Digital Freight

Lead Generation Quotiss

10 Lead Generation Tips for Freight Forwarders

The year 2020 was a unique and unusual time for many businesses, freight forwarding included. Handshakes and offline meetings became history, face masks and videoconferencing became a new reality. Logistic conferences, economic forums, and trade shows are left in 2019, and not coming back soon. Together with the traditional offline lead generation. How do you promote a freight forwarding business in 2021?

 

Today, in 2021, several digital tools have proven to be a great way to generate B2B leads, acquire new customers, and grow the freight forwarding business. We will give you 10 useful tips on how to promote a freight forwarding business that you can start using right now!

 

Lead Generation in Freight Forwarding

 

In economics, one has to run to stand still. And “if you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that” – The Red Queen. The number of new leads is an important key sales metric for the team – the sales funnel should always be full of potential deals to cover the unexpected losses.

 

The traditional way of lead generation (conferences, meetings, forums, trade shows, fairs, etc.)  is currently unavailable. Online lead generation can bring certain benefits to freight forwarders, and this time it remains the only option anyway.

 

How to Promote a Freight Forwarding Business?

 

1. Optimize Your Website

Your website is your first most important asset in the online world. Make sure you have the basics covered: your page must have a modern look, the right amount of information, simple navigation, and a clear message to your potential customer. Insert the ‘subscribe’ box to collect emails, connect Live Chat, or add a link for a quick online consultation. Don’t forget to connect analytics to your website to measure the results. You can also invest in SEO and SEM to improve the ranks of your page in search engines.

2. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles

Your social media page is your second most important asset in the online world. In the B2B segment, the preference is given to LinkedIn, but Facebook and Twitter could also be worth considering. Your company’s social media profiles should be regularly updated. This way your potential clients will know that your business is ‘alive and kicking, and they will be more likely to contact you. Of course, your company profile should be visually appealing, and the content should be engaging.

3. Produce Engaging Content

The information that you share on your website, blog, or social media profiles should be relevant, interesting, and engaging. It also should be unique: no copy-pasting from other resources (beware of the Google algorithms). The more engaging is your content, the more people will interact with it (like, comment, share, repost, subscribe, follow) – the bigger coverage you will achieve as a result.

4. Ask Your Clients for Referrals

People trust people and their opinions. Ask your current customers to write a review about your service, or ask them to fill in the survey and answer a few questions about their satisfaction with your cooperation. Post these reviews on your webpage (don’t forget to get permission to use their name, company, photo, logo, etc.) so that your potential customers can refer to this experience.

5. Implement Targeted Campaigns

Keep your sales leads engaged by sending them regular communication. News, promotions, special offers, announcements, industry, or market events – anything that would keep your potential customers in the loop.

There are plenty of email marketing tools on the market, designed for email campaigns. However, with Quotiss freight forwarders can manage their sales leads more efficiently by sending customized freight quotes, targeted for a specific market/campaign. You can also measure the conversion ratio, open ratio, and future bookings.

6. Integrate an Online Freight Calculator

Customization of your webpage would give an extra value differentiator against your competitors. The most common differentiator these days is an online freight calculator. Shipping lines are successfully pioneering online rates, and some forwarders started to offer online freight calculators too. However, in most cases, it’s a simple online form (fill in => submit => wait for email).

Real online freight calculators will soon become the new norm. The ‘only’ problem with them is to ensure that it always gives the quote which is relevant to the client/market, and the level is the same as if it was quoted by the sales rep. This is only possible when a freight forwarder has an excellent internal rate management tool, with applied pricing guidelines. If you’d like to learn more about such a tool, please contact Quotiss.

7. Cooperate with Freight Forwarding Networks

It would be a waste not to use the freight forwarding network effect. Most likely, you are already a member of a few networks of such a business nature. Make sure that other members of the network know about the specifics of your business. You can create separate email campaigns to keep them in the loop of the latest service updates. The network effect will increase the coverage and bring more potential leads to your company page.

8. Keep an Eye on Your Competition

Monitor your competitors online to be aware of what they are up to. Get inspiration and correct your online strategy based on the steps that they take. But also remember, that your value proposition should be unique to stand out.

9. Engage with Your Audience

Always attend to every request that you are receiving from an online channel. Unanswered comments on your company page do not give a good impression.

An idea for advanced companies: organize an online workshop or seminar on a relevant subject. Use every opportunity to tell your target audience about the benefits of trusting their business to your company. Show your expertise.

 

What’s the Tip #10?

 

The lead generation process (both online and offline) can be quite costly for any business, and it can be a complete waste of resources without proper follow-up.

