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If there is one service all businesses across sectors require, it’s logistics. The movement of goods from its place of origin to destination is critical for all businesses, and that makes logistics services vital. But as a logistics company, facing market competition, hike in fuel charges, changes in domestic and global regulations, how do you increase sales in logistics and keep your profits growing? It’s not easy and requires a logistics and sales strategy. Let us look at some proven tips to increase sales in logistics business.
Whether you are a small logistics start-up company or an established logistics business, there are some challenges that can be managed by identifying process gaps and designing effective solutions. For instance, technology can be used for efficient order tracking, single or multi carriers can be used based on the nature of goods transported, a comprehensive plan for reverse logistics can be established – all of these activities supporting your sales and revenue targets.
On that note, let us take a look at five strategies that can help to improve sales in logistics in India.
Logistics sales strategy: How to boost logistics sales and revenue
Even though logistics is a competitive sector, there is huge potential for market growth. The government today has introduced several policies to support growth of Indian logistics to enable lower logistics costs, better infrastructure development, and more.
Listed below are five tips and strategies to grow your logistics business in India:
1. Level up your marketing and sales strategies
While this may sound cliché, but this is where you begin – with the basics. For any logistics business, small or large, it’s imperative to have collaboration between marketing and sales initiatives. This ensures that any leads generated or enquiries coming in are efficiently managed.
For instance, marketing ideas for logistics companies can include:
- Work on a quarterly plan for digital marketing and inbound lead generation:
For instance, it’s not enough to post on social media. It’s important to plan a calendar and post relevant content and keep audiences engaged. Social media is a great platform to generate leads, promote your brand and offers, talk about your logistics services, hear the voice of customers, address feedback, watch what competitors are doing and more.
- Develop a high-performing, SEO friendly website:
Having an online presence is not optional anymore. Customers will search for your brand online, check details, look for reviews etc. Having a SEO friendly website is the first step to cement your digital presence. You can add your contact details, a lead generation form, images of your warehouse, trucks, etc., customer testimonials, details of transportation rates and more on your website. This will build trust and educate your customers.
You can also leverage content marketing and local SEO initiatives. This is directed more for customers looking for transporters from the sale region and locality, e.g., ‘logistics providers near me’ and similar. Collectively, these activities will add to your SEO initiatives and make your website easily discoverable on search engines.
Put simply, it’s critical today to plan and take the right information to the customer. In India, most successful logistics companies are setting up marketing logistics processes to make the best use of marketing/sales initiatives for better logistics transportation management.
2. Select a logistics specialisation
Most businesses are looking for custom logistics services. For instance, many large businesses collaborate with multiple 3PL providers for warehouse logistics services, small businesses with limited needs may collaborate with courier service providers, whereas others may look for 3PLs specialising in reverse logistics management.
As such, whether you are starting small or are a growing logistics company, consider if you want to be a generalist or provide specialised logistics services. This will impact your sales and revenue in logistics.
For example, the rise of eCommerce business in India has surged the demand for door-to-door logistics transportation and reverse logistics. It’s not enough to deliver on time, but also pickup returned parcels from customers and return the goods to the seller/manufacturer/retailer as the case may be.
Similarly, there are logistics companies specialising in reverse dropshipping services in India , to cater to niche customers with high-value, premium quality, imported products. You can also be a specialist based on the type of logistics services provided, areas covered, industry, or any other.
This will gradually enable you to build market reputation gradually bringing in more enquiries, sales, and revenue.
3. Leverage technology in logistics
Technology adoption has been a key driver in logistics and if you want to increase logistics sales, technology integration is a must.
In India, most large-scale logistics companies have integrated the best tech such as IoT sensors, GPS tracking, AI and machine learning, RFID, and more. The goal being to automate, provide visibility across supply chain operations, collect real-time data, forecast demand, offer better customer service in logistics – all leading to increased sales and revenue for the business.
