COMPANY OVERVIEWAPL Logistics designs and operates global supply chains that deliver products worldwide. The company’s innovative end-to-end solutions use data connectivity for greater visibility and control. APL Logistics provides the resources necessary to support the entire supply chain. With more than 300 offices serving over 55 countries, the firm’s 4,500 seasoned logistics professionals offer local expertise throughout a truly global network.
SITUATIONAPL Logistics’ sales organization focuses on selling complex supply chain solutions to large enterprise accounts. In order to increase pipeline opportunities, the company decided to augment their current marketing and sales efforts via targeted telemarketing support. APL Logistics executives set out to find a marketing partner to assist them with developing and executing a lead generation initiative, which would allow them to keep their sales organization focused on pre-qualified “sales-ready” prospects. The company evaluated several agencies in order to find the right marketing partner. “It was important for us to find a marketing company who could help us identify immediate-term leads and understand the complexity of our end-to-end worldwide supply chain solutions in order to assist us in developing long-term contract-based leads,” said Bill Spiker, vice president of business development for APL Logistics.
SOLUTIONIn 2011, APL Logistics hired TeleNet Marketing Solutions, a business-to-business lead generation agency based in Athens, Ga. The companies agreed to execute an outbound teleprospecting program utilizing two of TeleNet’s marketing communication specialists to represent APL Logistics’ service offerings within their target market. Together the companies developed a messaging and teleprospecting strategy to position APL Logistics’ services, while also gaining an understanding of each prospect’s long-term needs for third-party supply chain services. This approach allowed both immediate opportunities and long-term leads to be identified and developed. While telemarketing was the primary media utilized, TeleNet developed a contact strategy that also included email, marketing content and strategic voice mails. Prior to initiating the activity, a critical component was to identify a relevant database. By building a profile of APL Logistics’ ideal customer, TeleNet identified a data source containing vice presidents and directors of logistics, warehousing and supply chains within specific account and geographic segments. This data was combined with a database APL Logistics had compiled and became the starting point for the initiative. Leads were then developed through one-on-one conversations with decision-makers.
RESULTSIn order to accurately measure success, TeleNet set specific benchmarks based on historical results from similar programs. TeleNet anticipated that a 2 to 3-percent list-to-lead conversion rate would be achieved on the initial cold-calling. Actual results have been more impressive — nearly 15 percent higher than initially anticipated. However, the real measure is that TeleNet’s leads are converting to opportunities and, most importantly, new customers. “APL Logistics is very pleased with TeleNet’s efforts,” Spiker said. “In a timeframe of only 10 months, we are already seeing new customers — including some of significant size and scope — from this collaborative effort. And we’re optimistic about the success of additional program enhancements going forward.” In addition to identifying highly qualified leads for the APL Logistics sales organization, TeleNet has gathered valuable intelligence about APL Logistics’ market — who the key decision-makers are, what types of logistics and supply chain solutions are used today, when are contract evaluations conducted, which competitors are being used and much more. This valuable intelligence has been captured on over 2,000 accounts. In order to maximize investments, TeleNet has deployed a nurturing process to build relationships with these accounts and ultimately help move them to “sales-ready.” TeleNet is accomplishing this by utilizing a contact strategy comprised of telemarketing and email, while leveraging APL Logistics’ online content, media placement and regional events to build a relevant dialogue with prospects.
"In a timeframe of only 10 months, we are already seeing new customers -- including some of significant size and scope -- from this collaborative effort." Bill Spiker Vice President of Business Development