Here is tip #10: simplify and automate the process of adding a new lead to your CRM system. The lead management module should be user-friendly and intuitive, very easy to use, and practical. Sales reps don’t want to spend 20 min of their time updating all required fields in their CRM to create a new record, especially when there is an uncertain chance of success. Sending a ‘test quote’ to a new lead should be fast and fully automated.

Quotiss software can help you to automate your sales process, and simplify your sales lead follow-up. This is especially crucial at a time when most sales teams work remotely and need a smart and simple software to collaborate efficiently.

 

Ready, Set, Automate!

Click here to register for a free trial. We’ll help with the initial settings and user onboarding. You can start quoting freight instantly on the same day we sign the deal.

Software as a Service in Logistics

4 Reasons to choose “Software as a Service” in Freight Forwarding

What is “Software as a Service” (or SaaS) and how is it different from regular software? Read this guide to navigate with ease in the changing tech environment.

 

…80% of the products and services being consumed today are different from those that were being consumed five years ago. And five years from today, fully 80% of the products being used will be new and different from those being used today” – Brian Tracy, public speaker, author.

 

What Do You Buy When You Buy Software?

 

Software is a digital commodity, yet for years it’s been treated as a physical product. Corporate software license deals can cost millions of dollars, paid in exchange for a single CD. Very expensive CD.

But there is a very big difference between buying software vs buying an actual physical product. When you own a product, you have all the rights to use it as you wish, until it finishes, breaks, gets lost, etc. With the software, it’s not that straightforward. Usually, what you really buy – is the right to use the software.

Salesforce.com is probably the first most famous “Software as a Service” (or SaaS). The model proved to be very successful and challenged many of the traditional enterprise software vendors.

 

Benefits of Software as a Service

 

The SaaS model has flourished because of the many benefits it offers to businesses of all sizes and types. In freight forwarding and logistics, the most popular SaaS products are Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM), software that generates freight quotes, freight rate management software, white-label solutions that enable online quotes, etc.

 

1. SaaS is easy to use

SaaS applications are available from any computer or any device – anytime, anywhere. Because most people are familiar with using the Internet, SaaS apps tend to have high adoption rates, with a shorter training period.

 

2. Lower costs

SaaS applications are subscription-based, which means lower initial costs. Having the SaaS provider manage the IT infrastructure means lower own IT costs.

 

3. Painless implementation and upgrades

Because the SaaS provider manages all updates and upgrades, customers don’t need to download or install updates. The SaaS provider also manages availability – all you need as a customer is a web browser and internet access.

 

4. Seamless integration, customization, and scaling

SaaS companies can scale indefinitely to meet customer demand, including customization if required. Plus, many provide APIs that let you integrate with any existing ERP or other business productivity systems.

 

SaaS is Innovation

 

When you are a small business, then Software as a Service solution seems to be the best choice – it can be quickly deployed and tested (most SaaS offers a trial period for free or a fraction of a price). A monthly subscription plan usually allows 1-3 months’ cancellation notice and makes it a pain-free investment, rather than purchasing a heavy IT infrastructure and technical support. Probably the biggest problem for small businesses is the enormous amount of choice that’s already available in the SaaS market. Read here on how to choose the best SaaS for your business.

Larger companies have a set of challenges to deal with when it comes to Software as a Service, mostly around integration with existing enterprise software. Still, SaaS is the most cost-effective way to go to get to the forefront of innovation.

 

Quick-Start with SaaS – Quotiss Software

 

Software as a Service challenges the way business operates today. The biggest advantage of all is how quickly it can be re-shaped and re-purposed by a constantly changing business environment. If you’d like to try something new in your business, this is the right time to do it!

Click here to register your trial account in Quotiss online. We’ll activate it and help with the initial settings and user onboarding. Start uploading your freight ratesheets and quoting freight instantly from Quotiss on the same day we sign the deal.

Quotiss Freight Software

6 Reasons Why Quotiss Freight Software is the Right Choice

If you don’t have any freight sales automation software in place today, you should not worry about it. You can get one in under an hour and start sending fully automated freight quotes right away.
Here’s how: Choose Quotiss freight software to power your sales team!

 

If you want to keep it simple, the easiest way is to register for a free trial. It takes less than 1h to set up a working account, which you and your team can test free of charge for 14 days.

Yes, we believe so strongly in the power of our software that we offer a free trial—regardless of the size of your business or the number of users you have on your account.

For most freight forwarding businesses, when choosing the freight software, you’ll get the best results if you look for the following features:

 

  • Easy setup—even for non-technical users (15-30 minutes)

Quotiss account can be created and configured in as little as 15-30 minutes, even for non-technical users.

For example, if you’re already registered for the Quotiss trial and you want to switch to a full version, it only takes about 15 minutes to configure it. This includes adding your logo, users, teams, a set of terms & conditions for your quotes, etc.

