Automation & Digitalization

Automation and digitalization in freight forwarding

Quotiss Sales Automation

Sales Automation – 8 Practical Tips for Freight Forwarders

In the previous article, we’ve covered the top 10 benefits of the sales automation software for freight forwarding companies. Now it’s time to be more specific and go through the actual steps in the workflow of sales reps, where Quotiss and the sales automation can help the most.

These aspects of sales automation will particularly help sales reps achieve better productivity and win more deals:

 

1. Freight Quotes

If you’re still creating and sending freight quotes manually (using MS Word, Excel, or similar tools), I’ve got great news: there’s a much better way.

First, upload your freight tariffs and local charges to automatically create and replicate freight quotes. Your spot and online rates will also be automatically added on the go. Second, integrate your mailbox with Quotiss. It’s an easy once-off process that only takes a couple of minutes.

That’s it – now you can generate and send perfectly tailored freight quotes in just a couple of clicks!

 

2. Quote and Email Templates

Use freight quote & email templates to send your promo offers to potential customers – this will free up a ton of time. With Quotiss software, you can create a perfect personalized freight quote & email at a single glance. Personalized communication is very important because it increases response rates and customer loyalty.

You can quickly customize your freight quote to a specific client’s needs before sending it. Also, Quotiss lets you add personalization tokens so details like the contacts’ name, company, and email greeting are filled in automatically.

 

3. Client Knowledge Base

Knowledge is power. The more information you have about your client, the easier it will be to successfully connect with them and earn their trust.

That’s where client profiling comes in. Quotiss gathers information from all freight quotes that have been sent to every customer, creating a comprehensive profile of your prospect. Use the client dashboard for quick visualization of stats.

 

4. Groups & Customer Segments

With Quotiss sales automation software, you can use hashtags to segment your clients & group them into smart mailing lists. For example, the client can be tagged as #promoShanghai, #promoshoes, #monthlyFEAupdate, etc. Use the specific hashtag to prepare targeted promotions and automate your marketing communication with the customer.

 

5. Batch Actions

What if you want to batch-send freight quotes to a list of customers, instead of going one by one? Quotiss lets you do exactly that. Select a group of clients using hashtags; prepare a personalized freight quote, add personalization tokens for each client, and finish off with some unique details to fill your messages with the human touch.

 

6. Quote Tracking & Follow up

Quotiss software allows you to track your freight quotes and know if and when your client opened your email. Once your quote email has been opened and read by the customer, it is the best time to call and follow up right away – you will get their immediate feedback and a higher chance to win the deal!

Use the deal status switch to ensure that no deal slips through the cracks lacking proper follow-up.

 

7. Reporting

If you lead a sales team, you might be spending an hour (or more) per day manually creating reports and then screenshotting or attaching them to emails.

There’s a much easier way to keep your team informed motivated. Use Quotiss Dashboard to monitor the key sales numbers in real-time, or download the statistics to Excel to make more complex analysis.

 

8. Client Ownership Rotation

Handing over a client from one sales rep to another takes up precious time. There are better things to do; plus, some account specifics and exceptions may be neglected by a new sales rep, which definitely won’t help your team hit the budget.

With Quotiss, the clients are re-assigned automatically, and the knowledge base is always attached to a client’s profile. A new sales rep can simply replicate the previous offers, not being afraid of losing important details.

 

Ready, Set, Automate!

 

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

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.

Sales Automation Software - Quotiss

ROI of Sales Automation Software in Freight Forwarding

In this article, we will look at the actual numbers: how much can you grow your business with sales automation software in freight forwarding?

 

At Quotiss, we talk a lot about how crucial it is to simplify the freight rate management in general. But we also emphasize the importance of automating every transactional sales activity to free up the time for actual selling.

Combining the two will help you boost the sales efforts and grow the bottom line, and there is data to support it.

It is also true, that you can grow your business without sales automation. But that doesn’t mean that you should. Why wouldn’t you make sure that every process in your company is optimized towards growing your business? Especially, that the competition is fierce.

