CRM Map Mashups Increase Sales Productivity


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Want to increase the productivity of your sales force? Build them better maps.

CRM software such as Salesforce is great for capturing and displaying information on leads, more advanced opportunities and customers. But sometimes the most productive use of that information comes from taking it one step further, and mashing up the underlying data to help a salesperson identify: What’s the best, next action for me to take, to deliver maximum sales returns?

On that front, Cloud Sherpas has been working with many customers — especially in the retail, manufacturing, construction and real estate sectors — to marry their CRM data with interactive mapping tools. To learn more, I spoke with Cloud Sherpas’ Geospatial Sales Executive Matthew DeTroia and Inside Sales Associate Kevin Mosteller:

Interactive Maps: “Show Me High-Value Prospects Nearby”

How does visualizing information on a map help salespeople? Say a salesperson is spending a day in the field, visiting merchants and vendors, and has a cancellation that leaves them with two free hours. Rather than catching up on email at Starbucks, they can instead use a CRM mapping app on their iPad to draw a 10-mile radius around their current location. The app can show them the precise location of every nearby account, color-coded to show customers that have been visited within 15 days (green), 25 days (yellow), or over 25 days (red). Similar systems can also be used to display local high-value (red) or low-value (yellow) leads.

Many Cloud Sherpas customers have created related incentives for their salespeople, for example to minimize the number of customers that display as red, or maximize the number of red leads that get visited. Behind the scenes, sales operations personnel use the app to plan visits. Once in the field, meanwhile, any salesperson with extra time in their schedule can use the map to show them what their number-one priority should be.

With 800 Sales Reps? Avoid Visual Clutter

Maps work best when they relay only the information that a particular salesperson requires. For example, one Cloud Sherpas customer, which has about 800 sales reps in North America charged with visiting prospects and customers to sign deals, wanted to improve its reps’ ability to manage their time and increase their prospecting efforts.

Accordingly, Cloud Sherpas helped the company create an interface that displays leads, accounts and opportunities on a map, color-coded to show which ones offer the greatest chance of a high-value deal (for prospects) as well as listing high-value customers, color-coded based on when they were most recently visited.

But the company has approximately 2 million leads inside its Salesforce application and about 500,000 active accounts. Displaying all of this information to every salesperson would be a usability nightmare. Accordingly, we tailored the interface — using roles and profiles inside the Salesforce application — to create profiles tailored to each sales rep, based on which leads or accounts they’ve been designed as owning. Per the CRM maxim that everyone must live inside the CRM application, meanwhile, for the salesperson’s weekly face-to-face meeting with their sales manager, we created another interface that allows the manager to review, with the rep, their current and recent map views.

Mashup CRM With Maps

How can businesses mashup CRM data with maps? First, Cloud Sherpas begins with business outcomes: What’s the business challenge you need to address using mapping? Next, we identify the best technique for geocoding billing, shipping or other address information into latitude and longitude coordinates, as well as mashing up the data required to support the desired map readout.

Technologically speaking, we typically use one of two approaches, based on project complexity:

  • Less complex: For basic mapping functionality, G2Maps geo-analytics software, built by Cloud Sherpas and available via AppExchange, drops into and runs on We typically help customers get this set up, then they’re off and running.
  • More complex: For businesses (typically larger enterprises) with more complex workflows, processes or setup requirements, we recommend a custom development project that identifies these processes, then uses the Google Maps API to deliver the required functionality.

Maps For Manufacturers, Governments And Beyond

Using either of those approaches will support almost any type of mapping and CRM mashup requirements, such as the following Cloud Sherpas customer examples:

  • Airplane manufacturer: When sales reps land at an airport and have 12 hours to call on prospects, which ones should they visit first? Going forward, can they use an app to show prospects a map that displays each aircraft’s range (on a single tank of fuel, from the prospect’s home airfield?
  • Government funding: For an organization that facilitates funding for overseas projects, we created — using — a website that allows stakeholders to visually see every project, then filter or click to drill down on each one. The displayed information relays who’s funding the project, when it’s due for completion, whether the project remains on-time and on-budget, as well as a list of all project partners. For volatile areas, the interface is set to show approximate project locations, without revealing exact place names or precise coordinates.
  • Residential construction firm: By marrying information from Zillow on residential construction projects with opportunity data from the firm’s Salesforce system, a color-coded map shows sales reps — at zip code level — areas where there are a large number of construction projects, but the company has few leads. The priority, naturally, is to begin targeting those areas.

These types of mapping projects enable businesses to relay more actionable information to their sales reps, leading not just to higher levels of CRM adoption, but better sales force productivity.

Learn More

Cloud Sherpas is one of the world’s leading cloud services brokerages and helps businesses adopt, manage and enhance their CRM investment by identifying desired business goals, finding the right tools and technology for the job, and delivering rapid implementations that remain focused on achieving the desired business capabilities.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Hamed Saber.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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