COVID’s Impact on Sales Travel in Transportation and Logistics

Shippers are limiting external visits and sales calls to their facilities to minimize any chance of COVID spread to their workforces – which layers additional challenges to building relationships with customers and prospects. Industry events have been cancelled, postponed, or have gone completely virtual – so there are significantly fewer opportunities to meet in-person with customers, prospects, colleagues and partners. And of course, transportation and logistics companies also are wanting to keep safe their own sales personnel as well. 

So What’s the Impact on Sales-Related Travel?

During TMSA’s Virtual Town Hall earlier this week, there was significant discussion around the impact COVID has had on sales success. As part of the Town Hall virtual event, TMSA had polled members and asked them about their currently travel policies as they relate to sales. Through the survey, 32 companies responded (59% are 3PLs, 25% are motor carriers, and the remaining respondents were consultants, ocean carriers, port authorities, railroads, and technology innovators).  

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Catching Up and Catching On: Digital Marketing in the Transportation Industry

By Chris Chin, SyncShow is an online marketing agency supporting transportation, manufacturing and professional services clients. We specialize in inbound marketing, lead generation and SEO that produces measurable results that will help your company reach its goals.

Digital marketing is a misnomer and a construct that misses the fact that as we continue to move forward, “digital” is the way we interact. In a coronavirus world, we’ve seen trade shows move online, Zoom meetings replace the face-to-face and CRM tools enable our sales and marketing teams to better speak to our customers. Everything we do touches digital, so any marketing we do is at minimum, tangentially digital marketing. And that, in combination with the push for analytics and ROI, has blurred the fundamental reality that marketing has always had the same goal: to create a lasting relationship with your customers that helps them solve problems and prefer you over their other choices. If you do that by making it easy for your customers to understand you, find you and purchase your products or services, then you’re winning as a digital marketer.

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Got Empathy?

By Jim Bierfeldt, is president of Logistics Marketing Advisors, a marketing agency focused exclusively on logistics businesses. Jim recently surveyed buyers of logistics services on how to best get and keep their attention. Read that survey report here

As logistics marketers, the greatest gift we can bring to our work is empathy – a genuine understanding of the buyer’s needs, wants and feelings. This empathy informs our strategy and messaging work like nothing else.

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The Future is Now: Marketing, Sales Best Practices in Transportation, Logistics

The first-ever 2020 Logistics Marketing & Sales VIRTUAL Conference & Expo packed a punch with its informative and relevant session lineup and peer networking opportunities, all surrounding the theme, "The Future Is Now." 

Here are a few highlights:

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No offsite required: How to get your 2021 strategy set in 8 weeks

By Holly LaBoda, Partner and Co-Founder, Luminaries Consulting

Whose 2020 plans worked out the way they intended? Anyone? Bueller? 

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Q&A with Transportation Marketing Manager: Outsourcing Marketing Services

By Jennifer Karpus-Romain, Director of Marketing Services and Industry Outreach, FayeBSG

Being a small marketing team is challenging. You want to do it all –and often times are expected to – but that’s not possible. What’s the next step? Hiring new team members? What if that’s not in the budget? Then what?

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Rachel Steinberg Wants to Help Link You to Your Hardest Prospects

Rachel Steinberg specializes in helping companies connect with hard to reach prospects in challenging fields like oil & gas, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics management on LinkedIn.

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Traditional Selling Meets a Virtual World

By John Boyens, Co-Founder and President, Boyens Group and speaker at the 2020 Logistics Marketing & Sales Virtual Conference

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How to Effectively Host Virtual Meetings and Events

By Sara Black, Partner and Co-Founder, Luminaries Consulting

No one sits in the back row of a zoom classroom! That might seem like a minor detail but when everyone is front and center, it demands a different level of engagement and that’s a great thing. Last week TMSA and Luminaries Consulting partnered to offer a Virtual version of the Transportation Sales Workshop that was hosted in person last October. To our surprise, we enjoyed the session even more this time! We used tools like Slack, Zoom and Thinkific to engage learners in various ways but the best part was being “back together” with people from the industry, in a virtual environment that felt very much like the real thing. The two days went by quickly as we had a handful of large group discussions that we coined “zoom power hours”, small group breakout sessions, self-directed assignments, practice time to try new entrance strategies with prospect customers and create real time action plans for immediate application.  

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The New Golden Rule of Leadership

"Treat others how you want to be treated."  

I remember someone earlier on in my life passing along this nugget of wisdom and it made sense back then. For example, I like to be direct and straight to the point. So, as a leader, I was direct with everyone and assumed they were on the same page as me and were as short with me as I was with them. I don't like being told what to do, so I ensured everyone around me felt empowered and I expected no one to tell me what to do. I'm also a big hugger, therefore everyone gets a hug and I expected one in return (pre-Covid). I do my best to ensure people get what they need, therefore I expect everyone to make sure I get what I need. Makes sense, right?  

Let's dig in a bit deeper and think about this in terms of 4 basic human needs we have all shared since the dawn of time.  

