Sales Automation

Sales Automation in Freight Forwarding, Quotiss Benefits

Sales Automation in Freight Forwarding – Top 10 Benefits

Improve your sales efficiency, get rid of manual tasks, streamline recurring activities, automate deals follow up, and more – thanks to sales automation in freight forwarding.

 

If you are considering automating your sales process, but still unsure what value will it bring, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever wasted half an hour digging through your multiple Excel ratesheets or emails to find the freight rates you needed?
  • Have you ever lost a booking because you forgot to reply to that rate request?
  • Have you ever gone back and forth with a quote request figuring out how to calculate all charges correctly?
  • Have you ever lost a booking because you forgot to follow up on the deal?
  • Have you ever miscalculated your sales performance and ended up with an unfulfilled sales budget?
  • Have you ever spent precious time looking for that freight quote that you sent a few weeks ago?

If you said yes to any (or all) of the above, your company can definitely benefit from sales automation. This article will guide you through sales automation tips in freight forwarding.

 

Top 10 Benefits of Sales Automation in Freight Forwarding

 

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.

Sales automation benefits your business, sales team, and bottom line in multiple ways:

  1. Boosts the productivity and performance of your sales team
  2. Ensures your sales deals are followed up, timely
  3. Increases the quality of your freight quotes
  4. Accelerates your business efficiency
  5. Improves the accuracy of your sales process
  6. Simplifies quoting and freight rate management process
  7. Reduces response time which directly improves customer satisfaction
  8. Keeps commercial data consistent across your sales organization
  9. Brings transparency to your commercial process
  10. Allows efficient use of sales team resources

With sales automation on your side, you can accomplish more on an average day than you used to on your best days. Your results will speak for themselves.

 

The Danger of Sales Automation

 

Obviously, you can’t automate everything in your sales process, some aspects must stay human. Interaction with customers has always been the most important value differentiator for every freight forwarder. You never want to automate sales to the point when customer relationships will feel completely robotic and soulless. Think of hundreds of distributed emails with the freight rates from China that you receive every day. Usually, those emails immediately go to the spam folder. Wonder if they get any conversion with this tactic?

Sales automation is not about replacing your sales team with email distribution software. Your professional sales team is a critical and irreplaceable element to your deals. Sales automation allows your sales reps to focus less on administrative tasks and more on selling. It also ensures that your sales process is structured, easy to follow, and unified across the organization.

Your sales automation tool is the most important element for your sales automation. It is the main engine of your sales process. If the engine is not the right fit for the job, your sales process will not work at the maximum efficiency and minimal resource. If you use Excel ratesheets and manual quotes instead of freight software, you need a bigger sales team to achieve the same revenue.

 

Sales Automation with Quotiss

 

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.

The software itself has automation tasks — such as carrier integration, quote replication, direct reply to a quote request, quote receipt confirmation, quick access to archive data, and much more. It also feeds data via API into the other software your company uses.

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.

Quotiss Freight Forwarding Software

Freight Forwarding Software: 6 Best Features for Sales Automation in 2021

We will guide you through the basics of sales automation in freight forwarding software and how to choose the best software for your business.

 

Freight Forwarding Software for Sales Automation

 

Sales automation software empowers freight forwarders to automate the sales process: quick freight rate discovery, instant reactions to a freight quote request, automating the follow-up on sent deals, etc. As a result, you enjoy the boost of freight sales, keeping control of your costs, and getting real-time market analytics – all in one platform.

Sales automation software feels out of reach for many small and medium-sized freight forwarding businesses because:

  • You think it requires a lot of time to implement,
  • It seems like a high cost / low rewards idea,
  • Your clients aren’t asking for it directly.

Let’s look at these assumptions and see why—with the right freight forwarding software—every business (yes, even yours!) can benefit from sales automation.

The software for freight rate management, freight quote automation, and sales analytics was not often searched some 5 years from now when Quotiss just started as a small startup project. At that time, we were struggling to find the right definition for our product, because the analogs didn’t exist. Some CRM and ERP systems offered the functionality, but it was so cumbersome that most companies never succeeded to adapt it to their business process, sticking to Excel.

Today, freight forwarders can choose from plenty of software options, available on the market. Are they all good?  No, they are not. How to find the best freight forwarding software for your sales and pricing teams? Well, the easiest way is to click here and start your Quotiss free trial now. Or just keep reading the article.

 

6 Best Features for Sales Automation in 2021

 

The best sales automation software shall include the following features:

Quotiss - Freight Forwarding Software

1. Freight Rate Management

In order to automate the freight quoting process (the output), you have to start with digitizing the input (freight rates). Upload your freight tariffs and local charges, add spot rates on the go, and get instant access to the online rates via API. With the rate management software, you can keep all freight rates on one platform, ensure data consistency, enable instant data sharing across the organization and do your own market analytics.

