Upskilling salespeople in logistics is crucial: McKinsey
The traditional transportation and logistics industry is facing modern challenges of upskilling their teams and getting them onboard the method of using data analytics, according to a report by McKinsey. Analytics, be it predictive or prescriptive, lack conviction and that’s why sales professionals find it tough to use data to in their decision making. Logistics companies are increasingly focusing on getting their sales teams acquainted with the various data points that enable organizations to categorize customers, manage space availability, demand and supply.
Skilling the sales force requires a multistep approach. One of the companies studied by McKinsey had developed a dashboard wherein sales professionals are able to determine the number of shipments and manage pricing especially with larger customers. The dashboard breaks down the complex concept of data analytics and helps sales professionals categorize on the basis of routes.
Coaching the teams about analytics and the insights that can be gleaned from effective analysis is key, according to McKinsey. Helping sales professionals understand why and how a particular customer was targeted or chosen enables them to channel their energy towards certain leads who are more likely to be nurtured. Some transport companies have built context around each lead and profiles that sales personnel can use in their calls. In a way, data analytics provides a source of talking points and a way to train the sales representatives.
A major characteristic of transport and logistics companies is a workforce that is spread across different locations. According to the study, when the entire sales team is based out of multiple locations, adapting technology and analytics into their daily lives gets tough.
McKinsey has observed that the best organizations usually make capability building a major priority. Building a routine to incorporate skills building is crucial for those working in large teams such as a transport and logistics organization. Setting time aside on a Friday to study customer insights and framing sales conversations for the week ahead, is one such example.
If logistics and transportation firms were to use existing data and apply analytics, sales teams would be able to make creative use of the data and incorporate insights into their daily routines. McKinsey estimates that firms can get up to five percent return on their sales by making smart use of data analytics in their sector.