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Creating Your Own Digital Brand Experience

COVID has dramatically changed event marketing strategies – particularly as they transition to either full-on virtual or a hybrid version of virtual/live. A TMSA Affiliate member, Exhibitpro explores in a 2-part series what these means to today’s marketing and sales professional in transportation and logistics. This is Part 2, which focuses on organizations that are interested in creating their own events – whether it be user conferences, workforce events, or anything in-between.

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Virtual Events: Making the Right Call for Your Company

COVID has dramatically changed event marketing strategies – particularly as they transition to either full-on virtual or a hybrid version of virtual/live. A TMSA Affiliate member, Exhibitpro explores in a 2-part series what these means to today’s marketing and sales professional in transportation and logistics. This is Part 1, which focuses on what marketing and sales pros should be considering when determining the virtual events in which they will participate. 

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See Most Successful Marketing Campaigns in Transportation

What are the ingredients to a marketing campaign that packs punch and generates results? Think about the fundamentals. Once you’ve identified the business need, challenge or opportunity, you need to clearly define your goals and objectives. Many smart marketers focus on SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based). Then it’s all about the development and execution of the strategy, all while measuring meaningful metrics and working toward generating the intended business results.

Along with these fundamentals, when it comes to marketing strategies in transportation and logistics, there are many unique factors to consider. Take a look at some best practices in marketing and sales specifically in this industry. TMSA recently announced 14 marketing and sales strategies that earned the 2020 TMSA Compass Award of Excellence and are considered best practices in marketing and sales specifically in the transportation and logistics world. Another 18 campaigns earned a TMSA Compass Award of Merit. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the most effective marketing and sales strategies earning the highest scores in this year’s competition. TMSA members can gain access to the full details of these award-winning programs in the Best Practices Library in the Members Only section.  

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Are You Growing or Dying?

July is always a turning point in the year for me. Half the year is gone, the rest of the summer goes by in a blink and all of a sudden its Q3. This July feels so different for a myriad of reasons, and the world has changed so much in the last 6 months. We are all feeling the impact personally and professionally, and while you’re probably sick of people talking about the “new normal”, but the brutal truth is the world isn’t, and in many ways shouldn’t, just go back to the way it was. So, if you are hoping you could just wait this out and get back to your status quo, consider this your wakeup call.

If your organizational strategy is the same as it was last year, you might be in a tough spot soon (and we should probably talk) because what worked last year isn’t going to work now, or next. The same can be said for your personal skills, what got you here isn’t necessarily going to cut it going forward. Or to put it bluntly, ala Lou Holtz, “you’re either growing, or you’re dying”. Which side of that equation do you want to be on?

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TMSA Members Recognized on Transport Topics Top 100 For-Hire Carrier List

Transport Topics recently announced its annual Top 100 For-Hire Carriers listing, which ranks companies based on annual revenue and includes a listing of operating units and description of services, names of top executives and type of ownership, plus data on the number of employees and equipment.

The Top 100 list also features a listing of carriers by sector, including truckload and dedicated, refrigerated, less-than-truckload, flatbed and heavy specialized, intermodal and drayage, package and courier, household goods and commercial delivery, motor vehicle and driveaway, tank and bulk, air and expedited and mail.

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“Hard Sell” Typically Means “No Sale”

Think about the last time you felt pressure from a salesperson. It could have been when you were shopping for a mattress a month ago or the last time you bought a car. Or maybe it was that random cold call you received from a telemarketer in the middle of the day last week at work. 

How did it make you feel? 

I’m guessing if you felt pressure, it wasn’t a “good” feeling at all. Instead, I expect you wanted to get out of the room (or off the phone) as quickly as possible. 

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Traditional Salesperson vs. a Trusted Advisor

You’ve got 30 seconds to write down as many words/phrases as possible that come to mind when I say the word: SALESPERSON


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3 Reasons You Need a Selling System

We hear it all the time: “I have my own style of selling.”

Or from sales management: “I let my salespeople do their own thing. As long as they’re bringing in business, I don’t care how they do it.” 

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Marketing Budget Priorities Shift during COVID

During the COVID crisis, marketing professionals in the transportation and logistics industry have dramatically shifted the focus of their marketing dollars. Before the COVID crisis began having a significant impact on the North American economy in February of this year, a significant portion of marketing budgets in transportation and logistics were focused on customer acquisition and lead generation. In fact, according to the 2020 TMSA Marketing & Sales Metrics Study, approximately 33% of marketing budgets were focused predominantly on customer acquisition and lead gen. Another 24% of marketing budgets were focused on brand awareness, according to the study.

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Purolator Leverages Video to Emphasize Key Brand Messages

More and more, video is being used strategically by marketing professionals in North American freight transportation to strengthen its brand, emphasize key messages, and engage prospects, customers, and key stakeholders. This is becoming even more commonplace as brands are brought to life in the virtual ecosystem of websites, social media, and now virtual meetings because of COVID-19.

Case in point: Purolator Inc., Canada’s leading integrated freight, parcel and logistics solutions provider. Purolator introduced a powerful video the emphasized key talking points by John Ferguson, the company's President and CEO (A sidenote: Ferguson previously served on the TMSA Board of Directors and also served as President and Chairman from 2005-2008 when he was in sales and marketing leadership roles with PBB Global and Schneider.) 

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