Quotiss is the only software on the market to offer an exclusive freight tariff uploader, suitable for every freight ratesheet format and product type. You get rid of Excel ratesheets and can keep control of your negotiated freight rates in-house.

 

2. Quoting Tool

Quoting is the core process in sales automation. Imagine creating a perfect personalized multimodal freight quote & emailing it to your client in a couple of clicks. Sounds like a dream come true.

Email integration is essential – personalized communication with your customer is very important because it increases loyalty and response rates. A large variety of customization options is very important – your freight quote shall be tailored to the needs of your client. Quotiss is the best freight quoting tool on the market – or else, why would it be called Quotiss?

 

3. CRM

To really offer the best customer experience, you’ll need to have all of your customer data stored in one place. Sales automation software that includes some sort of CRM—even a simple panel with basic customer data, quoting history, business potential, average product margins, payment settings —helps sales support agents to quote and follow-up faster.

 

4. Market Intelligence and Analytics

Ideally, your sales automation software accumulates the data and connects the dots creating a larger sales funnel. You can collect, segment and analyze the information from the sales deals to encourage upsells, or set up new services and products to further build your company strength.

 

5. Booking API

The best sales automation software is tied to your TMS system, to make the most out of software integration. Choose to automatically send the successfully accepted freight quotes to the booking team. Select the data which will be automatically uploaded to your booking software, including Buy and Sell rates and freight margins, product and service details, etc.

 

6. Website Quote Widget

Enabling your customers to retrieve freight rates online through your website can sound like a crazy idea. However, with the powerful rate engine in the background, it can release some workload from the sales team, increase your customer loyalty and boost your sales!

The most important condition is to make sure that your customer will get the same rate online and via a sales rep. Quotiss software has the best rate management engine to power your digital customer portal with the most accurate freight quotes.

How to choose the best freight forwarding software for your sales team?

 

If you haven’t selected freight software for your sales team, 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.

You can find all the above benefits and many more in Quotiss software, which is designed to automate 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.

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

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 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.

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.

 

Sales in Freight Forwarding, Quotiss

4 Ways to Automate Sales in Freight Forwarding

Doing sales in freight forwarding requires a huge effort from a salesperson. Apart from the actual selling, they constantly have to solve the puzzles of freight ratesheets and prepare a correct calculation of a freight quote for their customers. Sounds familiar? In this article, you can find 4 simple solutions for sales process automation in freight forwarding.

 

A salesperson in a freight forwarding company, you have to be aware of everything that’s happening around the business: get in touch with the clients to get new bookings, research your competition, ensure high-quality support for your customers, and a high level of customer satisfaction.

At the same time, you have to generate and follow up on sales deals: prepare freight quotes for potential clients and renew the current offers for your customers.

The quoting and the follow-up parts are the least creative and the least inspiring activities for the sales reps. They take a lot of time due to the manual nature of the process.

Another drawback of the quoting process is that the average quote acceptance ratio is rather low – about 10% among freight forwarding companies around the world. That does not motivate salespeople to jump on every rate inquiry they receive during the workday – chances of winning the business are too low compared to the time they would spend on quoting and follow-ups.

The most logical approach is to move the freight quotes online.

 

Online Freight Quotes

 

Moving the quoting process online would be the most efficient solution for freight forwarders and their customers. Online freight rates are already used successfully in the parcel or airline business.

However, this concept has one major drawback: the market does not trust online freight rates. Freight rates published on the online aggregators are considered to be the base tariff rates, higher than those received as an individual quote from the salesperson.

Importers and exporters around the world request ocean freight quote via email (or via phone call) because they believe that this way they will get the best and ‘very special’ freight rate tailored to their specific shipment in question.

Without personalization of the rate level, online rates will not make the sales job easier. Moreover, someone will have to spend extra time uploading and refreshing those rates.

For the online quotes to work, the client has to be 100% sure that the rate he will retrieve from an online quoting tool will be the same as the rate he would receive from a salesperson. Will elaborate more on the subject in the next post, stay tuned!

 

Automated Freight Quotes

 

Let’s look at some smart and simple ways to improve and automate freight quotes that work.

  1. REPLICATE QUOTES

90% of the quotes in freight forwarding are replicated. If your client is shipping 40’HC lots from Shanghai to Hamburg, chances are that they will continue requesting the quote for the same corridor regularly.

Use the previously sent quotes as templates. The basis of the quote shouldn’t change – adjust quote validity dates and refresh the freight rate. Done.

  1. BATCH ACTIONS

Group similar tasks and use templates as much as possible. This way you can save time and reduce the number of manual errors.

For example, you can prepare one quote template with Far East import promo rates and one email template. Use marketing automation tools to distribute your promo rates as a batch action. Make distribution lists based on your client segmentation. Reuse your templates slightly changing the content every time, try to add the ‘human touch to your message to make it stand out. Professional and personalized quotes sent regularly will increase your chances of converting the customer from ‘potential’ to ‘active’.

