Yearly Archives: 2015

Trends in Mobile for 2016 (and How They Impact Your Sales)

Mobile

We at Sales Force Europe are fortunate to work with some of the smartest technology companies in the world, many of them in the mobile and telco sector. And in our capacity as the European sales force for these companies, we have a prime view of the mobile trends bubbling to the surface – and specifically how those trends will impact global sales opportunities.

Here we have synthesized four important trends in mobile for 2016:

1) Mobile Screens Are Now The Primary Screens

The tipping point between desktop screens and mobile screens already arrived during 2015: currently 54% of time spent viewing digital media is now spent looking at a mobile screen. (source: comScore).

Another study from Nielsen shows that mobile viewing is cutting into TV time: the audience for TV viewing among 18-34-year-olds fell 10 percent (to 8.4 million people/minute) while viewing from a smartphone, tablet or streaming box grew 26 percent (to 8.5 million people/minute).  (source: Associated Press)

With so many eyeballs shifting from TV and desktop screens to mobile screens, everything from where entertainment and news is consumed to how enterprises roll out corporate software will be impacted. Location-based data can be over-laid on top of almost any service or software function to give it new meaning and capabilities. Everything from enterprise applications to video advertisements will have to be re-engineered to load quickly on 4G networks and re-designed to be interfaced via small screens and clumsy thumbs.

Selling these new mobile-optimized products and services will often involve mobile operators and Telco networks – and the resources and know-how to navigate their bureaucracies.

2) Retail Shifts to Mobile

Another trend from 2015 that will become more manifest in 2016 is the shift of retail sales to mobile devices. Online retail sales has been growing faster than in-store retail sales for the past several years, and now the online sales are shifting from desktop to mobile devices. Ironically, shoppers are bringing their mobile devices back into the retail stores where they comparison shop, look up discount codes and promotions to apply, and even purchase in-store but have the items ship to their homes.

The largest growth in mobile commerce (m-commerce) is actually coming from other parts of the world outside of the United States. Europe, China and Latin America all lead the U.S. by a wide margin and comprise 63% of global m-commerce revenues. Europe alone counts 93 of Internet Retailers ‘Mobile 500’ merchants, and has contributed an estimated $25.66 Billion in m-commerce sales this year.

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Source: Internet Retailer – 2016 Mobile 500

This trend is opening up huge sales opportunities for vendors of mobile hardware and software such as mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS), NFC and other mobile payments technologies, in-store beacons and ad networks, text-based marketing and promotions software, etc. The UK, in particular, is way ahead of the United States and other countries in consumer adoption of these mobile retail and marketing technologies.

3) Internet of Things (IoT) Is A Mobile Sales Bonanza

The first web cam was deployed in 1993 to let grad students at the University of Cambridge monitor a coffee pot so as to avoid a wasted trip if the coffee was out. A year later the first WearCam was developed.

Two decades later, cheap WiFi chipsets and ubiquitous Internet connections are allowing everything to become IP-addressable. This trend, coupled with the advent of new and inexpensive sensors, has also propelled the wearables sector to new heights with everything from sleep monitors to sports clothing embedded with training sensors to GPS tags and wearable health monitors for pets.

The impact of IoT on mobile and Telco is that virtually every IoT device has a mobile app to go along with it. This trend yields sales opportunities for related mobile products and cloud services like cloud-based monitoring services for healthcare and sports, industrial sensors, and other applications

4) Ad-Blocking Moves to Mobile

There are now 198 million active ad block users worldwide, according to PageFair. Ad blocking in the U.K. in particular grew 82% during 2015 to 12 million active users. Many of the major ad block developers like Adblock Plus offer mobile browser versions, and with Apple’s the release of iOS 9 — which actually includes APIs to allow content blockers to work with Safari — the move of ad blockers to mobile has accelerated. A start-up company called Shine recognized that mobile operators have a large incentive to keep bandwidth-hogging ads off of their network infrastructure, and introduced an ad-blocker that works at the network level. Asian mobile operator Digicel is a customer, and operators in the UK are exploring.

