Best Route Planner with Google Maps [2020]

When it comes to map route planners, some of the most common questions people ask are: “Doesn’t Google Maps do that?” or “Isn’t Google Maps route planning software’’?

The truth is that Google Maps and route optimization apps are very different things. They just both involve a virtual map.

In this article, we’ll go over when it makes sense to use Google route planner and when you’ll need better alternatives, such as route optimization software.

We’ll also take a look at the best route planners available in the market.

Does Google Maps have a Route Planner? 

Yes, Google Maps does have a route planner.

In fact, the route planner Google offers is one of the most popular options out there. It’s reliable, easy to use, and free.

With Google Maps, you can create routes to any place you want, and get turn-by-turn directions, different types of map views, and real-time traffic updates. You can set traveling by foot, car, bicycle, air (in beta), or public transportation.

Google route planner is great if you’re trying to get from point A to point B, and for casual traveling. 

But the route planner Google provides is a limited tool, especially if you need to add many stops and optimize your route. 

You can only have up to 10 stops, which Google’s route planner simply adds to the route in the order you enter them. That means it can’t optimize the entire route for you

To get the fastest route to reach all of your destinations, you would have to manually reorder the stops according to what you think makes sense.

This makes using Google Maps as a multi-stop route planner too complicated and time-consuming.

If you’re a busy salesperson or you’re just in a hurry, this is definitely not the best solution for you. Why waste time every day planning your route when you can use an app that plans it for you in seconds?

Google Maps is a great navigational mapping app. But businesses need much more than navigation from a mapping software

Google Maps doesn’t offer any of the features that allow efficient selling and delivery, such as the ability to visualize customer information on a map.

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Does Google Maps always give the fastest route?

Google Maps is a great tool to find the fastest route to your destination. But if your trip includes multiple stops, Google Maps will not give you the fastest route.

This is because the Google route planner simply finds the fastest route from one point to the next. It doesn’t optimize the stop order. The end result is not an optimized route.

If this is for a one-time trip, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. You’ll just have to take some time planning before you can plot a route on Gmaps.

But if optimized routes are an everyday need for you (for example, if you’re a salesperson or a delivery driver), Google Maps is definitely not the right solution for you.

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When to use Google Maps for route planning? 

Using Google route planner is ideal for simple routes with no more than 2-3 stops.

All you need to do is enter your destination, and you’ll get turn-by-turn directions to get there as fast as possible. You can also use it to simply find the distance between two points.

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When NOT to use Google Maps for route planning?  

There are two main cases in which Google route planner is not enough.

  • Scenario 1: Creating routes with many stops

Google route planner only allows you to add up to 10 stops.

If you work in delivery, logistics, or fleet management, you’ll need to add 100+ stops to your daily route. You’ll also need visualization features, and the ability to save routes.

If you work in field sales, you typically visit 15-20 customers or prospects every day. The more sales meetings you have, the more you can sell. Plus, you need to keep track of each of your interactions with customers.  

Google route planner doesn’t offer these features. 

  • Scenario 2: Route Optimization

Whether you’re a field salesperson or you’re just trying to optimize your multi-stop route, you’ll need a tool that gives you the best route by simply entering all your stops.

Google route planner doesn’t do that. You will have to put in extra time to manually plot a route on Gmaps, and it’s not guaranteed that the route will be entirely optimized.

In cases like these, you’ll need more sophisticated software.

Badger Maps allows you to add 100+ stops and build the most efficient route.

It then gives you turn-by-turn directions, with the ability to set departure, arrival, and duration times for each stop, so you have an estimate of how early or late you’ll be for each location. 

But that’s not all! With Badger, you can filter leads to find the best opportunities on a map, find new leads around you, get follow-up reminders, and more. 

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Why Google Route Planner is NOT enough for Outside Sales?

Outside sales is a driving-intensive job.

The route planner Google offers is simply not enough for this use case.

If you’re a field sales rep, you probably meet with 15-20 prospects and customers in a day. That means that you need to easily view, manage, and optimize your entire day’s route.

Using Google Maps would mean wasting hours each day to plan your route. On the other side, using the right route optimization app will cut your driving time in half.

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List of Best Route Planners for Outside Sales

 

Price: Starts at $49/month (Free 7-day trial)

Best for: Field sales teams of all sizes, individual field sales reps

Combining Google Maps with this all-in-one tool results in having all the features field salespeople need to succeed.

Badger’s territory management features allow you to view customer information and easily spot your best opportunities on a map. Then, you can plan optimized routes to all your appointments (with 100+ stops) and keep track of all your customer interactions.

With Badger, you can also find new leads around you and include them to your route with the tap of a finger. Other key features include custom reports, follow-up reminders and CRM integration.

What makes Badger Maps different from other route planners is that it offers countless features specifically designed for field sales. In fact, the average sales team sells 22% and drives 20% less when they start using Badger. 

Although this is a great tool for many use cases, it’s the perfect solution for salespeople.

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My Route Online

Price: Starts at $29.95/month

Best for: Logistics, trucking

A popular tool for delivery, My Route Online allows users to add up to 350 stops and optimize routes.

If you’re a truck driver or a delivery person and need a basic map route planner, this might be the right solution for you.

Just keep in mind that this is a web-based only tool, with no mobile app available.

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Route XL

Price: Limited stops: free/unlimited stops: starts at €35/month (about $40/month)

Best for: Delivery

Route XL is another great delivery route planner solution.

With this tool, you can easily import a spreadsheet with all your destinations, and you’ll get the optimized route.

One drawback is that it can take some time to learn how to use this tool.

Good news is that it’s free to use for up to 20 stops, so you can give it a try!

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OptimoRoute

Price: Starts at $17.10 per driver/month

Best for: Businesses, mobile workforces

OptimoRoute offers a simple solution for different industries and business functions, including logistics or waste collection.

Like the other tools in this list, OptimoRoute’s main feature is route optimization. But this route planner offers some unique features, in particular for drivers.

For example, users can plan routes for multiple days, weeks in advance. This can be very useful for drivers covering long distances.

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Conclusion

Google Maps is a great tool if you simply need to get from point A to point B. All you need to do to plot a route on GMaps is enter your destination, and you’re ready to go.

Obviously, Google route planning has limitations, and it’s not the optimal solution for professionals, in particular for outside sales.

In cases like these, you’ll need a robust route optimization app that: 

  • Is incredibly easy to use
  • Has many stops with the ability to save them and to set departure, arrival, and duration times
  • Has advanced optimization, visualization, and tracking features, so you can reach the right customers at the right time
  • Is compatible with Google Maps, Apple Maps, and/or Waze
  • Allows you to take meetings on the go

If you work in sales, Badger Maps is definitely the best option out there. Start a free trial today to start planning your sales routes more efficiently.

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MORE QUESTIONS ON USING GOOGLE AS A ROUTE PLANNER
How many stops can you add to Google Maps?

With Google Route Planner, you can route up to 10 stops at a time.

What is the best way to route multiple destinations?

If you need to plan a route with multiple stops, you’ll need route optimization software that can create optimized routes for you in seconds. 

There are plenty of free and freemium options available. 

If you need to plan sales routes specifically, Badger Maps is the best option out there. See the section above for top options for outside sales, or check out our 10 best free route planner with unlimited stops page to find out which one is best based on your needs.

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