7 Sales Leads Statistics You Can't Ignore in the Material Handling Industry

By Evan Lamolinara | 08/09/2019 | 10:34 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

The quantity and quality of sales leads your material handling company generates can make or break its success. Defined as the Salesleadscontact information of a potential buyer, a steady supply of sales leads will allow you to pitch your products or services to the right supply chain or logistics audience. Regardless of which channels you use to acquire them, you need a steady flow of fresh and high-quality sales leads to succeed. With that said, you can optimize your company's lead generation strategy by familiarizing yourself with the seven following statistics.

#1) Nurturing Sales Leads via Email Boosts Sales Lift By 20%

Statistics show that nurturing leads via email boosts sales lift by 20%. Of course, this shouldn't come as a surprise to seasoned sales reps, most of whom are familiar with the benefits of lead nurturing. When you first make contact with a lead, don't pitch your material handling company's product or service. Instead, use this opportunity to warm up the sales lead so that he or she is more likely to make a purchase in the future. Assuming you use email for this purpose, you'll reap the benefits of a 20% increase in sales lift.

#2) Less Than One-Quarter of Logistics or Supply Chain Sales Leads Are Sales-Ready

According to an infographic published by Cerasis, less than one-quarter of all supply chain or logistics sales leads are sales-ready when initially generated or acquired. For the best chance at generating sales, sales reps must nurture those leads by guiding them through their company's sales funnel. The same infographic also found that only about one-quarter of all sales leads are legitimate. Therefore, it's important to both validate and nurture your material handling company's sales leads. Otherwise, you'll struggle to secure buyers and win sales.

#3) Only 44% of B2B Companies Score Their Sales Leads

Given the huge benefits of lead scoring, you might be surprised to learn that less than half of all material handling industry companies score their sales leads. A survey conducted by DecisionTree found that 44% of B2B companies currently use a lead scoring system. In comparison, 38% said they don't use a lead scoring system, while 16% of B2B companies said they plan to use a lead scoring system in the next 12 months. If you're guilty of not scoring your material handling company's sales leads, you should consider implementing a lead scoring system so that you can gauge and prioritize your lead outreach efforts to achieve the best response from potential buyers.

#4) Six in 10 Material Handling Sales Reps Say Lead Generation Is Their Biggest Challenge

Generating high-quality sales leads isn't easy. In fact, a report published by the B2B Technology Marketing Community suggests that six in 10 B2B sales reps believe lead generation is their company's biggest challenge. If a sales rep struggles to acquire high-quality leads, he or she won't be able to efficiently and effectively generate sales or on-going sales. Leads provide sales reps with the contact information of potential buyers, which in turn promotes sales productivity.

#5) Material Handling Companies That Nurture Their Sales Leads Spend 33% Less Money on Sales Acquisition

Want to know a simple yet effective way to slash the cost of your material handling company's sales acquisition efforts? It's lead nurturing. A Forrester Research study cited by HubSpot found that B2B companies that nurture their leads spend 33% to generate sales than their counterparts that do not nurture their leads. If you put forth the effort to nurture your company's logistics and supply chain sales leads, you'll reap the benefits of a higher return on investment (ROI). This is because nurtured sales leads are more likely to convert into paying buyers than unnurtured sales leads.

#6) 16% of B2B Companies Cite Outbound Lead Generation Tactics as Most Effective

If your material handling company's lead generation strategy revolves strictly around outbound tactics, you may want to consider a different approach. A HubSpot article found that only 16% of B2B companies believe outbound lead generation tactics are most effective. Of course, outbound lead generation tactics involve communicating with potential logistics and supply chain buyers without their consent. In comparison, inbound lead generation tactics involve attracting and enticing leads to contact your  company. Common examples of outbound lead generation include content marketing, social media marketing, sharing infographics and developing a mobile app.

#7) Half of B2B Sales Reps Use Direct Mail

There's no denying the fact that email is an effective channel on which to generate high-quality sales leads for the supply chain and logistics marketplace. While the exact number is unknown, research shows nearly 4 billion people globally use email and send and receive digital messages. With the rise of email, you may assume that direct mail is no longer an effective lead generation channel. The truth, however, is that direct mail can complement your material handling company's lead generation efforts by offering a new way to find and communicate with potential buyers. In fact, statistics show half of all B2B sales reps still use direct mail to generate new sales leads.

#8) All Material Handling Sales Reps Know About Sales Lead Generation Services, But Didn’t Know that SalesLead, Inc. Specializes in the Industrial Marketplace

Most sales reps that try to sell products and services to the warehouse, distribution center and manufacturing industry didn’t realize that there’s a company out there that generates high quality sales leads specifically for their industry. That’s what SalesLeads does. These high-quality sales leads or Project Reports have already identified a project within a warehouse, distribution center or manufacturing facility, all you need to do is to identify where you fit in the process and call to get the process started.

