Growth & Customers

Sales visits made easier: Integrate mapping applications and Sage CRM

Woman with phone in her hands

Throughout the pandemic the existence of a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system has proven valuable to companies as they navigate the changing sales landscape. Unfortunately, route sales and customer visits were put on hold as a sales strategy.

Now that we are turning the corner, tools to assist with the transition back to route sales and outside sales are going to play a key role as well.

Making that salesperson as efficient as possible while they are planning, and scheduling visits is a major time saver.

Integrating a mapping application, like Google Maps, with your CRM system provides powerful efficiencies. We all know how amazing the Google Maps data is, especially when you can zoom into street level on any business in the world. Now is the time to leverage that information.

The basic concept of the map integration with CRM is that it reads all of your customer or prospect companies and displays them as pinpoints on a map. Pinpoint colors are often different based on the type of company (customer, prospect, etc.)

Clicking pinpoints provides you with additional CRM related information on that company (status, primary contact, industry segment, last invoice date, etc.) There are all kinds of other bells and whistles built into these map integrations.

Sage CRM and map integration is a perfect fit for route/territory sales

If your company has route or territory sales processes in place, then seeing those records on a map can be a great tool for the route salesperson. The salesperson targets a few key accounts on their trip and schedules visits with those accounts. With a map interface the salesperson can then quickly and strategically fill in the gaps between those appointments by selecting companies from the map.

This can even be more spontaneous. For example, imagine that the salesperson is on the road and had a couple of cancellations for the day. They can pull up the Sage CRM accounts on the mapping application from their tablet or laptop and see if there are any nearby candidates in the CRM database worthy of a call or a quick drop in.

If you have an inside sales team that sets appointments for the outside sales force, seeing the accounts on the map can be critical to scheduling efficient days for the outside salesperson. The inside sales user can quickly move around on the map, identify target accounts, and jump to those records in Sage CRM to call and set appointments.

Some map applications will you create pre-defined routes that include multiple days with designated stops for each day. You can give these routes names, and then re-use or clone when you visit that route again in a few months. Some applications even let you add all of those stops to your calendar with a single click!

In a nutshell, the ability to visualize the Sage CRM records on a map gives the sales team a unique and more efficient perspective on how they should call on their accounts and in what order.

Taking it to another level with lead/prospect generation from the map

We touched on the amazing detail of data that is included with an application like Google Maps. But something that you may not realize is that Google Maps has also been collecting a vast amount of business data over the years that is stored within the map. All you have to do is zoom in close enough on a map and you will see it. Almost every business shows up as a small icon on a map. Clicking on that icon in the map gives you information about the business (address, business hours, phone number, website, reviews, etc.).

Let’s take it a step further. Say you sell products to veterinarians and pet stores. If you go to the search bar in the Google maps window and type in “veterinarian” and hit enter, all of the veterinarians in the area will appear on the map! At least, all of the Veterinarians that have registered with Google Business. You then have the option to click a button and add all or some of these records to your CRM system.

This is taking things to the next level. We can now use Google Maps to also identify prospects that may not even be in my CRM yet. While your salespeople are out on the road and have free time, they can actually search for new companies to sell to. They are no longer limited by what is in the CRM database. They now have all the records in Google Maps now available to them as well.

So, as you prepare for your sales force to be able to make in person visits again, think about how they would be more efficient if they could see their accounts on a Google Map and search that same map for prospects that may not be in CRM yet.

Don Grubor is the founder of Effective Solutions, a SageCRM consultant, and distributor of the s5Maps product. You can reach him at 414-525-2975 or [email protected].