The bidding and RFP process can be a make-or-break proposition for logistics companies. Securing new business — or winning a new contract with an existing customer — often requires going through a bidding process that details your services and why they would be the right fit for the customer.
One of the most important keys to winning more contracts lies in getting into the bidding and RFP processes as early as possible.
Logistics companies that enter those processes before competitors have advantages like:
- A better understanding of the buyer’s pain points and needs
- A stronger relationship with the buyer throughout the process
- A head start over the competition
- More time to spend on proposals (on average, companies spend 35 hours completing an RFP)
How Can a Logistics Company Identify a Bidding Process as Early as Possible?
Traditionally, companies have relied on industry networks, word-of-mouth, or general calls for RFPs. Those methods require either advanced knowledge of a company’s plans or sheer luck.
But, what about buyers in different industries or emerging markets that might not be on your radar at all? Those bids can go completely unnoticed and you might miss out on the opportunity to win a deal that was the right fit for your company.
Finding these kinds of bids and RFPs requires an early detection system that alerts you when buyers are gearing up to make a purchase.
Building an Early Detection System for RFPs
Companies that are on the hunt for logistics services are actively performing research that reveals their intentions to launch a bid process.
That research could include:
- Online research into topics related to logistics services
- Reading content or looking at your different offerings on your website
- Comparing competitors in your industry
- Reading industry publications about your industry
All of these activities usually happen anonymously, far from the scrutiny of marketers and sellers. Potential buyers don’t usually announce their intentions until they’ve already done significant research into potential solutions. In fact, research shows 70% of the modern buying journey occurs anonymously.
But anonymous online research activities leave a digital “breadcrumb trail.” Armed with the right technology, marketers and sellers can:
- Spot buying signals (also known as intent data)
- Associate them with specific accounts, and
- Alert revenue teams about potential customers who are showing interest in the types of solutions they offer
By associating buying behaviors with key accounts, you now know which companies need your services. Your sales team can begin researching to understand if an RFP process is about to begin.
Here’s a real world example: KBX, a logistics company, used 6sense to uncover a bidding opportunity they otherwise would have missed.
“Within three weeks of turning on 6sense, a sales rep let me know he booked a meeting with a very large beverage company,” explained Chris Klein, head of national business development at KBX Logistics. “He found out they were about to launch a bid process. We were able to get invited into the process, and were able to win some business.”
Sales Intelligence Unlocks Actionable Insights Throughout the Bidding Process
If you uncover a previously unknown prospect that’s starting a bidding process, you can also use sales intelligence tools to quickly learn what you need to know to effectively compete for the business.
Sales intelligence gives your teams the crucial information they need to uncover key personas and start building a plan to enter a strong bid.
With sales intelligence, you gain access to:
- Key personas within the account
- Firmographic data like revenue, locations, number of employees, and industry
- Market updates that highlight when accounts are expanding or poised for expansion, using data such as recently raised funds or job listings
- The key technology an account uses
- Previous engagements a business has had with your company
This information provides a competitive edge by empowering you to:
- Execute personalized marketing and sales campaigns throughout the bidding process to influence the account
- Deliver more effective proposals that speak directly to the account’s needs, based on their real-life activity
- Sync information across your team’s crucial platforms (like a CRM or MAP) to improve alignment of sales and marketing activities
- Uncover all the key decision-making personas on the buying team and measure your influence
Incorporating sales intelligence into your bid process will make for more informed proposals, better coverage of the buying team, and more effective campaigns to influence your chances of winning the business.
Logistics companies are constantly on the lookout for bidding and RFP opportunities. One of the best ways to increase your chances of winning those bids is to get in as early as possible.
By capturing the activity that signals a company is in-market and about to request bids, your teams can get the drop on the competition and win more deals.