For instance, you’ll get an alert in your email that says “X company is looking to expand their distribution center by building a new 50,000 sq ft facility in x city. The company has already received approval and is looking to break ground October with completion in January.” That certainly will tell you enough to get started. Now add the project contact names, titles, email addresses and phone numbers, you’re off the races.

To see and try a few samples for yourself, open up a complimentary account and take a look around. Once you familiarize yourself with the type of information in the system, let’s talk. You can reach me at 800-231-7876 and ask for me personally.

10 Questions to Ask Logistics & Supply Chain Buyers to Generate More Sales

By Evan Lamolinara | 08/09/2019 | 10:21 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

Are you asking the right questions when pitching your distribution center, warehouse or logistics products or services to prospective Questions buyers? Many sales reps follow a linear approach with their sales efforts. After connecting with a prospective buyer, they use the same cookie-cookie script without giving the buyer an opportunity to speak. Even if this yields some sales, however, it's not a viable blueprint for long-term success. As a sales rep, you must gain insight into the needs of a prospective buyer by asking him or her the right questions. Below are 10 important questions to ask logistics or supply chain buyers that can help you generate more sales for your company.

#1) What's Your Budget?

I know. Seems obvious. However, this question frequently gets left out of the mix. Ask supply chain or logistics buyers about their budget. Different logistics and supply chain buyers have different budgets, and if you pitch a product or service that's outside of a buyer's budget, he or she won't have the financial resources to purchase it. So, during the early stages of the sales cycle, ask the buyer if this is something that is currently in the budget, or needs special approval for the funding. You can then take note of the buyer's budget, allowing you to recommend the right product or service. You’ll also learn a bit about their approval process, something that will be important for future sales.

#2) Who's Your Current Supplier or Vendor?

In addition to budget, you should also ask productive buyers who their current supplier or vendor is. Assuming the buyer already has a supplier or vendor, you'll need to convince him or her that your material handling company is a better fit. Of course, in order to do this, you must identify strengths in your company that's not available in the buyer's current supplier or vendor.

#3) What Are Your Goals?

It's always a good idea to ask supply chain or logistics buyers about their goals. When communicating with prospective buyers, ask them about their short- and long-term goals. Maybe a buyer wants to streamline his or her company's operations, or perhaps the buyer wants to expand. Regardless, you'll need to identify the buyer's short- and long-term goals so that you can effectively pitch your material handling company's products or services.

#4) What Method of Communication Do You Prefer?

Don't assume that all logistics buyers prefer to communicate over the phone. While calling is always an option, some buyers will likely prefer other methods of communication. In fact, statistics show over four in five B2B buyers prefer email, whereas only 58% prefer phone calls. By using the logistics buyer's preferred method of communication, you'll have an easier time reaching him or her, which usually means a greater chance to score a sale.

#5) What's Preventing You from Achieving Your Goals?

Now that you know the logistics or supply chain buyer's goals, you should ask him or her what's preventing them from achieving their goals. All buyers have "challenges" that restrict their ability to succeed. As a material handling sales rep, it's up to you to identify these challenges so that you can convince the buyer to make a purchase that helps them achieve their goal.

#6) Do You Have Purchasing Authority?

It's important to note that not all logistics or supply chain buyers have the authority to make purchases on behalf of their company. And without purchasing authority, the buyer won't be able to purchase your warehouse or distribution company's products or services -- not without passing the message along to an upper-level executive, at least. Be sure to ask questions on the purchasing process. What is it? How does it work? What is the average timeframe for each step? What doe they care about so you know what business plan to put together.

#7) What Features Are You Looking?

When selling a product to a supply chain buyer, ask him or her what features they are looking for. Buyers pay close attention to features when shopping for new products. If your material handling company's products don't offer the features for which a buyer is looking, it's unlikely he or she will make a purchase. (Now you know why those questions about are so important.)

#8) What's Your Deadline?

Don't forget to inquire about the logistics buyer's deadline. In other words, when exactly does the buyer hope to have the product delivered or the service completed? Even if a buyer's deadline is earlier than your material handling company's projected date of delivery or service completion, you may be able to adjust your company's operations so that it's aligned with the buyer's deadline.

#9) What's Your Company's Greatest Strength?

Try to find out what the greatest strength of the logistics or suppl chain buyer's company is. All companies have strengths, but they can vary from company to company. By asking a buyer about his or her company's strengths, you can recommend a product or service that capitalizes on these strengths.

#10) What's Holding You Back from Making a Purchasing Decision?

Finally, ask the logistics buyer what's holding him or her back from making a purchase. If a buyer is reluctant to make a purchase, there's typically some objection that's holding him or her back that they haven’t shared. By asking additional questions, understanding the reason for the logistics buyer's objection, you can formulate a solution, allowing you to convert him or her into a long-term customer.

These are just a few questions to ask supply chain and logistics buyers during your sales cycle efforts. Now, do you have enough prospects in your sales funnel to ensure you’re generating more sales?