 

  • Configuration options to match your brand

Within your quoting software, you’ll find options for the color, branding, and design of your freight quotes. These should be easily configurable from menus you can access directly from settings.

If you need to create custom code to change the look and feel of your freight quote, we offer many options for customization. It can be based on your own design, or with the help of our professional graphic designer.

 

  • Easily searchable

Make sure to choose sales automation software that makes it easy for your sales team to search and find archived freight quotes and historical freight rates. Many software options do not come with a strong native search function. In Quotiss, the search is a state-of-art engine, searching through the entire database by context and keywords in milli-seconds.

 

  • Optimized for mobile

As of 2020, 52% of all web traffic came from mobile devices, with the vast majority of that happening on smartphones. If you’re looking for freight quoting software, make sure the software is optimized to create freight quotes that work well on mobile devices—not just desktop computers.

That way your sales team can create and send freight quotes no matter where they are or what device they’re using.

 

  • A web widget option for your homepage

One of the best features of freight quoting software is the ability to integrate your freight rate database into a widget you can place directly on your homepage.

If you’re a Quotiss user, a web widget is included with your account—meaning you don’t need a separate popup tool to add a quoting widget to your site. With a flexible system of margins per client, per route, per product, and/or per contract, you can make sure that your customer will retrieve the right freight rate online. The same rate as he would get from a sales rep.

 

  • Affordable and supported for the long term

Once you’ve selected and implemented a good-fit freight software, you usually won’t want to make major changes for a while. For that reason, it’s important to ensure whatever freight software you choose is affordable and will be supported by the developer for the long term.

 

Sales Automation Software for Freight Forwarders

 

You can find all these features and many more in Quotiss software, designed for automating sales for freight forwarders.

As a small or medium-sized freight forwarder, you can apply the right software solution and increase your sales productivity without increasing the headcount. When your sales process is powered by Quotiss, you become fast, efficient, and win more deals.

Quotiss is a practical software solution for freight forwarders, which automates all kinds of freight quotes in a smart and simple way.

Sign up for the free trial now – go digital today.

 

logistics startups disrupt freight forwarding

Startups in Freight Forwarding – Hot or Not?

In the last 5 years, the number of startups willing to disrupt the ‘traditional freight forwarding industry’, has been skyrocketing. Is ‘disruption of freight’ still a hot trend in 2020?

This post is inspired by the report ‘Startup Funding in Logistics’, published by McKinsey in May 2020 (highly recommended reading).

 

Startup Funding Statistics

 

The logistics industry became very hot in 2015, with funding growing 76% per annum. Most of the funds have been poured into the last-mile delivery services (9.9 BLN$), road freight marketplaces & solutions (6 BLN$), and the warehousing sector (3.3 BLN$).

The most exciting category is “Air & Ocean transportation” – these are the startups that aim to disrupt the traditional freight forwarding. Those startups received 1.6 BLN$, most of it (a whole 1.3 BLN$) went to Flexport – leaving just a fraction of funds for the other 300 startups in the group. An example of unfair Pareto distribution.

 

Logistics startup funding data Quotiss

Trillion-Dollar Industry

 

Those startups who fall under the “Air & Ocean transportation”, Flexport included, have the same 3 lines they use in their VC sales pitch:

  • “Freight forwarding is a trillion-dollar industry”
  • “People book tickets and taxi via apps, so we build an app for freight forwarding”
  • “Freight forwarders run their business on Excel, phones, e-mails, and fax machines”

This sales pitch immediately raises questions:

  • Why is there still no freight forwarding app in 2020?
  • Why is there still no huge success of Flexport?
  • Why is Flexport still the only one well-funded digital forwarder? (I do not count those owned by the traditional forwarders).

There is a number of reasons why the freight forwarding industry has not yet been disrupted as promised.

 

Uber for Freight

 

One of the reasons is the B2B nature of the forwarding business. People book taxi via app, but people do not book freight. Businesses book freight. And this fact takes us to a different level of transaction complexity. What adds more complexity, is that there are several parties involved in transportation, including government services. In the case of international transport, we should also count customs, cross-border laws, inspections, etc.

To put it shortly, booking and shipping a container is 100x more complex than booking and riding a taxi. This is also the reason why there are so many logistics software companies on the market – the complexity and local specifics of the forwarding business make it impossible to come up with a one-size-fits-all software.

A possible solution would be to standardize shipping and forwarding to the level that exists in aviation today, get rid of all ‘local exceptions’ and ‘special permissions’. There are steps in this direction, but it’s a long way.

 

Booking.com for Importers and Exporters

 

In shipping and forwarding, freight rates are negotiated. It is very unlikely that someone can accept the online rate from the website. Such rates are considered the ‘entry-level’, and then negotiation begins.

