Many companies in the transportation & logistics industry are pleased with incremental growth each year. Others have audacious goals and are ready to level up their sales and marketing efforts to reach them. If only it was that easy.
The transportation & logistics market is rapidly changing, and what sales and marketing tactics may have worked in the past (I’m looking at you, cold calling and having a “brochure” website) just don’t cut it today. While you may be filling your sales pipeline with leads from referrals or tradeshows, there are so many other opportunities you’re missing out on.
To grow your sales pipeline, you have to understand and be able to execute on eight pillars, which I recently sat down with Joe Lynch to discuss. Joe is the host of the podcast, The Logistics of Logistics, a platform dedicated to providing insights from logistics and supply chain leaders on innovation, technology, trends and the future of freight. His background includes helping transportation and logistics companies grow their sales.
8 Must-Dos to Grow Your Sales Pipeline
1. Evaluate Your Marketing Team and Structure
You can’t be successful if your marketing, sales and operations teams aren’t working together. Marketing can’t just be the department down the hall; it needs to be integrated into your sales team. When you do this, you build trust with your prospects and customers, giving them a seamless experience with consistent messaging. In addition, you need to have dedicated marketing stakeholders who can own the strategy, whether that’s completed in-house or via an external partner.
2. Develop Your Value Proposition
Your value proposition is a tailored message that very clearly states what you do, who you do it for and why you do it better than your competition. This message needs to be clear and cut through the clutter. It needs to go beyond, “We’ve been in business for X years.” You can market all day, but if you can’t communicate your value proposition, you won’t be successful. Learn more about how we develop value propositions for clients here.
3. Determine Your Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy needs to start with your sales plan:
- What are your company goals?
- What are your short- and long-term sales goals?
Then, you need to determine how your marketing strategy will support these goals. For example, how many qualified leads per month does the marketing team need to pass to sales to hit your desired close rate? All marketing activities need to tie directly to sales goals.
4. Optimize Your Website
Is your website a brochure or is it a sales tool for success? If you’re not getting leads from your website, you’re missing opportunities. An optimized website will be found by the right people and provide them with an experience that gives them the information they need when they need it.
5. Establish Goals, KPIs and Industry Benchmarks
Having these metrics ensures that your marketing strategy is driving toward something purposefully. My four favorite KPIs:
- Website traffic — How much traffic does your site get and where is it coming from?
- Conversion rate — Of the visitors coming to your website, what percentage are becoming leads? 2-5% is ideal.
- Total leads — How many leads do your marketing efforts bring in? Rather than focusing on getting a large number of leads, focus on getting the right ones.
- Sales qualified leads — Of the leads you have, how many are qualified to do business with you?
6. Understand Your Analytics and Reporting
Marketing has so much powerful data today and it can sometimes lead you astray. Make sure you audit your data on a regular basis and understand what you’re gathering and why it matters. The worst outcome is making business decisions based on bad data.
7. Evaluate Your Technology Stack
At the end of the day, we all want to work smarter, not harder. Look at the tools you’re using and make sure they can help you achieve your top-line goals. Take advantage of marketing automation so your team can focus on being strategic. Most importantly, any tool is only as good as your organization’s use of it. You need to have a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to ensure your team members can understand and use each tool to its maximum potential.
8. Create Templates and Guidelines
Templates need to be created that are scalable, technically sound and easily readable on all types of devices. Examples include:
These need to be simple to follow and execute. When you’re growing your sales pipeline, you will see a huge increase in volume and you need to be able to deal with it purposefully.
For a more in-depth discussion of each of these pillars, listen to the podcast here.
Many clients ask us when they’ll start seeing results — and it doesn’t happen overnight. If your marketing, sales and operations teams can commit to small, continuous changes, you’re going to start to see big results. When you have a solid value proposition and a team that is aligned, you’ll get opportunities you never thought possible.
How SyncShow Can Help You Get There
Our clients benefit from our extensive experience in the transportation, shipping and logistics industry and the unique growth challenges they face. We’re experts in marketing automation and can help you use tools to work smarter, not harder for the results you desire. If you’re interested in growing your sales pipeline, let’s talk.