Do you feel like you and your team are spending way too much time behind the wheel, and not enough time in front of customers?
If your route planning strategy isn’t working out for you, we can guarantee there is a better way to chart your course and see real results: incorporate route optimization software into your sales toolbox.
In this post, we’re going to cover exactly what a route optimization tool does, the benefits of using a multi-stop route planner, and provide a list of some of the top route optimization tools available to help you become a better route planner.
Table of Contents
What is a Route Optimization Tool?
Route planning tools are programs and software that help sales reps optimize multi-stop route planning, which is the process of determining the best and most efficient route for a sales rep to visit multiple customer locations.
A route optimization tool addresses common challenges that slow down outside sales revenue and productivity, including:
- Time-consuming manual tasks
- Data lag
- Traffic delays
- Schedule gaps
- Lack of territory/market insights
An advanced route planner app can save reps tons of time manually planning routes, which can then be put toward revenue-generating activities, like more facetime with customers. Using these tools, sales reps can avoid peak traffic times, take the most efficient route every time, and plan their travel days more effectively.
If travel is a critical part of how your company meets with customers, a route optimization tool will be a game-changer for the day-to-day of your sales team. It can also move the needle on important metrics like time spent behind the wheel, lead gen volume, and the number of client visits.
Why Using Google Maps for Route Optimization Won’t Cut It
If you’re new to route planning overall or have never heard of route optimization software, you may be thinking: but I have Google Maps on my phone. Why do I need another tool?
Great question! Google Maps is fantastic for personal use, but for outside sales reps mapping out complicated routes for customer visits, it doesn’t come close to the capabilities offered by route optimization software. When trying to use Google Maps for route optimization, it’s ultimately up to you to figure out the best route.
Google Maps can easily give you the best route just between Point A and Point B. But once you need to add in multiple stops, things get complicated and time-consuming pretty quickly. You would need to manually add each address, multiple times, to find the fastest route. And even then, you might be missing important factors, like not skipping prospects along the way and inputting vital information into your sales CRM.
Route optimization software uses advanced data technology and scenario modeling to make sure users get to their customers as quickly as possible, but with the least amount of miles driven, while also offering filtering and sorting options as well.
Unlike Google Maps, many of these apps can integrate seamlessly with your CRM system and utilize sales automation activities like check-ins and notetaking. Not only can sales reps access client addresses while they plan their routes, but they can also capture, manage, and organize customer data on the fly in half the time.
And these benefits are just the tip of the iceberg.
Benefits of a Better Route Planner
The benefits of route optimization are extensive, and utilizing these tools can make a huge difference for any outside sales team. But for now, here are just some of our favorite benefits:
This is what it’s all about, right? When sales pros have more efficient processes and more time, they have more time to sell.
A multi-stop route planner software will help automate and streamline the parts of a rep’s job not directly related to selling, enabling them to spend up to 50% less time on administrative activities. That frees them to focus on more productive sales activities like making calls, sending emails, and meeting with customers.
Not only does route optimization empower a rep to be a better route planner and streamline sales trips, but it makes sure they get to their destinations as quickly as possible. Reps can cluster multiple client visits in a given region into one uber-productive day of work. Plus, some software can integrate with your CRM system, so they’re not wasting time searching for notes and client addresses.
Prioritize Major Accounts
The art of key account management, or the practice of identifying and prioritizing the customers you should be focusing most of your time on, is crucial for sales success. And route planning tools can help!
Many of the route optimization software options allow you to place urgent or high profile clients at the top of your list and optimize your routes around visits that can’t wait.
Save Time, Save Money
On average, fully-dedicated outside sales reps spend 4.5 days every week in the field, and 22 hours behind the wheel. Just imagine what could be accomplished (and how much money could be saved) if even a percentage of those hours could be reallocated to actual selling!
Route planner apps delegate the tedious and often stressful task of manually mapping routes and free that time up for more profitable activities. More efficient routes mean less driving or “windshield time.”
Reps can take a smarter approach to sales planning, avoid peak traffic times, and take the fastest route every time. Also, if rising fuel costs are sinking your budget, more efficient routes can help you save a ton of money on gas.