This tradition definitely slows down the adoption of the freight marketplace – a platform where importers and exporters can book freight online by selecting the best offer from a forwarder (like ‘Skyscanner’ or ‘Booking.com’ for freight).

If there is a small shipment in question, it’s easier to outsource the delivery to the e-commerce platform. If there is a bigger shipment, it usually involves higher risks & costs related to the transaction complexity (see above), a direct contract with the 3PL company is a rational choice.

For the freight marketplaces to thrive for B2B, the market has to change its dynamics. There are steps in this direction, but it’s a long way.

 

Trillion-Dollar Industry with Low Margins

 

Last, but not least – freight forwarding is a low-margin business (click to read an interesting article by Eric Johnson). The ROI is not that attractive for the VCs, and until that changes, we will not see many startups who want to be the next Flexport.

Flexport is a digitally-enabled freight forwarder. Their main source of income comes from the commissions for transporting goods. In terms of business model, they are no different from a traditional forwarder.

What about the digital component? Well, if we look closer at the “traditional” forwarding companies, we will see that most of them use quite a lot of software in their daily operations. And there are no fax machines anymore 😊

So what is the difference, if there is no difference?

 

Sales Automation means Higher ROI

 

A solution to making ROI more attractive is to increase sales margins and reduce costs. A good idea would be to start with sales automation. Sales automation is the digitization of manual, time-consuming sales tasks using software, artificial intelligence (AI), data analysis, and other digital tools. It aims to simplify the daily sales workflow and bring transparency to the commercial aspects of the business. With sales automation on your side, you and your sales team can accomplish more on an average day than you used to on your best days. Your results will speak for themselves.

Quotiss software is everything your sales organization needs for freight rate management and sales automation. With Quotiss, you can easily upload your freight rates and local charges, automate your freight quotes (yet keep them personalized and human), track and follow up on the deals in the pipeline, and monitor sales performance in real-time.

With a free trial you can be 100% sure that Quotiss software is the right solution for your organization. After the account activation, you can follow the user guide to add clients and test our instant freight quotes module.

Maersk Spot Quotiss

Maersk Spot is Integrated with Quotiss

We are happy to announce the integration of the Maersk Spot product with Quotiss Freight Software. Quotiss is now using Maersk Spot APIs, allowing seamless connection with the single sign on to our customers.  With this integration, freight forwarders can check Maersk Spot rates directly in Quotiss, compare Maersk Spot rates with the other contract rates, and quote instantly.

 

What is Maersk Spot?

 

Maersk Spot is a unique product of its kind. It enables instant freight quotes, guarantees equipment availability, and cargo loading on Maersk, Sealand, and Safmarine services irrespective of the peak season at a fixed price.

Mr. Marcin Zarzecki, CEO of Quotiss, says, “Maersk Spot integration is an important first step towards deeper freight digitalization. We can’t wait for other ocean carriers to follow this trend to share freight rates via API.

The quick access to the dynamic online spot rates feels like a digital revolution in the industry. It’s not a secret, that pricing and quoting freight in shipping is largely manual and involves a lot of back and forth email exchange of large Excel freight ratesheets. Enabling rate access in one click via API, shipping lines save a lot of time for freight forwarders. Enabling rate access to third-party software providers, like Quotiss, shipping lines create a solid digital foundation for further industry digitalization on a larger scale.

With this integration, Quotiss aims to promote online freight rates and enable online bookings, using a very simple and intuitive user experience. It is also another step towards selling freight online.

 

The Benefits of the Integrated Maersk Spot Product

 

Maersk launched Maersk Spot in early 2019, and even though the product doesn’t yet cover all trade lanes and container types, it is already very mature and stable. This is a revolutionary step in the right direction, long-awaited by all industry players. Simplification is the key for the digitalization when it comes to freight rates.

A number of our clients told us that they had been waiting for this product for 2 main reasons:

  • No need to login to Maersk.com separately to check the spot rates on each corridor (single sign-on saves time);
  • Advanced software integration with ocean carriers adds winning points to the competitiveness of their services.

This might be a biased statement, but as a person who spent 10 years working in Maersk Line, I’d like to add, that Maersk is one of the most innovative companies in the industry. They are well known for being a trendsetter in the digitization of container shipping, and hopefully, other carriers will follow this rate API trail shortly. #alltheway

 

About A.P. Moller – Maersk

 

A.P. Moller – Maersk is an integrated container logistics company working to connect and simplify its customers’ supply chains. As the global leader in shipping services, the company operates in 130 countries and employs roughly 76,000 people. For more information: www.maersk.com

 

Quick-Start with Quotiss Software

 

These days, efficiency becomes a very strong competitive advantage for forwarders. Since there is less cargo on the market as a consequence of COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to win as many bookings as possible.