Let us take a look at an example of how to increase logistics sales with technology:
Sales logistics example:
- Data collected from inventory, updated on website to show customers expected delivery dates and stock availability e.g., ‘Only 10 pieces remaining’, ‘1 day delivery available’ This creates urgency and prompts purchase.
- Tools analysing historical data to forecast demand leading to planning procurement, stocking, and marketing strategies to ramp up sales e.g., eCommerce sale during festivals and special days
- AI based prompts on website to encourage upselling and cross selling e.g., showing related, trending, most purchased products
- Video testimonials, how-to videos, explainer videos, warehouse tour videos etc. hosted on website or video-streaming sites to engage customers, built trust, and encourage them to enquire and/or purchase
The logistics sector is adopting technology across all departments – with the end goal to drive efficiency and grow sales.
4. Have clear SLAs for sales
Customer acquisition is difficult, but so is customer retention. It is however easier to sell to an existing happy customer. While this will not help you grow your sales targets beyond a point, in many instances, it will prevent you from going out of business.
So, begin by defining your sales process and formalising it.
- Identify the channels for lead generation, the tools and workflows for attending to leads, building the sales pipeline, qualifying leads, following-up, negotiating, proposal discussions, and closure
- Support sales teams with the right collateral (e.g., pitch decks, pamphlets, customer testimonial etc.) and any other sales enablement collateral
- Establish a calendar for follow-ups on unsuccessful SQLs i.e., those leads that were not converted in the first round but had potential (can use an email workflow to automate the process)
- Set up a process for cross selling and upselling to existing customers
- Introduce offers, referral points, and discounts to customers
An example of a sales logistics strategy would be to follow up on unqualified leads based on serviceability, i.e., if a particular pin code was not serviceable, check with the customer after some time if there’s requirement for servicing any other pin codes. Similarly, if leads were abandoned on the premises of shipping costs, check if discounts can be offered to lower shipping costs .
5. Cultivate a culture of learning in sales teams
Your sales force is critical for the success of your logistics business. While not all individuals are born with excellent selling abilities, there are sales techniques that can be taught. Ensure you have a culture of providing regular sales training to ensure teams are up-to-date and aware of the market trends, customer requirements, and competitor initiatives.
Some of the steps to plan higher sales in logistics are:
- Keep an eye for trends, changing customer requirements, and market dynamics e.g., since customers today prefer to select delivery slots, train your sales and delivery teams to pitch this feature and collaborate with the customer to ensure they receive their parcel as per their availability
- Study competitors to understand their USPs and their differentiator e.g., if your competitor is providing two-day door-to-door delivery service, you need to relook at your supply chain operations and bring change
- Train your sales force on all aspects of logistics – from taking customer service calls, to packaging, and materials handling especially during delivery e.g., in a business like furniture, if you can train your delivery team to assemble the products and offer it as a free service, it’s more likely to drive sales since assembling furniture parts is a tedious task and most customers will lack the skills to do it well
Also Read: How to start a logistics franchise business in India?
Wrapping up: How to be successful in logistics sales?
Driving sales in the logistics business is challenging. There is no formula for success, only best practices that you can follow.
While getting more revenue and sales in logistics business might be your end goal, what’s also important is to build strong relationships with all stakeholders – your customers, vendors, suppliers and distributors.
You should also look at building strategies for the short and long term. Logistics has the potential to have a repeat business model. That is, it involves more than one-time sales. With proper customer service and after-sales support, it can get repeated business from the same customer (much like eCommerce retail).
You should also consider collaborating with other third-party service providers to benefit from the wide range of services they offer. While your expertise might be in road transportation services, your 3PL might have wide-network coverage even in remote areas. Such collaborations can help you offer better rates to customers while reducing operational challenges.
In the end, if you want to grow logistics business sale, put in the effort in the right direction. Not all your efforts will deliver similar results. Be smart and select marketing and sales strategies that drive maximum sales and revenue growth.