It’s true, you can never have enough, but you need to ask, do you have enough quality sales leads in your funnel? If your answer is hesitant, then here’s where SalesLeads can help. We have full-time researchers that have their fingers on the pulse of the industry. We uncover opportunities in the logistics and supply chain space and turn them over to you to call and begin the sales process. These are called Project Reports.

The Project Reports will give you some background information on the opportunity along with the contact names, email addresses and phone numbers. Now you’ll be able to put these vital questions to work quickly as the need has already been identified. Take a look at a few Project Reports so you can evaluate it for yourself. Open a complimentary account and take a look around. You’ll get a good idea of what else in going on in your territory so you can have complete full coverage. Good selling.

How to Create an Effective Sales Follow Up Process

By Evan Lamolinara | 07/07/2019 | 5:57 PM | Categories: Current Affairs

FollowupA report published by Salesforce shows it now takes an average of six to eight touches to generate a sales lead. Of course, material handling companies must then convert the sales lead into a customer, which requires following up with the sales lead. If you don't follow up with sales leads -- or if you use the wrong followup approach -- you'll struggle to generate sales. You can optimize your material handling or logistics company's sales follow up process in several ways.

Use the Sales Lead's Preferred Method of Communication

You're more likely to reach a lead if you follow up with him or her using their preferred method of communication. Some material handling buyers prefer using email, whereas others prefer phone calls. However, be careful as the sales lead may automatically say email as it may be the easy choice, but not necessarily the best choice.

After you had an initial phone call, and (hopefully) you’ve created the next step in the sales cycle, you can ask if they agree with the next step you’re suggesting. For instance, “Based on our conversation, I’ll email you the information and give you a call on Thursday. This way it will give you a chance to review the information. Is this a good plan for you?” With the open ended question, you can begin to better understand their level of interest and why they are choosing the preferred method of communication.  

Don't Give Up After a Single Follow Up

Statistics show nearly half of material handling sales reps give up after just one follow up. In other words, when a lead rejects their offer during the first followup, about half of material handling sales reps stop pursuing the lead. You should be persistent with your follow up strategy by not giving up after just one failed attempt. If a lead rejects your sales pitch, you may or may not find out what's holding him or her back from purchasing your material handling company's product or service.

This is where you need to find additional contacts within the sales leads company. How? By using Salesleads’ Target Account Sales Intelligence database, you’ll be able to get all the information you’ll need on the sales lead. Enter in the company name, and you’ll get all of the contacts from multiple departments. You can further refine your search by location and/or title. Now that you’ve identified others within the department or the sales leads’ direct report, now you can call and dig deeper into the sales potential and eliminate any barriers to moving forward. Want to see how it works? It’s free to check it out.

Try to Follow Up Within 5 Minutes

Time is of the essence when following up with leads. The sooner you follow up with a lead, the greater the chance of it going into the sales cycle. According to HubSpot, sales reps who follow up with leads within the first five minutes are nine times more likely to connect with them. The sales lead still has you fresh in their minds…and most importantly, they are available by their phone! I must admit, I always call within 5 minutes. I reach the sales lead 9 out of 10 times, have in depth conversation and always end with a next step.

Follow Up by Phone Between 7:00 AM and 9 AM

You may not always be able to follow up within 5 minutes. The next best time to reach a sales leads by phone, call between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. You can experiment with other times for your followup calls, (such as 6:00 a.m.) but you'll probably discover these hours offer the best results. Several studies have found that material handling buyers are more likely to answer the phone during these hours. And once you've got a lead by phone, you can begin to qualify the lead by understanding their business need, how your material handling company’s solution can solve their problem and continue to nurture the lead into a paying customer.

How to Answer the Sales Objection: “Your Price is Too High”

By Evan Lamolinara | 07/07/2019 | 5:42 PM | Categories: Current Affairs

ClockAsk any material handling or logistics sales rep and he or she will probably agree: The price of a product or service is one of the most common reasons a prospective buyer objects to an offer. If a prospective buyer believes a product or service costs more than what it's worth, he or she won't buy it. As a material handling sales rep, however, there are ways to overcome most sales objections, including price objections. By addressing price objections directly, you can often convert these productive buyers into paying customers for your material handling company.

Wait to Mention the Price

First and foremost, you should wait to mention the price of your material handling's product or service when communicating with prospective buyers. If you initially open with price, it may deter the prospect from continuing to communicate with your material handling company.

So, when should you talk about the price? It depends on the length of your sales cycle. If it’s a long sales cycle, 6 months or more, price should not be a consideration until after the needs analysis is complete and accepted and you are ready to go into the proposal stage. However, during this time, it is the responsibility of the material handling sales rep to begin trial close questions that contain questions about price. Now you’ll have a better handle on where you stand on price.

