Many logistics business owners, particularly those with a long-standing presence in the industry, may not realize the untapped potential they hold in their hands. If harnessed effectively, this potential could propel their business development activities to unprecedented heights, all while maintaining cost-effectiveness. We’re referring to the wealth of contacts they’ve accumulated over the years, waiting to be leveraged proactively and strategically. Please read the article below to find out what we are talking about and get some advice on how to do this properly.

The Usual Business Case at a Traditional Logistics Business

Logistics services sales at most traditional companies are done in one or a few ways:

1.     By a person via cold calls, emails, etc.

2.     Through freight forwarding networks.

3.     Referrals.

4.     Load boards.

5.     Inquiries through email or website.

And, of course, there can be a mix. Working with many businesses, I have noticed that logistics companies are pretty decent at getting the low-hanging fruit. We are talking about the customers who can do business with your company immediately. We are talking about all those lucky times when sales reps reach a prospect at the needed time or when shippers call logistics companies when they need services, which happens when the economy is growing.

On the other hand, logistics businesses often overlook the potential of those leads that have said no, were reached at the wrong time, or got details over inquiry and in all other instances. Essentially, logistics businesses working on such a list can unlock significant new revenues because studies show that the most extensive opportunities lie there.

How to flip this situation to get more customers?

So, how can you turn the tide and attract more customers? We’re here to offer a few straightforward pieces of advice that will help you unlock the potential of new business activities.

Changing the mindset

The first shift is that companies need to start seriously considering new business development. This may sound strange for some companies, but there are still many businesses around that do not have a sales team. Such companies usually grow with the help of referrals or stick to a handful of customers generated at the beginning of the business. This limits growth potential and, of course, is risky because customers tend to leave.

The other change, which is the most challenging, is understanding that a sales rep needs to perform at least seven cold sales touchpoints to generate new customers. Various studies have proven, and we can confirm from our practice, that with each touchpoint, the response rate and the chance of getting the customer increase. Despite the studies, sales reps still widely believe that multi-sales touches are nonsense. This needs to change.

Get a CRM

Many companies in the logistics industry still lack a CRM. One needs to start collecting data on contacts that sales reps have identified to identify opportunities. I know companies doing this with an Excel sheet, which is not entirely wrong because the main thing here is collecting data. However, with CRM, the sales process becomes much more scalable because one can track touchpoints, segment potential customers, and automate some parts. Moreover, this tool allows us to identify what’s working and what’s not, which is helpful for improvement projects.

Show your team how to perform a long-term omnichannel sales attack effectively.

The success of your new business development strategy will depend on your team’s ability to make long-term sales contacts using various channels (LinkedIn, phone, email). Sales reps must know how to distribute customer-centric sales messages over different channels. Business acumen, social listening, and knowledge of sales tactics are critical here. The biggest mistake is believing your sales reps will find their way independently. Yes, some will, but this will take a lot of time; investing in long-term training and coaching programs is far better.

Invest in public relations in marketing activities

No one doubts that physical sales touch works miracles, but in tandem with public relations and marketing activities, companies can get results faster. With it, you can educate your customers to do business with you and stay with them until they are ready to do business with you. The combination of physical and digital touches is by far the most effective way of getting new customers.


Building a great new business development system is not easy. Still, logistics business owners need to ask themselves a question: Do they have other options, considering the competitive environment and market consolidation? In my opinion, they do not because future success will depend on being agile in getting new customers. Moreover, this can become a crucial differentiator for your company. Usually, in logistics, to get business, one needs to be 1% better; your sales process can go this extra mile.

If someone reading this article is looking for ways to speed up new business development activities, let’s have a talk. We can help you align sales and marketing activities to build a killer sales process and train your sales teams to be more effective.

I’m looking for new ways to generate more revenue

About the Author:

Thomas Ananjevas is a seasoned supply chain professional with 15 years of experience in purchasing and selling logistics services and building supply chains from the ground up. He founded a consulting, training, and marketing services company dedicated to the logistics industry. Thomas specializes in helping logistics companies implement necessary changes to ensure business growth and continuity. You can go ahead and schedule a conversation with Thomas by clicking here.

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