Sales teams in freight forwarding companies can be very efficient with the right set of sales automation tools. Quotiss software could be the right solution to digitize your sales process. You will increase your sales productivity without increasing headcount. When your business is driven by efficiency, it directly impacts your company’s bottom line.

Click here to register your company in Quotiss. We’ll activate your account, and help with the initial settings and implementation. You can start using Quotiss on the same day we sign the deal.

Freight software Quotiss

5-Step Guide to Choose The Best Freight Software

Warning: the best freight software doesn’t exist.

 

Every freight forwarder is now bombarded with messages about the inevitable digitization of freight and the equally inevitable death of traditional analog forwarding. Chances are, you’ve already reviewed a couple of software options for your sales team. Maybe, you’ve implemented some tools by now, but still, monitor the market for better freight software solutions.

Software solutions on the market are very different in terms of their features, functionality, price, and many other factors. Some of these solutions are (technically) the “most-used” or “highest-reviewed” of all the available tools—although, it varies greatly depending on the source you turn to. The truth is you don’t want to look for the “best of the best.” Rather, you want the best-fit freight software solution for your business.

Finding the right freight software for your sales team isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. But, by investing the proper amount of time and energy, you’ll ensure this will pay off in the future. And our 5-step guide will help you navigate in the sea of options.

 

1. Start with your team

 

First, get an idea of what a “day in the life” looks like for your sales rep. Ask questions regarding their efficiency and impact on customer experience, as this is what you want to maximize with the new software. Ask for input regarding the desired features in freight software for them. For example:

  • What tasks do they typically perform every day?
  • Where do they regularly face slowdowns or obstacles?
  • What actions or efforts on their part are most appreciated by customers?

Next, review their current tools. Generate discussion around topics such as:

  • Where does your current solution allow them to be most effective?
  • Where does it fail or cause frustration?
  • What tasks do they find themselves doing over and over?
  • What features most benefit the customer experience, and what do not?

Don’t forget to cross off the unrealistic expectations.

 

2. Determine your specific needs

 

This next step follows the previous – consider how the use of a new freight software fits into your current sales processes. Ask tactical, customer-centric questions such as:

(a) What formats do you need to use?

Speaking of sales & procurement process, think about the channels and formats that your customers & suppliers use. Is it an e-mail with a detailed freight quote in attachment or a quick all-in indication? Is it a message in WhatsApp (WeChat) or a large Excel freight ratesheet with all possible port-port combinations and costs? Or maybe, a link to their online self-quoting platform, like Maersk Spot?

The right freight software should allow you to be very efficient with managing your suppliers and very flexible with catering to your clients’ needs in a format that they want to use.

(b) What specific features and functions do you need?

Sales automation software is meant to streamline your sales processes as a whole. How these tools do so depends on the individual tool in question. Most freight software solutions have their own fixed set of functions and features. It’s up to you to determine which combination will benefit your organization the most. The bare minimum is this (for all the obvious reasons):

Most freight software solutions come with the above features, so you will have to consider the quality and simplicity (ease of use) of these features.

(c) What other tools need to connect?

Chances are you already use other digital tools, like CRM or TMS. Your new freight software solution should integrate well with the software you currently use. Your commercial business data should be synced to ensure the most accurate information.

 

3. Make a list of options and narrow it down

 

Make a list of all of the software solutions that could potentially benefit your sales team. You can use software discovery and comparison tools like Capterra. Select the right software category: Freight Software, Shipping Software, Logistics Software. Apply filters to sort the results. Read the verified user reviews.

Add important information about each solution: price, contract terms, key features, etc. Go through the list with your team, and focus on the features each software solution highlights.

Narrow the list down to at most five choices:

  • remove any software that is not designed for freight forwarding.
  • remove any software that doesn’t have the features you’re looking for.
  • remove any software that is too complex.
  • remove any software that is too expensive.

 

4. Test-drive your shortlist

 

Contact each software provider to schedule a demo of their product. These demos are created to show exactly what potential customers should expect from the software. Additionally, you get to engage with the provider and gather more information about them.

To further help you come to a decision, you’ll likely be able to sign up for a trial. It’s important to implement each tool within your sales team instead of testing it only on the simulated situations. While it may seem a bit risky to undertake this sort of “trial by fire,” that’s the point.

The best solution for your team will be the one they’re able to easily pick up and run with. On the contrary, if your sales team isn’t able to quickly get along with the new tool, chances are this will be only the beginning of your troubles with this software.

At this point, you’ll have covered pretty much all the bases:

  • Assessed your options from a variety of perspectives and angles
  • Viewed demos of each of your top options in action
  • Experienced hands-on the tools that most aligned with your needs

All that’s left now is to sign the deal and start the onboarding of your team with your new freight sales software!

