Third Party Logistics: How to Find Clients for 3PL Companies

How to Find Clients for 3PL Companies

Third party logistics companies are experts in everything related to “logistics,” yes? However, when it comes to putting a sales plan into action to find ideal clients and expand the 3PL customer base, some 3PL businesses are having difficulties. This might be due to the limited time, a lack of marketing expertise, or a tight budget. 

These are just some of the challenges that can prevent your 3PL company from reaching its full potential which can also lead to missed opportunities, slow response times, and ultimately, lost business to competitors with bigger sales teams. 

The result? Lost sales and stagnant pipeline.

Now, it might seem hard to overcome these kinds of challenges, but let me tell you this: the 3PL industry has seen an extraordinary growth for the last several years. What’s more? The third-party logistics was expected to reach USD 1.8 million by 2028. 

This is evident that the 3PL companies are becoming more and more important in terms of the global logistics and supply chain industry. Now, the million-dollar question is, how do you capture your share of this massive growth? How can you generate leads in logistics? How can you get more ideal clients for your business?

How to Find High-Value Third-Party Logistics Sales Leads

illustration for finding high value 3pl sales leads

Attracting the right people who align perfectly with your services and hold high growth potential is the key to a successful 3PL business. But do you ensure you’re reaching the businesses that perfectly align with your services? Here are some proven strategies to generate a pipeline of high-value 3PL sales leads:

Segment your buyer personas within your target market

segment your buyer personas within your target market

Imagine sending the same marketing messages to everyone – do you think it would be effective? The same principle applies to attracting 3PL clients.  Buyer personas are detailed profiles that represent your ideal customers. That’s why understanding their unique needs and challenges can help you create targeted messaging that resonates with them.

Learn how to drive sales in B2B logistics.

So, why are buyer personas important?

  • Different industries, different needs. Large and heavy components of automotive parts manufacturers, for example, need durable and stable storage. While a pharmaceutical company needs temperature-controlled storage for sensitive drugs. 
  • Company size matters. While a huge retail chain may emphasize scalability and interoperability with current systems, an e-commerce startup may favor cost-effective fulfillment solutions.
  • Decision-makers have unique priorities. The VP of Operations at a company may be most concerned with efficiency and cost savings, while the Director of Marketing might be focused on faster order fulfillment times to improve customer satisfaction.

By defining your buyer personas, you gain a deeper understanding of your ideal clients, including:

  • Their goals and challenges: What are their biggest pain points in their current logistics setup?
  • Their buying process: How do they typically research and evaluate 3PL providers?
  • Their preferred communication channels: Do they prefer email, phone calls, or webinars?

With this knowledge, you can tailor your messaging and outreach to resonate with each persona.

So, how can you translate this into action?

  • Craft targeted content: Create blog posts, case studies, and white papers that speak directly to the specific challenges of each buyer persona.
  • Highlight relevant solutions: Showcase how your 3PL services address their pain points. For example, emphasize cost-effective solutions for e-commerce startups or solidly build inventory management systems for large retailers.
  • Speak their language: Use industry-specific jargon and terminology that resonates with each persona.
  • Personalize your outreach: Personalize your emails and phone calls by referencing their specific company and needs.

By taking the time to understand your ideal clients, you can attract high-value leads who are a perfect fit for your 3PL services.

Generate a list and reach out to your prospects

Once you’ve defined your buyer personas, it’s time to build a targeted list of prospects and initiate contact. Here’s how: 

1. Leverage industry resources:

Get updates and subscriptions to online publications, journals, and newsletters. A lot of them provide buyer guides or directories with a list of businesses in your chosen industries.

Participating in trade shows and conferences is also one of the excellent ways to identify companies that could benefit from your 3PL services. These events offer networking opportunities and allow you to connect with potential clients directly. You can start by looking for companies exhibiting a need for 3PL services, such as those struggling with in-house fulfillment or experiencing rapid growth.

Lastly, you need to explore online directories that list companies by industry or location. These resources can help you identify potential leads that align with your buyer personas.

2. Create your prospect list:

Once you’ve gathered information from various sources, consolidate it into a targeted prospect list. Include details like company name, contact information, industry sector, and any relevant notes about their specific needs (e.g., recent growth, focus on e-commerce fulfillment).

3. Audience outreach:

Don’t wait for leads to come to you – go after them! Here are two effective ways to reach out to your prospects:

#1. Personalized Emails: Create customized emails that introduce yourself and your 3PL company. Briefly reference their company and how your services address their specific needs based on your research. Offer a valuable resource like a white paper or case study relevant to their industry.

#2 Targeted Phone Calls: For key prospects, you might want to consider a direct phone call. But, make sure to tailor your call to their specific challenges and showcase your expertise in addressing them.

