Sales prospecting is at the heart of your job. But I know sometimes it might be challenging to avoid some common sales prospecting mistakes and find that one perfect lead.
A recent HubSpot study found that more than 40% of salespeople think prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. It is no surprise that this is also where they struggle the most and, as a result, make more mistakes.
The problem is that sales prospecting is the first stage of an effective sales process. If you don’t get it right, your whole sales strategy will be compromised.
And it gets even worse when we talk about the supply chain industry.
As a logistics company, you have that one ideal customer for your business. And finding it amongst the thousands of companies that import or export to and from the US daily can be a daunting task.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
All you have to do is avoid the 6 sales prospecting mistakes logistics companies make listed below!
6 huge sales prospecting mistakes
1) Not knowing who your ICP is
The first thing we all learn about sales is that not everybody is a good fit for your services.
Spending time with people who don’t need what you are selling is just a waste of time. So the first sales prospecting mistake freight forwardiers make is not to define what is their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
Your ICP — also called Buyer Persona — exists for a reason. They are that person who not only needs your service but it’s ready to buy it.
The main goal behind identifying your ICP is to allow you to focus your efforts on people most likely to become your customers. This will not only help you to improve your conversion rates but it will also help you and your team to be more productive.
And we all know that being more productive gets you one step closer to an effective sales process.
2) Trusting poor data
To know who your ICP is (and to find businesses that fit this description) you need to have access to data.
But buying contact lists won’t do the work — and that is the second sales prospecting mistake logistics companies make. They rely on untrustworthy data to understand their customers and to actively prospect new leads.
In order to not put your SDRs in the wrong direction, you need to have access to real-time, accurate data on global supply chain operations. This will allow you to check who is currently moving supplies in and out of the country, so you can target businesses worth pursuing.
Besides that, having access to the right data can enlighten your team about your lead’s pain points. Hence, they will be able to target each lead at their exact point of need, increasing their chances of success.
3) Not making a market analysis
If you don’t know what your competitors are doing, how can you be sure you are doing it better than them?
There is not a right answer here, but not making a market analysis is one of the biggest mistakes a logistics business can make. Making a market analysis is an essential part of sales prospecting, especially when we talk about prices.
If you are charging lower than your competitors, maybe you are missing the chance to improve your bottom line. If you are charging higher prices, maybe you are missing the chance of closing more deals.
Besides improving your pricing strategy, by making a market analysis you will be able to see where you are underperforming.
Did you ever hear anyone saying you should work on your weaknesses and improve your strengths? When you compare your own sales pitch with your competitors’, you can do exactly that.
4) Not focusing on pain points
After understanding who your ICP is and what your competitors are doing, you will have a clear understanding of what your prospect’s pain points are. And why is that so important?
The truth is people don’t want to know what you’re specialized in. They want to know the practical benefits your specializations can bring them.
By getting to know their pain points, you will be able to make an offer that will truly resonate with each of your leads.
But remember, another sales prospecting mistake freight forwarders make is treating leads equally.
Although they have similarities, each one of them needs your services for one reason. And that is what you should be targetting when making a phone call or writing an email.
5) Spending a lot of time
Is prospecting taking too much time of your day? Then maybe you have a problem.
I am not saying you should not spend time prospecting, but that it should be better spent.
What I mean is that if sales prospecting is demanding a lot of effort from your team, maybe the tools they have on hand are not adequate to help them achieve better results.
Remember, we should always try to work smarter, not harder. When we are living in the middle of a digital revolution, there will always be something that will get you where you want to be faster.
For instance: there is no value in having a data analysis tool if you take too long getting insights out of it. You should invest your money in an intuitive platform that makes data correlations easier for your team.
By doing this, identifying that one lead that has the perfect fit for your operations will be much easier and, of course, faster.
6) Forgetting about personalization
I’ve said before: not every lead is created equal.
Moreover, people like to feel special, so forgetting about personalization might be another huge sales prospecting mistake you are making.
Again, well-done research (backed by high-quality data) will give you the type of info you’ll want to use to personalize your message. It is not just about using your prospect’s name when writing or calling them, but also using things like:
- How many shipments they had the last term;
- What type of products did they import the most;
- How many days did they wait for the product to arrive.
Using this information you’ll show them that you’ve done your homework and that you truly understand their markets to offer them a better service.
There isn’t a magic formula when prospecting, but eliminating the sales prospecting mistakes listed above can put you on the right track to finding that one formula that works for you.
Remember, the intelligence era has arrived. Being so, having the right data (and tools) on your hands will do have of your job when trying to find good prospects and building a pitch that resonates with them.
If you like this post, feel free to share it with your colleagues on LinkedIn and show them how they can also improve their sales prospecting strategy by just making some fine adjustments.