A lot is made these days about lead management in any industry. How do you maximize the possibility of closing the deal before you even walk through the door? Companies will purchase leads that have data attached to them, so that they can pre-qualify their leads and go after what they think is the “Inside the Box” account for their firm. Well in transportation, I really have to say that all of the analytics and metrics attached to these leads can really end up hurting your sales efforts in the long run.
When GlobalTranz first started to Franchise our business, I was tasked with traveling to our new Franchise Territories to sell with the owner for a week. We were not only selling our LTL product www.carrierrate.com, but small parcel services through DHL. Now, as a freight salesman, I was always told to stay away from high rise buildings. My mentors had me stick directly to business parks with warehouses, because that is where the freight was. So as I started to cold call in high rise buildings, in an effort to sell small parcel services, I was floored at the amount of freight opportunities I was being presented with. I was also really shocked at the lack of attention these people were getting from the freight community. When you go to those warehouses, the Logistics Manager is usually sitting with some sort of Transportation Sales representative, enjoying a pizza and collecting their tickets to the upcoming ball game. This was not the case in these facilities.
This is when I initially started thinking about lead management and the fact that you should never count a lead out. Businesses change, and so do the products that they ship. The best customers of our Freight Agents were never looked at as “Golden Eggs”, prior to on-boarding. They were small to mid-size shippers that let us grow with them as they became larger players. Companies come out with new lines of product that change their shipping needs. I can’t tell you how many times I have been cold calling and seen a company name that led me to believe they did not ship anything. I never walked by though, because I always made a commitment to myself that I was going to hit every door possible, and those have turned out to be the best customers I brought on board.
When people talk about filtering their leads and maximizing their ROI, I always start thinking about my mentors and how I really had the wrong perspective initially. Every call counts, every door opens up new possibilities and to limit yourself to a group of prospects that someone else is narrowing down for you, may not be your best option. I agree that if you control your leads, you will get a better ROI in the long run, but don’t rely on it to form your sales approach. I encourage our Freight Agents to maximize the amount of companies they put this opportunity in front of on a daily basis and would encourage anyone else to do the same. One thing my mentors were right about, was that this, just like every other sales situation, is a numbers game. So focus on quantity, so that you can generate that quality book of business you are trying to build.
– Michael Leto | President Direct Sales