Are you a sales professional who is thinking of changing your industry and logistics sector, however, wants to continue in sales?
You might be wondering how different the sales function is when it comes to logistics than in any other industry?
Let me explain first how sales happen in the logistics sector.
Based on the trade transaction between a buyer and a seller who might be based in 2 different places, the consignment or shipment is shipped by the seller. Thus, the seller becomes the consignor. The consignor may approach a logistics company to ship the consignment or may have already an understanding with a logistics company to take care of his/her shipment needs. Also, the buyer may have a preference in which logistics company he/she wants the consignments to be delivered to.
In this scenario, the seller is known as the consignor who books the consignment, and the buyer is known as the consignee who receives the consignment. The sales in the logistics sector are divided into credit and retail sales.
In credit sales, the customer who has a regular load of consignments to be dispatched may not want to pay every time he/she books the consignment with a logistics company. Therefore, the customer will agree with the logistics company wherein he wants to book the consignments throughout the month and the bill for the freight amount at the end of the month so that the payment needs to be paid only in the following month. This will help the customer to manage his/her cash cycle.
In retail sales, either the consignor/seller pays the freight amount at the time of consignment booking or the consignee/buyer pays the freight amount at the time when the consignment is delivered. That means the freight amount has to be paid to the logistics company for each business transaction between the consignor/consignee and logistics company within the time the consignment is delivered.
Well, the credit or retail sales can be with organizations/individuals who operate in B2B, B2C, C2C, C2B, B2G, and D2C business formats. The sales team in a logistics company is segregated into new sales, account management, retail sales, and customer relationship.
The news sales team focuses on acquiring new customers mainly for credit sales, the account management team is responsible for establishing trust & a great relationship with the existing customers to ensure regular business as well as opportunities for up-selling & cross-selling, and the retail team focuses on smaller businesses & individuals with smaller shipment volume, while the customer care team provides the back-end support for the sales teams.
Any person who wanted to pursue a sales career in logistics should have the following:
- Sales process knowledge
- Good knowledge of supply chain management and logistics
- Ability to establish trust and strong relationship
- Analytical ability
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Business acumen
- MIS & reporting
- Time management
- Negotiation skills
- Coordination & collaboration skills
- Ability to handle pressure
- Problem-solving skills
A logistics sales or business development professional should be ready to understand the stated and unstated needs of the customers, and learn about the customer’s product & business nature, which means helping the customers meet their business objectives by moving their products safely & securely, storing as long as they wanted, cut down on overall logistics cost and add value across their value chain. In essence, you have to become their trusted supply chain partner.
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