This post first appeared on the Salesforce Blog:
After managing and developing CRM systems for over 25 years, it became clear that organizations are missing out on substantial opportunities to grow revenue. Countless meetings with management, sales, and marketing teams always had the same topics of discussion, which is how to solve the main challenges at hand:
- Our CRM database is growing rapidly and is becoming unstructured.
- We can not effectively run marketing and sales activities across counties, metro areas, or even territories.
- The sales team needs to know exactly where to focus their efforts.
Without geographic data to structure and enhance existing CRM data, and no market data to track against current market share, it’s impossible to effectively manage sales territories for growth. Organizations will therefore continuously ask themselves:
- Are we adding sales reps in geographical areas with too little potential?
- Are we marketing in places where we can generate many new leads?
- What is our market share across zip codes, counties, and metro areas?
And when these questions go unanswered, organizations stand to lose millions of dollars in potential revenue.
Need for Geographic Structure Based on Zip Codes
In order for your organization to know your market potential and effectively track sales performance, a geographic structure for all CRM data should be put in place.
The solution is to add a complete zip code database to your Salesforce organization. Each zip code must hold data points such as city, county, metropolitan area, number of companies and demographics to describe your white space for growth. Each existing CRM record will then automatically link to a zip code, instantly creating 40,000 micro-markets. All market data by Zip code is rolled up into cities, counties, sales territories, and regions, providing your team with unprecedented analytics.
Now, that you have a powerful geographic structure in place, all CRM data is automatically organized by sales region and territories. Leads are instantly routed to the right sales representative. You can adjust ownership across 100,000 contact records in minutes. It’s now possible to give everyone powerful search capabilities, plus powerful geographic drill-down reports and dashboards.
Need for Market Data by Zip Code
There is a tremendous amount of geographic market data available. Market data can display the number of companies by NAICS industry code, or the number of people in a certain job position, targeted by your team.
With regards to consumer targeting, there are endless datasets related to age, income and spending habits. Even if you don’t target consumers directly, almost all companies benefit from knowing the downstream market potential for their sales channels.
To understand market share and growth opportunity, many companies invest in sales data related to competitive products, used to compare against their own sales numbers. However, high-level market share analytics is hard to turn into useful data for the marketing and sales teams across local markets.
With Zip codes in Salesforce, data over competitive performance and your company’s own sales data can be broken down geographically and integrated with existing CRM data. The combined data becomes extremely valuable for marketing and sales. The system can automatically propose the best sales strategy for each Zip code, such as “Avoid - too low potential”, “Maintain - high market share”, and “Grow - few competitors and many leads”.
Combine CRM and Market Data
Next, all data must be automatically combined based on Zip codes. It is now possible to pinpoint each geographic area’s market potential and compare against existing customers.
As soon as your CRM data is integrated with market data, your team can use customer data in completely new ways. For example, territory management becomes a very powerful process, allowing everyone to collaborate in the best target areas.
By adding automated drive time to records in Salesforce, it becomes possible to target leads and customers by these zones. Drive time is an incredibly useful tool for sales reps, service reps, and of course event planners.
With Zip codes in Salesforce, you are giving the field sales team unprecedented insights on where to focus efforts, while they are using Zip code data on the Salesforce1 mobile app.
Improve Marketing and Sales Strategies
Amazing things happen when your team can compare a geographic area’s market potential against existing customers. The moment people can view their growth opportunity in real time, they are very often left speechless. We’re seeing organizations rethink and improve their marketing and sales strategies, as soon as they get their hands on these market insights.
By automatically scoring each Zip code by market potential and sales performance, your marketing and sales teams will have real-time guidance over where to run marketing campaigns and focus sales activities. Your CRM data has now become actionable, and your team will find more customers and close more deals.
How One Organization Thrives on Zip Code Data
A recent client, who sells medical devices to doctors, rolled out our 100% native app, RealZips, to their sales team. This allowed their Salesforce Admin to quickly match their own customer data against competitive sales data.
From there they focused on geographical areas with clusters of leads, picking areas with 10 more leads (10 employees or more), where the competition had over $50,000 in sales. They uncovered over 1,000 new leads in a matter of months and closed 300 new opportunities at an average initial order value of $800. These 300 new customers are expected to generate $2,000 per year in repeat orders.
In short - this organization truly put Zip codes to use - generating an additional yearly revenue of over $500,000.
Integrating geographic structure and market data with their existing Salesforce CRM data, organizations can accelerate their revenue growth. The added market data allows your team to proactively focus on geographical areas with the highest growth opportunity.
With Zip codes and market data in Salesforce, you will have a competitive advantage; enabling everyone in your organization to target the right areas, talking to the right customers, at the right time.