 

ROI of Sales Automation

 

Return on Investment (ROI) is the benefit resulting from an investment. To calculate your ROI you need to know two things:

  1. How much you are investing
  2. How much you earn from it as a result

There are two main reasons why measuring the ROI of sales automation software matters:

  1. Automation of sales drives more sales
  2. Sales reps are often overworked, and investing in automation of their routine tasks can change that.

When it comes to sales automation software, money spent (or money that could be spent) is pretty easy to calculate. However, calculating an accurate number for money earned (or costs reduced) is much harder, because the software itself isn’t directly generating new income or making sales for the company. Therefore general sales automation ROI indicator basically isn’t possible – we need to look at a group of elements to see the full picture.

The core elements for financial return in the sales support teams are usually:

  • Time to prepare and send a freight quote (sales automation software means instant freight quotes)
  • Accuracy of a freight quote (sales automation software means 100% accuracy and no manual errors)
  • Follow up on deals (the software will automate the follow-up and save time and money on daily operations)

 

Great Customer Experience as a Bonus

 

Many people think that the only way to grow their business is to find new customers, but often, the best source for growth is the existing customers. And for them, the quality of sales support and customer service matters the most.

In research on actual customer transactions published in the Harvard Business Review, researchers studied thousands of customers and found out that customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.

This means, that we can identify an additional element for the sales automation ROI: Customer satisfaction (sales automation software provides consistent excellence in customer experience)

 

The Dollar Value of Your ROI

 

It all boils down to making more profit from direct sales activities, once all transactional tasks are automated. More deals are closed-won as a result of the sales automation software implementation (the time freed up by automation is spent on actual selling).

Now that you have identified the metrics and factors that you can use to measure the impact of your software investments, you can calculate the actual ROI in USD. Click this link to open the Quotiss ROI calculator.

You can make it all work for your company. Investing in the right sales automation software you make sure that your sales people are delighted to work with you, your customers have a better experience and it also serves your company’s financial goals.

 

Quick-Start with Sales Automation – 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 from Quotiss 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.

Freight forwarding sales

How to Boost Sales in Freight Forwarding?

How are you doing with delivering on your sales targets this month, this quarter, or this year? No matter what is the current status of your sales pipeline, it’s essential to fill it up with the business opportunities on a regular basis.

 

Most opportunities in freight forwarding start with a freight quote request. Quoting freight rates can be a devastating experience for the sales team because the effort is rarely rewarded with the actual booking placed by a client. In fact, according to the industry statistics, on every 100 quotes sent, there is a 5%-10% chance of marking that deal as ‘Closed-Won’. No wonder, salespeople are so depressed by this routine task.

There are 2 solutions to this problem:

  1. Make the freight rates irresistibly low and boost you win ratio – obviously, not too healthy for the bottom line results;
  2. Fix the quoting process and make it effortless (even enjoyable!) for the salespeople.

Keep Your Sales People Motivated

 

A good salesperson is golden for any business, and it is especially true for the traditional, relationship-driven freight forwarding. These special relationships bring enormous value when it comes to keeping customers loyal and satisfied. Great salespeople love business development, but they hate the administrative work. Making the routine tasks easy for them will boost their performance, and as a result – will increase sales.

 

Keep Your Customers Satisfied

 

How long do your clients wait for freight rates? Just being faster than your competitor may help to get the deal closed. Sometimes, rate requests from potential clients are left unanswered just because it takes so much time to prepare and send a quote. To keep your customers loyal and satisfied, you need to make their work and life easier. Responding faster with the perfectly tailored freight quote, which contains all necessary information for the decision-making, will definitely help to achieve customer success.

 

Keep Your Management Informed

 

There is a lot of frustration in the freight forwarding business caused by the limited access to the information. It is very difficult for the management team to know how many freight quotes have been sent to the clients today, this week, or this month. And nearly impossible to analyze freight margins inside those quotes. Instead of relying on unstructured and often biased data, sales managers should be able to monitor their sales teams’ performance in real-time – this way they can be more proactive and secure more deals.