However, if your sales cycle is short, less than 6 months, then according to Gong, sales reps have the best chance of converting prospects into customers when they mention the price of their product or service at 13 to 20 minutes into their communications.

Research Your Competitors' Prices

Another tip to overcome price objections is to research your competitors' prices. If a prospective buyer rejects your offer, he or she may have found a competitor's product or service at a lower price. By researching the prices of your competitors beforehand, you can tackle these objections with greater ease. How? First compare your product or service offering with that of your competitors. Many sales leads don’t necessarily know how to compare the differences or what makes your product better.

You can create a checklist or a comparison chart of your product and/or service and that of the ‘leading’ brand(s). Of course, you want to do some of the obvious comparisons, but you also want to insert line items that make your product unique in comparison. The benefit of the checklist or comparison? You’ve created a business case for the person who needs to gain approval. Now they clearly know why they should purchase your product even at a higher price.

Convey the Monetary Value of Your Product or Service

Perhaps the most important tip to overcome price objections is to convey the monetary value of your material handling’s product or service. In other words, tell prospective buyers how your material handling product or service will increase their business's revenue. (This can also be addressed in the checklist mentioned above). You can do this by showcasing case studies of previous buyers. If a previous buyer was able to increase his or her business's revenue by 10% after using your material handling company's product or service, turn this into a case study so that you can present it to prospective buyers.

Drop the Price - Strategically

You don't have to lower the price for all prospective buyers. Rather, offer an exclusive one-time discount for select prospective buyers. If the prospective buyer is on your strategic account list, then you may want to consider it as an option.

Get Control Early On

In order to get control of the sales cycle early on, you need to be in at the conceptual stage or planning / design stage of the project. Once they go to approvals, the price of what they’re willing to pay for the project stays constant. It’s tough to find out about those projects…well not for SalesLeads. That’s what we do. We uncover projects and notify you as soon as it’s been identified. This way you can help influence the project from specification to installation to price. Take a look for yourself.

How to Lower Your Material Handling Company's Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

By Evan Lamolinara | 06/07/2019 | 4:50 PM

How much money does your material handling company spend to acquire a typical customer? Known as Customer Acquisition Cost  (CAC), it's an important metric you need to track. While countless factors can affect your material handling company's CAC, a Money-1673582_960_720414
higher-than-average CAC will hurt your company's profits. It's disheartening when you spend an average of $50 to acquire a new customer, only for customers to yield an average of $40 in revenue. The good news is that you can lower your company's CAC in several ways.

Align Marketing and Sales Teams

Even if your material handling company has separate departments for marketing and sales, as a sales or marketing manager, align them to streamline your company's sales process. Marketing and sales teams have different functions, but they have a shared goal of generating quality leads that result in sales. If your material handling company's marketing and sales teams operate independently of each other, it may take longer and require more money to acquire new customers. Start by identifying key prospects you want your material handling company to acquire. Then determine the types of communications and who’s responsible. Tag team the two departments to foster internal communications and efforts.

One way to enjoy some quick success and for the two departments to realize the value of working together, use the Project Reports by SalesLeads. These Project Reports have already identified who is moving, renovating or modernizing their equipment. They’ll get the Project description, contact names, titles, phones and emails. Now they have a strong start to quickly prove the value of working together for a common goal.

By aligning your material handling company's marketing and sales teams, you'll reap the benefits of a streamlined sales process as well as a lower CAC.

Marketing: Add Relevant Videos to Landing Pages

If you use landing pages to reach prospective customers, consider adding relevant videos to them. According to WordStream, landing pages with at least one video have 80% higher conversion rates than landing pages with no videos. Conversion rate is a metric that reflects the percentage of visitors to a landing page -- or other sales channel -- that make a purchase. Therefore, a higher conversion rate will result in more customers and, ultimately, a lower CAC.

Sales reps know which customer would be best for a video…and also agree to it. A video can consist of showing your product in use, but also support the reason to purchase such as video testimonials, and video installations. Remember, leads or prospects need to build a business case for purchasing your product / service. Give them the information they need to take to the Board.

Sales & Marketing: Ask for Referrals

Don't be afraid to ask your material handling company's existing customers for referrals. According to a survey of sales reps within the material handling industry, 78% say referrals have a higher conversion rate than other types of leads. When an existing customer recommends your material handling company to another company, he or she is essentially vetting for your company and its products or services. The new company contact will then feel more confident in your material handling company's abilities to provide a valuable product or service that's worth purchasing, resulting in a higher conversion rate.

Sales: Look for Sales Triggers

Another way to lower your material handling company's CAC is to look for sales triggers. As explained in a previous blog post, sales triggers or "trigger events" are indications that a prospective customer is ready to make a purchase. Sales triggers can be classified as either problem indicators, change indicators or opportunity indicators. Problem indicators suggest the prospective customer is having a problem that can be solved using your material handling company's products or services. Change indicators suggest the prospective customer is undergoing a change, such as a corporate merger or the appointment of a new CEO. And opportunity indicators suggest the prospective customer is looking to grow their company.

