For most 3PLs their main feeders are sales. Some companies are good at growing sales, others are not so good. Why does this happen? Most CEOs of 3PL companies blame employees for the poor results. In some cases it is true but the main reason here is that most managers do not understand the meaning of sales process, they do not understand that sale is a consistent work and the ownership for this process must be taken not only by sale managers but by CEOs as well. If it’s hard for your employees to sell, the responsibility for this, first of all is on you. There are a lot of micro and macro level reasons which prevent companies from achieving more sales. In this article I would like to draw your attention to a few which are the most important ones:
There is no deeply rooted sale culture formed in the company. In a typical 3 PL company you will see the world atlas on the wall with postal codes and lots of working tables. As you may have already understood, this doesn’t compliment sale culture and creativity. When your employees open the door of your company, they must understand that this company sells services and, instead of drinking coffee and talking with co-workers, the first thing which must come to their minds is: “I need to pick the phone and start selling”. The spirit of sales and healthy competition must be felt throughout the space.
The motivational system does not encourage enough to increase sales. Do not ever pay your employees a huge basic salary, a good salesman is the ones who is happy with plenty of sale counts and bigger commissions related with them. Try to find new salary formulas, which motivate to increase sales even more, avoid the usual salary model “basic salary + commissions”.
Company doesn’t invest into employees` training. The competitive environment in this business is harsh and in order to succeed, you need to have the best class personnel who understand new and emerging technologies, have practical knowledge and motivation for extra mile selling. Of course, this knowledge can be passed by the CEO. Nevertheless, in most cases due to lack of time it is hard to achieve, and if they do achieve, the training program is usually worse than obtaining it from the professionals. Do not be afraid to invest in training as the return of investment (ROI) will be much greater, do not look to this like to a usual line of expenditures, it’s an investment which pays off a lot.
There is no proper technological base to increase sales. Company must provide all needed tools for providing high-quality services: CRM, TMS and other sales increasing programs. If you do not have any technologies at your hand, it’s unforgivable, as in the era of cloud computing, such programs become cheaper and cheaper.
Company’s CEO is far away from the sales process. The sales pulse must be felt constantly, if sales decrease or increase, it’s important to find out what influences it and what the reasons for those fluctuations are. If it’s a small company, the CEO must manage the sales process himself, in bigger ones – the sale management must be delegated to the managers. Despite the size of the company, the CEO must be involved in this process, he has to look for ways to increase the revenue by improving the performance.
Of course, there are more reasons, but if you are able to solve the issues stated above, your sales will increase significantly. As I have mentioned before, competition in the transport agent business and in the whole 3PL sector is harsh, and it’s growing every day. Therefore, if you do not intend to be “another market participant” who meets the minimum results, it is crucial to pay more attention to the process of your firm’s optimization.