EasyTerritory: Sales territory mapping, data management at the heart of sales development

There's a bright spotlight these days on CRM sales territory mapping, management, and mobile mapping options, especially with the recent acquisition of MapAnything by Salesforce. Full Contact Selling President Rick McCutcheon recently caught up with EasyTerritory's Co-Founder, Benton Belcher, who spoke about the necessity of territory mapping and management, mobile versus desktop experience, and where his product is developing next.

First off, tell me in a nutshell about EasyTerritory?

B.B. - EasyTerritory is software-as-a-service for companies to streamline territory management and analysis, and enhance their sales rep productivity using maps. We've been in business a little over five years, and EasyTerritory helps companies perform sales territory, franchise boundary, and service area management. Our first customer was Five Guys Burgers and Fries, who we helped build an add-on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and that got us thinking about how mapping combined with Dynamics CRM (now called Dynamics 365) data can be extremely powerful for companies to be able to visualize their business data on top of their territories. We've grown the solution beyond territory management to include capabilities for route optimization and planning, and sales rep productivity with a mobile map view.

You believe some customers are better with mobile mapping solutions and others are better working from a desktop. Can you explain?

B.B. - Mobile mapping for outside sales reps is very interesting. We have a pretty good perspective on what companies it does and doesn't make sense for. Every company thinks they need it but it is not as useful as a lot of companies would be led to believe.

Mobile mapping makes the most sense for companies with reps out in the field needing the ability to see information about who is around them and have the luxury of dropping in on potential customers. For example, we do business with rental companies that rent heavy machinery and equipment to construction companies used on job sites. Those companies have outside field salespeople who can drop in on construction projects and say, "Hey if you need a forklift or a cherry picker then rent from us."

For other industries, where the salespeople must preplan their appointments, they are using EasyTerritory in the browser, in the office. They know they're going to visit one customer and they have an appointment scheduled. EasyTerritory allows them to see which other accounts or leads are in the vicinity, which they can set up an appointment with as well.

The primary use case EasyTerritory solves, territory management, is strictly done on the computer. One thing we learned early on, the bigger screen and the map view, the better.

What does it say to you when Salesforce acquires the MapAnything product?

B.B. - Salesforce recognizes the size of the growing market and the need for mapping tools to streamline territory management and provide maps for sales rep productivity.

Four years ago, Microsoft discontinued its MapPoint product. It left thousands of large companies without territory management software.

Over the past four years, companies have scrambled to find an alternative to MapPoint. At the same time, these companies were also moving to CRM in the cloud and increasingly leveraging SaaS solutions. It's just a natural fit to have a cloud-based software like EasyTerritory that can integrate directly with a company's CRM. Salesforce recognizes it.

So the discontinuance of MapPoint I imagine has led to tremendous opportunity for EasyTerritory because of your full integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365?

B.B. - To date, we've helped hundreds of companies move off MapPoint, a good portion of those companies are using Dynamics 365. In those scenarios, we are augmenting the territory management capabilities of Dynamics 365 by providing a map interface for sales managers to build out sales territories by postal codes, states, or counties. Some companies even manually draw territory boundaries, which EasyTerritory also supports. Microsoft doesn't have anything like that, and it's something companies of size are struggling with.

What's the differentiator for EasyTerritory over other mapping products and add-ons in AppSource or Power BI?

B.B. - It's easy to put pushpins on a map. Providing a platform to build territories, overlaying all your business data in real-time from D365, being able to look at statistics on how your territories are aligned, and be able to do on-the-fly realignment based on certain metrics are things only we are doing.

We were the first mapping and territory management solution for Dynamics 365, and have been recognized by Microsoft as the experts in territory management. They bring us in on a lot of opportunities where territory management is a major component of the deal.

I imagine customer experience is having an increasingly important role in any mapping tool.

B.B. - What we say internally is we have to be solving a real-world business problem. It's easy to sell people on maps because they like to see their data spatially. However, pushpins alone aren't extremely useful for a company. It's being able to overlay the data that allows you to do actionable tasks like realigning their territories because they are out of balance. Being able to use the tool to easily combine metrics of leads, accounts, and opportunities on top of your territories is the key.

And ease of use?

B.B. - We're able to get a customer up and running quickly and can have them mapping data within a few minutes of installing our managed solution. We also provide workflow plugins for performing automated lead assignment and bulk territory realignment.

One of the things companies struggle within territory management and realignment is that it's a huge pain to update all the records in CRM to their new territories. EasyTerritory gives you the ability to bulk update all of the territories and all of the records impacted by the realignment. That means updating all the leads, accounts, and opportunities to the appropriate territory and ultimately the appropriate owner of the record in Dynamics.

What are the key differentiators between EasyTerritory and other tools?

The postal code data that we provide for the United States and many other countries in the world is a huge benefit. The fact that we can build territories rapidly and overlay large volumes of business data from Dynamics 365 is a critical aspect of our product. We've put a lot of work into making sure our application performs exceptionally well with very large volumes of data.

What's on your horizon? What's next for EasyTerritory?

B.B. - A couple of areas we're expanding into, are support for Microsoft's Common Data Service, to pull data directly from CDS into the application as well as developing meaningful two-way integration with Power BI which will allow users to create visualizations, charts, and graphs reflecting their territory alignments in EasyTerritory. I would say we'll be doing this within the next six months.

You can visit EasyTerritory at www.easyterritory.com, or you can catch up with them at Microsoft's Business Applications Summit, June 11-12 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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