ShipBob is a Chicago-based company that offers shipping and other logistics solutions to small business owners. The company primarily works with online businesses and other small business owners to pack and ship merchandise and other items, allowing business owners to focus on their business rather than spending time waiting in lines and making shipping arrangements.
When the company began, it worked with a small sales force who worked tirelessly to grow the business. ShipBob has since seen month over month growth of around 30 percent and has begun plans to expand into new cities. Marketing Manager Anthony Watson shares the company’s initial sales strategy and how its executives grew the business.
(Photo courtesy of Anthony Watson)
When ShipBob began, its executives and a small sales team put in enormous effort to launch the company. Watson states, “Initially, we had a grassroots sales campaign that literally involved our team making 100 cold calls to small businesses before lunch and then spending the afternoon in front of the post office trying to find potential clients who were dropping off their shipments for the day. This was crucial for a couple reasons. First, we learned our pitch. After 150 – 200 conversations a day, our team knew exactly what ShipBob was offering.”
The initial commitment helped employees refine their pitches to focus on solutions that the company could offer to perspective clients. Watson recommends a similar approach for any startup. “The modern startup company or small business doesn’t want to cold call or cold email anymore because it is a tough, annoying and sometimes depressing job. All of this may be true, but putting in the reps early in your sales process is invaluable. When you come out of the other side of your hustle stages, you and your team will have a great database of knowledge about your company’s true value-add, what types of businesses benefit from your service or product and also the character of your inside sales team.|”
Use successes and failures to refine your tactics
One outcome of ShipBob’s initial sales campaign was that it gave the team a chance to interact with potential customers and determine which approaches were more effective. The sales team used the information in future sales efforts. Watson states, “Once you have some clients and feedback to work with, research tools that help you automate and double down on the things that actually work. We use tools like Close.io [CRM], PersistIQ [drip email campaigns] and MailChimp [marketing emails] to automate the day to day leg work. Full suite CRM’s like Salesforce aren’t necessarily built for everyone, so test a few tools out and see what works.”
Sales strategies have remained relatively unchanged for decades, and they continue to work. If you are a small business owner, don’t discount the benefits of traditional sales methods like cold calling and prospecting. Like ShipBob, you can use them to connect to potential customers and refine your message.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for Small Business Pulse
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