• Ineffective Sales Approach
  • Finding Great Sales Talent
  • Lack of Qualified Leads
  • Inconsistent Communication with Leads
  • Slow Quote Turnaround Time
  • Overlooking Requests for Service
  • Inability to Measure Team’s Performance
  • Conclusion

Efficiency is the key to success for freight brokers. When you’re facilitating shipments all over the country, freight challenges are bound to happen, and even small challenges in logistics will hurt your efficiency. Your team might already be industry experts, but when it comes to sales and customer service, you need a structured approach in order to bring in new customers and keep your client base happy.

Click Here: Secure More Shipments & Effectively Manage Clients With This CRM For Freight Brokers

Here are 7 of the most common freight challenges that brokers encounter - and what to do to solve them.

1. Ineffective Sales Approach

Sometimes sales professionals get stuck in a groove, relying on the same strategies over and over instead of branching out. This freight challenge makes it difficult for your brokerage to achieve your full potential when it comes to acquiring new clients.

Instead, your sales team needs to take a multi-channel sales approach using a variety of different touchpoints. Phone, email, in-person meetings, and social media messages are all effective ways to contact and follow up with leads. When simultaneously done at the right time, it will increase your chances of closing a deal.

Other sales approaches that you can implement are industry networking events and webinars. These are great places to build relationships and further connect with your leads. Referral programs can also effectively expand your business, particularly if you work with clients in a specific industry or niche.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your sales approach to stand out. Not every sales channel will work for every lead, so you’ll need to continuously re-evaluate your methods and work with your sales team to ensure you’re not missing out on strong leads.

2. Finding Great Sales Talent

Sales is a challenging profession, and if you don’t have a team with the right attitude on your side, closing deals will be difficult. Finding the right sales talent is one of the biggest 3PL challenges to focus on.

You can always train your salespeople on the ins and outs of the freight industry, but it’s more difficult to find team members with the right personality for sales. Salespeople need to be persistent and resilient, as they’ll need to be able to bounce back from rejection quickly. They’ll also need to be friendly and empathetic in order to build trust with sales leads.

Since salespeople are always in high demand, you’ll need to be savvy when it comes to hiring. In addition to more traditional hiring methods like using job boards, you should always keep an eye out for referrals.

Freight Challenges - A manager taking interview of a young salesman.

3. Lack of Qualified Leads

Finding leads for your freight business can be challenging, but finding qualified leads is even more difficult. Qualified leads should fit your ideal customer profile and need your solution or services. Your sales team must also certify them to be qualified and are likely to move forward in the sales process.

Your time and resources are limited, so focusing on leads with a good chance of turning into customers is essential. Honing your marketing strategy will help you draw in more qualified leads and eventually generate more sales. Using targeted social media ads, PPC ads, and content marketing strategies will help you get your brand name in front of companies that are already looking online for logistics services.

Your salespeople will also need a strategy to qualify leads quickly and efficiently. Having a dedicated researcher to find and verify the required qualification information is a great way to remove the burden on high-cost salespeople. This allows your sales team to focus on high-quality leads and closing deals.

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4. Inconsistent Communication with Leads

Quick and consistent communication is key to the success of any logistics project. You’ll need to show potential clients that your business has the skills to handle their project by consistently communicating with them in the sales process.

If you don’t communicate with leads quickly, you could lose them to your competition. Today’s shippers expect rapid communication, and if you’re not responsive, it will be difficult for them to trust you to get the job done.

This is where CRM tools come in handy. CRM software helps you manage all your communication with leads and existing customers in one place, including calls, emails, meetings, quotes, and more. You’ll be able to track exactly where each lead is in the sales pipeline and have your team respond in a timely manner to close the deal. Opt for a CRM that’s designed for freight brokers, with features specifically to overcome this challenge and secure more shipments.

Freight Challenges - A manager working on a computer.

5. Slow Quote Turnaround Time

When your customers request a quote for a new shipment, they want an answer quickly so they can weigh their options and decide immediately. If you don’t send your quotes promptly, you risk losing those sales and disappointing your customers.

This is another area where a freight broker CRM with a quoting tool will help you solve this challenge. This CRM + quoting tool software will enable you to generate quotes in less than three minutes with just a few clicks. Since it is a CRM, it already contains much of your lead’s or customer’s information. It also allows you to view real-time market data and your historical shipping prices to create more accurate quotes, increasing your chances of winning the deal. With so much information in one place, you’ll get a complete picture of each client’s status within your business.

6. Overlooking Requests for Service

Repeat customers are a huge source of business for any freight broker. To keep them coming back, you’ll need to offer excellent customer service.

Empowering your sales reps and service teams to respond to service requests and customer concerns is essential. But having communication data siloed in different platforms across your whole team will hurt your ability to respond promptly. Tools such as a CRM will allow your team to have one place where emails, calls, meetings, and more are found.

7. Inability to Measure Team’s Performance

In order to continuously improve and grow your operations, you’ll need a way to measure your performance. This will help you identify what’s working well and what needs improvement.

Many freight brokers don’t have the tools to track their team’s performance, which makes it challenging to scale. Software tools such as SCRM will allow you to view and track crucial sales KPIs as soon as you log in. It also contains some of the must-have dashboard features to arm your salespeople with the right data to win more shipments.

Additionally, setting performance goals for your operations and customer service teams is important to ensure they don’t fall behind.

Freight Challenges - a person working on SCRM


If you’re not careful, these freight broker challenges can hold you back from acquiring and retaining new customers. Creating well-defined sales processes and implementing modern technology will help your freight brokerage run more efficiently and avoid these challenges.

To stay ahead of the competition, consider implementing a CRM built for freight brokers.

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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.