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5 Essential Skills to Effectively Sell in Today's Market

Content contributed by Colin Longren, VP of Global Sales with The Millau Group Global and Bob Rippel, Sales Performance Consultant with RJ Learning Group. If you like this article, view the TMSA On-Demand Webinar, “Identifying Buyers in the Supply Chain.” This webinar will help you to better understand how selling transportation and logistics has changed, how to better know and understand your buyer personas, and ultimately how to effectively sell to key decision-makers. 

Selling transportation and logistics has changed significantly from that of even five years ago. Today you need five essential skills:

  1. Be a valuable source of knowledge. You now need to focus on educating prospects with new ideas and perspectives, and off relevant, valuable content and information that they haven’t come across through their online search.
  2. Collaborate with your customers and prospects. As a sales professional, you are no longer in control – buyers are. They want to work with you to co-create value and develop solutions, so make sure to include them in the process.
  3. Communicate your ideas in a clear, credible, persuasive way. Paint a picture that helps buyers to visualize how they’ll benefit from your products and how they’ll yield an ROI.
  4. Listen, and strive for two-way dialogue. It’s all about the customer or prospect – NOT about what you have to offer. Actively listen and truly understand needs, pain points, and business goals. Learn to ask more engaging questions that allow you to dig deeper into their situation – and follow up in ways that demonstrate you were listening to them.
  5. Lastly, be empathetic. Buyers purchase from sales professionals they like – so do what you can to connect with them on a personal level. Even if you clearly have the best solution and/or price, you could still lose the deal by alienating a customer with a “been there, done that” attitude.

Content Success: How FedEx Delivers a Better Customer Experience

Note: Drew Bailey, a TMSA member, is a finalist for 2017 Content Marketer of the Year (and the winner is announced at Content Marketing World this September). This content was developed in part by CMI, and is published with permission by CMI and the author, Andrea Fryrear.

What kept good content marketers from delivering a better content experience for FedEx customers? Redundancies, overlaps, and a general lack of communication. Drew Bailey, Manager, Content Strategy, wanted to change that when he took the reins of content operations at FedEx Services. “My team’s job is enablement,” says Bailey.

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Practical Tips to Leverage LinkedIn for Success

TMSA Affiliiate member John Boyens is no stranger in helping his clients to be more successful in their business strategy and development. In fact, he's also been the lead presenter at two TMSA Seminars last year to help small- and medium-sized business executives to enhance their overall business success through various strategies. One of these strategies is to leverage LinkedIn to qualify leads and warm up dialogue with prospects. 

Boyens also presented a TMSA webinar, "Never Cold Call Again: LinkedIn Prospecting Secrets," where he taught members how to create and optimize their LinkedIn profile, what to do when they receive (or send) an invitation, how to effectively manage your contacts, and how to behave with your LinkedIn network for results. Click here to view TMSA's On-Demand Webinar: "Never Cold Call Again" (free to TMSA members).

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Buzzwords Underscore Changing Marketing Landscape

By Brian Everett, ABC, Chief Executive Officer, Transportation Marketing & Sales Association

As I have conversations with TMSA members and learn about their challenges and opportunities, it continuously remains clear that the buzzwords that surface during those chats underscore that marketing is an ever-changing landscape. 

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Hub Group Uses Town Hall Strategy to Engage Employees

TMSA Success Story: For nearly a century, the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association has been helping its members and their companies make sales, marketing and communications strategies more effective, productive, and profitable. One way we do this is to showcase innovative, results-oriented initiatives that members have implemented. This week, we highlight one of our members, Hub Group, that leverages town hall events for workforce engagement. 

“For over 46 years, Hub Group has been dedicated to making our customers’ lives easier,” states the company’s website. “And by doing so, we’ve grown to become a nearly $3.6 billion, publicly traded company, offering comprehensive intermodal, highway and logistics services throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.” 
 