How can you find out this information quickly? Enable your sales and marketing team with a News Alert. But not any kind of new alert, because you can quickly get overwhelmed with unwanted news events. As part of the SalesLeads system, there’s a News Alert feature. Identify the company or organization, the type of news you are interested in receiving and only get notifications when the criteria is met. Now your sales and marketing teams can work together to use the strategic information to get into the account or move them through the sales funnel faster.

Marketing: Develop Valuable Content

A form of inbound marketing, content marketing is a highly effective tactic for lowering CAC. It involves producing and distributing content that's relevant to the interests of your material handling company's audience. Publishing blog posts or articles on your material handling company's website is a form of content marketing. Search engines will eventually index these posts and pages in the search results, meaning prospective customers may find them when searching for the respective topic. Over time, content marketing such as this can send countless new customers to your material handling company. When creating content, you should add a call to action (CTA) that tells prospective customers to contact your company.

Keep in mind that content marketing encompasses all forms of content. While most content marketing is performed using text, you can use other types of content to connect with prospective customers, including the following:

  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Slideshows
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • PDFs

Marketing: Use Targeted Advertising

If you're going to use paid advertising to reach prospective customers, you should create targeted ads. What are targeted ads exactly, and how can they can lower your material handling company's CAC? The term "targeted ads" refers to promotional ads that are only viewable to your material handling company's audience. Rather than creating ads that everyone sees, for example, you can create targeted ads that only your company's key demographic will see. Targeted ads typically yield higher conversion rates than untargeted ads, so they'll naturally lower your material handling company's CAC.

Sales & Marketing: Source High-Quality Leads from SalesLeads

Focus the sales and marketing efforts by sourcing high-quality leads from SalesLeads. Just a handful of high-quality leads can drive far more sales revenue for your material handling company than hundreds or even thousands of low-quality leads or purchasing a list. With a steady source of high-quality leads, you’ll be able to focus the marketing and sales teams’ efforts for a common cause.

Begin by opening a complimentary account and ask for a few recent Project Reports. You’ll be able to try out a few opportunities as well as explore the system. There’s plenty of functions to help support the prospecting process and sales pipeline process.

A Sales Management & Marketing Guide: What's the Average Conversion Rate for Material Handling Leads?

By Evan Lamolinara | 06/07/2019 | 4:07 PM | Categories: Current Affairs

Facebook-analytics-2265786_960_720445Conversion rate is arguably one of the most -- if not the most -- important performance metric for material
handling companies. As you may know, it refers to the percentage of users who purchase a product or service. With a high conversion rate, your company will generate more sales using fewer resources. So, what's the average conversion rate for material handling leads, and what steps can you take to increase your company's lead conversion rate?

Lead Conversion Rate Explained

First, familiarize yourself with the term "lead conversion rate." Conversion rate is a metric that can be applied to any marketing or sales tactic, including lead generation. The term "lead conversion rate" refers to the percentage of your material handling company's leads that make a purchase. In other words, you convert those leads into paying customers. If your material handling company attracted 500 leads last month, 50 of whom made a purchase, your lead conversion rate for that month would be 10%.

Exploring Material Handling Lead Conversion Rates

If your company transports, stores, packs/unpacks or even automates materials or parts within a warehouse, distribution center or manufacturing facility, different companies will experience different lead conversion rates. With that said, a report published by Salesforce found that 13% of all B2B leads convert into opportunities. And of those opportunities, only 6% convert into sales.

How to Increase Your Lead Conversion Rate

Here is your guide to maximizing every lead opportunity. The content can be for you…personally, or it can be for a member of your team. Regardless of years of experience, we can all improve our lead conversion rate.

#1: Use personalized messages when communicating with prospects or leads. When a lead first provides your material handling company with his or her information, you should use that information to personalize your communications with the lead. At minimum, you should know the lead's name, in which case you can address emails and other marketing material to the lead by his or her name. It's a subtle modification that can boost your lead conversion rate by as much as 30%.

#2; When making a phone call, be sure your sales, inside sales or telemarketing team uses the person’s name. Be careful if you choose the say the person’s last name as well. Try saying their first and last name so it sounds more ‘natural’, rather than trying to figure it out to the gate keeper. It’s a dead giveaway that you’re cold calling.

#3: If you’re leaving a voicemail message or if you’re speaking to them ‘live’ for the first time, address them by their first name and how you both are now connected. “Hi Tom, this is Susan from Material Handling Inc. You called and left a message because you’re looking for repairs on your fleet. Tell me what’s been going on?”

#4: Follow up your phone call (if you connected or not) with a personalized email letting them know you called and left a message. This will be a great way to have them recall the voice mail message you left and get a quicker response back from the lead. When they call back, be ready. Be sure to communicate in a way that makes them feel special. “Hi Tom, thanks so much for calling me back. I was doing a little research for you, but I need to ask you a few questions first.” Each one of these communications shows the prospect respect, undivided attention and an interest to know more about their problem.

