Football teams have playbooks for a reason. Sure, the goal might be to win the game. And everyone might be on the same page about that goal. But without the playbook, players will run around aimlessly, trying to make the win happen in silos (and chaos).
When it comes to your freight brokerage business, one thing is certain: a clear strategy to support your goals is critical.
Strategies come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few must-haves:
Who are you targeting?
How do you talk to your prospects?
What are your competitors doing?
What are the tactics that will attract and convert your prospects?
Are your internal teams aligned around a common goal?
Align Sales, Marketing, and Operations
For long-lasting momentum and team accountability, you must have alignment between your sales, marketing, and operations teams through a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This is sometimes called Sales and Operations Planning, or Sales and Marketing Agreement.
These formalized agreements ensure:
All three departments are aligned on common goals
Individuals are held accountable
All three departments are aware of what the other teams are responsible for
Each team can rely on the others to deliver their part
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract between departments that outlines specific deliverables in the form of numbers or metrics.
A good SLA will include:
A summary of the agreement between departments
Example: Marketing agrees to generate X number of leads, Sales agrees to close the loop on each lead within two hours, and Operations agrees to nurture the client relationship through X communication checkpoints.
Goal of all parties
Each department will likely have their own separate—but connected—goals
What’s needed of all parties
This might include weekly or daily status updates, regular stand-up meetings, etc.
Points of contact
Who is responsible in each department to ensure goals and expectations are met?
Plan if goals are not met
An agreed upon plan B if goals are not met
HubSpot offers a great article on how SLAs can be used for internal departments as well as client relationships.