Safeguard Against The Unexpected
Even with diligent planning, life happens. From severe weather to traffic restrictions to client emergencies, changes to major trips and appointment cancellations can throw a wrench in the most carefully scheduled sales routes.
Sales route optimization tools can help sales reps bounce back from the unexpected. With all of their most important client data right at their fingertips, outside sales reps can revise their plans and come up with a new and improved agenda for the day.
Better Customer Experience and Improved Retention
Successful sales account management is largely based on solid long-term client relationships, which requires establishing yourself as a trusted advisor and understanding your client’s needs.
Poor planning and disorganization can result in unproductive, delayed, or canceled meetings, and there’s no sure-fire way to damage a client relationship other than by wasting their time.
A mobile-friendly sales optimization tool with CRM integration (like Map My Customers) helps ensure you always show up to meetings on time, firing on all cylinders, and are ready to demonstrate your value.
Multi-Stop Route Planning App Roundup
Now that you understand the benefits of a multi-stop route planner, it’s time to pinpoint the app that will meet the unique needs of your team and company. The best apps will help you optimize the task of mapping routes and integrate seamlessly with your organization’s current software and processes.
Here are 10 options of route optimization tools to consider:
Best for B2B outside sales teams who are looking for a mobile-friendly all-in-one sales solution.
Worried your team is driving past leads? Wish your reps could spend more time selling and increase their effectiveness? Then Map My Customers is the right choice for your sales team.
Map My Customers is a purpose-built, all-in-one B2B sales solution that optimizes field productivity and sales effectiveness for the entire team. Much more than just a simple route optimization software, the mobile-friendly platform provides sales mapping as well as robust workflow tools, in-depth reporting, and team management capabilities (great for sales reps and sales leaders!).
Map My Customers’ features include visualization and filtering of customers/prospects on a map, optimized multi-stop route planning, automated check-ins, quick logging of daily sales activities like calls and visits, and the ability to add new records and take notes wherever — even if reps are offline.
The Smart Planner tool can give reps recommendations for activities to add to their calendar, like nearby accounts or customers who need follow-ups, preventing reps from having gaps in their workday and letting important accounts fall through the cracks. These daily agendas can then be turned into an optimized route with just a tap.
The Lead Finder feature within the platform enables reps to optimize their prospecting efforts like never before. They can search the map for new leads that may be near their current location, along their sales route, or near current customers that they are visiting that day. These new leads will show as pins on the map and can provide detailed business info in just a tap. They can then be easily imported into your account and synced back to your CRM.
The platform features robust reporting capabilities, including pipeline metrics that can be updated in real-time to show the latest deal statuses and a geographically-based revenue heat map.
Sales leaders can also get the Weekly Scorecard sent straight to their email, which gives quick updates on their team’s latest sales performance and shows which team members may need more training/coaching.
- Map My Customers can show reps new opportunities on the same map as active leads, saving time on research and coordination and enabling them to pick up new leads while they hit planned visits.
- Quick access to info for the entire sales team enables managers to coach from afar without micromanaging.
- The platform offers much more in-depth reporting capabilities compared to other software options, giving sales leaders deeper insights and all the data they need to manage teams effectively.
- The customizable weekly email and Team Leaderboard quickly give managers key sales performance stats like activities completed, pipeline created, deals won, and more.
- The mobile-friendly design makes all critical customer, territory, and sales data accessible all in one place, in the office and on the road.
- As discussed on the Field Sales Leadership Guide podcast, the user-friendly design increases sales team usage and engagement of the platform allowing for your organization to utilize all of the features within the system
- Because it was purpose-built for field sales, inside sales teams may not find as much value from the features that Map My Customers offers.
Personal = $60/month per user, billed monthly.
Team = $105/month per user, billed monthly.
Map My Customers offers native integrations with:
Best for independent outside sales reps who need routing but don’t need team management functions.
