Cold calling offers a low-cost, time-tested way for logistics and supply chain companies to acquire new sales leads and generate more sales. Even if you currently use other lead generation methods, your logistics and supply chain company can still benefit from the use of cold calling.
I know that you are saying to yourself, “of course I (my team) knows what questions to ask. Well…yes and no. Recently, I was working with a company that’s been around for over 40 years. During discussions, they were trying to figure out why their (non-salesleadsinc) leads were not going into the sales funnel. After spending some time with the sales reps, and understanding their sales process, the right questions were not being asked. It’s more common than you think, which is why I wanted to share the 10 Essential Questions to Ask.
#1) Who's Involved in the Decision-Making Process?
When cold calling logistics and supply chain buyers, be sure ask who's involved in the decision-making process, (name, title). Otherwise, you could be wasting your time. If the logistics and supply chain buyer doesn't have the authority to make purchases on behalf of his or her company, the cold call probably won't yield a sale. With that said, asking the buyer who's involved in the decision-making process may help you reach the right person.
#2) What's Your Timeline Look Like?
Don't forget to inquire about the logistics and supply chain buyer's timeline during the cold call. If a buyer is looking to purchase equipment for their logistics, distribution center or warehouse, for example, ask the buyer when he or she expects to start and finish the project. Using this information, you can better manage expectations and keep the sales lead on track with their own project.
#3) What's Your Budget?
According to HubSpot, six in 10 B2B buyers want to discuss price during the first call. Before discussing product or service prices, though, you should first ask the buyer about his or her company's budget. Try to find out how much money the buyer has allocated for the project. You can then recommend products or services that are within the buyer's budget, thus increasing your chance of securing a sale.
#4) Who's Your Current Supplier?
Asking logistics and supply chain buyers who their current supplier is can help you distinguish your company's offerings from those of its competitors. If a buyer is currently partnered with one of your competitor's, you can explain to the buyer why your company is a better choice. For this to happen, however, you must first identify the buyer's current supplier. No better time like the present to ask a critical question.
#5) What Are You Hoping to Achieve? And, Tell Me What’s Currently Going on in Your Business?
Begin the conversation by first understanding what is going on in their business that they are interested in your product/service. This will supply you a wealth of information as to how your product can fit and solve their current issue(s). Then, ask the logistics and supply chain buyer what he or she is hoping to achieve by making a purchase. Some logistics and supply chain buyers may want to streamline their company's current operations, whereas other buyers may want to cut costs and increase their profits. By asking buyers what they hope to achieve, you can better explain why your company's product or service is worth the investment.
#6) What's Your Company's Greatest Challenge?
All companies have challenges, though some are more problematic than others. During your cold calling routine, ask the logistics and supply chain buyers what their single greatest challenge is. You can then have a better understanding of any additional challenges such as:
- High operational costs
- Excessive competition
- Logistical struggles
- Slow or stagnant growth
#7) How Long Has Your Company Been in Business?
You should also ask the logistics and supply chain buyers how long their company has been in business. Why is this important? Well, if a buyer's company has been in business for a long time, he or she will probably have a stable cash flow, thus offering the opportunity for an ongoing contract with multiple repeat sales.
#8) How Did You Hear About Our Company?
It's a good idea to ask the logistics and supply chain buyers how they heard about or otherwise discovered your company. Maybe they saw an advert online or perhaps the buyer was referred to your company from someone else. Regardless, when cold calling, ask buyers how they heard about your company. If a substantial number of buyers heard about your company through a particular channel, you can invest more resources into that channel to attract more leads.
#9) What's the Best Way to Reach You?
Even if you're currently talking to a logistics and supply chain buyer over the phone, you should still ask the buyer what the best way is for you to reach him or her. Statistics show, for example, that four in five B2B buyers prefer to be contacted via email. Email offers a quick and easy way for sales reps to communicate with buyers. With that said, some buyers may prefer phone or even direct mail communications. The only way you'll know, however, is by asking the logistics and supply chain buyers what the best way is to reach them.
#10) What's Holding You Back from Making a Purchase?
Last but certainly not least, ask the logistics and supply chain buyers what's holding them back from purchasing your company's products or services. If a buyer isn't willing to make a purchase during the initial cold call, there's probably at least one thing that's holding him or her back. As a sales rep, it's your job to identify these sales objections so that you can overcome them.
These 10 questions are the foundation for uncovering the details behind the opportunity so you can decide for yourself if this is a good fit or not. However, if you want to get more sales leads into the sales cycle, the be sure to check out or Project Reports. The project has already been identified, it’s up to you to make it happen. We specialize in industrial sales lead generation. Our job is to find the projects so you can sell. Give it a try today.