24 Jan 5 steps in managing sales of trucks
Latest posts by Janusz Sobczak (see all)
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Sales of commercial vehicles is a very complicated process. Struggling with numerous competition, following deeply personalized preferences – certainly require a lot of focus and an ability of multitasking on different fields. Presumably, whether you are a company owner, a manager or a salesman, you also experience some difficulties recognizing most important duties.
In this article I explain what to do to optimize sales operations in order to identify the needs of the customer and contact them at the right moment with a personally tailored proposal.
There is no doubt that putting customer’s needs on a pedestal has become a determinant of development for modern companies. Values that matter are: efficiency, support, punctuality, good service and openness to new ideas and directions. An offer made strictly around product’s characteristics does not sell anymore.
This trend definitely did not omit the automotive industry. If so, what should you do to sell trucks? Here I come with 5 simple rules. Let’s go through them.
In many companies software designed for managing internal resources becomes increasingly popular. A large part of currently operating businesses base their activities on knowledge collected with the help of the enterprise resource planning systems (ERP). Accounting, warehouse and administrative archives, in most cases, find their reflection or simply get replaced by computer data files.
In order to work on your KPIs in the world of trucks and trailers, you should definitely invest in a tool dedicated exclusively to sales. The specificity of the information in the industry and the need for continuous updates require a separate, individualized system. There are many solutions made to support customer relations. They are commonly recognized under the CRM abbreviation, meaning literally: customer relationship management. Features offered by such systems have the potential not only to illustrate, but also significantly improve existing processes in the company.
Keep an eye on the market
It is important – while maintaining relationships with transport companies – to continuously scan the market. Changes in traffic-related regulations, large tenders for towing services, new environmental regulations and similar factors may quite suddenly determine orders of heavy vehicles in a particular period. It is important to remain in touch with your clients, also because many of them start to look to purchase something close to the end of their current lease agreements. You should be aware of such dates.
The CRM system in its nature can remind you of upcoming appointments, maintenance, services, the necessary exchange of fluids in your customer’s truck etc. With such a solution you are always well-informed about (less or more crucial) reason to resume contact with your counter party. Knowledge of this type of conditions collected, stored and updated within one CRM system, can be a very useful tool.
From the practical point of view, improvements offered by the CRM applications concern:
- integration of your customer base with the official record of registered companies – enter a valid VAT number and other gaps for contact information will fill in automatically;
- migration and integration of data from another system, for example ERP software;
- generating suggestions of further sales activities;
- assigning contacts according to the preferable rule (for example rule of business regions);
- product catalog update – easy access to information about available, sold, reserved or delivered vehicles;
- operating on selected sales units– possibility of working with: net value, gross value, number of invoiced vehicles, number of delivered vehicles, number of registered vehicles etc.;
- mobile off-line app – access to the system on mobile devices, also offline.
Did you know that…?
Opensourced CRM can be freely configured. In case of demand for individual feature, it is possible to rebuild the system to be perfectly suite your requirements.
Identify the needs (not just the product)
A decision to purchase a new vehicle usually happens as a result of time-consuming consideration and extensive analysis. Potential customer is usually informed about the offer available on the market. The owners of transport companies, especially those about to start their businesses, very carefully examine all the possibilities they have. It is pretty common that the product itself – perfectly configured truck in a good price – is not enough to convince them. This is why proper identification of customer’s needs, advice on business issues, assistance in the selection of financing, providing all sorts of required documents – are the factors strongly consolidating decision on the choice of a partner.
Take care of business relations!
After just one, satisfying transaction it is now more likely to build a long-term cooperation. A customer, who in a very accurate way examined the market, considered all the pros and cons and finally decided to use your services, should be rather hesitant to go through the whole process again. Keeping the customer in the conviction of the rightness of his decision is, therefore, a much easier task than developing relationships from scratch. Given the above, one of the main tasks of today’s sales teams is to maintain a positive impression about the company. Information about the experience and the course of the purchasing process is something that specialized CRM systems offer within extensive “customer journey” module. Such logs are definitely a powerful weapon in business negotiations.
Thanks to CRM systems also people from other departments in the company remain up to date with the arrangements made by the merchant. This feature helps to avoid: unfortunately phrased payment reminders, duplication of actions within a sales team, mistakenly added discounts or simply incorrectly addressed e-mails. The system ensures comfortable access to the full context of information and thus reduces the risk of miscommunication in the company.
To sum up, …
To effectively manage sales plans in a firm that sells trucks, it is essential to diagnose whether your internal organization has been adapted to respond constantly changing customer needs. In order to increase sales of vehicles, buoyant sales manager must not forget about such aspects as: post-transactional support, consulting, up- and cross-selling strategy (offering financing, spare parts, service etc.). Even if your company does not cover some above, it is important to support the customer in search of the most appropriate option. The added value that builds loyalty and trust in mutual relations, is certainly a pro-client approach when solving all sorts of around-sales issues. Fitted customer relationship management system, simplifies and organizes all the described conditions.
Check how MAN Truck & Bus Polska handled the issue.
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