 

5. Evaluate your decision

 

After you’ve had time to integrate your new freight software, you’ll want to evaluate whether you made the right decision or not. This involves revisiting everything we’ve discussed thus far, and determining whether your tool of choice has:

  • Lived up to your expectations
  • Helped your team overcome their initial pain points
  • Positively impacted your team’s productivity and your company’s bottom line

Collect the input from your sales team, managers, and customers. There are several areas you should focus on:

  • Ease of use
  • Flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Communication
  • Cost

Ideally, your experience in all these areas should be positive. Realistically, there will be some issues, but if you are overall satisfied and ready to recommend this freight software to others – you made the right choice!

Best Freight Forwarding Software

What is the Best Freight Forwarding Software?

 

Freight forwarding software for the sales teams enables freight forwarders to easily manage, organize, and automate freight rates and quotes.

The ultimate goal of freight forwarding software is to automate sales and improve experiences for the people who matter most for your business: your sales team and your customers.

It may sound obvious, but your sales team is the first department to meet & greet your clients. It is very important to ensure that they have the right digital tools to efficiently interact with clients.

Freight software relates to the following commercial business processes:

  • Freight rate management
  • Automation of freight quotes
  • Automated follow up on deals
  • Sales performance stats

 

1. Excel as Freight Forwarding Software

 

Forwarders with small to mid-size businesses typically rely on Excel and email to manage their freight tariffs and quotes, and they do so for a reason… First of all, it’s free. Second, until the organization reaches a certain size of the client database, there is no pain in maintaining Excel files and templates. Third, Excel files are very flexible and have no limits in editing possibilities.

The basic features and functions offered by Excel and email may be sufficient … until they’re not. If you’re reading this, you likely already know that. There will come a time when relying on a simple Excel file can lead to disaster.

As your client database and the sales team grow, you’re going to face the limitations:

  • Hard to track quote requests: which ones are already addressed, which are still pending, which have been accepted, and more. This is causing frustration for both – your sales team and your customers.
  • Hard to track freight rate revisions: maintaining your actual freight rates in Excel file can lead to disaster faster than you think.
  • Hard to collaborate: you’ll eventually need to assign multiple customers to your sales teams. This makes it easy for quote requests to go ignored, with each team member assuming someone else is taking care of it.

Using Excel and email can be ideal through the initial stages of growth. But, it will eventually become an ineffective solution as your customer base grows larger and more complex.

 

2. Less-than-Optimal Freight Software

 

Perhaps you’re a bit further along and are currently using a freight forwarding software solution that, well … isn’t exactly optimal for your company. There are a number of freight forwarding tools on the market, not all of them are created equal. And, really: they’re not supposed to be.

Some tools are developed with small businesses in mind; others are created for enterprises. Some tools cater to those with complex needs, while others are more holistic. And some solutions are built for companies operating in a specific niche.

Freight software solutions objectively high in quality can be worthless in your situation. In fact, using freight software that isn’t a great fit for your company can actually do more harm than good:

  • If the software is too technical, your team might not have the ability to use it to its highest capacity.
  • If the software is too feature-heavy, you’ll likely be paying for features you’ll never end up using.
  • If the software is too expensive, it may not actually be worth the value it provides your company in the first place.

And, of course, your current software simply might not meet your current standards or needs. Perhaps it’s lacking in more advanced features, or it doesn’t integrate with some of your other tools.

Whatever the case may be, the last thing you want to do is continue using it. Start looking for a better fit moving forward.

 

3. No Freight Forwarding Software

 

If you haven’t been focused on sales optimization processes at all, you’re simultaneously at an advantage and a disadvantage. On the plus side, you haven’t invested in any wrong tool. The downside – you’re losing on sales automation benefits.

No matter which of these three categories you fall into, your commercial business processes probably aren’t currently running at their highest capacity. Even if nothing is going wrong in this area, your sales team can absolutely benefit from switching to a freight automation solution tailored specifically to their needs.

The truth is you don’t want to look for the “best of the best.” Rather, you want the best-fit solution for your business. In our next article, we’ll explain how to choose the best freight software for your business. In the meantime, you can register for a free trial with Quotiss software.

Click here to register your company online. We’ll activate your company’s profile and help with the initial settings and user onboarding. You can start uploading your freight ratesheets and quoting freight instantly on the same day we sign the deal.

Quotiss freight software

6 Steps for Freight Software Onboarding Success

Moving your team to a new freight software system is a complex project in itself. Combining that with remote work, creates a recipe for deep anxiety. In this post, we’ll give you a few tips on how to make switching to a new freight software as painless as possible even when your sales team is remote.

