Best Lead Generation Strategies for Companies in Transportation or Logistics

 

Big expectations and big changes define 2022’s sales climate for transportation and logistics providers and ports. That was the main theme of TMSA’s January Virtual Roundtable entitled Lead Generation Strategies, Processes, Systems, and Approaches and hosted byPrincipal and Chief Strategist of Sol de Naples Marketing, Jill Schmieg.

Business is good and companies clearly want more of it. Participants expressed that their organizations are setting high goals and tightening up their processes for bringing in extraordinarily qualified leads. Here are the top takeaways from January’s gathering.

Big quotas are the norm for 2022.

It’s not just you. Everyone’s facing big, new quotas. One participant relayed that their sales quota was increased 15% - 25% and that their marketing lead quota increased 50% for specific qualified leads. Another organization is working toward a goal of increasing revenue 20%. Schmieg remarked that these are the biggest numbers she’s seen in her 20 years in logistics.

Hyper-qualification is the key strategy.

Sales professionals have always wanted sales-ready leads. Developments over the years in technology and strategy are helping marketing departments deliver on this. As a result, the expectations of sales pros have never been higher. Participants from the agency side and corporate side affirmed leads are being qualified harder and nurtured longer before being handed off to sales. One shared that their marketing team is passing along only 5% of leads to sales with the other 95% going to another sales channel before saying they are sales ready.

Golden leads fueling account-based strategies.

Companies around the virtual roundtable shared they are seeing better results from speaking to a very specific audience than they would targeting wider targets or industries at large. Account-based strategies are popular, but only possible with high quality information about accounts. Transportation & logistics companies are going deep on processes and research to understand accounts’ businesses and competitors in order to deliver specific targeted messages to them about service offerings. Sophisticated operators are working with SEO farming companies to draw visitors and working with contact intelligence platforms to know exactly what to say to whom.

A well-crafted SEO strategy is only the beginning.

People shared that the basics of knowing your market and the key words they use are as important as ever. But that alone isn’t enough. Talk around the roundtable focused on attracting the right visitors and having processes in place both to siphon off qualified leads to sales and siphon marketing-qualified leads off to another channel for nurturing or further qualification.

Based on the strategies of the companies that shared, it’s not enough to just get prospects to your site; you need to think through the path that’s waiting for them once they get there, so you can identify the best leads and focus on them. Researching prospects is time-consuming. One participant said it can take 90 minutes to qualify a single company.  

Automation is being used to ease the manual work and many minutes of research. Several participants said they are working to increase the qualifying function of their forms. They’re also following up over email with questionnaires and drip campaigns to further define prospects as well as nurture them.

Inbound leading the way in lead-gen.

How are transportation and logistics companies predominantly using inbound to garner leads? Typically companies are bringing in the leads through blogs. Different landing pages for personas accommodate the different types of visitors. Through customer relationship management services like HubSpot, they’re able to see the IP addresses of the companies visiting the site. Participants indicated a considerable emphasis on running research on the IPs to qualify the companies and gain contact information.

Big move to IP research.

There seems to have been a decisive shift among participants’ organizations to collect IP information about visitors to webpages, blogs and landing pages. They’re working with contact intelligence platforms and/or contact management platforms to gain information about visitors and their companies. Data providers that companies are working with include:

  • ZoomInfo
  • D&B Hoovers
  • Hunter
  • Seamless.AI
  • UpLead
  • Lusha

Beyond IP research, LinkedIn is being leveraged as a manual research tool as well. Someone shared that observing what content visitors are sharing and liking can provide telling information that aids in qualification.

Outbound still “in”.

Participants are using email with surprising commitment. Most are running eNewsletters. Email drips are being used to create engagement, qualify and gauge intent. Using multiple channels in this way represents a paradigm shift that Schmieg has seen developing over the past ten years. The group affirmed this move away from the one-and-done practice of just giving sales a list of leads. They’re moving towards giving sales only sales-qualified leads while the rest of the leads receive emails dripped to them through multiple channels.

Digital paid media, public relations and published content are steady in people’s marketing mix to draw visitors to the website where companies can scrape visitors’ IPs or entice them to fill out contact forms. Reaching out over LinkedIn and making actual cold calls round out the other prevalent outbound methods being used by the group.

The integration of sales and marketing continues.

As qualification falls to marketing more often and more leads can be found in multiple channels managed by marketing, the benefits of close collaboration between sales and marketing becomes clear. One participant gave the example of sales and marketing working closely to get targeted accounts into the right follow-up drip campaign. Rather than just putting the lead in a general drip, they could work together to find the ideal email sequence for the lead.

As sales and marketing learn together and fine-tune email sequences and channels, repeatable results will continue to improve, leading to better qualified leads. For sales, less effort qualifying leads means more time to close deals. And for marketing, better communication with sales leads to better tools. The answer to meeting 2022’s stratospheric quotas lies in raising collaboration on lead qualification to all new heights.

TMSA’s Virtual Roundtables are one of the many exclusive benefits available to TMSA members. They provide a collegial setting for industry leaders to share insights and best practices that are most top of mind today. Register for the next roundtable—and if you’re not already, learn how to become a member here.

This blog post was written by Conrad Winter, TMSA Marketing Committee member. Conrad is a freelance copywriter specializing in content and copy writing for transportation and logistics. Based in Metuchen, NJ, he creates website copy, campaigns, blog posts, whitepapers and case studies for carriers, 3PLs and industry associations. 

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