Clearly, to make this all happen, it’s critical for the company to ensure all employees are fully informed, motivated, and engaged. One way is to regularly host Town Hall events. At Hub Group, the company works by the motto “All In.” It hosts Town Hall meetings numerous times a year to inform employees of the milestones that they've accomplished and the goals and initiatives the company would like to accomplish in the future. The Town Halls take place at its corporate headquarters office in Oak Brook, Ill., and are live-streamed to the rest of its offices across the US, Mexico and Canada.

How TMSA Member Mark Derks Built Content Engine at C.H. Robinson

A member of TMSA, Mark Derks also is Director of Global Marketing at C.H. Robinson, one of the world’s biggest third-party logistics providers — think trucking, railroads, air freight, and ocean carriers.

“Content marketing” wasn’t yet a buzzword when Derks started in marketing at C.H. Robinson, but he’d already started polishing his experience in brand publishing. Twenty-one years later, his team’s challenge is producing content that answers customers’ questions and moves the sales process forward.

We asked Mark what he’s learned about B2B content marketing, measuring results, and building a modern marketing team.

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8 Common LinkedIn Mistakes in Sales Networking

Earlier this year during a webinar, John Boyens of Boyens Group provided practical advice to TMSA members on how to leverage the power of their LinkedIn networks to generate qualified leads and nurture discussions that can lead to new opportunities. Here are a few highlights from this webinar.

> Click here to view the full webinar on-demand.

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Reflecting on the TMSA Conference and New Progress Being Made

By Scott Grady, SVP, Automotive Solutions, Landstar Transportation and TMSA Chairman

We are pleased to report that the 2017 TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference (themed “The Buyer’s Journey”) was a success. More than 40% attending the conference provided feedback on their evaluation of the event - and an overwhelming response rate (98%) from those who attended stated the conference met or exceeded their expectations!

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Silver Sales Bullet: Match Your Selling Style to Customers' Buying Styles

Recently during an educational TMSA webinar, Joel McGinley of TranStrategy Partners provided practical advice to members on how to understand buying styles as it relates to the DISC approach. This information can then be used in your sales initiatives, business relationships, and more! Here are a few highlights from this webinar.

> Click here to view the full webinar on-demand.

Four buying styles are based on the DISC behavioral model, and they control how we like to communicate and be communicated with. They also can help you to determine how customers prefer to make purchasing decisions, and the speed with which they prefer to make them. You should match your “selling style” to their “buying style.” Look for clues in the buying style of your prospects and customers, and adjust your selling style to match their buying style. You’ll be amazed at the results!

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Consultative + Strategic Selling

By Ricardo Roman, Director of Association Manager for Caliper, an employee-assessment and talent-management-solutions company that helps businesses align talent with strategy; hire better people faster; and develop leaders, teams, and mission-critical employees. This is the final part of a 3-part series based upon discussions on "Effective Sales Practices to Improve Your Performance" Roman facilitated during the recent 2017 TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference.

Previously in this series we introduced the concept of competitive positioning and discussed why it’s important to align your company’s strategy with the right sales model. We looked deeply at the New Business Development model in conjunction with an operational-efficiency strategy. Now, let’s look at two other models, Consultative Selling and Strategic Selling, and explore how they align with a customer-intimacy strategy and an innovation strategy respectively. 

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9 Things to Deliver in a Strategic Planning Process

By Mike Brown, Brainzooming, past TMSA Logistics Conference keynote and TMSA member.

What can you expect from a "strategic planning process?" That question was the topic of several recent conversations.

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What Do You Actually Need from your Sales Force?

By Rick Roman, Director of Association Management, Caliper Corp. Caliper consults with executives on hiring, employee development, team building, executive coaching succession planning and organizational performance. Roman facilitated an Interactive Roundtable Discussion Group at the 2017 TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference, "Effective Sales to Improve Your Performance." This is the second installment of a three-part series that outlines his primary observations from these discussion groups.

