By John Golob, Winmore CMO and Founder

July 22nd, 2020

We all know the routine. We’re sitting in budget meetings with our finance team, arriving at the line item, “CRM Software,” and the CFO asks, “Why are we spending so much money on our forecasts? I mean…are our reps really using this CRM software every day?”

This is the reality that many of us face. It can be hard to encourage the adoption of CRM software for more than just a forecast and reporting tool…But why?

Well first, let’s try to understand why your average CRM software doesn’t always gel with logistics. Why are the requirements of brokers and asset operators so different than they are in other industries like banking, pharmaceuticals, and insurance?

Most standard CRM platforms have three core components: an email marketing engine, sales force automation, and contact software. They focus on traditional sales processes like territory and price management, revenue forecasting, and customer up-sells. Most of the time, these benefits are well-realized in the context of the industry.

Unfortunately, this model just isn’t a great fit for logistics and transportation…

The logistics industry isn’t one that works on email blasts, for example.  You may wish you had static prices, but it’s never the case. Plus, there’s no off-shore call center to manage customer questions!

So, it’s no surprise that CRM in transportation and logistics isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, the communication mix-ups that can result from traditional CRM have real impacts on your business. The Center for Supply Chain Research at Penn State recently found that poor information sharing caused problem after problem for logistics companies. Consequences started with poor customer satisfaction and negative word of mouth, but they sometimes escalated to more extreme measures like contract remediation!

To achieve customer success in our industry, we’ve got to think differently about how we’re using CRM. That’s especially true in how we connect solution design to solution delivery–in how we bring together commercial and sales teams with operations specialists.

It starts before the sales funnel, using technology to centralize and distribute critical information about RFPs and Tenders, RFQs, Credit Checks, and more. Technology can also help logistics providers execute strategic planning and maximize their profits. With good strategic management, providers can leverage the full array of their logistics services for each customer’s unique goals.

There’s room for improvement after the sales funnel, too. By streamlining the post-sales on-boarding process, providers can significantly reduce scope creep. Finishing the project on or ahead of schedule leads to wider profit margins and more accurate financial forecasting.

The logistics landscape has always been competitive, and the best performers have always been those who are willing to think outside the box (or the funnel).

– John     [email protected]