#5: Another way to increase your lead conversion rate is to harvest high-quality, targeted leads. If all your leads are generic and not necessarily related to your material handling company's industry, you'll probably experience a low conversion rate. But if you focus on high-quality, relevant leads, you'll achieve a higher conversion rate.

Where can you find high quality leads that are for the material handling industry? That’s where SalesLeads Inc. comes in. Many times, material handling companies want to be able to find out when a new construction, renovation, expansion, or modernizing equipment project is going on before it actually happens. That’s what we do.

Every time a new Project Report is released, you’ll get a notification. The purpose is so you and your team can call the validated contact name to begin the sales cycle. Yo
u’ll receive all the pertinent information such as project description, contact names, titles, email and direct phone numbers. Now it’s up to you to use the personalized communications we just discussed for a higher conversion rate. The best way to be convinced of its value is to try it out. So, try it out for free. You only have business to gain.

How to Craft an Effective B2B Product Demo for Prospective Buyers

By Evan Lamolinara | 05/12/2019 | 9:55 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

DemoProduct demos are an invaluable tool for material handling sales reps. Defined as a demonstration of a material handling company's product, they help prospective buyers make smarter purchasing decisions by showing them exactly how a product works. Being that material handling buyers such as plant managers, facility manager, warehouse managers or distribution center manager are essentially recommenders or influencers on the decision, it often requires greater work to convert as you need to arm them with the best information possible to take to the president or board.

Wait Until the Time Is Right

Timing is of the essence when performing a product demo for a prospective buyer. If you showcase your material handling company's product too early during the sales cycle, you'll struggle to generate a sale because the buyer hasn't developed an interest for it yet. But if you perform a product demo too late during the sales cycle, the prospective buyer may have already chosen a different product to purchase. Therefore, you need to wait until the right time -- usually somewhere in the middle sages of the sales cycle -- to perform product demos for prospective buyers.

Consider Video-Based Product Demos

Depending if you are selling a conveyor system, forklift truck, robotics or even an AGV or AGC, you may be able to create videos demonstrating how your company's product works. According to a report by Wordstream, over half of all corporate executives prefer watching product videos than reading articles or other forms of text about products. Since our material handling industry is all about the movement of goods, it’s a great idea to show them how the product performs. Now of course, they will expect it to be working perfect in a demo setting, so also include how the product works in a customer case study setting. This will allow the warehouse or distribution center manager to actually ‘see’ how it is being used within a facility.

Customize Product Demos

You can still use a general template to create your material handling company's product demos, but it's important to customize product demos so that they are highly relevant to each prospective warehouse, manufacturing or distribution center customer. Before providing a product demo to a prospective buyer, customize it for the plant, facility or warehouse manager. You'll have to invest more time and resources to create customized product demos, but it will pay off in the form of increased sales for your material handling company.

Include Case Studies

While the focus of product demos is to show how a product works, you can use this opportunity to provide written and video case studies to prospective buyers. Either at the beginning or end of your product demo, for example, describe how other customers have experienced success using your conveyor, AGV, or crane. When prospective buyers see quantifiable benefits in the form of a case study, they'll feel more confident purchasing and using the product in their own business's operations.

Showing a Demo to More Prospects

Now that you’ve got this great demo in place along with written and video case studies, who else can you show it to? You might have been exhibiting at the ProMat show, so they had a chance to see your product demo along with your competition. You need something new to sell to.

SalesLeads Inc provides industrial project reports to the material handling industry. These are leads or opportunities our researchers find and track who are planning industrial construction, expansion, relocation, equipment modernization projects. You’ll be able to stay on top of current opportunities as we send alerts when a new industrial opportunity is found. This is so you can continuously fill your sales funnel with high quality leads where you will undoubtedly give a demo… so you can bring it to a close.

How to Effectively Target Old B2B Sales Leads

By Evan Lamolinara | 05/12/2019 | 9:43 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

Time is of the essence when contacting material handling leads. According to a report Targetby Vendasta, the chance of working a sales cycle and getting to a sale reduces by 391% after just one minute of securing a lead. As a result, you'll generate more sales by contacting leads immediately -- or within 60 seconds, at least -- after securing their information. Even if it's been days, weeks or months, though, you can still target material handling leads. Old leads require a bit more work to convert, but with the right approach, you can turn them into customers for your material handling company.

Validate Information

Before attempting to contact an old material handling lead, you should validate their information. Even it was originally entered correctly, the information may no longer be valid. Maybe the contact left the company, or possibly a company merger or acquisition. One of the quickest and most effective ways is to use SalesLeads’ Sales & Marketing Intelligence database. Because of our focus in the material handling industry, you’ll be able to search and validate the old contact name, or uncover who had taken their place with the same or similar title along with phone number and email address.

