When the first generation of mapping integrations were introduced into CRM, they would simply plot both your and your customer on a map. With a couple clicks you could print and take custom driving directions with you on the road. That was useful a decade ago, but GPS and smart phones are now mainstream, and those integrations are obsolete.
So why do companies like Google and Microsoft continue to develop and promote mapping integrations?
A good CRM mapping integration can be a useful tool to help you better understand your data. Similar to dashboards, mapping integrations have given businesses an alternate way to digest their data.
Have you ever gone numb looking at pages of reports loaded with numbers, only to realize that you can get a better grasp on the information with a few intuitive visuals?
Let’s pretend that I’m an account manager who supplies promotional materials for retail stores. We’ve implemented Microsoft CRM, and plugged in our map integration. We also built a KPI that aggregates sales data and sets an Account rating.
I’ve noticed that one of my stores has a “F” rating, but why?
Then, I'll select my Accounts and click Map Accounts
My map shows me something very interesting… See the roads that are highlighted Red? This is part of the built in Real Time Traffic feature in Bing Maps.
I can see heavy traffic that passes right by my successful retail stores:
Let’s switch the map to Bird’s Eye view and take a look around:
I can see that all of my successful stores border Rowan University, and are stratigically located between the campus and the dorms. They must see a ton of student foot traffic! I now have a better understanding of the customer flow in the area, and can make informed decisions.
Do you want to use your CRM system to track your sales people in real time as they travel about the country? Their smart phones can transmit their position back to the home office. You can quickly respond when a new lead comes in and have the nearest sales guy reach out and perhaps visit in the same day. Have you ever had an irate CEO call your support desk because of a product problem? Have your nearest sales guy drop in to smooth things out while your technical support guys work the problem. Do you have to visit a bunch of customers in one day? With a click of the mouse, you can have Bing Maps optimize a driving route based on your CRM data. Send it to your smartphone and you’re on your way!
Beringer Associates, Inc. – 800.796.4854