One popular option for independent outside sales reps who want route optimization capability but don’t need in-depth team management functions is Badger Maps. With this mobile-friendly app, reps can location-enable sales data to create geographical visualizations, enabling them to gain deeper insights and improve sales effectiveness. The platform can also help automate some common sales activities that take up so much time when done manually, like lead generation, schedule planning, sales routing, and more.
- Badger Maps route optimization and activity planning functions help save outside sales reps a significant amount of time while working out in the field.
- The native mobile application is available on both iOS and Android.
- The platform’s user interface is very user-friendly compared to other software options and also comes with free training and resources.
- Badger Maps does not offer the level of team management capabilities that other route optimization software options do.
- The platform will map contact records but does not map deals or companies like other mapping tools can.
- The app does require an internet connection to provide full functionality.
- To integrate Badger Maps with Salesforce CRM, in addition to your Badger Maps subscription you will also need to have a Zapier account.
Business= $49/month per user, billed annually ($59/month per user, billed monthly).
Enterprise= $95/month per user, billed annually ($105/month per user, billed monthly).
A free 7-day trial is available.
Depending on the CRM, Badger Maps can integrate either through a native integration or by using Zapier.
Some of the integrations available include:
- Microsoft Dynamics
It’s important to point out that with several of the CRM integrations, Badger Maps will only map your contacts and not deals or companies.
Best for sales teams selling door-to-door to residential consumers.
Spotio is a sales engagement and sales mapping software built with door-to-door sales teams in mind. The platform helps reps optimize sales effectiveness while out in the field. Spotio also helps sales leaders more efficiently manage territories and keep track of their teams by housing all sales activity in one central location.
In Spotio, your reps can create optimized sales routes within their defined territories, build visual pipelines, log customer visits and updates in real-time, and manage all of their sales activity in one place. Sales managers can also view color-coded representations of deals and accounts geographically on the map, allowing them to more easily see what is working and where more effort may need to be shifted.
All of these features within Spotio can help your team elevate productivity as well as improve sales performance.
- Spotio offers a user-friendly and straightforward interface, especially with the mobile-friendly app that reps can easily use while on the go.
- Offers easy visualization of sales activities and performance, which updates in real-time and can be easily accessed by the entire team.
- Reps can cut down on the time spent planning their days by being able to sequence and easily plan sales activities for each customer and/or prospect.
- Because it was built with door-to-door sales in mind, Spotio is a good option for teams selling direct to consumers but not as good a fit for B2B sales teams.
- Spotio does not have as many team management and territory management functionalities as some of the other field sales software options.
- Users cannot customize many of the functionalities/fields within the platform as much as some of the other software options.
Spotio offers four plans for sales teams:
To get full pricing info, you do have to request a free demo. (Their website does state that plans start at $195 per month)
Spotio no longer offers monthly billing so all plans are billed annually. The platform also requires a one-time implementation fee that varies by plan, team size, and other criteria.
Spotio can be integrated either through a native integration, an open API, or through Zapier (depending on the CRM).
Some of the CRMs that Spotio can integrate with include:
Best for door-to-door B2C sales teams that want a mapping tool that offers basic sales insights capabilities.
For business-to-consumer sales teams who are selling door-to-door, SalesRabbit is another good option. This platform can help make the best use of your team’s CRM data when out in the field while also syncing SalesRabbit data back to the CRM. Your reps can easily visualize data graphically, allowing them to track leads, monitor and report progress, and work more efficiently and effectively.
Sales leadership can also utilize this mapping software to more effectively manage territories. You can create sales territories, easily assign them to your reps, and visually track progress. The overall performance of both individual reps and the team as a whole can easily be monitored in real-time.
SalesRabbit also allows you to see any previous reps who have been assigned to a territory, enabling current reps to quickly pick up from where they left off.
- Accessing data is quick and easy in SalesRabbit’s user-friendly interface.
- The colored pins on the map allow sales reps to quickly determine which homes have been visited recently and which homes have not.
- Sales managers can easily monitor the team’s sales activities in real-time.
- Valuable sales content and demos/presentations can easily be accessed in the app while out in the field.
