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An introduction to Salesforce Maps

In today’s competitive landscape, businesses are harnessing geospatial business intelligence to drive digital transformation and achieve deeper insights. Salesforce Maps emerges as a premier tool in this domain, designed to bring location intelligence into the limelight of strategic decision-making. By combining Salesforce’s robust customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities with sophisticated mapping and geolocation tools, Salesforce Maps offers a 360-degree view of customer interactions and business data.

 

In this article, we’ll dig into Salesforce Maps and explore its benefits, features, and implementation strategies.

Date: Jan. 25, 2024

What is Salesforce Maps?

Salesforce Maps, a dynamic component of the Salesforce CRM system, is a location-based intelligence tool that adds geographical context to business data. It’s designed to empower businesses with location-specific customer and business data, providing insights that lead to strategic decision-making. The software not only visually represents business data on a map, simplifying data interpretation, but it also empowers organizations to optimize operations, make informed decisions, and elevate customer service through geospatial insights.

Salesforce Maps is designed to empower business with location-specific customer and business data, providing insights that lead to strategic decision-making.

Skyline view of a city with digital connections

Key features of Salesforce Maps

Salesforce Maps offers an array of advanced features. Let’s learn about some key functionality.

  • Geocoding and address verification. Salesforce Maps can translate addresses into geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), a process known as geocoding. This aids organizations in visualizing their customer or business locations on a map, precisely pinpointing the location of leads, customers, or any other records with a physical address. This feature also includes automatic address verification, thereby ensuring the accuracy and reliability of data by rectifying mistakes in address data and reducing risks associated with incorrect data.
  • Route optimization. This feature, essential for mobile sales and delivery vehicles, enables field service reps and salespeople to plan their routes efficiently, minimizing travel time and maximizing. By inputting multiple destinations using real-time traffic data to plot the most efficient route between those points, the system generates the most efficient sequence of stops, taking variables like traffic, business hours, and distance into consideration.
  • Territory management. Salesforce Maps allows businesses to define territories based on geographic boundaries, customer demographics, sales potential, or a combination of these. Then, it visually represents these territories on a map, facilitating resource allocation and strategy planning. By visualizing territories, managers can better allocate resources, adjust territories based on shifts in business landscapes, or quickly onboard new team members by providing them with clear visual boundaries of their responsibility. Proper territory management prevents overlaps or gaps in coverage, ensuring that every potential or existing client receives appropriate attention.
  • Customizable map visualizations. Beyond just plotting data, Salesforce Maps allows users to customize how this data appears, enabling organizations to tailor the map’s appearance to best suit their needs. Users can adjust colors, markers, overlays, and more, facilitating a more intuitive understanding of their data. A business might use heat maps to understand areas of high sales activity, or color-code regions based on sales performance metrics. Custom visualizations allow businesses to quickly grasp complex data.
  • Collaboration tools. Salesforce Maps encourages collaborative efforts by enabling users to share their maps, routes, and findings with their teams. A sales manager could share a map with a newly formed team to visualize and strategize market penetration, or teams spread across locations could collaborate on a shared map to coordinate efforts. Collaboration tools ensure that insights aren’t siloed but shared, promoting a unified approach.

 

By harnessing these enhanced features of Salesforce Maps, businesses can view and interact with their data in transformative ways, driving better-informed decisions and strategies.

Implementing Salesforce Maps in an organization

Implementing Salesforce Maps goes beyond mere technical integration. It’s about aligning the tool with organizational goals, empowering teams with the right skills, and continuously refining the approach to ensure maximum returns on investment.

Preliminary assessment

  1. Understand the need: Before integrating Salesforce Maps, it’s critical to evaluate the organization’s specific needs and challenges. Does the company require route optimization for field representatives? Or does the company need to visualize sales territories for better management?
  2. Audit data: Ensure that the data to be integrated with Salesforce Maps is clean, accurate, and organized. By proactively addressing any data quality or consistency issues, you can tap into the full potential of Salesforce Maps and realize its maximum benefits.

Integrate with existing systems

  1. Integrate: Ensure that Salesforce Maps integrates smoothly with the existing IT ecosystem, whether it’s CRM, ERP, or other system in use.
  2. Automate processes: Identify areas where processes can be automated using Salesforce Maps. For instance, you might use Salesforce Maps to automatically assign leads to sales representatives based on geographic proximity.

Before integrating Salesforce Maps, it’s critical to evaluate the organization’s specific needs and challenges.

Best practices

  • Regularly update data: Geospatial data and business metrics evolve. Regularly updating the data in Salesforce Maps ensures it remains relevant and accurate.
  • Offer training and skills development: Implement comprehensive training sessions for users and train staff on how to use Salesforce Maps effectively. This should encompass everything from basic functionality to advanced features. Beyond technical know-how, empower teams with strategic skills to interpret visualizations and act upon the geospatial insights derived from Salesforce Maps.
  • Choose appropriate mapping and visualization options: Depending on the business objectives, users should select the most suitable visualization features. For instance, heat maps may be preferable for analyzing the density of sales activities, while thematic maps might be more suitable for demographic analysis.
  • Gather feedback: Establish a feedback loop to continuously refine and optimize your use of Salesforce Maps.
  • Stay up-to-date: Salesforce often releases new features for its products. Monitor these updates to harness any new capabilities that could benefit the organization.

Successful use cases

Salesforce Maps has been instrumental in enhancing operational efficiency and business insights in various spaces. Here are a few examples:

  • Improved sales territory management: Businesses have used Salesforce Maps to design and manage sales territories more effectively. Salesforce Maps facilitates precise and efficient sales territory management through data-driven analytics and geospatial insights. By analyzing factors such as geographic boundaries, customer demographics, and sales potential, organizations can create well-balanced and strategically optimized sales territories. These territories are visually represented on a map, ensuring clarity and understanding among sales teams and managers. With this visual clarity, sales managers can allocate resources more effectively, preventing overburdening or underutilizing sales representatives.
  • Optimized logistics and delivery operations: Delivery businesses have used the tool to optimize their delivery routes based on real-time traffic data, minimizing costs and increasing efficiency.
  • Enhanced customer service with accurate location data: Many customer service teams have enhanced their service quality by using accurate location data provided by Salesforce Maps, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Accurate location data powered by Salesforce Maps elevates customer service by ensuring precise address verification, efficient field service, and proactive customer engagement. For instance, if a customer is in proximity to a retail store or service center, the system can automatically send offers, promotions, or appointment reminders. These personalized interactions show that you’re attentive to their needs, increasing engagement. Or in the case of delivery-based businesses, Salesforce Maps helps optimize routes to ensure timely deliveries. When customers receive their orders promptly, they are more likely to be satisfied with your service. Accurate tracking and notifications also enhance the delivery experience, building trust and loyalty.

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To ensure optimal performance and functionality of applications like Salesforce Maps or any other Salesforce applications, a robust engineering strategy and meticulous test automation are essential. This strategy not only involves developing the application, but also implementing comprehensive testing methods to evaluate its performance under various conditions.

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This post was written by Chris Ebube Roland. Chris is a dedicated Software Engineer, Technical Writer, and Open Source evangelist. He is fascinated with the Tech Development world and is dedicated to learning more about programming, software engineering, and computer science. He enjoys building, table tennis, and sharing his knowledge with the tech community and the world at large through his articles.

Date: Jan. 25, 2024