Any company expanding internationally must take the target nation’s legal, regulatory, and cultural environment into consideration. Companies can thereby choose to build up their own sales force in the new, uncharted territory, or they can outsource (part of) the commercial activities to a specialized organization. Especially for suppliers of complex tech and software solutions, outsourcing the commercial activities may be an excellent choice or welcome addition to their international expansion plans for the reasons set out below.
- Shorter time-to market
Attracting staff who will sell your product or solution in Europe is a time consuming and often costly process. The selection procedure usually takes several months and once you have found the right person (or team of people), it still takes a few weeks (and in many cases even months) until he / she is fully “up and running”. Professional sales outsourcing companies are organized in such a way that they can make resources available swiftly (typically within four weeks) for the launch / market introduction of new products, solutions and services. As a result, the time-to market of the products or services of your organization can be shortened significantly.
- Market knowledge
Each market has its own characteristics and peculiarities. Anyone who has ever done business internationally knows that it is hard to build up a successful and scalable structure at distance, without possessing the necessary language skills or knowledge of the culture. Obviously you can attract a team of people who already have experience in the markets relevant for your organization. However, such people are rare, not available right away and “they come at a cost”. Outsourcing organizations have knowledge of the local market. They understand how business is done, they know the local mores, have knowledge of the relevant laws and regulations and they speak the language.
Related: Why your european market entry strategy should start in the North
- Personal relationships and client information
Professional sales outsourcing companies are data / information driven organizations. They have – especially if they have been around for some time – an extensive network of personal contacts at various levels within a large number of companies and organizations. In addition, they should be able to provide direct access to information on the organizational structure, needs and preferences, systems, decision structures, strategic choices and interests of prospects, customers and strategic partners. For a company entering a new market, it is impossible to rapidly build up such a level of knowledge and network of contacts.
Investing directly in a new market (by opening a local office or attracting new people) implies that your organization is committed to a chosen policy for a longer period. Adapting the policy based on specific market conditions or new insights is not always easy. By working together with an outsourcing partner, you can respond swiftly and flexibly if the market or situation requires so. A professional outsourcing organization can quickly and easily adapt the team of people that operates for / with your organization in terms of size, required skills, seniority and background.
Related FAQ: Would we need to commit to a 12-months contract?
- Minimizing risk
Expanding to new markets is often a leap of faith. Even though an extensive market survey may have been carried out, the proof of the pudding is in the eating: it is by no means certain that new activities will lead to the projected results within the expected time. By working together with an outsourcing partner, you are able to test new markets and postpone major investments until you have found a model / structure that works for your organization.
- Focus on your core competencies, sales is a profession
You have developed a great solution, built an innovative product or launched a promising service. This has taken you years of research and development which must now be capitalized upon. Not only in your domestic market, but also beyond. Especially technologically advanced and complex products and services call for a strong, professional and proven approach. Sales is a profession. Complex software / technology sales is a very difficult profession. A profession that requires a methodological and structured approach. Professional outsourcing companies can offer this. So you can concentrate on developing, building and extending great solutions, products and services.
Start expanding your international business
Ready to start expanding your international business? Good! Before you continue, download our key account qualification checklist which will help analyze the strength of your sales funnel: