Using Drag & Drop to Realign Sales Force Territories

Using Drag & Drop to Realign Sales Force Territories

In my last post we looked at the redesigning sales territories using the alignment tool.  This is probably the method you’ll use most often to create your new sales territory map.

However, there are times when you’d like to re-assign individual zip code from one territory to another.  There are two ways to accomplish this when using AlignMix.  We’ll go through each in details:

Using AlignMix’ Tree List to Drag Zips to New Nodes:

The tree list on the left contains all of the assignments.  You can drag and drop zip code from one territory to another.  AlignMix will take care of all of the behind the scenes re-calculating.  You can actually re-align territories, districts and regions using the same method.

Using AlignMix’ Tree List to Drag Zips to the Map:

Another way to re-align zips is to drag them onto the map.  The zip will then be re-assigned to the territory on which it is dropped.  Once you’ve tried this method you’ll love using it.

One of the great advantages of both methods is you don’t need to be in alignment mode to carry out the re-alignment.  You can also use the search tool to quickly find the zip you’d like to re-assign – the two tools work well together.

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How To Realign Territory Boundaries Using AlignMix

How To Realign Territory Boundaries Using AlignMix

AlignMix simplifies the task of designing a new sales alignment.  You can re-align using several different tools.  Let’s show you how.

For the purposes of this example we’re going to use some territories we’ve created in central Florida (where Cozmix is based!).  The label on each territory shows its name and Index.  The index is a measure of sales force work.  It’s scaled in such a way that the average territory should have an index of 1000 units.  You can see the territories in central Florida are all a bit light.  We’re going to start re-aligning them to create a more balanced alignment.

Simple Point & Click Re-Alignment:

This is the simplest way to re-align.  Take the following steps:

1. Select the re-alignment tool.

2. Right click on the territory you’d like to add to. It should shade as a checked pattern

3. Click on the zip codes (or post codes if you’re not in the USA) you’d like to add to the territory

4. The zip code will redraw as part of its new territory and the data labels are updated to show the new territory totals

Re-Aligning Using the Lasso Tool:

The second method uses the lasso tool to re-assign zips.  This is the ideal tool if you need to add many zip codes at once.  The first  two steps are the same – select the alignment tool and right click on the territory you’d like to add to.

3. With the Left Mouse Button Down Lasso the Zips to Add:

4. The Map and Statistics will Update to reflect the changes

Using the Fine Selection Tool to Re-Align:

The Lasso tool is great when you need to re-align a large number of zip codes.  On occasions it can be a little “ham-fisted”.  For example in the previous example, the lasso tool took some zip codes from T95, which is not what I intended.  This is where the Fine Selection tool plays its part.  The first three steps are the same as Lasso tool.

4. Hold the Ctrl key down when you Release your left Mouse Button after Forming the Lasso

Now you can select which territories to take the zip from. Powerful stuff!

In the next post we’ll show you how to re-align using the Tree List on the left.

 

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Free Sales Territory Mapping Version of AlignMix

A number of clients have requested a free sales territory mapping and alignment version of AlignMix. So we’ve decide to create a version which enables users to align at the state level. This should be good for sales forces of up to 7 reps (i.e. up to seven states per rep).

To keep informed about these developments sign up for the free resources (also see right).

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Preparing Your Data for a Sales Force Mapping Exercise (Part 1)

Preparing Your Data for a Sales Force Mapping Exercise (Part 1)

Before you can start to re-align your sales force territories you need to import your data into AlignMix.  And before this is possible you must manipulate your data into an Excel file.  We chose Excel as our format of choice since its’s the most common data manipulation tool on the planet.  If you don’t already have a copy of Excel you can use one of the free alternatives.  I’d recommend Gnumerics.  You can even get a version which runs from a flash drive.

Importing Zip Code Data into AlignMix:

Figure 1

The most common format for importing data is by zip code (or postcode if you’re outside the US).  An example is illustrated in Figure 1.  In this format each row represents the data for one zip code.  Some points to note are:

  • One column holds the zip code identifier
  • The zip code can be in either numerical or string format
  • Only positive numeric data can be imported
  • If there are multiple row containing the same zip code, the data will be added together to give the final value for each zip code

Tips for Manipulating Zip Code Data:

Quite often you may have a number of different data sources.  For example you may have one source for demographic data (an external data base), another for sales data (e.g. SAP) and another one for the sales territory alignment data.  While you don’t need to have all of the data in the same Excel file I find it makes sense to create a Master Data File.  By creating the Master Data File you’ll most likely highlight any missing data which can then be corrected or accounted for.

Excel provides a number of tools to assist you in as you manipulate the data and create the Master Data File.  Pivot Tables are certainly not something every Excel user utilizes.  But they are a good way to consolidate account level data into zip code level data.  A full explanation is beyond the scope for this post.  However, you can find a good tutorial on Pivot Tables here or here.