As with all shocks to an ecosystem, the impact will stimulate growth of new technologies and services, new ad formats, even new malvertising and the related security technologies to stop them — and new sales opportunities.

How These Trends Impact Your Sales

If any of the trends outlined here touch your business, you will likely be selling into a Telco or mobile carrier network. Since the Telco’s are service providers who operate on a subscription business model, now more than ever your sales approach must focus on revenue or cost savings, not on your technology.

Also, successful sales campaigns to Telco’s touch multiple departments, so having a sales person who is well connected to multiple contacts within the target company is essential. There are many complementary technologies within the Telco ecosystem, so if the ‘direct’ approach to the Telco is not delivering results, be creative and try working via partners who are already trusted and working with the Telco in your target country.

SFE has been selling into the Telco ecosystem since 2003 and we have 65+ seasoned sales professionals who are native in 27 countries and 14 languages.

Sales Outsourcing can give your company access to high-performance sales professionals with established buyer contacts, and can deliver a relatively quick boost to revenues. Much like selling through a channel, sales outsourcing can also help companies penetrate certain hard-to-reach vertical markets, or rapidly expand sales in new geographies like international markets. Sales Outsourcing is the fastest and lowest-risk way to grow revenues.

SlideShare presentation:

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How to Hire The Right Sales Agents to Conquer Europe

Building a sales team to take your company into Europe entails more than hiring a sales agent in the UK and hoping to expand from there. But it doesn’t require entering into expensive office leases and hiring sales agents for every EU country, either. Even mid-sized companies can successfully internationalize their sales teams by hiring engaging the right people, focusing on results, and knowing when to empower the local team.  with independence. In this paper, we’ll briefly summarize the steps to success.

Selling into Europe’s GDP of $18.4 trillion in 2014 is a tantalizing opportunity to many technology companies. In fact, according to data in Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends report the cost to US companies for not going international is staggering:

  • In 2015 Internet Trends report the cost to US companies for not going international is staggering:
  • Of the world’s 2.8 billion Internet users, only 10% are in the US In 2013, 9 out of the 10 top internet properties (Google, Facebook, etc.) were based in USA
  • By 2014, 6 out of 10 were based in USA and 86% of their users were international

Sales outsourcing specialists like Intralink (for Asia), Global Business Fluency (for Latin America), and Sales Force Europe (for Europe) offer experienced, in-country sales agents who know the local laws, customs and languages. These contracted sales professionals can start out working part time, land your first key accounts, move up to full time as revenues scale, and then tap into their networks to hire in-house sales agents and build out the rest of your sales team.

1.  Choose the Right Sales Agents
Asking your top sales person to move internationally and set up shop is a strategy that is fraught with risk and disappointment. Not only do they not have local connections and sales contacts to kick-start revenues, they also don’t have the local network to hire other sales agents and build your team. Relying on a recruiter can be equally frustrating in time, costs and flexibility.

Instead, find an experienced sales agent already living in your target country and who has established industry contacts in your target verticals, channel relationships, and personal networks with other sales professionals.

Sales outsourcing specialists like Intralink (for Asia), Global Business Fluency (for Latin America), and Sales Force Europe (for Europe) offer experienced, in-country sales agents who know the local laws, customs and languages. These contracted sales professionals can start out working part time, land your first key accounts, move up to full time as revenues scale, and then tap into their networks to hire in-house sales agents and build out the rest of your sales team.

As one example, social media integrator Livefyre used Sales Force Europe to kick-start international sales in 2013. Within 90 days they closed a large strategic deal and within a year they had secured millions in new revenue. Livefyre now dominates their space in Europe with Sales Force Europe’s support.

2.  Focus on Results
Managing salespersons or sales teams from across the Atlantic means you’re not going to able to sit with them day-to-day. So the best way to manage fairly is to focus on their results. And as obvious as it sounds, to build a winning sales team you need to define what it means to win. Some examples of measurement could be:

  • Total new accounts opened (and Key Accounts opened)
  • Total sales volume vs. profitability
  •  Sales conversion rates and sales cycle length (how many touches are required)
  •  Funnel Health (quality, focus, pipeline depth, etc.)
  •  Total contacts per market segment.