 

Step 1: Start with the right motivation

 

Some employees might be hesitant or nervous about the process of switching to new freight software. Try to think about the real root issues that might be causing it. Our guide will help you to create a positive and welcoming environment. Usually, the main reasons are the following:

  • They are worried that learning new software is complicated;
  • They don’t see what’s in it for them personally;
  • They don’t see how the new solution is better than the old one;
  • They don’t see what the benefit is for the company’s bottom line.

For a successful onboarding, all of the above shall be addressed before the rollout starts. You need to understand that every change takes time and effort from the team. This means that nobody should feel pressured, to start using new software overnight. Especially if you’re coming from using MS Excel and email as your quoting tool.

 

Step 2: Create and share the onboarding process with your employees

 

The best way to plan smooth onboarding to a new freight software is to do it gradually. Instead of switching everything at once, start with a smaller team or a designated group of clients. Here’s an example of a transparent process for onboarding the team to new software like Quotiss:

  • Schedule a meeting with your team⁠ to introduce and discuss the new tool.
  • Schedule another meeting to demonstrate the software and what it can do (this should be done by someone who knows it really well).
  • Discuss, address immediate questions and concerns.
  • Appoint the Project Manager.
  • Set the date when everyone will sign up and play around.
  • Hold another short call or meeting to ask if anyone has questions.
  • Set the date to switch over completely, allowing some more time for the test mode.
  • Keep checking back to see if anyone’s having issues.

 

Step 3: Explain the personal benefits of new software

 

Start by understanding what your sales reps really want and address each point translating it into the benefit. Let your team know that their personal happiness and productivity is a very important factor. There’s a good chance that everyone on your team wants to:

  • Be productive and get more done:

New freight software will eliminate a lot of repetitive and time-consuming tasks, which will allow them to get more done and feel great about it.

  • Gain new useful skills:

The software will be another tool to add to their list of skills. They have the opportunity to become an expert and get valuable on-the-job training.

  • Feel valued and appreciated by other team members:

Getting more done and collaborating more efficiently will benefit the whole company, and it won’t go unnoticed.

 

Step 4: Highlight the company-wide benefits

 

“How is it better than what we were using before?” This is one of the main questions the team might be wondering. And it makes sense⁠—if the new solution isn’t clearly better than the old one… why even switch? Document all benefits and discuss them in person with your team⁠ to create a positive mindset.

Focus on two main topics:

  1. Pain points you had with your previous solution (and how the new one removes them)

Example: With Excel, we had cases when sales reps never attended to the freight quote request because there was no easy way of knowing if the quote was already being handled by another team member. With Quotiss, you can immediately see if a freight quote has already been sent to a customer or is currently in the process of preparation.

  1. Features the new solution has that the old one didn’t (and why they’re awesome).

Example: With Quotiss, you can see when the client has opened the freight quote and follow up immediately to close the deal. This will improve our efficiency as a team.

 

Step 5: Explain how it affects business goals and KPIs

 

The core elements for larger financial returns when you invest in the right freight software are the following:

  • Reduced time to send freight quotes leaves more time for actual selling
  • 100% accuracy of quoted freight rates means no lost revenues on manual errors
  • Automated follow-up on deals brings more won deals

Simply put – automation of the sales process drives more sales and improves customer experience.  The research published in the Harvard Business Review says that customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience. By helping customers get the most out of your service through amazing sales support, you create an experience they’ll be willing to pay for.

 

Step 6: Appoint a Project Manager

 

Last, but not least – appointing a Project Manager turns out to be extremely important. This person should be an expert in your internal sales process, also passionate about tech and innovation. The main responsibilities of the Project Manager are the following:

  • being an internal super-user and coordinator for the onboarding process
  • being an internal go-to person and consultant for all new software-related matters
  • being an external communicator and a single point of contact for the freight software vendor

Practice shows that companies with the Project Manager have smoother and faster onboarding and higher satisfaction level.

 

Quick-Start with Quotiss Software

 

Onboarding your sales team on a new freight software doesn’t have to be painful, ⁠—but you have to take the right approach and most importantly, choose the right software!

Click here to register your company online. We’ll activate your company’s profile and help with the initial settings and user onboarding. You can start uploading your freight ratesheets and quoting freight instantly on the same day we sign the deal.

The Best Freight Rate Management Software: 4 Unique Ways To Use Quotiss

A totally biased article on why Quotiss is the best freight rate management software for small and medium-sized freight forwarders.

 

At his previous corporate sales job, Quotiss CEO Marcin Zarzecki had never had practical software to send instant freight quotes to his clients but he knew it was crucial to be fast and efficient to achieve his sales targets.

He tried using the corporate tools, but they were not efficient and more so, added complexity to his sales routine. Then he tried good old Excel & Email combination, but that was lacking basic automation. Then he tested some of his own ideas, based on Excel templates automated by a moderate homemade macro. It was overwhelming.