- The DataGrid add-on enables sales reps to qualify leads more easily and have in-depth homeowner information in their hands before they even knock on the door.
- SalesRabbit was built for door-to-door sales reps who are canvassing residential neighborhoods, especially for home service businesses (like roofing, moving services, or solar panels). So it may not be a good fit for many B2B sales teams.
- Compared to other software options, the platform does not offer as much note-taking capability while out in the field.
- SalesRabbit does not offer the level of in-depth reporting and sales insight capabilities that other tools do.
- The platform does not give you as many options for filters in the map interface compared to the other software options.
- To integrate SalesRabbit with your CRM, you may also need a Zapier subscription.
- You will also have to pay a one-time setup fee in the beginning. (See more on this in the Pricing section below.)
Team (3 user minimum) = $25/per month per user with additional add-ons available at additional costs.
Pro (10 user minimum) = $35/per month per user with additional add-ons available at additional costs.
Enterprise (100 user minimum) = $59/per month per user with additional add-ons available at additional costs.
Essentials Bundle – Pro = $66/month per user and includes the SalesRabbit app and the Datagrid AI and Digital Contracts add-ons.
Essentials Bundle – Enterprise = $90/month per user and includes the SalesRabbit app and the Datagrid AI and Digital Contracts add-ons.
(Above prices are for annual billing.)
*SalesRabbit also requires a one-time initial setup fee that ranges from $399 to $4,999 depending on the plan that you choose.
SalesRabbit does offer integrations with some of the popular sales CRM platforms, including:
- Salesforce (one-way integration from SalesRabbit to Salesforce)
- Hubspot via Zapier
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
- Copper via Zapier
Best for small to medium-sized retail sales and merchandising teams who want a route planner with basic lead management capabilities.
Repsly is a retail execution platform that helps optimize the effectiveness of merchandising and field sales teams. For both brands and wholesalers, Repsly gives teams the data and tools they need to make the largest impact in the field every day. For your reps, the platform helps streamline scheduling, route planning, order entry, data collection, and more. Thus, enabling them to work every account smarter and more efficiently.
The platform also makes it easy for sales team leads and national account managers to assign and distribute work to the reps in the field and confirm proper execution at scale in real-time. Business leaders can also utilize powerful analytics and business insights to easily view promotion and planogram execution, resource allocation, team performance, and more.
- Repsly offers a streamlined and user-friendly platform.
- Reps can easily identify and prioritize high-opportunity accounts/stores to focus on.
- The app allows team members to keep in contact with each other and sales leadership to offer real-time coaching through direct messaging.
- Repsly helps reps easily track who they’ve met with and when, what was done, and exactly how much product they’ve sampled or sold to each store.
- The app does offer a flexible scheduling feature, allowing reps to change their route on the fly.
- There is no way to map a route from a desktop, it all has to be done from the mobile app, which can get clunky.
- The platform does not offer the level of optimized team management (especially for a large team) and analytics that some of the other software options do.
- Many users have complained that it quickly eats up your phone or tablet’s battery while out in the field.
Repsly offers four different plans:
But, you do have to contact Repsly to get a price quote. They also offer optional add-ons at an additional cost depending on your company’s needs.
Repsly offers integrations with several CRMs popular with retail sales teams including:
- Dynamics 365
Best for on-the-go outside sales reps who just want a light, easy-to-use mapping solution.
For field sales reps who simply want a light and purely mobile mapping solution that offers some basic sales automation capabilities, Mapsly is a solid choice. This geo-intelligence platform offers customizable sales maps, customer record search by distance, basic sales territory management, a visit planner, and more.
Several of Mapsly’s features are aimed at optimizing the efficiency of your field sales and service teams and the number of locations they are able to visit per day. These include optimized route planning with centralized route management, configurable check-in/check-out capabilities, user location tracking with daily reporting, and planning regular visits.
- Mapsly offers a user-friendly application with streamlined onboarding.
- The platform does offer a large variety of map filters to easily customize exactly how and what data you are viewing geographically.
- Sales leadership can easily configure user profiles to control access to individual records, fields, objects, and Mapsly features.
