Many businesses need to match travelling sales and service staff to clients who request a meeting. Allocating the member of the field team who can best reach the client, will reduce the time the team spend travelling, maximise the time they can spend with the client, and reduce the time-lag between arranging the appointment and the team member arriving.
Using the TravelTime API to calculate staff travel times to customers means a company can better understand the area its sales force can reach, and discover areas where sales opportunities are missed. TravelTime gives a company a clear view of how its resources are being used, so it can make better-informed decisions about how best to serve existing customers, and to win new ones.
Thomas Sanderson sells, manufacture and service high-quality window shutters and blinds and uses 150 self-employed designers (salespeople) to achieve this. They’re part of the Hunter Douglas Group, global leaders in the shutters and blind industry generating annual sales of $2.6 billion.
Identifying and then targeting sales resources to under-served areas
TravelTime enabled Thomas Sanderson to better understand the coverage and capacity of their sales force. They discovered under-served areas where there was a demand that none of their sales force could easily reach and used TravelTime data to understand how best to redistribute existing staff to cover these areas. Where redistribution wasn’t possible, they identified where to recruit new staff.
The sale, installation and maintenance of window shutters and blinds involve several Thomas Sanderson staff travelling to the customer’s house; they want the process to be as efficient as possible. Time spent travelling is often ‘non-productive’ time.
How Thomas Sanderson used TravelTime
To highlight areas with high sales potential
Thomas Sanderson uses TravelTime data to encourage sales staff to travel a little more. In one example they showed designers that they could earn £8k more revenue, by travelling to serve a slightly larger area.
To identify the sales potential of any sales area
To encourage designers to pick areas that are currently underserved, Thomas Sanderson built a tool to highlight those locations which can generate more sales for only a limited increase in travel time. By calculating the net sales per postcode, divided by the number of designers that can serve the area, Thomas Sanderson highlights the extra potential sales from a given area, for any given salesperson.
To identify areas with lots of sales leads but too few sales staff
TravelTime helps Thomas Sanderson identify where to boost recruitment efforts by matching customer enquiries to designer coverage areas. Under-served areas become a recruitment priority.
Thomas Sanderson also uses TravelTime data to maximise the capacity of their sales force. They map how long each designer is willing to travel and created a maximum travel time area per designer. By creating layers, they can see how many sales people can reach any given area – and thus where they need to recruit.
To plan ‘Designers on Tour’
Thomas Sanderson uses TravelTime data to ‘plug the gap’ when localised designer shortages occur. When there are lots of enquiries and too few sales people (in London after the Ideal Home Show for example), designers from elsewhere in the country can come to London to help. TravelTime enables designers to select hotel locations that allow them to see the maximum number of clients per a day.
What they say
“What particularly impressed us was TravelTime’s performance and resilience, with data being passed to us incredibly quickly every day.
Integrating the TravelTime API with Tableau has enabled us to understand our sales coverage and capacity with much more definition. Principally, the service allowed us to stop thinking about a fixed travel time each designer was prepared to travel and instead move to a trade area based model that increased the coverage of our sales force and provided a faster service to our customers”.
- Matthew Middleton - Software Change Manager at Thomas Sanderson
By providing a clear picture of how Thomas Sanderson staff travel and the time it takes the field teams to reach customers, the TravelTime is helping Thomas Sanderson to make better-informed decisions. This increases Thomas Sanderson’s efficiency, customer service and bottom line
Are you interested in sales territory mapping using travel time areas? We can map territories for 1000s of sales people, engineers, nurses and more using the TravelTime API.