The recipe for success is simple: you’ve got to create a million freight quotes yourself to feel the pain => become an expert in the field => find a solution => test & analyze => remove 90% of complexity => digitize => create Quotiss.

This is the principal moment where Quotiss is different from other startups in the field:

If no one at the C-level of your company ever quoted a freight rate, you can’t claim to be a freight automation startup.

Rather than provide a vague comparison list of freight sales automation platforms, we’re breaking down how our clients use our software to grow their business and how it could work for you too.

 

4 Unique Ways to Use Freight Rate Management Software

 

We’ll save you the time of describing the basic features. Quotiss rate management software includes all the essential functions a freight forwarding business needs.

With the shift to remote work due to COVID-19, we see the increasing interest in the software that can boost sales in freight forwarding. And businesses that never even heard of sales automation software are finding Quotiss. They’re using it to help them collaborate easier and work through quote requests as a remote team.

Below, we will list the not-so-obvious benefits of Quotiss that you can use to boost your sales:

 

  1. Automate Marketing & Communication

You can use our powerful quote distribution engine to streamline and target your marketing message directly to the clients. Group and segment your customers by using custom #hashtags to create mailing lists.

 

  1. Enhance Follow-up on Quotes

Did you know that Quotiss shows the exact date & time when your client opened the freight quote that you’ve sent? Use this data for a targeted follow-up with your customer!

 

  1. Use Sales Dashboard

Your sales performance stats are LIVE. Know your average margins per segment, know your win rates per sales team, know how many sales leads each team generates. Make informed business decisions.

 

  1. Monitor Quotiss Weekly Trends

Clients who’ve been using Quotiss for freight quote distribution since day one, show significant growth in the number of sent freight quotes since the beginning of the lockdown. We started sharing the weekly statistics of sent quotes on our LinkedIn page. Follow us to be up to date with the sales activity trend across the industry.

Would You Like a Quick Start with Quotiss?

 

Click here to register your company. We’ll activate your company’s profile and help with the initial settings and user onboarding. You can start uploading your freight ratesheets and quoting freight from Quotiss on the same day we sign the deal.

freight ratesheets

Freight Forwarding in the Time of Corona

In just one month our world changed so much, that it will never be the same again. The majority of the offline activities switched to online: meetings, events, education, entertainment, wellness, shopping. Those businesses that were not online are either pivoting or closing down.


The Impact on Carriers

How does coronavirus impact the transportation of goods? At the moment there are no strict limitations on cargo transport. So what is causing the chaos in the supply chains?

The global transportation market is fueled by the supply-demand principle. What we see on the market now, illustrates it perfectly.

At the time of uncertainty, people tend not to spend their money unless they have to. So they save, preparing for the hard times ahead, buying only food supplies and other things to keep their basic needs covered.

When the demand goes down, supply follows shortly. As a result – hundreds of blank sailings from Asia to Europe and America. We do not know yet how deep into the red zone the carriers will get, but we should get the idea pretty soon.


The Impact on Freight Forwarders

Freight forwarding companies are in a much better situation compared to the shipping lines. They don’t have heavy fixed costs allocated into the long-term assets, and their business model is more flexible and agile.

In simple words, freight forwarders operate the model of ‘Buy Cheap and Sell with a Healthy Margin’. This model allows making money regardless of supply-demand fluctuations on the market, as long as they can offer tangible benefits to their clients.

These days, efficiency becomes a very strong competitive advantage for forwarders. Since there is less cargo on the market, it’s important to win as many bookings as possible.


The Best Strategy to Boost Sales for Freight Forwarders

Transparency and efficiency of the sales process become very important.

  • Easy access to freight rates

When sales teams are remote and work from home, they have to have easy access to freight rates. MS Excel file with rates on the shared office drive is the opposite of ‘transparency’.

  • Instant freight quotes

Salespeople need a simple and fast solution to send freight quotes to clients. The more quotes they send, the more bookings they win. This is simple math.

  • Follow up on open deals

It’s not enough just to send the quote, someone needs to do the follow-up and close the deal – is it won or lost booking? Many quotes get lost without the proper tools to follow on the progress.

  • Know your numbers

Being flexible and agile is the best strategy in times of uncertainty. Sales managers need access to numbers in real-time. They can monitor sales performance and win rates to be able to set the right direction for the team and adjust when needed.

 

Sales teams in freight forwarding companies can be very efficient with the right set of sales automation tools. Quotiss software could be the right solution to digitize your sales process. You will increase your sales productivity without increasing headcount. When your business is driven by efficiency, it directly impacts your company’s bottom line.

Contact us and go digital today.