- Mapsly can effectively support sales teams with a fleet of trucks by offering the ability to create optimized routes using truck travel modes and a variety of parameters specific to trucks.
- Besides just route planning, Mapsly does not offer the level of sales planning capabilities that other software options do. (Check out the Smart Planner feature from Map My Customers)
- The platform does not offer as much in-depth reporting capability that the other software options do, like pipeline and deal visualization.
- Mapsly does not offer the level of sales team management capabilities that can be found with other software options.
Essential= $25/month per user
Pro= $45/month per user
Enterprise= $70/month per user.
Additional add-ons are available as well. Mapsly does offer a 14-day free trial.
Mapsly integrates with several popular sales CRMs through either a native API-based bi-directional connector or through Zapier (depending on the CRM).
Some of the popular CRM integrations include:
Best for sales teams using Salesforce CRM who want a more economic territory mapping software and are ok with more limited capabilities.
Geopointe is a geo-mapping app that helps sales teams use location data to improve their effectiveness and boost results. This software helps reps plan a route for upcoming travel by location-enabling your Salesforce CRM data, helping to streamline sales processes.
The mobile-friendly platform allows sales teams to visualize customers and prospects on territory maps and offers other valuable features that include calendar-based scheduling, nearby search, and more. Geopointe also helps automate multi-stop route planning by enabling reps to create optimized sales routes based on time or distance. An add-on feature is available for reps who want to pre-plan sales routes weeks or months in advance.
Sales managers can also get real-time field activity as well as visualization and filtering capabilities, enabling them to keep tabs on their team and make better data-backed business decisions.
- Geopointe offers powerful route planning and visualization features.
- Reps can check in and out of their stops while out in the field and log important notes from their visit.
- Geopointe offers both email and chat support capabilities.
- A free trial/demo is available, allowing you to see if it meets the needs of your sales team.
- Geopointe is not a stand-alone mapping solution and must be integrated with the Salesforce CRM to be able to utilize all of the app’s capabilities.
- The platform does not offer the advanced data filtering capabilities that some of the other field sales software options have.
- There is a steep learning curve, which can slow down the onboarding of new reps.
- Geopointe has limited reporting features when compared to similar software.
Annual Plan = $60/month per user, billed annually
Enterprise = Contact Geopointe for pricing.
Geopointe directly integrates with Salesforce but does not offer integrations with any other CRMs.
Best for wholesale, manufacturing, and distribution sales teams who are wanting to automate their route planning & other admin duties.
Skynamo’s mobile sales app helps automate time-sucking tasks like route planning, minimizes manual data entry, and cuts out excessive admin duties, so field sales reps can spend more time selling.
Reps can visualize on a map where all of their customers are located, enabling them to plan their day better and reduce time spent driving. They can even quickly see which customers are overdue for a visit so they can prioritize those accounts for a visit.
Skynamo can automatically track time spent on the road, the distance traveled, the routes that were driven, the time spent with customers, the customers that were visited, notes taken, and the orders submitted. This platform enables your sales team to spend their time on what really matters: selling, taking orders, and building solid relationships with your customer.
- Skynamo helps reps spend less time on admin work and more time selling. For example, reps can easily produce a call/visit report in just a few minutes.
- Reps can instantly pull up customer order history from any mobile device and be able to deliver a fast and accurate quote for a new order.
- The platform makes it quick and easy to access customer details, including notes and past communications.
- All information and functionality is still available to sales reps even when offline. Updates will sync when the rep is back online.
- Skynamo does not offer the level of comprehensive reporting that some of the other software options do.
- The platform is not as customizable as some of the other route optimization tools.
- Skynamo does have quite a learning curve in the beginning, especially for those who are not tech-savvy.
- Many users have complained that the app quickly burns up their phone or tablet’s battery while out in the field.
Skynamo’s pricing is based on the number of users, features and reporting requirements, and integrations needed. You will need to contact Skynamo to get a custom price quote to suit your company’s specific needs and budget.
