In the highly competitive nature of logistics, increasing sales is a top priority for companies. The logistics industry, which encompasses freight sales, supply chain management, and transportation, is vital in connecting businesses and consumers worldwide. However, with the increasing complexity of the global market, standing out and driving revenue growth in the logistics business can be challenging.
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 logistics business?
A sales process is a series of steps your salesperson takes to turn a lead into an actual customer. It also provides structure, consistency, and measurable goals for your sales team.
An efficient and effective sales process includes the following steps:
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.
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.
In this step, sales representatives identify the customers’ challenges and match them with a product/service.
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.
Once the prospect is satisfied and signs your proposal, you must deliver the product/service according to the agreed conditions.
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.
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 is a powerful tool for sales growth in the logistics industry. It involves strategies, such as creating valuable content, search engine optimization, and targeted social media marketing strategies, that attract logistics leads.
To attract leads, businesses can implement the following strategies:
In content marketing, you develop high-quality, valuable content that addresses potential customers' pain points, answers their questions, and provides useful insights. Content can include blog posts, case studies, white papers, and industry reports. By offering valuable content, you position yourself as an industry expert and build trust with potential customers.
SEO is all about optimizing your logistics company's website and content using best practices to increase visibility for specific search terms.
By ranking higher in search engine results, you can attract more organic traffic and increase the chances of potential leads finding your site when they search for keywords related to your business, like 3PL services.
SMM is a strategy to engage with potential customers, share valuable content, and promote your logistics business through social media platforms. It is also a method of gaining website traffic.
By showing up on social media platforms where your target audience is active, you create a professional social media presence. You can actively participate in industry discussions, sharing valuable insights and establishing your company as a thought leader. This strategy encourages them to follow your brand and share it with others.
To convert your prospects, businesses can implement the following practices:
In the logistics industry, email campaigns play a crucial role in nurturing leads, maintaining communication with prospects, and ultimately converting them into clients. Using email campaigns, you can share supply chain insights, announce new services, and highlight success stories to illustrate how your business can meet their unique needs.
Lead scoring is a systematic process of assigning numerical values or scores to leads based on their behavior, engagement, and characteristics, while lead segmentation involves categorizing leads into distinct groups based on shared characteristics, behaviors, or other criteria. By assigning scores and categories, you can prioritize leads and focus your resources on those that are most likely to convert.
Outbound lead generation is an outbound marketing strategy that plays a crucial role in reaching larger audiences and expanding the customer base in the logistics industry. It involves methods where you actively reach out to prospects rather than waiting for them to contact you.
Here’s a list of outbound lead generation practices:
Cold calling involves contacting potential customers who have not expressed previous interest in your business to sell your services/products or set appointments.
Direct sales is about proactively visiting potential customers in person, to engage them in meaningful conversations and present your logistics services.
Industry specific events, such as trade shows, industry conferences, and networking events, provide a platform for companies to connect with potential customers, showcase your logistics business, and generate leads.
Also, read more about outbound strategies to quickly generate logistics leads.
Every industry has its unique requirements. This is no different in the logistics space. In addition to a robust sales process and lead generation strategies, logistics businesses can leverage specialized technologies to outperform the competition and drive sales growth.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a form of specialized logistics technology that you can use to boost your sales productivity. A logistics CRM include features fit for the logistics market:
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.
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. You have to aim to meet your customers’ expectations every time and provide personalized services to set a good foundation for a strong relationship.
Using 3PL sales KPIs for increasing sales is essential in a logistics business. These logistics data 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 track:
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).
Profit margin by lane type helps you understand the most profitable transportation mode, so you can focus on it and increase your profit margins.
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.
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.
By using sales data to inform your sales strategy, logistics companies can optimize sales performance, drive revenue growth, and stay ahead of the competition in the logistics industry.
A resilient team is essential for driving sales growth 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 the sales strategies above, here’s a CRM built especially for 3PLs.
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