What is Goodwill in a Company?

Does Your Trucking Company Still Need An Outside Sales Force?  February 3, 2013 – 02:26 pm
Biz Tips Goodwill Impairment

During my early days in the trucking industry, I spent a number of years directly or indirectly managing sales teams.  At the time, the sales process was largely focused on number of personal calls per day and on customer entertainment.  While service was and still is important, there was a heavy emphasis on face time with customers and prospects, through a combination of lunches, traffic club dinners, sports events and golf outings.  One company I worked for had a policy of five customer lunches per week and two entertainments a month.  Representatives were encouraged to be “out in the field” making their designated number of calls per day.

The world of transportation sales is going through drastic changes in 2013.  These changes are being driven by three key factors: economics, technology and customer requirements.  Let’s take a look at each of these changes to understand their impact on the sales process.

Economics

During the Great Recession, every trucking company was forced to carefully scrutinize the productivity of each sales person in order to justify their value to the company.    As part of this process, many companies began to realize that expensive car allowance programs, entertainment allowances and travel expenses, coupled with salaries, perks and bonuses made the value proposition of some street sales people quite unattractive. Poor producers were downsized.  In addition to layoffs, detailed cost analyses showed that inside selling, which keeps sales people off the road, can be as much as ten times cheaper than street sales personnel.  Industry estimates show that each contact made by an inside sales rep may cost $25 to $30 while a face to face sales call can cost $300 to $500. 

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