It’s 2020 and nearly everyone has access to a personal GPS on their mobile device — but let’s not forget that digital maps are a recent invention. With the introduction of MapQuest in 1996, online personal mapping slowly became accessible to the public. This not just revolutionized personal navigation — it transformed the way industries like field sales operated.
But before Waze, Google Maps, and even TomTom existed — there were five friends from Surrey, England that built an overnight success software called Autoroute. Massively popular, it was eventually downloaded by half of the computers in the UK. In the late 90s, it was acquired by Microsoft and distributed in North America as Streets and Trips in 2000.
14 years later, it suddenly disappeared from the market. So what happened?
What Was Microsoft Streets and Trips?
Microsoft Streets and Trips was a mapping and routing program that helped lay the foundation for personal GPS systems. Now discontinued, it was a computer program that mapped out streets, businesses and places of interest — as well as displayed pins on a map and built multi-stop routes from place to place.
In later versions, it introduced features we are familiar with like weather considerations, traffic monitoring and construction updates.
With an extremely user-friendly interface for its time, Microsoft Streets and Trips featured ground-breaking technology that contained more than six million miles of map.
The most impressive feature was Streets and Trips’ ability to update route information in real time. The software would identify roads that were under construction and provide information on how to avoid them.
This combination of business data and route optimization was a success within sales departments. It provided a comprehensive solution that offered territory creation, route optimization, management efficiency, and territory mapping — effectively revolutionizing the sales industry.
But in 2013, Microsoft chose to discontinue the product; and then in 2015, it ended its Streets and Trips support lines.
Is Microsoft Streets and Trips Still Available?
Microsoft Streets and Trips was discontinued as part of Microsoft’s concerted effort to invest their resources into Bing, a web search engine meant to rival Google.
It was Microsoft’s hope that Bing Maps would eventually compete with Google Maps, but that hasn’t exactly panned out so far.
In the end, Streets and Trips released a goodbye message urging their customers to use Bing Maps instead. In doing so, they lost sight of the enterprise market that used Streets and Trips for sales. Bing Maps was not a direct replacement and was inherently a consumer product.
Is There a Microsoft Streets and Trips Replacement?
Yes — in 2016 we built Map My Customers to replicate the best of what Streets and Trips had to offer, while adding in modern features that make it mobile-friendly and super insightful.
We knew that when Streets and Trips vanished, enterprises and businesses had no suitable alternative.
Most sales reps had wound up resorting to free mapping softwares like Google Maps and manually entering each data point themselves.
This led to a lot of frustrated customers, including (of course) ourselves...
It was 2015, and we were stuck running our sales routes like it was 1988. It was inefficient, boring, and in the end — it just didn’t make any sense.
That’s why we created a new software that does everything (and more) of what Microsoft Streets and Trips was capable of:
- Route Optimization — Reduce planning and travel time with our leading routing algorithms
- Data Visualization — Visualize sales opportunities and customers displayed as clickable pins on a map
- Lead Generation — Identify new customers and create additional appointments while on the road
- Planning and Contact Management — Log activities like cold calls and meetings, track check-ins and sync it all to your calendar
- Management and Reporting — Manage territories, track rep activity and surface sales data unique to the field
Unlike Microsoft Streets and Trips, MMC is built for the phone — meaning you can see your routes, schedule and customer notes from anywhere. On the web, we have dashboards to organize and analyze your team’s data and easily transfer data between team members or your CRM — all with a modern user interface.
Above all — here at Map My Customers, we promise not to disappear.
How Map My Customers Can Replace Microsoft Streets and Trips
Microsoft Streets and Trips was a powerful tool, but it wasn’t really built with the salesperson in mind. Map My Customers is unique because it’s the tool that’s purpose-built for outside sales. In fact, I first built this app specifically for my father, a career field sales professional in the flooring industry.
Because of this, we understand exactly what sales reps need. Here, I break down the top 5 aspects of what makes Map My Customers so useful for reps and teams in the field:
Microsoft Streets and Trips Alternative for Sales Route Planning and Optimization
Just like Microsoft Streets & Trips, one of the keystone features of Map My Customers is the ability to create detailed multi-stop routes. Creating these routes is simple and allows sales reps to build their most efficient day.
Map My Customers visualizes all of your customers as pins on a map. You can add those pins to a route in a few short taps or by using our lasso tool to mass-add relevant pins.
Similar to Microsoft Streets and Trips, our route optimization takes into account real-time factoring such as traffic congestion, required stops throughout the road, weather conditions, traffic accidents and more. Since our platform is powered by Google Maps (proven by CNBC to be more accurate than Apple Maps) you can rest assured knowing that the route directions you receive will always be the fastest route possible.
