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  • Writer's pictureKurtis Tryber

The Power of Visibility: How Data-Driven Carrier Reps Outperform their Peers

Traditionally, Carrier Sales Rep (CSR) managers measure and assess their Carrier Sales Reps (CSRs) based on the following metrics:

  • Number of outbound calls

  • Number of loads booked

  • Avg margin per load

With these metrics, managers only scratch the surface. What's the opportunity cost of lacking this deeper level of visibility?

Let's suppose a CSR's outbound call target is 100 calls per day. If that CSR reaches 80 calls and it is 3 PM, they know for a fact that additional calls won't lead to more load bookings. To meet their outbound calls metric, they might even call their friends to 'fudge' the numbers. That's 2-hours of lost productivity. Therefore, measuring and assessing performance using this metric in isolation disincentivizes productive behavior.

How about loads booked? If loads booked are low, does that mean the CSR is a poor performer? Maybe. If CSRs aren't booking loads, they aren't providing value to shippers and carriers. However, perhaps they don't know which carriers to match load opportunities to. They might be superstars at building carrier relationships, but there is no way to track and reveal that.

But what about margin? Let's suppose a CSR must meet an average margin of 20% and can move some freight at $1,000 at a 10% margin. That rep might say, "Since I will only get a 10% margin, I won't book it." This disincentivizes building proper carrier and customer relationships. Sometimes, taking a smaller margin will lead to larger margin opportunities. Furthermore, the margin might be lower because the rep is talking to the wrong carriers. There is no way to know by measuring only three basic metrics.

Because most managers lack visibility into more in-depth metrics, they miss out on opportunities to:

  • Incentivize better CSR performance.

  • Strengthen customer and carrier relationships.

  • Generate more long-term, sustainable, inbound sales opportunities.

Freight brokerages need a better way to measure and incentivize their CSR team performance. In this post, I focus on four performance metrics that managers should track.

The Four Performance Metrics

1: Number of Inbound Quotes

If a CSR is generating inbound quotes, this is a good proxy for the strength of both carrier-engagement and carrier-relationships. Furthermore, this statistic incentivizes CSRs to engage their carrier networks more frequently and ask them to quote. By measuring and reporting on the number of inbound quotes, some of our customers are reporting that their reps are generating roughly 60 quotes per day!

2: Number of additional capacities generated per carrier sales rep

One of our customers shared a brilliant insight— they grade their CSR's performance on additional capacity obtained from their in-network carriers. As a result, their reps are incentivized to engage with their in-network carriers to identify and request for additional capacity. For example, their CSRs will communicate the following to their carriers: "By the way, you did a great job before on shipping these loads. We can do a lot more of these together. Will you start sending us more of your capacity? Put it in an email and let us know where your trucks are. We will use those emails to send you better load opportunities as they arise."

By incentivizing CSRs to help increase carrier capacity, managers are gaining more visibility on trucking options. Aside from increasing carrier engagement and loads booked, generating additional capacities can help position brokerages to attract more shipper clients. At Parade, we see our customers creating upwards of 29,000 additional capacities from carriers by measuring and incorporating this into their CSR performance metrics.

3: Carrier Reutilization

Large freight brokerages typically have tens of thousands of carriers in their network. While it is excellent for CSRs to book a load with a carrier in general, it's just as essential to re-engage those carriers to book more loads of a similar type.

For example, if a carrier books 1 load per month, how can you increase it to 10 loads per month? By measuring carrier reutilization, you incentivize your reps to find more of the right loads for the right carriers— this increase strengthens in-network engagement and relationships.

With the help of a Machine Learning (ML) solution, we can help CSRs identify new lane opportunities with their carriers. As a result, CSRs can book more loads and move more freight with their in-network carriers.

4: Stale Carrier Re-engagement

A large freight brokerage client of ours has a carrier network of about 30,000 carriers. What our client didn't realize, was how many of their in-network carriers remained dormant. Dormant carriers are carriers that have booked loads with your brokerage before but have not engaged for some time.

By incentivizing CSRs to reignite dormant carriers through measuring 'stale carrier re-engagement', our client brought 33% of their dormant carriers back into the brokerage's carrier ecosystem. While doing this increases loads booked, it also increases in-network carrier utilization and increases carrier capacity.

In Summary

By providing your CSRs with clearer visibility on key metrics, you can:

  • Incentivize more performance-oriented behavior.

  • Rapidly strengthen carrier engagement and relationships.

  • Reveal and capitalize on booking opportunities that are sitting within your carrier networks already.

  • Grow your carrier capacity and attract more shipper clients.

  • Generate more long-term, sustainable, inbound sales opportunities.


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