16 Dec 5 steps in managing sales of trucks
Sales of commercial vehicles is a very complicated process. Struggling with numerous competition, following deeply personalized preferences – certainly require a lot of focus and 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 we will explain what to do to optimize operations of sales team in order to identify the needs of the customer and at the right moment contact him with a personally tailored offer.
There is no doubt that putting the customer’s needs on a pedestal has become a determinant of development in modern companies. Values that matter are: efficiency, support, punctuality, good service and openness to new ideas and directions to cover customer’s needs. An offer that was made regarding only and strictly characteristics of just the product doesn’t sell anymore.
This trend definitely did not elude the automotive industry.
- How not to get lost in the pile of information about a wide, extensive customer base?
- How to ensure a high standard of service at all levels of sales process?
1. Use your computer!
In many companies, programs designed for managing internal resources are becoming increasingly popular. A large part of today 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 even tend to be replaced by computer data files.
When considering methods to improve the management of selling trucks and trailers, you should definitely go a step further and 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. Currently there are many different solutions on the market made to support relationships with clients. 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.
2. Keep an eye on it!
It is well known how important it is – while maintaining relationships with transport companies – to continuously scan the market. Changes in road traffic 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’s 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. It’s always convenient to know about 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) premises to resume contact with your counterparty. 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 national 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 on further actions that should be taken by a salesman;
- assigning contacts according to the preferable rule (for example rule of business regions);
- updating product catalog – easy access to information about available, sold, reserved or delivered vehicles;
- operating on selected sales units – possibility of assigning to the sales plan for example: 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, even outside the Internet range.
Did you know that…?
CRM built on the so-called open source code can be freely configured. In case of demand for individual feature, it is possible to rebuild the system to be perfectly suitable with your requirements.
3. Identify the needs (not just the product).
A decision to purchase new vehicle usually falls as a result of time-consuming consideration and extensive analysis. Potential customer is usually well-versed in the offer available on the market. Owners of transport companies, especially those about to start their businesses, very carefully examine all the possibilities they have. It’s 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.
4. Take care of relations!
After just one, satisfying both parties 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 our services, should be rather unwilling 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 on past 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 reminder, duplication of actions within a sales team, mistakenly input discount or simply incorrectly addressed mail. The system ensures a comfortable access to the full context of information and thus reduces the risk of noise and plugged communication channels in the company.
To sum up, …
To effectively manage sales plans in a firm that sells trucks, it is essential to diagnose whether our internal organization has been adapted to respond constantly changing customer needs. Due to the specialized type of this field, a key competitive advantage is to offer a comprehensive service to the contractors.
To increase a quantitative in sales of vehicles, buoyant sales manager must not forget about such aspects as post-transaction support, consulting, as well as providing a wide range of additional services (financing, spare parts, workshop etc.). Even if our company does not cover some of the above, it’s 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 pro-client approach when solving all sorts of around-sales issues. Fitted customer relationship management system, simplifies and organizes all of the described conditions.