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Archives for September 2019

Cold Calling Qualifying Questions: 10 Essentials to Ask Logistics & Supply Chain Buyers

By Evan Lamolinara | 09/05/2019 | 3:04 PM | Categories: Current Affairs

Ask-1Cold 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.

Don't Let a Long Sales Cycle Hurt Your Material Handling / Supply Chain Company's Revenue

By Evan Lamolinara | 09/05/2019 | 2:59 PM | Categories: Current Affairs

Sales-cycle-1How long does it typically take your material handling or supply chain company to convert a sales lead into a buyer? While some leads will convert during the initial conversation, most require nurturing. Statistics show, in fact, that it takes sales reps an average of five to seven touch points to generate interest, enough to enter the sales funnel. If your material handling or supply chain company suffers from a long sales cycle, you can expect lower sales revenue. The good news is that there are ways to expedite and shorten your material handling / supply chain company's sales cycle.

Communicate with the Decision-Makers

A key difference between B2C and B2B sales is that the latter relies heavily on reaching the decision-makers. B2C companies can sell their products or services to any consumer. B2B companies, on the other hand, must focus on selling to the decision-makers. If you're only communicating with maintenance or the warehouse, distribution center workers, you can expect a longer sales cycle…and persons who are only gathering information and quotes.

Schedule a Time for a Follow-Up Call

During your initial conversation with a sales lead or prospect, go ahead and schedule a follow-up call. In other words, ask the prospect when he or she would like to talk again. However, be sure you have a reason to continue the conversation. And, be sure to gain the prospects agreement. Because sales leads are often busying running their own department, plant or business (CEO, President), they may or may not answer the next time you call them. By scheduling a date and time for a follow-up call, you'll have a better shot at reaching the prospect. An even better shot if you send a confirmation email with a schedule reminder. All these detailed steps will help condense the long sales cycle.

Harvest High-Quality Leads

The quality of your material handling / supply chain company's leads will affect the length of its sales cycle. Not surprisingly, low-quality leads typically result in a longer sales cycle than high-quality leads. Fresh leads, for example, are more likely to convert -- and convert in less time -- than stale leads. Additionally, leads in your B2B company's target market are more likely to convert than leads outside your B2B company's target market.

That’s why we keep encouraging our Project Reports. We provide you with high quality sales leads…meaning there’s an identified project that’s in the planning stages, approved and groundbreaking, or in progress. You get a description of the project along with the names, email, phone numbers and titles of those working on the project.

This speeds up the sales process as the project report sales leads will go directly into the sales cycle, or sales funnel. Evaluate the project reports for yourself. Open a free account, take a look what’s in there and give it a try. They are all current leads.

Segment Your Leads

In addition to harvesting high-quality leads, you can achieve a shorter sales cycle by segmenting your leads. Segmentation involves grouping leads according to various criteria. After creating these groups or "segments" of leads, you can then create a customized approach to communicating and nurturing them through your company's sales funnel. With a customized approach, you'll be able to convert them more quickly, thus shortening your material handling / supply chain company's sales cycle.

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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