Since sales people usually decide for themselves what tasks to conquer and in what manner, it’s critical that everyone agrees to the priorities and goals from the beginning.

But while results are what matter, understand that technology sales work differently in Europe than in the US and be prepared to provide your sales teams with different types of support that you are accustomed to in the U.S. For example, VARs (Value-Added Resellers), SI’s (Systems Integrators), and resellers in Europe often expect the technology partner to generate initial leads, while they translate and localize your marketing materialssimply provide support infor their home territory. Once they see that a vibrant market exists for the product, then they will become more proactive with their own lead-generation.

3.  Know When to Let GoEmpower the Local Team
Managing sales staff overseas requires a higher level of trust. The best sales people prefer and demand a high level of independence, which can be difficult for executives back in the U.S. to accept. But once a salesperson or team has proven itself, it’s important for HQ to let go. Inundating your (highly self-motivated) sales team with daily e-mails and calls to “check int” sends a wrong message.

Instead, use their successes to start building your sales “playbook” to teach others how to sell your product or service. Analyze what are the best practices and build a checklist of what your sales people need to do to be successful. Check out our Services to see what we can provide your company to achieve more sales.

Rick Pizzoli is CEO and founder of Sales Force Europe, a team of 60+ ‘on-demand’ sales professionals working in 27 countries and 14 languages throughout Europe. The firm helps businesses scale internationally while avoiding the costs, risks and delays associated with opening foreign offices and hiring local employees. Rick can be reached at [email protected]

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How to Drive Sales in Europe

By Albert M. Costilo – VP USA Business Development Sales Force Europe

How can you drive sales in Europe? Virtually every US technology venture gets to a point where it decides to explore expanding sales in the EU. This is a wise move, as the EU zone represents $18 Trillion in GDP and is home to the 6 most “tech-ready” countries in the world. It is a great region to invest in sales growth…if you can make it work. But there are a few obstacles in your way.

For one thing, the EU is not a single place. It sounds good to say, “Let’s sell in the Europe.” That’s certainly a lot more confidence-inspiring than, “Let’s get boots on the ground in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.”   Oh, and speak 14 languages while we are at it.

How will you do it? Success in Europe requires local presence, high-levels of attention, consistency and ability to respond solve problems quickly. Hiring local sales representatives is a viable option but the process tends to be lengthy and costly. It can stretch out your time to market. Also, technology sales people in the EU tend to have a higher ratio of base to commission than you find in the US so your up front salary and benefits expenses can be higher than you’re expecting.

You can hire an independent business development contractor. However, this can be hit or miss and hard to scale, especially if you lack local market knowledge. There are channel sales options, and these can be tricky to navigate without the right channel sales manager to drive. Re-sellers tend to work toward their own advantage, and who can blame them? Typically they represent a large portfolio of companies and promote what lines are most profitable.

Another challenge is simply reading a different culture. While technology sales people from the Benelux, DACH, and Nordic countries often speak superb English, there is the potential to miss subtle cultural cues that are extremely important. A candidate might be telegraphing serious unsuitability for the job that would be noticed by anyone from his or her home country, but not by you. For instance, can you differentiate between regional accents in Italy, France or Germany? Things like that can make a big difference selling in Europe. Even if you’re great at spotting sales talent in an American interview, you might not find it when there’s a cultural barrier. The same is true for distributors.

We give you a way to bypass many of these challenges and get to a point of sales success in the EU on a schedule that will appeal to your investment board. We offer an outsourced salesperson model, one that matches you with senior, contract-based sales managers in 27 EU countries. It’s a flexible contract that can scale up or down with little in the way of administration costs, no labor liabilities and no regional gaps.

Our contract-based sales managers can work on a direct sales and indirect channel management basis. In fact, it’s often best to do both: Have the contract-based sales manager make direct outreach to his or her extensive Rolodex of contacts while also managing the relationship with local re-seller partners. If they can provide revenue for the re-seller, the re-seller will orient themselves to helping your business grow. It’s a profitable alignment of incentives, if you can place the right person in charge or the relationship.