  1. TRACKING & FOLLOW UP

Sales Automation tools allow you to track your emails and see if and when your client opened the email with the quote. For example, once you know that your quote has been opened by the customer, it is best to call them and follow up right away – you will get their immediate feedback.

Some tools even track the amount of time the client spent on each page of your offer.

  1. ANALYZE DATA

Statistics is a powerful tool to drive change. Gather as much data about your commercial process as possible. This way you will define the areas with the highest ‘waste’ level. If you can measure it, you can manage it.

For example, if you know that the client doesn’t open your emails, something has to change.

 

Sales Automation Software for Freight Forwarding

 

You can find all these features and many more in Quotiss software, designed specifically 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 smartly and simply.

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.

Key Sales Metrics

5 Key Sales Metrics in Freight Forwarding (And How to Improve Them)

Most freight forwarding companies around the world set the key sales metrics for their commercial teams, and regularly produce thousands of sales performance reports. But these reports don’t necessarily tell how to improve the numbers. Whether you’re new to sales or a seasoned expert, it’s always worth getting a fresh perspective on your own stats, data, and metrics.

Why? Because bringing your sales team from good to exceptional is only possible when you know the cold, hard numbers. Let’s break down the 5 key sales metrics that matter the most to help you understand exactly what it’s measuring, why it matters, and a few tangible ways to improve them.

 

1. Freight Quote Volume

 

The freight quote volume is the total number of sent freight quotes. Start tracking this key sales metric to get a general understanding of how many quotes your salespeople generate per day, per week, and per month.

  • Why is it important to measure?

The number of sent freight quotes indirectly correlates with the number of bookings you win as a result. Of course, there are more factors that influence customers’ decision to book with a specific freight forwarder, but still –increasing the number of sent quotes, will naturally grow the $$$ outcome.

  • How to increase the number of sent freight quotes?

Simplify and automate the process of creating a freight quote, without compromising the quality of the quote. Quoting software should be user-friendly and intuitive, very easy to use, and practical.

 

2. Number of Accepted Quotes

 

Another parameter, which is essential to measure the performance of the sales team. At the same time, we recommend to keep track of the quotes which were declined by the client, and always ask for the reasons behind this decision.

  • Why is it important to measure?

An accepted quote is a commitment from the clients’ side and an indicator of a successful sale. The number of accepted quotes has a direct correlation with future bookings.

  • How to increase the number of accepted quotes?

We recommend analyzing the rejected quotes. With the advanced reporting feature in Quotiss, you can track rejection reasons by route, by the client, by shipment type, etc. This should give you a few ideas on how to increase quote acceptance.

 

3. Quote Win Ratio

 

The percentage of accepted quotes, also known as quote win ratio, can be an excellent key sales metric for efficiency. This is a very important parameter, which can be measured on the company level, team level, per person, by specific trade, per client, etc.

  • Why is it important to measure?

With these powerful stats, you will gain insights into your most efficient products, teams, directions, and more.

  • How to increase the win ratio?

Following the formula win ratio = accepted quotes / total quotes, you should work on increasing the number of accepted quotes (obvious) or decrease the number of sent quotes (less obvious).

It might be counter-intuitive to decrease the number of sent quotes, but sometimes it makes sense. With Quotiss’s advanced customer dashboard, you can quickly identify accounts that never converted from quote to booking. Those could be the ones to let go and to focus on new leads instead.

 

4. Number of New Leads

 

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 a very important key sales metric for the team, essential for business growth.

  • Why is it important to measure?

Sales reps should always develop new leads to grow their portfolio and achieve targets. The lead generation process can be quite costly for any business, and it can be a complete waste of resources without proper follow-up.

  • How to increase the number of new leads?

We will prepare a separate article on lead generation in freight forwarding. Here is just simple advice: simplify and automate the process of adding a new lead to your quoting system. The client 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 to update 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.

 

5. Average Margin

 

None of the above key sales metrics make any sense if quote margins are not healthy. It is very easy to achieve exceptional results with the key sales metrics if you are selling freight below the market level.

  • Why is it important to measure?

We assume that every freight forwarding company is in this business in order to make a profit (unless you are a digital freight forwarder with many $$$ from VC funds).

  • How to increase the average margin?

This is a trick question, that depends on many aspects of your business specifics. But we recommend measuring it. Rephrasing Peter Drucker: if you can measure it – you can manage it, and if you can manage it – you can control it, and if you can control it – you can improve it!

Quotiss software can help you to measure these 5 important sales metrics, automate your sales process, and follow up and simplify your sales routine. This is especially crucial at a time when most sales teams work remotely and need smart and simple software to collaborate efficiently.

Ready, Set, Automate!

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

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.

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.