Logistic Sales – How to Trigger a Customer Buying Cycle

Most logistic companies focus on a customer when they enter the buying process stage.

That is too late, a good business development plan focuses on creating a solution that targets  the preceding buying process.

Other than spur of the moment purchases, most purchases are considered.  However such considerations don’t just happen, something triggers that in the customers mind.buying process triggers

Two Simple Examples to Explain the Point

Although not specifically Logistics related, they illustrate the point, that identifying those things that trigger your customers buying cycle can help lead generation.

  1. Say you were a Carpet Cleaning Company.  An upcoming birth, can lead a woman to have a house’s carpet cleaned.  So for a carpet cleaning company, birthing can be a trigger.  Therefore directly some market effort towards pregnant mums could generate new leads.  This means developing relationships prospectively with pregnancy support groups etc.  Such relationships could give you early access to leads.
  2. A Smart Phone App company.  Another example may be smart phone application developers who provide information on whats on in an area.  A trigger for them, may be people travelling on holidays or business.  As such people are often travelling to an area that may not be familiar with, so knowing where good restaurants or even restaurant deals in that area could be good.  Therefore directly some marketing effort towards sites or organisations that people plan holidays on may be a good lead generator.  They could even look to offer it as a value add to the travel planning companies.

Applying to Logistics B2B Buying Cycle

In business to business (B2B) sales, triggers can be changes in market conditions, declines in profits, changes of key staff, changes in regulations, ie things that change the status quo.

Specifically an example could be, if you are selling transport solutions to the B2B market.

Changes in Government regulations may be a trigger.  For example the recent changes to Chain of  Responsibility places a risk on companies using transport services, either their own or contracted.  Identifying companies at risk or that have been penalised becomes a lead generator for the business development manager (BDM).  The BDM can target such companies with a CoR risk mitigation solution.

Industrial disputes are also a potential trigger.  During the 90’s as the BDM for one of Australia’s largest labour companies, such disputes were often buying triggers.  So for example, a warehouse labour dispute at a client site, becomes a trigger.  Companies and even workers don’t like disputes, so if you are a warehouse services provider, approaching companies who have had or look like having a dispute an be a lead generator.  Early trigger relationships to find out – can be having a relationship with a racking supplier.  The racking or forklift supplier may often advise you that X company is having issues with damage or maintenance.  Often an indicator of an unhappy workforce.

So what are the triggers that initiate your customer buying process?

Identify the triggers and then either direct your business development effort towards establishing relationships with organisations that trigger your customer buying cycle OR direct some of your marketing effort towards trigger areas.

That is the job of a good logistics BDM.  If you need help, we can assist you in mapping such triggers and working with you to create a buying trigger lead generation plan.

It works, with over a $100m in won contracts in multiple sectors – I can personally vouch for the process.  The next article we will discuss why you should NOT tender unless you have already won.

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Mike Wood

Mike is qualified in both Civil and Mechanical Engineering, with Post Graduate qualifications in Logistics and Business Administration and is a qualified RABQSA/Exemplar auditor. The initial phase of his career involved public roads and transportation authorities in technical and management roles with both VicRoads and the Victorian Ministry of Transport and designed Melbourne’s time public transport system Mike then moved into private industry and over several years, held General Manager positions with major logistics service providers with turnovers in excess of $500 million. As his expertise and knowledge grew he moved into consulting and became Principal Consultant with Dawson Consulting, one of the largest Supply Chain and Logistics consulting companies in Australia Mike is now Managing Director of LATUS Business Solutions, which is a highly regarded Business Improvement practice, operating in 3 major area; • Supply Chain & Logistics design; • Compliance implementation & management; • Risk analysis& Safety management • Leading training provider (RTO) in the area of Lean Logistics & Business He has been a Director of transport and logistics industry associations in Queensland and Victoria.

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