Remember: The key to successful outreach is to offer value upfront.  Focus on how your 3PL services can help them overcome their logistics challenges and improve their overall business operations.

Discover how the Callbox lead generation campaign secures a $6M deal for a B2B logistics company.

Optimize your website

As almost everything is going digital these days, your website serves as your 24/7 sales representative. Because of this, having an easy-to-navigate website that provides concise details about your offerings and value is essential.

However, having a website alone is not enough. You must provide insightful content that solves the problems of your target audience if you want to draw in real high-value leads. Go over articles such as “Cost-Saving Warehouse Solutions for E-commerce Businesses” or case studies that highlight productive alliances with related businesses.

By using SEO best practices and appropriate keywords to optimize the content of your website, you can raise your organic search rating and make sure that potential clients discover you when they’re looking for 3PL solutions.

Connect and engage through social media

In B2B marketing, social media platforms such as LinkedIn serve as an effective marketing platform for lead generation and brand exposure.

You may position yourself as a thought leader and draw in prospective clients who are actively looking for 3PL providers by regularly posting industry news, thought-provoking articles, and feedback from customers.

Generate more 3PL leads?

How to Market 3PL Logistics

The 3PL industry is fueled by factors like e-commerce and the increasing demand for faster delivery times, businesses across diverse sectors are increasingly turning to 3PL providers to manage their complex logistics needs. So, how can you tailor your 3PL marketing efforts?

For E-commerce and Retail

image for ecommerce and retail

The growing industry of E-Commerce has created a surge in demand for fast, efficient, and fulfillment solutions, coupled with the need for seamless integration with technology platforms.

To cater to this sector, make sure to highlight your expertise in order processing, multi-channel fulfillment (including omnichannel and same-day delivery), and inventory management systems that integrate seamlessly with e-commerce platforms.  

But it doesn’t stop there. You should also highlight your capabilities in leveraging technology for real-time features like order tracking, inventory visibility, and advanced analytics to optimize fulfillment processes throughout the supply chain.

For Manufacturing and Automotive

graphic for manufacturing and automotive

Just-in-time manufacturing (JIT manufacturing), complex supply chain management, and the growing use of automation are some of the factors driving the manufacturing and automotive industry. These factors create a demand for 3PL providers who can offer not only reliable warehousing and transportation but also seamless integration with technology. 

To work with these industries, you must highlight your strengths in mass storage, efficient cross-docking for distribution, and value-added services like kitting and assembly. Don’t forget to showcase your experience in handling industry-specific materials, whether oversized or hazardous. 

Most importantly, emphasize your investment in automation technologies like warehouse management systems (WMS) and robotics to ensure faster picking and packing processes. By demonstrating these capabilities, you can position yourself as the ideal 3PL partner for manufacturers and automotive companies.

For Technology and Electronics

illustrations for technology and electronics

The tech industry’s constant innovation requires 3PL providers to be nimble and adaptable in their logistics solutions. To cater to this sector, make sure to highlight your experience handling high-value and delicate electronics. Emphasize your capabilities in secure storage, specialized packaging, and just-in-time inventory management.  

Lastly, don’t forget to showcase your understanding of the tech industry’s ever-changing product lifecycles and the need for strict quality control measures.

For Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare

graphics for pharmaceuticals and healthcare

The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is driven by the need for expert third party logistics solutions due to strict regulations and temperature control requirements for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. 

To cater to this sector, make sure to emphasize your expertise in temperature-controlled warehousing and specialized packaging. Additionally, highlight your compliance with industry regulations like cGMP and HIPAA. Moreover, showcase your track record in secure storage and on-time delivery of sensitive medical products. 

Lastly, don’t forget to mention your investment in advanced technology – specifically cold chain management systems and real-time shipment tracking.

Do you need help generate more B2B leads and boost your 3PL sales?

3PL Lead Generation Best Practices

best practices for 3PL lead generation

A 3PL company’s ability to consistently generate quality leads is important for its success. Industry insiders have identified the following key takeaways:

  • Multi-Channel Approach: Don’t rely on a single channel for lead generation. Utilize a combination of website optimization, social media engagement, and content marketing to reach your target audience across various platforms.
  • Content Marketing: Create valuable and informative content that addresses the specific pain points of your buyer personas. This establishes you as a thought leader in the 3PL space and attracts qualified leads who are actively searching for solutions.
  • Targeted Outreach: Personalize your outreach efforts through channels like email and phone calls. Also, make sure to demonstrate your understanding of their challenges and showcase how your 3PL services can address them.

Putting it All Together

While it might require some initial effort, structuring a systematic approach to 3PL lead generation within your organization can yield significant returns in terms of business growth.  By clearly defining your ideal customer profile, targeting the most effective marketing channels, establishing a formalized sales process, and incorporating relevant technologies, you can position your 3PL company to outperform the industry average.