When we fire up the old noggin to try and find ways to increase outbound sales and improve our bottom line, we usually think about a new email script, whether to add videos to social outreach, or where to buy a list to cold call.
The product is usually one of the last places we focus on, and the shipping on the product falls even further down the list.
Well, it’s time to turn that list on its head and take a few minutes to discuss how a third party logistics company’s (3PL) outsourcing fulfillment of your products just might be the outbound shot in the arm your team needs.
Include freebies in orders
Fulfillment outsourcing is a tactic many people use to focus on improving operations for internal purposes. However, there are a variety of outward-facing options they provide you, especially as you look to test out fresh marketing or products.
One chief way outsourcing allows this is that your fulfillment partner has access to high-volume printers and other materials that you can rely on for marketing and promotional items. Also, they have full access to your stock, so you can add any item you want to an order without hassle.
We know gifts for friends can increase outbound efforts, and a fulfillment partner is set up to make this simple and easy.
Another solid benefit is that they have existing relationships with carriers, usually securing you a better deal on each item you ship. So, why not target certain regions with gifts to prospects.
If your region is small enough, you can even give your fulfillment company a list of freebies from a nearby store to target a micro-location and let your partner do the hard work of ensuring that a certain zip code is getting the right advert.
Satisfied customers create social leads
Social always seems to increase its importance for inbound and outbound marketing efforts. We’ve seen smart targeting via
LinkedIn connections as well as brands searching out people who have questions on Twitter (even if it’s a competitor’s product) and hoping that positive support will yield a new customer.
Social media gives you a chance to learn more about your prospects before reaching out. The on-time guarantee of outsourced fulfillment gives you a simple, direct “in” with many of your leads.
Find a customer asking about a product like yours and look to see if they’ve tweeted or posted about poor customer service.
Shoot them a quick link to a tailored product and say that you bet their order will be on-time or the shipping is free. This can also be a CTA for a social ad.
You’re leveraging a promise that you’ve been given and, if something does go wrong, you’ve got a partner who can be responsible for making things right.
Social is also a place where more customers are doing their research about you. So, if you’ve outsourced your fulfillment and increased on-time deliveries by 33%, or reduced shipping costs to customers by 10%, share those stats.
It can help keep many leads toasty and warm.
Cut costs to hire an outbound specialist
A common advantage of outsourcing fulfillment is that you tend to cut costs if you’re a growing business. Outsourcing often comes with lower costs associated with space, equipment, staff, and even packaging supplies.
You’re sharing much of the overhead with other customers. Plus, fulfillment partners usually work hard to keep their pricing stable, ensuring you can pay and are willing to pay for the service.
(Here’s a cost breakdown that suggests most companies who have moved outside of the garage stage but aren’t ready for a full factory will save through outsourcing).
This frees up a little cash for you to put directly into your outbound efforts. You can hire a killer cold caller or a whiz at email. There are also options for you to buy outbound toolkits and templates that your team can use and improve for better results.
Whatever the hole in your current sales strategy is, now you’ve got a chance to fill it with a cash infusion.
Improve your sales scripts
Scripts are the lifeblood of outbound sales, but they must walk the line between being too promotional and painting enough of a wonderful picture for your lead to bite.
Outlining your benefits in each script is a chief way to get customers on board, and outsourcing fulfillment can be one of those positives you share.
Imagine telling a customer that their order is guaranteed to be on-time and correct, with 99.9% accuracy.
By showing that you’ve hired the best, the lead will be inclined to think your product deserves the best, improving the value the lead places on it.
Promises like that are especially important for specialty and high-end goods as well as just about anything that’s sold in the B2B space. The wonderful thing about partners is that you can leverage their success for yours.
Free up your staff to focus on leads
If you’re in a startup, you probably wear more hats than you’d like. This can mean days where sales staff are pulled into the warehouse side of things so big orders can be met or if you need to make up for no one being around because your delivery truck is stuck in traffic.
Outsourcing this aspect of your operations relieves all those headaches. Your logistics partner must plan and manage and handle all those elements, allowing you focus on leads and sales.
You can even outsource the physical side of your products with drop shipping to save even more — it’s a tradeoff on smaller margins in most cases but less overhead, and it leads to positive case studies like this one.
Reach new markets
Considering new market segments or regions but don’t want to expand your warehouse or install a new brick-and-mortar location?
Outsource your order fulfillment to ensure that your goods can reach anywhere in the U.S. in two or three days because they already have the distribution centers you need.
This enables your prospecting to look beyond localities where you relied on UPS or FedEx to affordably get things to their destination quickly.
The added benefit is that a 3PL is used for shipping goods all over, so they can answer questions you might have about the process.
If you’re working with a large or specialty partner, they should even be able to help you fill out the right forms and stay compliant with international orders.
Outbound sales are a key to growth, so empower your salespeople to target the best possible lead, no matter where they are.
Analyze deeper trends
Your CRM is only as good as the data you have. 3PLs use massive amounts of data to optimize their warehouses and keep their operations running smoothly, meaning lots and lots of information about your products.
Fulfillment services tend to have some of the best analytics available on how your sales are going and the different requirements for your goods, such as calculating how many different boxes various orders will require.
Outsourcing can give you access to this information as well as a variety of metrics and reports, allowing you to put together the most compelling offers that you customize for new leads.
If a bundle of 18 products can fit in a single box but increasing up to 19 puts you in two boxes, you know how to set your offer for the best margins and the best deals. It can turn lead magnets and tripwires into their most lucrative versions.