salesforce Maps:
- It lacks the ability to track deals, restricting visibility into the sales process within territories
- The focus on existing customer data makes it difficult to uncover new prospects and opportunities
- Set up, configuration, and customization can be incredibly tedious and time-consuming
- A steep learning curve and unintuitive software interface mean that it takes a while to use efficiently
- Salesforce Maps is often more expensive than alternatives that do just as much, if not more
Why use a territory planning tool with Salesforce?
Today's reps, sales managers, and ops teams work in a highly competitive environment. Sure, Salesforce Maps beats the traditional territory mapping process, but how does it stand up to modern solutions?
The challenges above outline some of the primary reasons organizations choose to use alternative territory planning software. In addition to these concerns, many companies are apprehensive about using Salesforce Maps because of the strict licensing requirements or the inability to use non-Salesforce data in their analyses. Moreover, its customer support representatives aren't experts in the software, as they weren't the ones that built it.
For these reasons and more, many companies choose to use an integrated sales territory planning solution, like eSpatial.
eSpatial: Advanced territory planning for Salesforce
eSpatial offers an innovative territory management solution that can help you plan, balance, align, and optimize your territories for maximum revenue growth. Using location intelligence and advanced algorithms, eSpatial enables you to make point-by-point alignments, compare and contrast scenarios, and unlock unprecedented productivity with weighted workload balancing.
Seamless integrations allow you to connect directly to your Salesforce CRM or upload from any other disparate data source. Whether you're using it as a standalone software or a Salesforce integration, eSpatial delivers all the same advantages.
The benefits of an integrated territory planning solution
Integrated sales territory planning software, like eSpatial, can help you optimize not just your territories, but also your revenue and productivity. By unlocking hidden efficiencies and new opportunities, you can make significant improvements to your territory management process. But the benefits don't stop there.
With eSpatial's integrated territory planning solution for Salesforce, you can:
1. Make data-driven territory plans and maps
By combining data from both existing customers and the wider target market, you can create vibrant territory maps that deliver real insights. For instance, eSpatial can help sales managers identify coverage gaps and underperforming regions. Once you see there's a problem, it's easy to dig into the data to find the root cause and implement a solution.
2. Improve sales performance across the board
Territory alignment and balance are essential to ensure complete coverage and equal workloads. With the ability to track leads and forecast opportunities, you can create proactive territory plans that boost sales potential. By balancing your territories, sales reps can devote more time to giving leads and customers the attention they need.
3. Minimize travel time and expenses
Too often, sales reps are sent out on inefficient routes that waste time and money on essentials like fuel, maintenance, and repair. eSpatial accounts for these factors, helping you create manageable territories and your reps close more deals. Additionally, eSpatial only generates the most efficient routes for your reps to cut down on costs and save more time for selling.
4. Drive greater, more sustainable revenue growth
As market demands shift, competition increases, and other external factors influence your opportunity distribution, you'll need a way to make quick adjustments. With territory planning software, you can uncover struggling areas that need additional support. The centralized view and location intelligence also help you discover emerging trends and dig deeper into your data to spot new opportunities to grow your customer base and revenue.