Supporting your account managers with the execution of their day-to-day visits is a key topic nowadays. In a world where the digital communication channels are still growing rapidly, one can still pinpoint quite a few markets in which the face-to-face channel still holds a high value in building a loyal long-term relationship with your customers. This blog will explain how the route planning solution maiTour of maiHiro will support you with this process.
The SAP Sales Cloud offers great visit management functionality (as part of the retail execution capabilities) to support the preparation, execution and follow-up of customer visits. These visits will need to be effective and efficient, not only in execution and follow-up, but also in planning. An intelligently planned visit route will save travel time and hence effectively increase the face-to-face time with the customer.
maiTour is a 3rd party solution that is fully integrated in SAP Sales Cloud. It is targeted to sales representatives or account managers to help them plan their day-to-day visit routes more efficiently. It will balance the workload for your sales force and minimize the travel time.
The key features are:
- Geo-optimized route planning that considers historical and real-time traffic data (using the geo-optimization services of PTV)
- Automatically determined list of visit proposals which is sorted based on priority or days overdue
- An easy UX targeted to end-users that supports preparing the day-to-day visit routes, but also supports making ad-hoc changes to the route.
Also, important to mention is that maiTour is classified as Co-Innovated with SAP. It is certified by SAP and has been listed in their Gold Guide.
A first walk-through
You will start your visit route planning by selecting the maiTour tile on the SAP Sales Cloud homepage.
The maiTour work basket will be opened showing the initial list of proposed accounts (customers and prospects) for whom a visit should be planned. The list is based on real-time visit data and shows the relevant customer data, including name, address, last visit, etc.
Depending on the configuration, these proposals are sorted either by days overdue (based on the visit frequency and the last completed visit) or by priority. The priority sorting option provides the opportunity to dynamically calculate the priority based on the strategic and operative criteria that are relevant for your business. These calculations are done using customizable SAP Cloud Platform business rules. These rules can use SAP Sales Cloud data like classifications, the availability of promotions, days overdue, etc. to calculate the priority of the next visit to be planned.
From the maiTour work basket the account manager can adjust the list of proposals by changing the planning period, the working hours and overnight stays, remove proposals or add new customers to it. A user can also fix some of the proposed visits if there has already been prior communication with the customer about the upcoming visit. maiTour will then make sure that this customer will be visited on the pre-selected time, day or planning period. The user can also have its overnight stays planned (if necessary) from the work basket.
Even ad-hoc changes during the day are supported. The so-called ‘around-me-search’ searches for customers within a specified radius of your current location (based on GPS). maiTour will show all nearby customers on the map and the user can select and add these customers to the current work basket.
Once all proposals have been reviewed, the user can start the route calculation. With the geo-optimized services of PTV, a precise time planning is returned in which travel times are estimated. The maiTour work basket will then show the start- and end times of all visits, including the travel times and distances.
This route planning can also be visualized, conveniently showing your day-to-day routes plotted on the map.
If the visit routes are fully to your satisfaction, one can hit the finish button in the maiTour work basket and the visits will be stored in SAP Sales Cloud. From that point on, the visits are available in your calendar, ready for preparation and execution!
As stated, maiTour is fully integrated in the user interface of SAP Sales Cloud. Technically it is a solution built on the SAP Cloud Portal that is visually integrated with the SAP Sales Cloud using a mash-up. The third component in this architecture is the PTV Geo Data Server. This SAP Cloud Portal solution is making service calls to PTV to enable the optimized route calculations.
Acorel is a re-seller and implementation partner of maiTour. If you have any questions or comments on how the maiTour solution could help your sales reps, please feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org