Territory Mapping: Optimizing Sales and Franchise Growth


Unlock the potential of territory mapping – a dynamic method that reshapes how organizations manage their expansion and services. Whether you’re striving to supercharge sales or foster franchise growth, territory mapping holds the key.

In this article, we’ll explore the essence of territory mapping and its dual role in sales and franchising. Dive into sales-territory mapping, where reps reign supreme in designated zones, ensuring targeted engagement and amplified sales. Equally vital is franchise-territory mapping, enabling equitable expansion while safeguarding brand integrity.

Discover the methods behind crafting strategic maps – isochrones, isodistances, and official boundaries. Join us in mastering territory mapping for a smarter approach to business growth.

What is Territory Mapping?

Territory Mapping is a method of allocating territory to an organization or person. It is very useful for two main purposes: sales-territory mapping and franchise-territory mapping.

What is sales territory mapping?

Sales-territory mapping is a sales strategy in which specific territories are drawn and assigned to individual sales representatives who then become solely responsible for prospecting leads and managing customer relationships within their territory. This mapping is absolutely crucial for sales leaders that need to optimize their sales resources while ensuring a steady flow of new deals through their pipeline.

Each territory is assigned on the basis of several factors, but the main purpose is to plot leads or customers onto a map and then allocate the corresponding territories to the appropriate salesperson. These areas can be divided up in several ways: isochrones, isodistances, or even official boundaries like zip codes.

Things to keep in mind when mapping sales territories

Getting your sales territory right can be a challenge, and getting it wrong can have a huge impact on your sales figures. So before you start mapping your territories, here are some things you need to know.

Balance between new and existing customers
One of the main reasons for expanding or remapping sales territories is driving up sales numbers by acquiring new customers. But when you’re creating these new maps, you have to be careful not to neglect existing customers. Putting too much emphasis on new territories means you might not have the resources to support your current customers — or worse, go after leads in existing territories.

Address short-term needs and long-term goals
While your sales leaders might want to see your numbers go up ASAP, you also need to plan for the long term. Sure, you could try to capitalize on consumer trends and expand aggressively into a hot new market. But will you have the resources to sustain that market months or years in the future?

Use the right tools
Sure, you could always draw your sales territories by hand using Google Maps and some data you’ve exported from a CRM or a spreadsheet. But why go through so much trouble when there are tools purpose-built for this?

What is franchise territory mapping?

Franchise territory mapping consists of creating and assigning a specific trade area to a franchisee. It is sometimes specified in the franchise agreement as an exclusive territory where nobody else (i.e. no other franchisee or retailer distributing the same product from the same brand) can carry out sales or marketing activities.

Franchise territories can be set out using several criteria, such as potential customers (demographics) and potential revenues. In order to be as fair as possible and avoid network-management issues, each franchisee needs to have comparable territories. The franchisor can do a zoning study to have a better idea of which trade area the brand should be located in.

Things to keep in mind when mapping franchise territories

Growing a franchise can be extremely exciting, but that growth needs to match an overall strategy. Otherwise, you risk unintentionally cannibalizing your own business.

Map out coverage areas for existing franchisees
Before you can carve out territories for new franchisees, you have to know what kind of coverage you already have. Using a location-intelligence tool like Smappen is a great way to map coverage areas using your own customer data, isochrone maps, or built-in demographic data.

Review the performance of existing franchisees
By tracking sales data for existing franchisees, you can get a sense of how existing territories are performing. Using this as a baseline, you can then map out territories you haven’t been able to break into yet while getting a sense of the size of territory a single franchisee can realistically handle.

Study the competition
Some of the largest companies in the world are franchises, meaning there’s a lot of data available on successfully mapping out franchise territories. Look at businesses in your industry, study how they create their territories, and see what works for your business.

How does territory mapping work?

First, you need to choose the method you’re going to use to draw the areas representing your sales or franchise territories. Should your territory represent official boundaries (city, state, zip code, etc.)? Or do you prefer to use isochrones? Isochrones are the most common way of drawing trade areas, as they give a better sense of how physical terrain (e.g. mountains, rivers) impact the attractiveness of your business for nearby customers You can also use an as-the-crow-flies isodistance (a simple radius from your point of sale) which is simpler but not as reflective of real-world conditions. Depending on the targets or customers you’ve been mapping, you could also draw one manually, so that each area can be comparable.

There are lots of useful tools that can help you easily map territories. Smappen offers you the ability to do this free of charge. Start creating a territory map

How do you create a sales territory map?

To create your sales-territory map, you need to know which criteria you will use for drawing the areas. The most common method is to plot your customers or prospects on a map using data from your CRM or sales tool. From there, you can estimate the volume each territory can realistically handle and draw areas that fit more closely with your data.

With a tool like Smappen, you can do this all on one platform. Just import data from your CRM or a spreadsheet and you’ll get an instant visual representation of where your customers are. Then, you can draw an isochrone map in just a few clicks to get your first sales territory.

Don’t have this data handy? Just use Smappen’s built-in data — including U.S. Census data — to get an approximation of the addressable market for a specific area and use that top draw your sales territories.

4 of the best territory-mapping apps

There’s a wide range of apps you can use for territory mapping, since all you need is the ability to draw areas on a map. If you also want to work with customer data — which is the best way to do it — then your options are a little more limited. Here 


Smappen is an online tool that allows you to create unlimited custom maps, on which you can isochrone maps, isodistance maps, and more.. You can sort your areas into layers, in order to have a clear visual representation of your plan. You can also use different colors to distinguish them. It also enables you to access demographic data (to assess a potential area) or import your own data (from a CRM, spreadsheet, or database). You can also work with your colleagues or franchisees, by sharing your map publicly or collaborate with them on the same map.

With Smappen, you can draw up to 10 areas for free. After that, you will need to take out a monthly subscription to access the other features.. You can use Smappen for both franchise mapping and sales mapping. It also has lots of other uses, such as sales performance analysis, marketing campaigns, or market research.


Spotio is specifically designed for sales. You can customize your map with territories and map your customers. It has more sales features, like task automation and sales routing. Spotio can be linked directly to your CRM software. However, it doesn’t offer additional data on demographics or anything else. So, to use it, you need to have your own database. There is a monthly subscription for using Spotio.


Maptitude is a geographic information system (GIS) tool. It is very comprehensive and made for many different use cases. You might need some training, as it is harder to get to grips with than the other two tools mentioned above. You can add as many country-data packages to the tool as you need. There is an annual subscription.


eSpatial is territory-mapping software made for both sales and franchising. You can import your data, customize your maps, draw boundaries for your territories, and plan routes. There is an annual subscription, starting at $1,295 year.

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