Skynamo mainly offers seamless integration with the most popular Enterprise Resource Planning and accounting software options. But, there are integrations available for Microsoft Dynamic 365 and Xero, which retail sales teams often use for their CRMs.
Best for teams who want basic mapping software to map Excel data to optimize logistics.
Mapline is a web-based basic mapping and routing solution that small to medium-sized distribution and sales teams can utilize. Users can import data from Excel and create a map in seconds. From there, you can plot customers, draw territory boundaries according to client concentrations, create heat maps, and plan sales routes that can easily be shared with the field team. Viewing line-item data this way helps teams pinpoint new opportunities to capitalize on and mitigate market risks.
In this platform, routes can be created to cover the shortest distance between stops, with the shortest travel time, and be the shortest total trip. Routes can also meet specific constraints like vehicle load capacity, driver scheduling limits, and delivery windows.
Mapline also offers basic business intelligence and automation capabilities.
- Makes it very easy to visualize line item customer data in a geographic view.
- Maps can be created by the city, zip code, and state.
- The routing features available meet the specific needs of truck fleets as well.
- The platform is web-based so it is best used as a desktop version and is not a mobile-friendly software option.
- Lacks the level of geospatial features that some of the other route optimization and mapping options offer.
- Serves as more of a fleet management software than a field sales team software.
Mapline offers a free starter version of the app with limited capabilities. When interested in the paid version, you do have to contact Mapline to get a customized price proposal for the features that best meet your team’s needs.
Mapline does not offer CRM integrations since it is built mainly for teams relying on Excel spreadsheets to manage their data, making Mapline their main platform.
Best for sales teams who are using Hubspot CRM and want to add a geographic mapping function.
GeoMapper is a HubSpot integration that offers data visualization for sales teams from businesses and enterprises of all sizes. This mapping tool enables your team to map Hubspot sales data with ease, all without having to leave your CRM.
The platform takes your companies and contacts within HubSpot and lets you visualize them geographically on a map. You can also create lists within Geomapper, such as based on where different contacts are in the sales funnel. Thus, enabling you to quickly narrow down customers and look at only the ones you want at that moment.
- As a direct HubSpot integration, users don’t have to open any outside app to access the mapping feature. This makes accessing information and importing lists even easier and more seamless.
- Users can create specific lists. For example, lists for a specific region or where prospects are in the marketing funnel. This makes strategizing and managing territories easier than ever.
- The free option from GeoMapper is a great way for new businesses to evaluate how well geographic data mapping might work for their company.
- GeoMapper is a lean mapping software that is best for those who don’t require additional information from their maps. You will need additional software to add any other capabilities beyond a simple map.
- It lacks any sales routing features to help optimize reps’ efficiency on the road. While reps can use Geomapper to view customers/prospects in a particular area, they won’t be able to automatically determine the shortest route.
- The software only works within Hubspot. If you have a different sales CRM or are planning to switch in the future, this is not the software for you.
- It can get expensive if you need to start adding more contacts.
Because GeoMapper works as a HubSpot-specific mapping tool, you will need to have HubSpot CRM first. Then, for the Geomapper tool, there is a free plan available (for up to 100 contacts) and four paid plans:
Basic 5K (5,000 contacts)= $52/mo for annual billing; $65/mo for monthly billing.
Pro 10K = $72/mo for annual billing; $90/mo for monthly billing.
Pro 25K = $112/mo for annual billing; $140/mo for monthly billing.
Pro 50K = $144/mo for annual billing; $180/mo for monthly billing.
Geomapper is only available as a native integration with the Hubspot CRM.
Route Optimization Software Address Outside Sales Teams’ Top Challenges
Time and information are two of the most valuable commodities for outside sales teams. When there’s not enough, sales reps struggle to accomplish goals. With more of both, you can make better decisions, be a better route planner, and do more of the sales activities that move the needle.
The right route optimization tool can give both reps and sales leaders a deeper understanding of their territories, help manage them more effectively, and supercharge reps’ productivity.
Try out one of the above multi-stop route planner tools today and start optimizing your field sales team’s success!