Efficient Lead Generation in Logistics

29 ביוני 2019 Sergey Dzhashytov Sergey Dzhashytov

Lack of transparency in the international transport

My name is Sergey, I am one of the main developers at SeaRates. You are absolutely right that sometimes online platforms contain tariffs that can differ significantly from the market. And you will be surprised to hear which companies first went this way. The Maersk shipping line has been testing its program for 2 years with the same errors. The Freddie platform (CMA CGM), worth $ 16 million, currently calculates sea freight rates from China to Europe for $6000 (which is 200% more expensive than real prices).

We are sure that in less than a year this platform will produce accurate results. Will your company be ready by this time?

Since early 2016 until now we are making great efforts and use smart algorithms (AI) to motivate forwarders fill in tariffs, especially in areas where they are no rates at all. Those of a little less than 22% (a year ago they were 86%). These tariffs are obtained through communication between freight forwarders and customers generated in the SeaRates chat for thousands of shipping leads.

The typical mistake of modern freight forwarders

I need to double the turnover, for this I need to double the number of sales managers, or let them work twice as intensively, or longer

Do you recognize? But now such logic is a road to nowhere. In today's realities, efficiency is measured by other criteria. In a highly profitable logistics company, sellers do not lead to an increase in the number of customers, they are focused on clients' daily needs and demands. They serve customers in terms of "How to sell them more expensive and not lose them."

There is a subtle difference. This is a significant shift in the understanding of classic sales. Of course, you need a large sales team, if you already have a steady stream of leads, however, sales as such will not bring new customers. Indeed, in a branded clothing store, sales consultants do not run along the corridors of the shopping center and do not stick to people - they work with those visitors who come to the store, talk, identify a need, and only then see how more profitable it is for the company to push customer to purchase. Do not think that the logistics business is too far from this analogy.

How to improve the situation in sales of logistics services?

Now answer me the question, how are you going to scale such a popular strategy as “work harder” and “make more mass-mailing”?. In the forwarding companies, most sellers subconsciously understand the realities, and many of them are already working 10-12 hours a day, making cold calls and emails - but unfortunately the conversion is not comparable with the efforts spent. Making them work harder not only does not help, but also complicates the situation, because they will lose an adequate perception of the world.

You may have noticed that the sales process is more and more like account management. This is especially evident in such niches as e-commerce, online services, gaming industry and online shopping. In the future, over the time, this trend will obviously grow. In turn, to attract new customers, separate systems and methods of “lead generation” are already being created. For the forwarding business and international shipments, Logistics Explorer is the typical lead generator. It immediately calculates the freight rate and encourages the client to start a dialogue.

Search rates

Of course, you can argue and say: “Professional sales people have generated additional income, and this has been working for decades. Without outstanding managers, we will not be able to close deals, so I will continue to hire them. "

It is right. I can say that before it worked more significantly, because this kind of sellers themselves were looking for customers in a fairly unoccupied niche business. But everything is changing, and in the realities of today oversaturated market it is simply pointless to shoot a cannon at the sparrows.

What is lead generation in the transport sector?

The mistake that can cost you a career is the assumption that sales themselves will find loyal customers without additional help from the company, and this will happen quickly, because "I need revenues yesterday." Managers will not be able to attract the required number of new customers on their own, except that only to recoup their costs for the company.

That is why the freight forwarding company is obliged to additionally assist sales managers in sales. Calculation of tariffs in any variant is a reason to start a conversation. But their absence will affect the company in the near future, just as much as the company needs new customers.

When you enter a shoe store, you see price tags everywhere. When you buy a plane ticket - you are comparing rates. If you booked a room in a hotel - you can see the cost of renting by the day. Logistics business is no different from the above examples.

Real way to increase sales conversion for carriers

The lack of ready-made tariffs will reduce the conversion of traffic to your site to zero. But the sites of your competitors will be visited. And as soon as the online booking model becomes an everyday thing for customers (and this is already happening today), the model of your business to which you are so used to will cease to exist. How did the air ticket offices, which sold tickets manually, closed their businesses? Now online ticket platforms, such as aviasales.ru, sell.

I can only add that we never wanted to watch giant monopolies seize the market, while local small and medium-sized companies are closing under the onslaught of intolerable conditions of market pressure. We have always fought and will continue to fight so that worthy freight forwarders can continue to provide exclusive VIP-level service to their customers and flourish in their markets.

Logistics expert with over 20 years of shipping experience 

Recordsman in Ukrainian FCL turnover

Shipping & IT architect

SeaRates inspirator and visionary