Once your route is built, you can also follow turn-by-turn navigation via a mobile GPS of your choice — including Apple Maps or Waze.
Creating a route on our platform is actually much easier and faster to do than on Microsoft Streets and Trips. In fact, many of our customers praise our platform for saving them countless hours that would have been spent on driving and planning routes. Some customers have even cut their weekly planning time in half and reduced their weekly driving time by 200 miles.
When you build a route with Map My Customers — you also get a stop-by-stop itinerary where you can further dictate additional information about stops, including customers involved, the length of the visit and the total distance traveled. Once you build your optimized route, you can sync your itinerary to your calendar (like Google Calendar or Outlook) and add it to your Saved Routes.
Want to change your route? Simply drag and drop each stop and rearrange it in the order you want it to be in. You can easily add or remove stops as well.
Even better, routing is available on our web app, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Microsoft Streets and Trips Alternative for Sales Data Visualization
As we mentioned above, when you import your customers into Map My Customers they are displayed as pins on a map. This is helpful for routing, but it’s also an important way to visualize and fully understand your sales territory like never before.
In a single field of view, you can see every customer, prospect or contact displayed — making it the perfect visual for the field sales rep (and part of what was so great about Microsoft Streets and Trips).
Unlike Microsoft Streets and Trips, however, Map My Customers takes data visualization to new heights. For example, our heat mapping tool can help you to understand the geospatial factors that influence your deals.
You can also use Map My Customers to curate a specific view of certain customers. With Grouping and Filtering, you can segment your customers based on tier, priority, and product type — as well as by radius (in miles) or custom fields.
Map My Customers brings a more insightful view of your territory than Microsoft Streets and Trips ever could. Once you’ve segmented and visualized customers appropriately, you can build a new route or click in to the customers to learn more about them, make a call, or send them an email.
Microsoft Streets and Trips Alternative for Lead Generation
As a rep in the field, it’s also important to be able to keep your pipeline consistently full and have new deals coming in. With Map My Customers, you can find new leads easily and quickly with our Lead Generation tool.
Find places of businesses nearby to build a day of cold calls to generate new business. Or, if you find yourself with a gap in your schedule due to a cancellation — use the Lead Generation tool to find a nearby opportunity.
Although Microsoft Streets and Trips did not have a true Lead Generation tool, they had a similar business search similar to Google Maps that posted reviews and additional details about opportunities.
With Map My Customers, you can easily find new opportunities relevant to you — and instantly add them as a saved prospect or give them a quick call.
Microsoft Streets and Trips Alternative for Sales Planning and Contact Management
Whereas Microsoft Streets and Trips mostly existed as a tool for routing, Map My Customers also acts as a mobile contact management and planning tool.
This means that beyond routing, you can do all of your administrative work from your mobile device as you go about your day. Some customers have spent up to 50% less time doing that admin work, meaning they’re spending more time selling.
Before you hit the road, use Map My Customers to pick out your highest priority customers and build your itinerary for the day or week.
As you go about your day taking meetings and making cold calls, you can log notes about your customers, add files, and schedule follow-ups as necessary. You can even use our Cadence Management tool to indicate when you need to follow up with an account.
The best part about this is that you can also share this information with your entire team, which encourages clean and consistent data management practices across your entire organization.
Microsoft Streets and Trips Alternative for Sales Team Management and Reporting
Another way Map My Customers goes beyond Streets and Trips is with leading field team management functionality. As a manager, you are able to see your sales team’s activities and successes displayed in several ways.
With our Field Dashboard, you can see recently added companies, recent activities (like calls or emails) and active deals. Plus, you can actively compare the performance of your reps by number of activities logged and by type of activity.
You can also click in to an individual rep to see more about what their day is like and check in on them.
In addition, easily define sales territories and assign them to a rep so you can get a true birds’-eye view of your organization’s sales landscape.
Within Reports, you can access tables of more granular information, activity logs, and added customers. This data can be exported or integrated with CRMs like Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho and Microsoft Dynamics.
Replace Streets & Trips Today
Streets and Trips was a revolutionary product, but it was limited in some of its features. One of the biggest advantages of Map My Customers is that we are both a web and mobile solution. You can easily create routes on the web and have it be available and accessible from your mobile device (iOS or Android) and vice versa.
We’ve taken the best of MapPoint and Streets and Trips and improved them for the needs of the modern outside sales rep. If you haven’t jumped onboard with Map My Customers, you can begin here with a free 14-day trial!