Customer relationship management married with geo-mapping: it’s a match made in heaven – or at least, in your most productive sales territory. Think about it: how often do you, as a salesperson or marketer, make decisions based on “where” – where will you be tomorrow relative to customers and prospects in that area? Where are the most promising business opportunities likely to be two years from now? From the mundane (the next sales call) to the momentous (the best market for a major expansion), geographic data represents a hefty element of your decision criteria.

But what exactly is geo-mapping, also known as location intelligence, and how does it work with CRM? In short, geo-mapping lets you visualize CRM data in the context of location. In my last blog, I explained that it’s a type of data visualization tool that blends business intelligence and geographic data for spatial representations and location-based analysis and forecasting. With the longitude and latitude of your sales point, customer addresses, and so on, you can display them precisely on a map, which makes it is easier to do your analytics.

Reports and maps are presented as an information unit in an interactive dashboard. You’re not just looking at a data display; you’re seeing layers of data in different contexts that can reveal insights and engender ideas and discoveries. Simple point-and-click lets you organize information however you want it, and you can pan, zoom, select, and spatially search and interpret reports.

The applications are boundless. But let’s take a look at a few common ways location intelligence is used in sales and marketing.

Sales efficiency analysis

Let’s say you’re a sales manager for a startup specialty children’s clothing company introducing a new line of high-end onesie designs to retail outlets. It’s essential that you optimize salesforce efficiency, which requires optimizing territories, territory coverage models, and route planning to target the most profitable customers or prospects first.

With trade-area analysis, you can better understand where your likely end customers are located in relation to a precise point of sale. By analyzing the demographics of an area to profile the customers, it becomes easier to better understand whether you should concentrate on large retailers or small boutiques for infants, for example. You can develop demographic profiles and calculate time and distance customers travel to reach a store.

And you can equip your reps with a geo-mapping app integrated with CRM data on a mobile device, supporting them with in their day-to-day and in-the-moment decisions in the field for next-best customer and next-best visit.

Predictive analysis and forecasting

Now imagine that you have gained tremendous traction in your first territory in Fairfield County, Connecticut. You have gathered an outstanding trove of business intelligence about the demographics of your end customers, the most profitable type of retail outlet, price points, and so on. Now you are considering expanding your salesforce to the Boston area.

territorylocationBy adding geo-mapping to your CRM data, your team can map large-scale data sets to identify spatial dependencies or trends that might be difficult to discover otherwise. With geo-mapping, you can expand predictive outcomes by creating what-if scenarios through spatially enhanced reports that use location as a driver. For example, what if we added one rep with a territory in Boston’s Back Bay? What if we included the western suburbs in a single territory? What if we added three reps covering Boston and the western suburbs, the North Shore, and the South Shore and Cape Cod?

What-if analysis is such a powerful way to put data analytics to use, and with geo-mapping, those what-if scenarios really come to life. And these are just a few examples of what sales and marketers can accomplish with geo-mapping.

Take your business to the next step with engaging, data-driven, actionable decision-making. Learn more about the transformational power of data visualizations through SAP BusinessObjects Lumira.

This post appeared first on SAP Digital.

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