The first article in this series discussed the increasing complexity of the business environment and the corresponding impact that change has had on the sales field. We have seen three separate job models emerge in response to changing expectations between vendors and customers. This second article will take a deeper look at one of those models, New Business Development, and how a company’s unique competitive position affects which model is right for them.

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How Can Marketing Automation Help your Business Thrive?

This is the first article in a series on how marketing automation can help you business grow and thrive. Guest author is Jill Schmieg, founder and chief strategist at Sol de Naples Marketing, a marketing services firm specializing in helping B2B companies find brighter ways to reach their markets. Learn more at www.soldenaples.com

With more than half of B2B marketers using some form of marketing automation, it is astonishing that 85% of them feel they’re not using it to its fullest potential. (Source: EmailMonday and SiriusDecisions)

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What's the Best Sales Model for Your Company?

By Rick Roman, Director of Association Management, Caliper Corp. Caliper consults with executives on hiring, employee development, team building, executive coaching succession planning and organizational performance. Roman facilitated an Interactive Roundtable Discussion Group at the recent TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference in early June. The topic? Effective Sales to Improve Your Performance. This is the first installment of a three-part series that outlines his primary observations from these discussion groups.

To say that the business environment is growing more complex for most companies is to understate a rather obvious truth, and the impact is perhaps most evident in the world of sales. Today’s customer expects unique value, meaningful business impact, and measurable ROI from partnering with vendors. Success often hinges on the sales professional’s ability to act as a trusted adviser by packaging solutions and conveying value in accordance with those expectations.

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The Buyer Persona + Market Segmentation

By Art Moryedi, Senior Consultant & Creative Director at Marlik Group, a creative branding, marketing and advertising agency. 

It was with great pleasure to facilitate the Buyer Persona and Segmentation Round Table Discussion at the TMSA 2017 Conference. This brief article (one in a two-part series) reflects what was discussed and its significance in developing a successful digital marketing strategy. 

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TMSA Honors 2017 Members of the Year

Congratulations to three individuals who were honored as the 2017 TMSA Members of the Year. Every year, TMSA acknowledges individual professionals within TMSA's membership who demonstrate exemplary service, leadership and results in their volunteer efforts to advance the mission of the association.

"As a professional industry non-profit association, TMSA relies heavily on the efforts of its volunteer leaders - which makes these awards so significantly important," says Brian Everett, CEO of TMSA.

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1 Comments

They Ask, You Answer: Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, Today’s Digital Consumer

"I'm looking completely differently at how my company goes to market and interacts with customers."

"I'd like to be much more transparent with customers and prospects on how we do things. For example, I don't think I'd actually put rates on our company website, but I like the idea of at least explaining how we develop our rates and what goes into our pricing process."

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From Transactional to Transformational: Successfully Adding Managed Transportation Services

By JP Wiggins, Co-Founder and Vice President of Logistics at 3Gtms, where he manages channels and partnerships for the company.

As part of a natural evolution of their existing offerings, many carriers and brokers are looking to managed transportation services (MTS) to provide greater value for their customers and growth for their organization.

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Radical Careering: Finding Success and Passion in Your Life

Insights from Sally Hogshead, author, consultant, speaker and guru of all things work-related (and Keynote Speaker at a previous TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference).

What's "radical careering?" It involves concepts, ideas, inspiration and transformation. But while the concepts and mindsets of radical careering can help you to become successful, it challenges you to define how you see success.

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How Your Organization Can Use Salesforce Chatter

By Traci Whetzel, Concept Services, a Business Development and CRM Solutions firm and TMSA Affiliate member. Concept Services is a Salesforce partner with more than 15 years experience helping organizations win new business from new customers.

Chatter is often made fun of as the “social media” of Salesforce, and until recently, I agreed with that. Boy, was I wrong. First, a little background on what Chatter (technically) is and how long it has been around.

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