22 December 2022
Freight forwarding and shipping is a promising, yet highly competitive business area. Despite the huge demand for a modern logistics and transport service, competition in this sector is extremely high.
Many businesses who have already gained a foothold in the niche prefer to work the old-fashioned way – with proven clients and tried-and-true algorithms. However, in the face of fierce competition, transport companies cannot survive without constantly developing and promoting their services in the market. And here new challenges arise – businessmen do not know how to win new clients, and sometimes they do not want to spend money on this.
Inexpensive yet effective? Do such prospecting solutions exist? Yes, there are. Sales professionals often use prospect lists to contact new companies that are more likely to accept the services they offer.
Understanding how to create these lists can help you get an insight into who to contact and how to customize your offer for each unique potential customer. The message should be simple and brief: focus on your company’s strengths, geography, shipping times and costs, existing customers (preferably with big names) and their testimonials.
How to make a list of potential customers
Generating a list of potential customers can help you attract more customers and increase your income. It can also be a great way to learn more about your leads. Having a list of prospects can help to reduce the time you used to spend with your potential customers and to build a targeted client database.
Here are some steps you can take to build a list of potential customers:
1. Learn more about what you offer
Before you start building your list of prospects, it’s important to first understand what services you offer and what their potential benefits are. This can make it easier to identify potential clients and close deals. Most services help to solve only one particular problem, while others may solve several problems at once.
The more you know about your services, the better you will be able to assess exactly which sectoral companies would be potentially interested in your services and the easier it will be to find potential customers.
2. Start building your list
Once you have a better understanding of what you offer and what you want your target market to be, you can start working on targeting and generating lists of leads.
EasyList is exactly the tool you need for generating prospect lists. The algorithm is quite simple:
- Choose from the classification the positions you can transport (for example, in the case of liquid cargoes – it is vegetable oils, liquid fuels; in the case of bulk cargoes – grains, bulk building materials; in the case of unit loads – industrial equipment, food products);
- Choose the geographic area (country, province, district, city) that would be optimal for you in terms of warehousing and transport logistics;
- Select the positions of potential customers (this can be CEOs, top decision makers, sales supervisors or export/import officers);
- Set the range according to annual turnover (in case you are not interested in companies with low annual turnover figures);
- Set the range according to a number of employees (in case you are not interested in small business).
And – voila! – your customer list is ready for uploading!
3. Prioritize your leads
Once you’ve created a basic list of leads you can start researching and evaluating them. A qualified lead is a customer who has a high potential of purchasing your services and who fully meets your requirements. It is unlikely that every prospect you have on your list is a qualified lead, so it is important to determine the likelihood that the potential client will close the deal and give priority to the prospects who have a better chance of buying the service.
You can begin the process of lead qualifying by making an initial contact with the prospect via email, phone, in-person or at online meeting. At the first contact you will be able to find out more about the client’s needs, his business schedule, who has the powers to close deals and whether he has any budgetary constraints that might prevent him from making a deal. You’ll begin to work with the ‘voice of the customer’, which will help you with prioritizing your prospects.
4. Add additional details to your list and refine it
As you begin to qualify leads and find additional prospects to add to your list, it is vital to update the list to reflect any changes.
Monitor your response to phone calls or emails on a regular basis to better understand which prospects are showing the most interest and which channels of communication are most effective in getting a feedback. It’s also important to research your prospects and include as much information as possible, including any relevant information that relates in some way to their industry.
Template of a prospect list
Depending on how many prospects you plan to contact and what your goals are, your sales lead list may look different. Regardless of what you’re offering, it’s important to include basic contact information about each potential client.
EasyList helps to standardize the presentation of company data by offering a unified form of profile information for all prospects:
- Company name
- Company legal and visiting addresses
- Telephone number, e-mail, website
- Chief executives’ details
- Exports and/or imports
- Number of employees
- Financial data
- Products and services
Tips for building a list of potential clients
Here are some tips for building a verified list of leads that can create real sales opportunities:
Invest in SAAS solutions
Digital prospecting, lead generation and sales funnel and pipeline management solutions can simplify the processing and prioritization of your leads lists through automation. They can also reorder them as soon as new leads are added and manage those you no longer need. This can be particularly useful later in the sales cycle when you are negotiating and in the process of client management.
Examine the company finances as part of your research
A total of 76% of the top sales performers stated that they “always” do research before reaching out to a potential sales prospect. It’s important to consider a company potential growth and financing. If a company is doing well, sales potential is higher. Conversely, if the company is struggling, you may want to consider looking for a new potential customer. Companies that are growing rapidly may also have a lot of money to invest in other projects and have additional pain points. Accordingly, getting financial data on the company growth dynamics is quite vital.
Create a buyer persona
A buyer persona is a detailed description of your ideal customer, based on your own data and research. Creating a buyer persona can make it easier to identify prospects and see how appropriate they are. To create this persona, you can include basic demographic information about them in addition to information about their specific motivations and lifestyle.
Verify any contact information
When you’re building your list of prospects, it’s important to check each potential client contact information so you can be sure your calls and emails will be delivered. Consider using an automated tool if you want to check all contact details and save time.
The transport sector is a highly competitive ground. The battle for customers will be won by those who make the most of digital prospecting, lead generation and follow-up tools. EasyList is one such high precision targeting tool developed to simplify your prospecting and increase lead conversion rates.