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Tips to boost sales in freight forwarding

Created on | Last updated on October 26, 2023 at 05:43 pm

Sales in freight forwarding are a dynamic and ever-evolving field, where success hinges on a combination of industry expertise, customer relationships, and adaptability to changing market conditions.

Working as a forwarder involves a sensitivity in understanding the diversity of partners in the business, and how to lead this relationship to establish a great partnership.

Even though the sales process in a forwarder has changed a lot in the past years, relating with people while doing the process hasn’t. 

For that reason, the way you communicate with your partners can be your biggest strength.

Concepts you should know before creating your sales strategy

Building a sales strategy for freight forwarders is a challenge and, more than that, a process that requires constant follow-up.

While each company has its own strategies there are basic concepts that must be considered to develop an effective strategy.

So before we get started, let’s take a look at some of these concepts:

Inbound sales begin when a lead comes from a potential customer reaching out to your forwarder to inquire about your services.

Outbound sales are the result of a prospecting effort to a potential customer who has not yet expressed interest in the service offered by your company.

Customer experience: the set of actions taken to improve the interactions between consumers and companies in all phases of the process.

Customer success: is related to the freight customer journey, and how it will succeed. The team responsible for customer success aims to help freight customers be more successful throughout their journey.

Sales Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): metrics that help sales teams measure their effectiveness and efficiency, aiming to improve processes.

How to increase sales in freight forwarding

If you are building your freight forwarding sales strategy or thinking about updating your current strategy, here are some tips to boost sales in freight forwarding that will help you:

Choose the right strategy

The first thing you must know to increase your sales in freight forwarding is what strategies you will use for each type of sale – inbound and outbound.

The main difference between inbound and outbound sales is the origin of the lead. 

So, when talking about these two types of sales, we can simplify by saying that:

Inbound sales are the process through which the customer/partner comes to you.

Outbound sales happen when your sales team makes an effort to attract new customers to your business.

Invest in customer experience

Customer experience must occur throughout the entire process, it can never stop.

Bringing the customer experience to the center of your forwarding company is a major key to success.

Once your partners are satisfied with the services you are providing. The more likely they are to come back and recommend your forwarder to others.

Become a customer-centric freight forwarder

Customer success is an essential mindset within your company if you want to ensure that the customer journey is the best it can be.

Take the time to listen to what your customers have to say, ask them how you can do a better job, and how you can help them, ask for suggestions, and be open to feedback. 

In addition to building a good relationship with your customers, it is important to build a relationship with your partners. 

Remember to always put your freight forwarding customers and your partners at the center of your business.

Know your forwarder company’s strengths and weaknesses

While building your freight forwarder’s sales strategy, keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses of your business. 

This way you will know what you can present to your customers as a strength and understand what can be improved. 

Likewise, you should also outline what goals your company wants to achieve. 

List everything that you think is possible for your company to achieve in a certain period of time and what steps are necessary for them to be achieved.

Establishing marketing strategies

Marketing and sales should go side by side in any business, and in a forwarder, it should be no different. 

To increase your freight forwarding sales it is important to also set up a marketing strategy for your company.

Investing in a digital marketing strategy for forwarders is crucial to the success of your business.

However, make sure that your forwarding company’s marketing strategy is aligned with your sales team’s strategies.

Build long-term relationships

Building a relationship with your forwarding partners is key to a successful business.

You can do this by becoming part of a logistics network (such as Parnity), joining LinkedIn and Facebook groups, and/or attending logistics events.

New business opportunities can come from your current partners.

Therefore, let them know that you are available if they need extra assistance, and they will continue to rely on you.

Know your freight company’s sales performance

Data is the foundation for understanding your freight company’s sales performance.

Therefore, sales metrics are indispensable tools to guide decision-making and provide a clearer view of the effectiveness of business strategies.

Based on the data provided by the logistics KPI, it is easier to identify the need for adjustments to achieve the goals considered relevant to the sales team.

Keep your team aligned and motivated

Even though your sales team is the one responsible for closing the partnerships, it’s important to keep your whole team engaged. 

Let everyone in your company know what are the main goals to be achieved, what is the plan to get there, and what each department needs to do to reach the objectives.

Especially because in a freight forwarder the sales process doesn’t start with the sales department.

In global logistics, not always the client you are speaking to is the decision-maker.

That’s why your team must get all the information they can to develop this possible new partner.

Tips to get forwarder shipping deals

Getting shipping deals as a forwarder involves building strong relationships with your partners, staying competitive in the market, and continuously optimizing your operations. 

Knowing how to get more shipping deals means understanding how to attract your target audience and turn them into customers.

Working as a forwarder also involves sensitivity to understanding the diversity of ways to attract new partners.

Here are some ways to get more forwarder shipping deals:

Learn how to showcase your freight forwarder

Your forwarding website should be one of your main focuses in the digital environment. 

That’s because it is a way for another forwarder to have their first contact with your company.

Besides that, it’s also a space dedicated exclusively to your forwarder in which you can add as much information as you feel is necessary.

However, keep in mind that potential partners can also find your profile within the logistics network you are part of. 

This is why it is so important to have a complete profile in the logistics network you are part of. 

For example, on Parnity – the evolution of Forwarder Networks, members have access to the most complete profile with crucial information as well as photos, videos, and financial background.

Your company profile and website are how you can be found by other forwarders.

The more complete they are, the greater your chances of being found by other companies.

Include Facebook and LinkedIn groups in your marketing strategy

The use of social media can bring many benefits to your company. 

You can start by updating or creating your company’s profile on social media, such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram. 

This way, potential partners will know that your company is active and can contact you through these profiles.

After updating (or creating) your company’s social media profile, you can look for groups focused on logistics and freight forwarding to join. 

Participating in social media groups is a great opportunity to improve your networking, make new partnerships, and advertise your services.

Facebook and LinkedIn groups, for example, are a great strategy for freight forwarding companies. 

In a group, you can, for example, share your company’s materials with a larger audience.

Besides that, you can also share industry insights to interact with other members.

Here is a LinkedIn group and a Facebook group that you can join if you are interested.

Use Parnity’s marketplace

Parnity is a digital logistics network with members in more than 75 countries who chose to use our community to find other forwarders and use the benefits we offer to improve their forwarding business.

Parnity’s innovative marketplace – the Business Hub, allows forwarders inside the network to add quotation requests and answer the quotations forwarders have added. 

By becoming a member of Parnity’s network, forwarders have access to a technology system where all members add their shipments on a daily basis to get quotations in up to 48 hours. 

Forwarders can add their requests to receive quotations and find businesses that other forwarders added to handle on their lane.  

This is an exclusive solution that Parnity has developed to revolutionize further the way forwarders around the world connect. 

The Business Hub allows you to post your quote requests and answer quotations from forwarders across the globe, making it easier and faster to build new partnerships.

In addition, you can quote all the orders you are interested in and submit your quotes quickly and easily.

You can also keep up with the status and updates on your submitted quotes, and get feedback on all the deals you’ve won or lost. 

Check out the video below to learn more about how Business Hub works!

Start expanding your business

Success in freight forwarding sales is not just about securing the best deals.

It is also about understanding the mindset of your potential partners and providing them with exactly what they are looking for.

Building a sales strategy is not an easy task but using the tips provided above, you will be able to outline the best path for your forwarder.