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Taking logistics services’ sales to the next level with better sales communications

Effective sales and sales communications are integral parts of the
logistics business that need attention of the top management.

Overview

Transporting goods fast and efficiently is a daunting task for logistics companies, given the current volatile economic environment and complexity faced in running the business. And if companies want to offer logistics services and products that are truly profitable, they must meet their customer demands such as integrated logistics solutions, cross-border collaboration and global processes at a better price.

Accenture recommends that to achieve substantial margins on a regular basis, logistics companies must rethink business basics such as sales and sales communications. They need to have a dedicated and enabled sales force that works as a team with operations to convert leads into customers.

Our latest report discusses different approaches that can help logistics providers sell more efficiently. With each approach optimized for individual needs, logistics companies can:

  • Increase revenue by acquiring profitable customers, improving the pricing of products and services, and by consistently up-selling and cross-selling.

  • Decrease the costs of direct selling and customer acquisition by enabling sales, operations and finance to work together more effectively.

  • Limit low-margin sales by ensuring standardized modules are the basis of each custom solution.

  • Improve predictability and decision making with superior analytics for sales forecasts and planning.

Background

Many logistics companies repeatedly fail to give proper attention to their sales process, despite the role it can play in easing margin pressures. They neglect to set up the correct structures and tools that enable sales and operations teams to work together effectively.

Add to this the rising customer expectations that logistics providers can help them achieve cost reduction while offering highly customized products along with standard solutions.

Though some companies have come up with smart solutions to buck this trend and increase their profit, those solutions are often tied to complex change or IT projects that require significant upfront investments.

Analysis
Structured account management, global standardized lead and opportunity management, and social sales platforms are three important approaches logistics companies can use to improve sales effectiveness and communications with:

  • A better understanding of customer needs and buying processes.

  • Enhanced sharing of relevant lead and account information throughout the sales force.

  • Stronger networks with customers (multilevel contacts).

  • The opportunity to capture maximum value at key customers.

The approaches can aid collaboration across divisions and hierarchical levels, speed up tenders and shorten the time it takes to close deals.

Recommendations

Accenture recommends three approaches that can help logistics companies develop dynamic sales processes and stronger customer relationships.

  • Structured account management: This approach can help rethink the strategy, processes and technologies used in sales. Companies need to follow a disciplined and coordinated sales process for each and every account, and prioritize and rate customers based on volume and profitability.

  • Global standardized lead and opportunity management: This approach can help improve sales processes and ensures that the right people within the organization are tied-in to develop the best solution for addressing customer business challenges. This also involves organizational and governance restructuring so that sales resources are allocated effectively.

  • Social sales platforms: This approach can help improve sales communication by helping people at all levels in the organization share information about customers across products, divisions and countries. Social sales platforms that facilitate a community add even more value in targeted sales communications.

                                    
Download PDFRead the full report. [PDF, 2.5MB]