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14 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

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.

Distribution and Supply Chain News and Planned Industrial Project Reports - JULY 2019 Recap

By Evan Lamolinara | 08/25/2019 | 4:34 PM | Categories: Current Affairs

Distribution and Supply Chain News and Planned Industrial Project Reports - JULY 2019 Recap

Research by SalesLeads’ experienced industrial market research team, shows 199 new planned Distribution and Supply Chain industry project opportunities tracked during the month of July.

Planned industrial project activity within the sector increased by 16% from the previous month, but is down 35% YTD from the previous year.

The following are selected highlights on new Distribution Center and Warehouse construction news.

Supplychain

Distribution and Supply Chain - By Project Type

  •           Distribution/Fulfillment Centers - 43 New Projects
  •           Industrial Warehouse - 170 New Projects

         

Distribution and Supply Chain- By Project Scope/Activity

  •           New Construction - 113 New Projects
  •           Expansion - 44 New Projects
  •           Renovations/Equipment Upgrades - 50 New Projects
  •           Closing - 2 New Projects

 

Distribution and Supply Chain - By Project Location(Top 5 States)

  •          Texas - 26
  •          California - 20
  •          New York - 13
  •          Florida - 12
  •          Ohio - 11

   

Largest Planned Project

During the month of July, our research team identified 2 new Distribution and Supply Chain facility construction projects with an estimated value of $100 million or more.

The largest project is owned by Purolator, Inc., who is planning to invest $330 million for the construction of a 430,000 sf warehouse and distribution facility in TORONTO, ON. Completion is slated for 2021.

 

Top 10 Tracked Distribution and Supply Chain Project Opportunities

BRITISH COLUMBIA:

Construction and mining equipment mfr. is planning to invest $40 million for the construction of an 85,000 sf sales and service facility in SPARWOOD, BC. They have recently received approval for the project. They will relocate their regional operations upon completion in late 2020.

 

GEORGIA:

Aerospace company is planning for the construction of a 1 million sf distribution center and currently seeking a site in ATLANTA, GA.

 

KENTUCKY:

Air cargo company is planning to invest $34 million for the construction of a warehouse, office, and storage facility in ERLANGER, KY. They have recently received approval for the project. They plan to relocate operations from FLORENCE, KY upon completion in 2021.

 

MASSACHUSETTS:

Municipality is planning to invest $50 million for the construction of a 79,000 sf office, warehouse, and vehicle maintenance facility on South East St. in AMHERST, MA. The project includes the construction of a fire department HQ at 586 S. Pleasant St. in AMHERST, MA. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

 

GEORGIA:

Grocery retail chain is planning to invest $55 million for the construction of a 375,000 sf distribution facility at 2000 Anvil Block Rd. in FOREST PARK, GA. Construction is expected to start in late 2019, with completion slated for 2021.

 

MARYLAND:

Global online retailer is planning for the construction of an 800,000 sf distribution facility in WESTPHALIA, MD. They have recently received approval for the project.

 

MICHIGAN:

Audio-video technology company is planning to invest $34 million for the construction of a 90,000 sf warehouse and office facility at 46091 Twelve Mile Road in NOVI, MI. They have recently received approval for the project. They will consolidate operations upon completion in Summer 2020.

 

NEW JERSEY:

Logistics company is planning for the construction of a 509,000 sf warehouse and distribution facility on South Pemberton Road in PEMBERTON, NJ. They are currently seeking approval for the project. Completion is slated for late 2019.

 

CALIFORNIA:

Logistics service provider is planning for the renovation and equipment upgrades on a recently leased 405,000 sf distribution facility at 700 Crocker Drive in VACAVILLE, CA.

 

Ohio:

Global online retailer has recently started the construction of a 3 million sf distribution facility in ROSSFORD, OH. Completion is slated for October 2020.

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.

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.

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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