 

Get an Extra Sales Boost

 

Quotiss is a sales automation software for freight forwarders. It enables your sales team to generate perfect custom-made freight quotes in seconds. Quotes are emailed to your customers directly from the system and synced with your company email server.

On top of quoting automation, Quotiss has much more to offer:

  • Quotiss simplifies and automates carrier contract management for procurement teams,
  • Quotiss stores your most accurate database of customers and prospects,
  • Quotiss builds client history with a full archive of sent quotes,
  • Quotiss provides extensive sales analytics,
  • Quotiss automates marketing and communication,
  • Quotiss ensures all freight quotes are made in a unique company format and design,
  • Quotiss makes it extremely easy to handover clients internally and onboard new salespeople in the organization.

Moreover, it’s very intuitive – it takes just 1,5 hours of training, and salespeople can start using it immediately.

Contact us today and learn how Quotiss can help you boost your sales!

 

freight ratesheets quotiss

How to Simplify Freight Ratesheets in 2020?

Three years ago, I wrote a blog post about the complexity of freight ratesheets distributed by the shipping lines to the market and the problems they create. This year, it remains one of the most popular posts on the Quotiss blog.

Turns out, a lot of logistics companies are still looking for ways to simplify and digitize their freight rate management process. So, I decided to study the changes in the industry of the last 3 years and update the article.

 

Ocean Freight Rates Online

 

The biggest step in the digital direction has been taken by some shipping lines – they finally started to offer instant freight quotes online.

Maersk Line, Safmarine, Hapag Lloyd, CMA CGM, and a few other carriers now offer ocean freight rates online. These rates are no longer some random unusable indications – they are workable, and ‘bookable’.

It became possible with the personalization of the inquiry. Each person (company) needs to register and create an account on the carrier webpage. The algorithm checks the company profile and knows what rate level to offer. The rate obtained online is the same rate that would come via email request. The online rate is faster. The choice is simple.

It’s, of course, very good news for the industry, and this trend will continue with more carriers offering their (workable) rates online.

The downside, however, is that each carrier is developing its own platform for online freight quotes, making it difficult for the freight forwarders to compare the offers. A person has to open each carriers’ webpage, enter login / password / shipment details into different forms on several platforms to choose the best rate.

It is also more difficult for tech companies to integrate the spot rates, as they have to integrate each platform separately.

 

What About the Freight Ratesheets?

 

Well, here nothing changed much in three years. Freight forwarders still receive large Excel files with freight rates, spend their days analyzing and maintaining their ‘own’ Excel files with the selling rates. Even the largest global freight forwarding companies struggle to set up an electronic exchange of buying rates with the shipping lines.

Wondering, what about the online freight quotes? Well, online spot rates are good for spot shipments. The majority of the world’s cargo is moved on contracts, which are negotiated individually and are not available online. The progress is not there yet.

 

What About the Digital Freight Forwarders?

 

Freight forwarders get access to more and more digital tools each year. There is a big interest in digitizing the customer interface: offer online freight quotes, online bookings, online tracking, etc. All these customer-facing digital initiatives are very necessary, but hardly possible without digitizing the back office of the freight forwarder.

It’s not possible to offer online freight quotes if your selling rates are maintained in Excel. You run a big risk of low data accuracy, which can cause financial loss and/or reputational risks.

It is necessary to start from the basics – automate and digitize your freight rate management internally, and after that integrate your automated freight quotes online.

 

Sales Automation Software for Logistics

 

Quotiss software could be the right solution to digitize freight ratesheets using a simplified upload mechanism. Quotiss is a practical tool, which automates all kinds of freight ratesheets in a smart and simple way. All freight rates from all suppliers in one place, available instantly to everyone in the organization.

With Quotiss, you can increase your sales productivity without increasing headcount. When your business is driven by efficiency, it directly impacts the company’s bottom line.

 

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.