Picture of Dorothee Gabor - Managing Director Business Development

Dorothee Gabor - Managing Director Business Development

Potentials as the engine of success – sales management in the recession

Potentials or sales opportunities take on a very special value in the current situation and sales management must be set up very differently now in the recession than in the boom times of the last few years.

Many entrepreneurs, branch managers and sales managers are currently worried about their forecast.

How will business be in the next few months and in the coming year?
Which new customers can be won and what opportunities are there with existing customers?

For some logistics companies, these questions are not so easy to answer. Although they have a CRM in which customers and target customers are managed and conversation reports are recorded.

What is missing is a structured recording of potentials – for existing customers and for new customers.

In our CRM projects, the topic of potentials (sales opportunities) is often a point of much discussion. And only a few logisticians have a real concept of how employees should record and permanently update potentials. In order to create a sales pipeline that can serve as a basis for strategic decisions, all employees in customer contact must contribute.

In the case of target customers and interested parties, all routes on all modes of transport must be recorded, even those that are currently still taken over by the competition.

For existing customers, the information about the customer’s activities must be entered in a structured way so that one has a picture of which trade lanes could still be added here, which types of cargo, which types of packaging, frequency, dangerous goods …

Most of the time you only have a piece of the logistics services pie – can you gain a piece more for your company?

Often it is the customer service and not the sales department that hears about new customer requirements because they are in constant contact. A new warehouse is opened, a new production plant is inaugurated or a company is taken over.

Or a sea freight employee hears about an air freight transport that is imminent or currently being taken over by a competitor.

A new pick-up address is entered in the operational system and this company could be approached for direct transport.

This results in sales opportunities that often go unused.

This week I came across the article „The biggest mistakes in sales“ in Harvard Business Manager, which made me realise how game-changing sensible potentials are if you want to get your salespeople on the right strategy in a recession.

Potentials and sales management in the recession require special attention.

The author demonstrates that it is exactly the wrong time to push ahead with potentials that are close to completion, but that on the contrary, one must now concern oneself with continuing to work on the potentials where one is still at the beginning. For these still have much more scope for development.

Also an interesting point in the article: It is not the time to push sales staff to make as many deals as possible, but to work on as worthwhile and extensive potentials as possible. It is not the much-vaunted “conversion rate” that is relevant in B2B right now, but the further development of the company in the right places. If the management pushes for many deals, the salesperson will put a lot of energy into realising all the small potentials he has in the pipeline and which are already well advanced. He will make even more customer visits (as far as he is allowed to do so again) and not concern himself with the particularly worthwhile immature potentials.

Selling in recession starts at the top of the sales funnel, not the bottom.

Also a widespread management mistake according to the article in Harvard Business Manager: Demanding even more key figures and KPIs than before. This sentence convinced me:

„Those who introduce new key figures to better track current developments or who increase the reporting frequency of forecasts often trigger an unexpected side effect: Revenue-generating activities come to a standstill. When companies massively increase the time budget for internal processes, there is less time and energy left for the actual sales work and for sales management, in addition to data collection and various loops for checking and revising.“

Smart sales managers therefore motivate their sales staff to put their energy into the right activities now.

Those who have a well-managed CRM will find it easy to manage sales optimally, because they will be able to see at a glance which potentials are promising, in which areas how much potential lies dormant, which salesperson concentrates on the right sectors and which should be guided.

Logistics potentials differ from potentials in industry and trade

A logistics potential is not just an address with a contact person and a telephone number. A logistics potential has many facets and must provide information about transport mode, frequency, relation, packaging unit etc.. In other words, about the requirements in the warehouse and for value-added services.

Figure: LOGO sales funnel

Of course, a logistics potential also has a sales stage to which a closing probability is attached, but as a rule it is not ONE potential per company, but a whole range of logistics services that can be taken over for the customer or interested party.

With logistics CRM, management can quickly and easily see in which areas you can develop further and where the opportunities are best.

After the employees have recorded potentials in a structured way, it is easy for sales managers, branch managers and management to obtain detailed insights via filters, visualisations and evaluations.

Illustration: Filter in App Potentials LOGO CRM

Sales strategy is a matter for the boss!

Give your employees the tools to make their contribution to the company’s success, even in times of crisis.

Make it as easy as possible for them to recognise which potential demands attention at which point and which is about to be closed.

With the LOGO DealMaker module you achieve a quick overview, visualised with traffic light colours, sortable, filterable, simple and yet meaningful.

Illustration: Overview LOGO DealMaker

Talk to experts in logistics sales and take advantage of the possibilities that LOGO CRM offers, because logistics CRM is so much more than address management and recording call reports! Arrange an individual consultation appointment at https://www.logo-consult.com/contact/

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