Figure 2 - vLookup for Zip Codes

The second tip is useful when you’d like to merge two data sources into one.  For example you may have purchased some demographic data and you’d like to merge this with you latest sales data.  Be warned, you cannot just sort both list and copy the table from one list and merge it with the other list.  This will almost certainly result in errors.  Zip codes (and postcodes) change regularly and it rare for two lists of zip codes (no matter how up-to-date they are) to match exactly.  What you must do is a “look-up” to match the zip codes in one table with those in the other.  Fortunately Excel provides a way to do this.  It by using a function called vLookup.  This takes the following inputs:

VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

In  most case the lookup_value will be a zip code.  The table_array will be the other zip code table.  The col_index will be the column offset you’re interested in. For zip code lookups the [range_lookup] should almost always be set to FALSE, otherwise it will find the closest zip code record (i.e. pull in the wrong data if there isn’t an exact match with the zip code).

As an example, in figure 2 you can see a table of zip codes and household counts.  The formula in cell D5 (shown in the formula bar) looks up the row containing zip code “32772” and then give the value taken from column two (i.e. 139,069).  Note that if the value was not found in the table, a #NA would be shown.  You can catch this using the =IsNA() function.

So I hope you can see the power of vLookups.  This is powerful technique which can not only merge two different data sources, but can also help to identify errors in the data.

In the next tutorial we’ll take a look at account level data and how this can be loaded into AlignMix.

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Sales Territory Design – Alignment Index Part 3

In this third video we take a look at the type of data to include in the alignment index.  If you have problems viewing the video take a look at the YouTube version – Sales Territory Design – Alignment Index Part 3

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Sales Territory Design – Alignment Index Part 2

The sales territory alignment index is a key concept for all sales territory design project. This video shows you exactly how to calculate the alignment index.  This is a follow-up post to Sales Territory Alignment Index – Part 1, if you’re having difficulty viewing the video try the YouTube version Sales Territory Design Index Calculation

 

 

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Multiple Sales Force Design Criteria – Alignment Index (Part 1)

In this short video we introduce the concept of an “Alignment Index”. This enables you to account for multiple sales territory design factors when creating your new sales territory alignment. In part 2 (to follow), we’ll take you through the necessary steps to create an alignment index. If you’re having difficulty viewing it on this site, try the YouTube versions Multiple Sales Force Design Criteria

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Importing Sales Territory Mapping Data into AlignMix

Getting your sales territory mapping data into AlignMix is one of the first tasks you’ll need to tackle before you start your sales territory design project.  This video takes you through the necessary steps.  If you cannot see the video try the YouTube versions Importing Sales Territory Mapping Data

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AlignMix (Sales Territory Mapping) Goes Into Beta

Cozmix Launches AlignMix, their New Sales Territory Mapping Software Solution (Beta Release)

AlignMix is a stand-alone sales territory mapping software solution. AlignMix’ main focus is ease of use. The key benefit of AlignMix is that it provides managers with an efficient and effective way of aligning and analyzing their sales territories.

ORLANDO, Fl., May 31, 2011 – Cozmix, Inc., a sales force strategy consultancy and software development company, has announced the beta release of AlignMix, a point and click sales territory analysis and design software package.

AlignMix is an easy to use yet powerful sales territory mapping and alignment tool that puts sales managers in greater control of their sales forces. Now, instead of hiring outside consultants, managers can utilize AlignMix to quickly and easily design their sales territories in-house.

The key benefit of AlignMix is that it provides managers with an efficient and effective way of aligning and analyzing their sales territories. AlignMix is easy to use and has a fast alignment engine which means sales managers can implement sales territory design into their regular routine to help maximize sales force optimization. AlignMix uses the latest up-to-date shapes (5 digit zip codes in the US) and has versions available for thirty countries. Also, no additional software is required to run AlignMix – it is a complete sales territory mapping software solution.

Steve Maughan, President of Cozmix, developed AlignMix because he saw the need for a simple solution to an important and often overlooked issue, “To be competitive in today’s market, sales territory alignment is an essential tool. However, many organizations neglect their territory alignment by either ignoring it altogether or doing it incorrectly. I designed AlignMix as the quickest and easiest way to properly align your sales territories.”

To beta-test AlignMix or for a product demo please contact Steve Maughan or visit http://www.alignmix.com

About Cozmix:

Cozmix, Inc. has carried out Sales Force Optimization consulting projects in the US, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. Future growth is planned to come from the release of additional sales and marketing offerings in the form of software solutions and consulting services. Cozmix has launched other sales force optimization software tools which include SizeMix (sales force sizing) and CallMix (sales force planning). Visit http://www.cozmix.com for more information.

Cozmix was established in 2005 by Steve Maughan who has previously worked for Management Consultancy companies such as ZS Associates, Edge Consulting, and as an Associate Partner at Accenture.

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