If you discover any invalid leads, remove them from your database so that they don't impede your sales efforts.

Investigate Past Correspondences

If a material handling lead is old, it means either you or someone from your material handling company's sales team failed to convert him or her into a customer at some point in the buying cycle. Therefore, you should investigate your material handling company's past correspondences with the lead to determine what happened. While scouring over past correspondences, pay attention to the date on which your material handling company first made contact with the lead, as well as the most recent date of contact. By reviewing these correspondences, you can learn more about the lead's needs. The opportunity may be lost because the order or purchase has been made, or the prospect may have pushed the purchase out a few months or even until the next budget year. Two of these three scenarios are still opportunities to get yourself back into the sales cycle with the distribution center, manufacturing or warehouse prospect.

Prepare Counters for Sales Objections

After going over past correspondences with the old lead, you should know why he or she objected your material handling company's offer the first time around. To convert the old lead into a customer, you must prepare counters for his or her sales objection. Otherwise, the process will repeat, with the lead objecting your sales offer.

Common reasons for material handling sales objections include the following:

  • Price too high
  • The lead was only interested in researching your material handling company's product or service at the time
  • Selected a different material handling company from which to purchase
  • The lead doesn't have the authority to make purchases
  • Not willing to enter into a contract
  • The lead was busy performing other activities at the time

Research the Lead

Before contacting the lead (again), research him or her to learn as much information about them and their professional needs as possible. Social media alone can reveal a wealth of information about leads. Just head over to the main social media networks -- LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter -- to see if the lead has a profile. If so, check out their profile while taking note of information like their job position, date of employment, phone number and email address.

Getting Ready to Contact the Old or New Contacts

You’re now armed with information, you’re ready to devise a strategy of what to say when you make the call to the plant, warehouse or distribution center manager. According to Steve Martin, no… not the comedian, for the Harvard Business Review, he conducted a study on why sales people lose a sale. Here’s a quick recap that can help you devise your strategy.

  1. If you are concerned that your product or service is not the best known…and why you lost, think again. 63% said they would select a fairly well-known brand with 85% of the functionality at 80% of the cost. However, only 5% would select a relatively unknown brand with 75% of the functionality at 60% of the cost of the best-known brand.
  2. Study participants were asked to respond to different pricing scenarios, and their responses were analyzed to categorize their pricing tendency. The results confirmed that manufacturing is a price conscious industry.
  3. The study asked about personality of the sales person. If all 3 sales people sold a similar product, price and benefits, who would you buy from: a professional, friendly or charismatic salesperson? Manufacturing chose the professional salesperson. An individual who knows their product inside and out, and not necessarily the person you want to be your new BFF.

Offer a Discount or Promotion

You can often encourage old leads to purchase your material handling company's product or service by offering them a discount or special promotion. Since the lead has already engaged with your company, he or she may disregard any future sales messages that you send. Including the words "discount" or "promotion" in your sales messages, however, will entice the lead to reengage with your material handling company, increasing your chance of converting the lead into a customer.

Create a Calling Schedule

When you're ready to begin an old lead, you should create a calling schedule. It's unlikely that you'll reach the lead during your first calling attempt. According to one report, it now takes the average material handling sales rep eight calling attempts to reach leads. Some leads require even more attempts to reach. So, create a calling schedule that specifies when exactly you intend to call the prospect. Research shows that the best time of day to call material handling leads is between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. as well as 6:00 and 8:00 a.m.

Keep Emails Short

If you're going to target an old lead using email, remember to keep your messages short. There's nothing wrong with writing lengthy blog posts, white papers and other forms of media, but emails typically perform best when they are short. According to HubSpot, emails with just 50 to 125 words generate the highest response rates. If you keep your emails around this length, you'll have a better chance of getting the lead to open them.

Know When to Stop

There's nothing wrong with pursuing old leads, but you should know when to stop. If a lead is obviously not interested in purchasing your material handling company's product or service, continuing to contact him or her with your sales messages will only consume valuable time and resources that could be used on nurturing other leads into customers. So, if an old lead is adamant about not purchasing your product or service, cut your losses and move on to another sales lead.

Is Social Media an Effective Channel for Material Handling?

By Evan Lamolinara | 04/09/2019 | 8:04 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

If you're searching for new channels on which to sell your material handling company's products or services, you might be wondering if social media is worth pursuing. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have become increasingly popular in recent years. Most, however, are targeted at consumer use, not business use. This doesn't necessarily mean that social media is an ineffective sales channel for industrial plant automation companies, however.

LinkedIn is the Preferred ChSocial mediaannel for Material Handling Companies

According to a report by LinkedIn, 94% of material handling companies use LinkedIn to share content with their target audience. Based on these numbers, LinkedIn is the most popular channel for industrial content marketing. Of course, LinkedIn differs from other social media networks by focusing on businesses and professionals. As a result, it's particularly effective for material handling marketing and sales activities.

