Tips From Edge Logistics Experts for New Carrier Sales Reps and Managers
As the economy bounces back and students across the country wrap up this year's academic year, the supply chain industry is recruiting for new talent. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics analyzed that “Employment in transportation and material moving occupations is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030.” These calculations amount to 1.1 million new jobs! With so many new carriers entering the market, there is an enormous need for carrier sales reps and carrier sales managers to step in to connect them to their best loads.
Although there are a plethora of sales interview tips available at the click of a button, what about after the contracts are signed? Check out these tips from the Edge Logistics carrier sales team to make your first day a success.
TIPS FOR CARRIER SALES REPS
It is advantageous for carrier sales reps to get to know their prospects before turning them into customers. Investing the time to learn their prospects’ language and better understand what they are looking for equips a rep to solve their problems with a mutually beneficial transaction. For example, do they want to become a carrier of choice at the port? Knowing items such as this allows a carrier sales rep the opportunity to sell the value of a brokerage mediating in shipper-carrier relationships.
The market can change dramatically over a weekend. How can a carrier sales rep maintain a proper pulse? Although online sources such as logistic blogs and logistic influencers are beneficial, it’s most important to have analytic access that best predicts and prepares the daily changing of spot truckload rates. A carrier sales rep with market intelligence in hand is empowered for each every day.
Novice carrier sales reps can hide their lack of experience by skipping the stale sales pitch and opting for a solution stance. Learn what frustrates a carrier and use that to your advantage to guide the conversation toward a solution the brokerage can provide. Sharing tips such as how to avoid detention charges or how a partnership would provide work in the lanes they are looking for are excellent ways to build rapport and showcase the value of a partnership.
Ultimately in sales, people want to buy from people. Authenticity goes a long way in sales, mainly due to people’s past bad experiences on a personal or corporate level. Transparency is sometimes the most valuable aspect to a prospect since a carrier sales rep is the company face of integrity — or lack thereof. Consistent, clear communication with prospects prevents surprises from turning into impassable obstacles. Digital freight matching was invented just for this — be the call a prospect wants to take.
TIPS FOR CARRIER SALES MANAGERS
As the saying goes, “we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason,” and those in managerial roles would do well to remember this piece of advice. A carrier sales manager who is acquainted with the heartbeat of their team can appropriately address obstacles that keep them out of rhythm. Although sales teams are known for competition, has the environment taken it too far? By listening to their team's feedback at large or as an individual, managers gain actionable knowledge to build a successful team.
A carrier sales manager gives their team a gift when setting forth appropriate goals. These goals should focus on collective and individual activities that the reps can monitor to motivate everyone. As time passes, what positive and negative consequences are there for reaching or missing these goals? Are the previously set quotas currently unreachable, or do they need to be individually bumped up to level the playing field? A carrier sales manager who wants to cultivate the best must be conscious of these factors to keep a team united and moving forward.
As mentioned above, a sales team needs to have goals. A carrier sales manager should have a systematic approach to measuring performance inside and outside of these goals. Quotas can not truly measure work ethic and communication skills, but they are vital to maintaining business integrity. Yet, ultimately, a sales team is all about making the sales. Therefore, an effective freight broker company should have a way to monitor the KPIs of every piece of the sales process, from from the start of lead generation to the customer contract signing. A thorough analysis will reveal top performers and areas of team weakness.
Ultimately, a respected carrier sales manager is one who understands what is required of a sales rep. How else can a manager guide a sales rep who is assessing freight carrier risk? Or when they need assistance recruiting bulk trucking partners? Although a managerial role does create a hierarchy in the team, managers who operate successful teams know how to pull their own weight in the sales department. This is especially helpful when reps suddenly need to take unexpected time off.
TIPS FOR BOTH CARRIER SALES REPS AND CARRIER SALES MANAGERS
While the primary objective of a carrier sales rep team is to sell, it’s vital to understand the importance of networking. Sometimes there truly are situations where a partnership is not possible or mutually beneficial. However, if that carrier has a great experience during the prospecting season, they may be more willing to share to other carriers looking for brokered loads. Other ways to network include attending supply chain trade shows and conferences that provide immense opportunities to learn about newer initiatives such as sustainability goals and post-pandemic responses to employee healthcare.
One of the top sales objections in any circuit is, “I just don't have time.” While some things may be beyond the control of the sales team, many opportunities exist for a carrier sales manager to streamline the process to minimize the paperwork and get carriers matched to loads that much faster. Are you a carrier that’s ready to work with a leading sales team that provides real-time shipment visibility and digital freight matching? If so, sign up with Edge Capacity.
A carrier sales manager gives a gift to their team when colleagues can work together to strategize opportunities for in-person interactions. In today’s society, iIndividuals and corporate numbers get more impersonal voicemails than they know what to deal with. By preparing the carrier sales reps with the steps to gain knowledge on their prospects, they are more likely to give a strong first impression and get in the door. These opportunities build long-term relationships with carriers, leading to consistent contracted loads instead of the more expensive spot freight loads.
In the 21st century, technology has created more opportunities to learn than ever before. As the types of logistic technology rapidly change, how does one stay up to date? As communication technology evolves, what are the new best methods to try? Blogs, influencers, newsletters, subscriptions, conferences, and more are time and monetary investments into a career with plenty of room to grow. With most options available at the touch of a button, the novice and experienced carrier sales rep and manager must stay teachable and hungry for learning.
Persistence and consistency go a long way in building a book of business; however, that is only done when the individual is first passionate about their company. Now it's your turn to put these tips at work, join Edge Logistics today, and Apply Now.
About the Author
Pamela is the Senior Marketing Manager at Edge Logistics. She has a Bachelors of Arts from DePaul University in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Photography. Pamela is responsible for overseeing advertising, marketing, press, and social media related to Edge.