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March 24, 2020 // Jeff Harsh

Sales Development Tips for Material Handling & Supply Chain

Making the Best of Sales Development During Today's Climate

In light of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many organizations have had to react quickly to ensure their businesses continue moving forward with many who have moved to a remote workforce.

As a Sales Development Agency who specializes in capital equipment, supply chain, and transportation industries, our team of Sales Development Reps (SDRs) has placed well over 30,000 prospecting calls last week to companies across the country in need of supply chain, transportation, and/or material handling services and equipment.

Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, we were eager to see what type of impact this would have on sales development efforts. Although only a few days in, we wanted to share some initial findings for those looking for insight and information on the subject.

Connectivity
 

With many individuals being encouraged or forced to work remote, we have seen an uptick in our ability to reach key individuals and have meaningful conversations since these contacts were near the phone, in front of their computer and teleworking.

  • Key Statistic: 33% Increase in Completed Call Ratio (% of Calls Able to Speak With Decision Makers)

We have also found that many companies have been more receptive to providing direct phone numbers, emails, and cell phone numbers than ever.

Industry Focuses

While many businesses have slowed and Amazon resorting to delivering essential supplies only, the following industries needs remain:

  • Food/Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Pharma
  • E-commerce 
Positioning


Customer Service & Partnership Focus

Companies in customer service industries are being met with increased demands and stress. As we work with our partners within these key businesses and have a strong outbound sales development effort, we are producing opportunity results to get our clients in front of prospects who are open and seeking help. Some questions to ask to keep in mind:

    • Is your organization providing emergency relief efforts during this time?
    • Has the extra up-time and equipment used caused increased need for servicing/repair/parts?
    • Sample Introduction
      • Good Morning/Afternoon, this is [NAME], reaching out from Company Name, (Insert Description of Company). I'm on the Business Development team and I'm reaching out to companies that may be impacted from the virus and wanted to see if there were issues that have affected you that we might be able to help support?"

Gauging Current Provider Confidence

Due to the continuously changing landscape, companies are being forced to evaluate their confidence level with existing providers and asking themselves things such as:

    • “Does my current provider have the ability to perform our contracted agreements?”
    • “Is there a lapse in service due to the existing providers increased workload?”
    • “Does my current provider have the scalability and bandwidth to support our increased demand?”
    • “Is my current provider providing me the level of visibility and transparency that I need?”
    • “Is my provider effectively communicating their plan to respond and adjust to the current market?”
Coordinating Next Steps
 

With social distancing being a focus for many individuals and businesses, companies have taken steps to limit and even shut down face-to-face interactions and meetings. Many companies are not allowing people into their facilities. As a result, our SDRs have changed the ask from physical appointments/meetings to WebEx and conference calls.

In Summary

The material handling and supply chain industries are being put to the test across America who are heavily relying on these businesses to ensure materials and supplies are being delivered where needed and as quickly as possible. Leading companies in these industries have found ways to increase their focus on outreach to customers and prospects to ensure that they are doing everything they can to support this need.

 

If you’re in these industries and are looking for more information and insight on how to stay ahead and in front of your customers and prospects, let’s talk.