• Define a Sales Process
  • Implement Lead Generation Strategies
  • Leverage Specialized Technology for Logistics Businesses
  • Manage & Retain Customers Effectively
  • Track & Optimize 3PL Sales KPIs
  • Have a Resilient Sales Team
  • Conclusion

Many logistics businesses struggle to increase sales because of the highly competitive space. Especially when the largest 3PLs have access to proprietary technology, they can offer faster and better services to shippers.

Click Here: Secure More Shipments and Quote Faster With This 3PL Tool

In this article, we’ll provide six best practices to help you compete with the largest 3PLs and answer the question: How to increase sales in a logistics business?

Let’s start with the basics.

1. Define a Sales Process

A sales process is a series of steps a salesperson takes to turn a lead into an actual customer. An efficient and effective sales process includes the following steps:

a. Lead Generation

Lead generation is identifying potential customers to increase sales and revenue in a logistics business. It typically involves collecting and storing relevant information of leads, such as their name, email address, phone number, etc., to market your products and services.

b. Lead Qualification

After generating leads, it is essential to understand that not every lead is ideal for your business. You need to develop specific qualification criteria to filter them into two categories: qualified and non-qualified. If a lead matches the qualification criteria, it becomes a qualified lead. But if a lead doesn’t match the qualification criteria, it becomes a non-qualified lead.

c. Assessment of Needs

In this step, sales representatives identify the customers’ challenges and match them with a product/service.

d. Proposal

In this step, you send a proposal to your prospect according to their requirements and handle negotiations, if required. This stage aims to convince the prospect to purchase your products or services.

e. Close & Deliver

Once the prospect is satisfied and signs your proposal, you must deliver the product/service according to the agreed conditions.

f. Follow-up

Following up with your existing customers is essential to ensure they’re satisfied with their purchase and encourage them to do business with you again.

Increase Sales in a Logistics Business - Two person shaking hands

2. Implement Lead Generation Strategies

Generating a steady flow of leads is crucial for increasing sales in a logistics business. Some examples of lead generation strategies are:

Inbound Lead Generation

Inbound lead generation is a strategy to attract potential customers by creating and sharing information that draws their attention and convert them into leads.

To attract prospects, businesses can implement the following practices:

a. Content Marketing

It allows you to generate leads by creating engaging content, such as blog posts, podcasts, videos, infographics, eBooks, etc., to attract and engage your target audience.

b. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is optimizing your website to increase its visibility for specific search terms. This practice increases the chances of potential users finding and clicking on your site when they search for keywords related to your business, like 3PL services.

c. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

SMM is a method of gaining website traffic through social networks by creating and sharing content your readers find valuable. This encourages them to follow your brand and share it with others.

To convert your prospects, businesses can implement the following practices:

a. Newsletters

This practice lets you capture leads by allowing them to sign up for a recurrent newsletter program. For example, sending a bi-monthly newsletter about helping your customers’ challenges can let you capture their information.

b. Gated Content

Gated content allows you to capture information from your target audience in exchange for valuable content, such as e-books, guides, whitepapers, etc.

Outbound Lead Generation

Outbound lead generation is about reaching out to prospects rather than waiting for them to contact you. Here’s a list of outbound lead generation practices:

a. Cold Calling

Cold calling involves contacting potential customers who have not expressed previous interest in your business to sell your services/products or set appointments.

b. Direct Sales

This sales practice is about directly visiting potential customers in person and briefly presenting your products and services.

c. Events

Events provide a platform for companies to showcase their products and services, gain the attention of potential customers, and sell to them.

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3. Leverage Specialized Technology for Logistics Businesses

Every industry has its unique requirements. This is no different in the logistics space. Generic software can help your business to a certain point, but specialized technology can help you compete with the most significant players so you can increase your sales.

For example, a CRM built for logistics can include specialized features, such as:

  • Logistics Oriented Dashboard
  • Full Logistics Quoting Capabilities
  • Logistics Sales Reports
  • Integrations with Freight Marketplaces
  • Instant Rates from 100+ Carriers
  • Real-time Market Conditions

These features are not found in generic CRMs, and they are specifically made for logistics businesses to secure more shipments and increase sales.

To learn more about the must-have features of a logistics CRM, click here.

4. Manage & Retain Customers Effectively

Closing a deal for a new customer is not the end of the sales funnel. At this point, they are still testing the waters with your logistics business. If unsatisfied with your services, they will take their business elsewhere.

This is why it is crucial to manage and retain customers effectively. You need to earn their trust and loyalty, so they do business with you for a long time, therefore, increasing your sales. You have to try and meet your customers’ expectations every time and provide personalized services to set a good foundation for a strong relationship.

To learn 3 effective strategies to ensure great customer service, click here. 

5. Track & Optimize 3PL Sales KPIs

Tracking and optimizing 3PL sales KPIs are essential for increasing sales in a logistics business. These help companies measure performance and identify areas of improvement, allowing them to make informed decisions and guide their sales team in the right direction. Here are some 3PL sales KPIs that you need to be tracking:

a. Lanes Won

It is the number of lanes your customers have accepted out of the total requested. It is broken down by different transportation modes (FTL, LTL, IM, FCL, LCL, Air).

b. Profit Margin by Lane Type

Profit margin by lane type helps you understand the most profitable transportation mode, so you can focus on it and increase your profit margins.

c. Lanes Win Ratio

It helps you compare the won lanes to the lost ones, allowing you to understand what the lanes that you tend to win or lose the most are.

d. Shipment Frequency

It helps you understand the shipment trend of your clients to identify whether your clients are consistently tendering shipments with you or taking their business somewhere else.

To learn more 3PL sales KPIs to track, read this blog.

6. Have a Resilient Sales Team

A resilient team is essential to increase sales in a logistics business. This is because getting a prospect to respond usually takes around six to eight sales touches. Without resiliency, your team might give up at the last second to get your prospect’s attention.

Additionally, sales is a very demanding job. Motivation can be lost easily when things are not going right. Your team must be able to bounce back to meet success consistently.


The best practices mentioned above are some of the fundamental components to ensure you have a consistent pipeline of leads and increase sales in a logistics business. With the strategies in this article, you can generate leads consistently, secure more shipments, improve customer retention, and compete with the most significant players in the logistics industry.

To help you implement some of the strategies above, here’s a CRM built especially for 3PLs.

Thank you for reading our article. For more educational content, you can explore all our blogs here. You can follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to get supply chain industry trends and efficiency tips. If you have other inquiries or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us through this link.


Phil Magill Supply Chain Expert

Phil is IFS’s co-founder, chairman, and industry expert, holding over 35 years of experience in the transportation industry. He is also the founder and CEO of Transportation Management Solutions, the largest privately held 3PL in South Florida. Prior to TMS and IFS, Phil held significant roles in C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Freight Transportation Specialist (acquired by C.H. Robinson), and Emery Worldwide.