B2B Companies Have a Half-Dozen Social Media Profiles on Average

A separate report found that the average B2B company has a half-dozen social media profiles on average. In addition to LinkedIn, many B2B companies have a digital presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Each profile signals a new opportunity for a B2B company to connect with its audience, thereby driving leads and sales.

Over Half of All B2B Buyers Use Social Media to Research Products and Services

Statistics show that over half of all B2B buyers use social media to research products or services before making a purchase. Whether they are looking to buy a product or service (or both), B2B buyers often scour social media networks for information.

49% of All B2B Buyers Look at LinkedIn Profiles to Research Vendors

When speaking about LinkedIn, 49% of all material handling buyers use the social media platform to research vendors. They'll specifically check out companies' profiles on LinkedIn, using this information to determine if a company is right for their business's needs. If you haven’t completed a company profile page with product and services pages on your company’s forklift, controllers, or engineering services, get it done…now.

76% of B2B Companies Use Facebook for Content Marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 76% of B2B companies use Facebook to promote and share content with their target audience. With Facebook reaching over a billion users each month, it can be a powerful platform on which to reach B2B buyers.

77% of B2B Companies Use Twitter for Content Marketing

The CMI also reported that 77% of B2B companies use Twitter to promote and share content with their target audience. This is a great way to get a quick message out using keywords (material handling, overhead conveyor, AGV) to draw attention to your products and services. This way when someone…including the press…is searching for information, you have a better chance of being in their results.

All of these platforms take time to do. Sometimes you just need help in filling the pipeline fast. Project Reports, by SalesLeads, are identified projects uncovered by our researchers. Through SalesLeads, you’ll know what the project is about, who to contact as well as their direct phone and email address.

Why You Should Target Mobile Devices When Selling Material Handling Products or Services

By Evan Lamolinara | 04/09/2019 | 7:49 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

ChartDoes your material handing sales strategy focus strictly on desktop and laptop computers? Even though many target audiences such as plant managers and facility managers are primarily checking their email via desktop, we’ll begin to see that change over the next few years. As a result, it's important to target mobile devices in your material handling sales strategy. Otherwise, you won't be able to reach as many prospects with your sales messages, resulting in fewer sales. Below are a few key reasons to target mobile devices when selling B2B products or services.

Nearly Half of the B2B Buyers Research Products Using a Mobile Device

According to Google, nearly half (49%) of all B2B buyers research products using a mobile device while at work. Of course, this shouldn't come as a surprise since smartphones and tablets are easier and more convenient to use than traditional computers. If a plant automation buyer wants to learn about one of your robotic, forklift or conveyor company's products or services, he or she can quickly search for it online using a mobile device.

Mobile Devices Account For 40% of All B2B Sales Revenue

It's estimated that mobile devices account for roughly 40% of all B2B sales revenue. Whether your B2B company sells a product, a service or both, targeting mobile devices will drive more revenue for your company.

84% of Millennial B2B Buyers Say Mobile Devices Are Critical to Their Job

As new generations enter the material handling marketplace, they will be using mobile devices to do their jobs. Another report found that 84% of millennial B2B buyers say mobile devices are critical to their job. They don't just use mobile devices for browsing social media; they use it for researching products and services before buying them.

Over Half of All Searches Are Performed on a Mobile Device

Statistics show that over half of all internet searches -- Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. -- are performed on a mobile device. By 2020, this number is expected to grow to 70%, meaning that seven in 10 of all internet searches will involve a smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices. If your material handling company doesn't target mobile devices, it won't be able to reach these up and coming users.

80% of B2B Buyers Use Mobile Devices at Work

According to Smart Insights, approximately 80% of B2B buyers use mobile devices at work. Again, many B2B buyers use a smartphone or tablet to research products or services before buying them.

Where’s the Material Handling Market Headed?

According to Global Market Insights, the material handling equipment market will be worth over $190 billion by 2024. With the fast growing pace of automation how will your sales and marketing adjust to uncover those sales opportunities? With the fast pace of the material handling industry, SalesLeads utilizes researchers to uncover the who, when, and how much of opportunities, called Project Reports.

These Project Reports allow you to find out what the project is all about and begin the sales process immediately by calling or emailing the contacts responsible for the project. Try out the service by opening a complimentary account.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Evan Lamolinara

Evan Lamolinara

Evan Lamolinara is president of SalesLeads, Inc., a company that has been around for over 60 years, generating high quality sales leads dedicated to the sales & marketing professionals in the industrial marketplace. Mr. Lamolinara, an entrepreneur and competitor, purchased the legacy company in 2014. Since then, he's redeveloped its core software delivery platform and grew the company over 400%. Evan graduated from Mount Union College with B.A. Business Management and honed his competitive skills as a 3-year letterman on the College football team.


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