Marketing and Sales funnel in the freight forwarding

In previous post we have walked together with Sef through the whole marketing and sales process in freight forwarding. There are many articles about marketing and sales but only few if I can remember about marketing and sales in freight forwarding.  That is why I would like to deepen more on this. And I expect that you – my fellow forwarders – will help me to go even deeper.

I would start with the Marketing and Sales funnel. The concept of the funnel is simple and great one. The funnel visualizes very well the main milestones in this process which eventually ends with the sales orders. There are many pictures of the funnel but I have chosen these two which represent it from different point of view:

AIDA sales funnel
AIDA Sales Funnel

AIDA funnel shows the process with its 4 milestones – step by step. We create awareness about our company and our services,  awaren ess generates interest in what we can offer to the customer, interest is accumulates desire to buy our products and desire evolves into action – which is buying transportation services. And which actually triggers another process – sales order processing.  AIDA desribes the sales process on conceptual level. Here I would like to make an important note – actually the D in AIDA should be changed to N for Need.  Because my dear friends, we are in a market of satisfying needs not desires.  I do not know anyone who is longing to send 100 kilos from Los Angeles to Brussels just for the sake of shipping. And if I eventually knew this person would have been object of a medical article rather then of forwarding one. Never forget this – We are in a market of needs.

Sales Funnel Diagram
Sales Funnel LOQO

LOQO  funnel (from Leads, Opportunities, Quotes, Orders) is a reflection of the AIDA  funnel in terms of results. It reflects it from the CRM point of view.  The awareness is expresses in leads, the interest is represented by opportunities, quotes show the desire and sales order indicates the action.

The environment that transforms the conceptual ideas of AIDA into practical terms of LOQO is the CRM.  CRM not as IT term but as a management concept that helps us to streamline and control the relationships we build with our customers.  Before you start looking for CRM in IT terms understand the CRM as a concept. I plan to make special post or series of posts about CRM sharing my experience. Here I would like to concentrate more on the Marketing and Sales process represented by the Marketing and Sales funnel.

Here I would just outline the phases/stages and I plan to dedicate special post to each stage.

Awareness is the first stage of the funnel and is 100% related to the marketing activities of the company. People buy from people and companies they know. This is the bottom line of the Awareness phase of the funnel.  We advertise, we promote, we participate in the buzz, we spread our brand, we reasearch and make lists of names and mails for our mailing campaigns. And all this  with one only purpose – to get people know us and our brand. And the main measurement of whether we do well is the number of sales leads we generate.

Interest – this is where Marketing passes the baton to the sales. Using our professional sales skills we attract the prospects attention by influencing their interest in the freight services OUR COMPANY provides. This is where we take the leads which were generated in the Awareness phase and using various sales techniques we try to turn the leads into potentials or opportunities. The more leads we convert into potentials/opportunites better job we have done in these phase.

Need/Desire – People know us and what we do. They are interested in the transportation and logistics services we provide.  And they need it.  Now what?  We all know what happens here – we receive the rate request, we make the proposal and we fight teeths and fangs to make the proposal successful. To have the SALES ORDER.

Action – and here we come to the last phase. The phase where all our marketing and sales activities we have made in the previous phases made our customer to take action.  Finally we succeeded to convert the quotation to order or if we go further to convert the sales lead into order.  The action phase however is not the end. The Action phase triggers another important process – the Order management process. But there is a long way to it. Way which we can walk together.

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2 thought on “Marketing and Sales funnel in the freight forwarding”

  1. Keith Purdom says:

    An interesting article and one I agree with but perhaps a refinement to make. The key moment for me in the sales process is a change within the customer or target customer. This is about the “need” you define becaused in the first place I start from the point of view that if everything remains the same then why would a customer identify a need to change something that works. So something has to change- a new organisation, a new product, bad financial results or very often simply a new person responsable for decisons on shipping. So I always asked my teams to be especiually aware of anything that could upset the status quo–and that would include our existing customers becasuse then we would be vulnerable to losing business following a customers changes . Keith Purdom
    Bluechip Aviation Consulting

  2. georgibstoilov says:

    Keith, absolutely agree with you. Many of my customers say – if something works well why should I change. If we are happy with the freight tranzit times and freight rates, why need we change the freight forwarder or carrier.
    Thank you

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