The market opportunities for a logistics company – regardless of size or niche – in today’s globally connected world of business operations and consumer demand are very lucrative.
However, logistics companies must ensure that they adopt best practices to achieve top-line growth and operational efficiencies, and to keep consumers happy.
How can Logistics Companies grow their business?
Growth for a logistics company can be a daunting task, especially for small or growing firms that are looking to take their business to the next level. This is because they are dependent on account-based revenue that is often long-term. Therefore, most of their resources are set to serve their current clients.
However, there are several proven methods of kick-starting a business of small-medium size, or even an already large one for that matter.
A good marketing and sales strategy, a well-organized supply-chain and vendor management program, cost and operations optimization, and best-in-class inventory planning and management are just some of the ways that logistics businesses can grow to the next level.
Let’s look at the top 7 ways to do so.
Top 7 ways to drive sales and growth for logistics companies.
1. Create an organized and formalized sales system: Unless you have a well-defined and formalized sales process – replete with important segments like Need Analysis, Lead Generation, Lead Qualification, RFP/Proposal Preparation, Lead Closure, and Delivery/Client Service – you will land up creating an atmosphere of confusion, wastage, and poor ROI.
Once you have done that, develop a set of best practices on how to successfully plan and execute each segment, and how each segment naturally blends into the other. Remember, while each segment will have its own unique strategies, you must keep an eye on the (holistic) overall process and ensure that each works seamlessly with its preceding and following segments. They mustn’t be at cross-purposes with each other!
2. Deploy an efficient marketing plan: Needless to say, a well-planned and efficiently executed marketing plan remains the most effective way to generate leads and grow your business.
However, it takes a good deal of planning and resource allocation to ensure that your marketing efforts are not only targeted toward a suitable audience but also that you are communicating the pertinent points.
Unless your message is pointed, effective, and easy to understand and synthesize, your clients will not understand how you can help them improve their business. Remember, clients, come to you so you can help them achieve their business goals, not because they like you otherwise!
Some important tenets of successful modern-day plans include Google Adwords, SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing. An insightful research function will also enable you to stay clued into new and upcoming trends and gradually assume the position of a “thought leader” in your industry.
3. Enable your Sales Teams: Research has repeatedly shown that B2B sales teams typically spend a lot of hours trying to put together the correct sales tools and kits. This is so because a lot of the correct data, content, and information that a B2B salesperson requires is often hard to find, or isn’t in the format that would be convenient for presentation to the client. Additionally, they can often be outdated or somewhat irrelevant.
Equipping your sales reps with the correct tools, including sales presentations, print collaterals, and easily shared online data and decks, will equip your sales teams to function with much better results with little or no repetition or wastage of effort.
Modern methods also include an access-only sales platform that allows sales reps to collect data, organize it into convenient formats, share whatever is required, allow tiered access as per the user, and engage potential as well as current clients in discussion (etc.). Such platforms often also allow added tools like customer research and analytics.
This also goes a long way for logistics firms to exit traditional limitations of operational silos and embrace a changing online sales system.
4. Lead generation via trade shows, conferences (etc.): Trade shows and events have been a critical tool for the B2B salesman for the longest time!
A well-organized and suitably targeted trade show not only enables your sales teams to interact beneficially with the on-site visitors but also to network and capture leads that can then be pursued via follow-up efforts.
Research indicates that trade shows are amongst the best ways to generate warm/hot leads that convert suitably.
5. Deploy an efficient sales automation system: Well, we live in an increasingly automated world. Perhaps, one of the biggest impacts of this has been in the world of Sales and Marketing.
Using modern methods such as CRM dashboards, lead generation funnels, online databases that can be mined for insight in numerous ways, and funnel management and its associated metrics, are just some of the ways that a suitably automated sales system helps in improving performance and optimizing resources. Not only that, but it also enables sales teams to save time, engage customers better, provide better customer support, and thereby increase the chance of renewal and retention.
Important metrics such as conversion rates, target achievement, average order size, customer growth (etc.) are also available for review 24*7. All this enables ROI calculation on the funds and resources deployed into the business.
6. Identify your niche: Well, as the old saying goes, “If you try to be everything for everybody, you’ll land up being nothing for nobody!”
With the amount of competition out there today, competing as a generalist is difficult. Sure, you could service ancillary segments in addition to your core segments but be sure to carefully work out what your core audience is. Then, become a specialized company in your vertical and develop a reputation for being the go-to firm in your segment.
You could specialize in cargo types, regions, industry segments, client size, etc.
7. Offer a one-stop-solution: A logistics firm that offers a comprehensive one-stop-solution across all aspects of the logistics and distribution process – including procurement, inventory planning, and management – becomes attractive to clients since they don’t have to deal with numerous vendors. You can help clients avoid having to set all this up on their own, thereby making your value proposition more persuasive.
Conclusion: As is evident, the opportunities for logistics companies in today’s globally connected ecosystem are many. However, they must be cognizant of all the knobs that must be tweaked correctly, not least of all the suitable use of automation and software systems like last mile delivery software, to build a sustainable and profitable business.