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ABM Delivers Deeper Insights for 4PL Companies to Find the Right Buyers

4 min
Logistics leaders examine their prospect pipeline

The fourth-party logistics (4PL) industry is on the rise. The market is expected to reach over $100 billion in the next decade. Additionally,  54% of 3PL companies have indicated they view partnerships, like 4PL initiatives, as a priority for their business.

4PLs give customers peace of mind by managing the entire supply chain, removing the need to spend valuable in-house resources handling those needs. 

4PLs can also assist 3PLs by offering them a network of connected vendors that can pool resources, information, and technology. 

But the model doesn’t work without the right insights about your target audience. If your 4PL company can’t identify…

  • 3PLs that are facing growing pains and are actively searching for a 4PL provider that can act as a valuable partner in their shipping and logistics operations 


  • Merchants experiencing rapid growth that would benefit from outsourcing all of their logistics operations

… then you’ll waste time and money chasing cold leads or businesses that have no need for your services. 

The type of information that greatly benefits 4PLs trying to grow their business includes:

  • Accounts actively looking for services like yours
  • Key contacts at those target accounts
  • Insights to target the right buyers with relevant, personalized messaging 

Account-based marketing (ABM) surfaces these key insights, making it much easier to identify the right accounts to target, how to prioritize your outreach efforts, and build engaging campaigns. 

How 4PL Companies Can Find Hidden Buyers

As mentioned above, the 4PL industry is growing at an impressive rate, meaning more and more buyers will be searching for services like yours.

But, how do you find all of these accounts as they start their buying journey for 4PL services? 

Attempting to search on LinkedIn for 3PLs or other accounts that might need your services will lead to frustration and unanswered cold calls. 

To find the accounts and buyers that are interested in your services and in-market, you need to capture the signals that reveal their buying intent

When a company or buyer is looking for 4PL services, they do what every buyer in every industry does: turn to the internet. 

They start performing research like:

  • Visiting websites of 4PL companies to learn more about their services
  • Searching for topics related to the 4PL industry on the internet
  • Comparing vendors on trusted third-party review sites
  • Reading industry websites and publications

Being able to capture that critical data with ABM technology will reveal buyers who are actively researching industry topics.

For instance, you can find buyers who are looking to understand the difference between 4PL and 3PL. They may be searching terms such as “integrated services provider” or “freight forwarder.” Once you’ve uncovered these buyers, you can target them with outreach that positions yourself as a trusted consultant and puts you front of mind for 4PL services.

Uncovering Key Contacts at Your Accounts

Once you’ve uncovered the accounts that are in-market for your 4PL services, you need to understand which contacts you should target with your engagement.

First, make sure that prospects match your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) by understanding their industry, company size, and other key characteristics. Companies that match your ICP and are searching for services you offer are part of your In-Market Ideal Customer Profile. These are the best companies to target.

But to efficiently and effectively influence these accounts, you need to target the right people.  Otherwise, you’re still hunting for a place to start.

Automatic contact acquisition is a key component of ABM technology. This feature enables you to constantly acquire new contacts for your database if they fit your pre-defined fit criteria like:

  • Title
  • Department
  • Purchasing intent

You probably know from your past deals which job titles are part of your customers’ buying teams. With automatic contact acquisition, your sales and marketing team will be alerted to an account that’s in-market and know who to target immediately. That means less time spent hunting for contact info, and more time for selling.

An ABM platform can also make your existing contact records more useful by enriching them with information about the research they’re performing, or market updates at their company (like new rounds of funding or expansion into new geographic locations).

This info makes it much easier to strengthen relationships with existing contacts.

Deliver Personalized, Relevant Outreach to Your Buyers in the Right Places

With ABM technology, you’re now able to capture anonymous signals that reveal in-market accounts and start uncovering the key contacts at those accounts.

This information makes it much easier to start crafting campaigns that will resonate with your target audience:

  • The topics they’re most interested in
  • The products or services they’ve researched the most
  • Their history of engagement and stage in the buying journey

All of that data means you can start crafting campaigns specifically for accounts and buyers that speak directly to their needs and interests.

Example: You’ve uncovered a company interested in 4PL services, and they’ve specifically researched your supply chain orchestration offerings. You acquire contact information for key buyers in the department responsible for maintaining their supply chain. Now it’s time to create an advertising campaign that delivers hyper-targeted messaging about supply chain orchestration that targets those key buyers and appears on web pages relevant to their research.

The above example illustrates the immense power of ABM for 4PL companies. Instead of wasting time and money creating generic campaigns to blast to your database in the hopes of a response, you take a proactive approach in engaging buyers that are in-market and more likely to be receptive to your outreach.

A study has found that companies that personalize their engagement drive 40% more revenue than those that don’t. Not only will you drive more engagement with personalized campaigns aimed at the right buyers, you reduce wasted time and money spent on less productive outreach, doubling your benefits. 


4PL companies benefit from employing ABM strategies and technologies by uncovering hidden buyers, the activities and research they’re performing, finding key contacts at those accounts, and building hyper-relevant campaigns that have a high-likelihood of delivering results.

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

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