We are not the only company providing this service, but we are truly distinctive in our ability to offer coverage beyond the basic UK/Germany base that is typical in this sector. We have seamless coverage throughout the EU. We’ve been doing this since 2003 and work in all 27 EU countries. In fact, half of our clients are actually European. They rely on us to work on their behalf in other EU countries where they lack presence and localized knowledge and contacts. If they use us, then perhaps you should, too.

Check out our Services to see what we can provide your company to achieve more sales.

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EyesOnT: Outsources European Sales Task to Sales Force Europe

IoT service technology vendor EyesOnT has hired Sales Force Europe to expand sales of its M2M service throughout Europe.

In the white-hot IoT sector (Internet of Things), EyesOnT is making an infrastructure play with a service that analyzes real-time usage of IoT devices and data traffic.

Its flagship product, EyesOnT™,helps IoT service providers and their customers reduce connectivity costs and optimize rate plans, by analyzing real-time usage, billing, and rate plan data, detecting and mitigating inefficiencies well before the end of the billing cycle.

About EyesOnT™

Established in 2004 as Rizotec, the company develops M2M connectivity optimization solutions for IoT service providers of all sizes. Rizotec’s team brings over 20 years of experience in design, development, and integration of telecommunications management and monitoring products. Among its customers are leading telecom equipment manufacturers, operators and service providers, including Cisco, NSN, Telit, Vodafone, Cellcom, and more.

Mirasys & SFE – “to Scale Sales of Video Management System”

Video cameras are everywhere, and with all those cameras come a lot of video data that needs to be managed – especially in commercial and enterprise situations. To capitalize on the growth of enterprise-grade video camera installations, Mirasys has partnered with SFE to scale up sales in Spain and Europe.

Who is Mirasys

Mirasys is one of the leading providers of open platform Video Management Systems (VMS) for IP and analog camera surveillance applications and systems. The company develops and supplies solutions that help organizations manage and utilize information captured by digital video and CCTV cameras. Mirasys video systems are used for loss prevention, perimeter protection, building management, and enhancement of operational efficiency by customers from many industries in over 40 countries.

Mirasys becomes another great partner with SFE. See a list of all of our clients here.

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EyesOnT

EyesOnT

EyesOnT Its flagship product, EyesOnT, helps IoT service providers and their customers reduce connectivity costs and optimize rate plans, by analyzing real-time usage, billing, and rate plan data, detecting and mitigating inefficiencies well before the end of the billing cycle.

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Livefyre Case Study: How to Tap into the Europe’s $18 Trillion

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Albert M. Costilo – VP USA Business Development Sales Force Europe

Those of you who read my blog regularly know my passion for Latin America, but as part of my own rebalancing you’ll see some of my attention shifting to Europe where I believe the economics conditions are ripe for technology sales right now.

Europe is such a tease…  It’s sitting right there, all $18 trillion of in GDP, so close but so out of reach. Setting up shop in the Europe can be a costly, lengthy hassle – probably beyond your budget and time horizon.  If you’re an emerging tech company seeking to lock in major foreign clients, you want the marketshare dominance but you may be loathe to expend the resources associated with opening and investing in a foreign office and hiring local employees prematurely. This is an understandably frustrating position.  You want it. You can’t have it, it appears.

This is the challenge faced by Livefyre, the social engagement platform.  They were ready to scale sales globally, and Europe was the right region. But the restrictive EU labor laws and an estimated 12-months of investing critical resources just to set up a subsidiary and hire locals did not make sense.  Yet, they found a way to make it work.

Launching in the EU turned out to be not so daunting once Livefyre found a proven On-Demand Sales Agent model. US tech companies can engage European sales managers from major corporations who offer their contacts and skills as part of a group called Sales Force Europe.  These sales managers can operate with an established network of relationships on a part or full-time basis in a variety of European countries simultaneously.

Livefyre followed the same path that TiVo, EyeFi, and RingCentral pursued in the earlier stages of international growth by signing on to Sales Force Europe’s On-Demand Sales service.  Within four weeks, Sales Force Europe trained a senior sales manager, who came from the same industry in Europe, on Livefyre’s products.

The On-Demand Sales Agent model gave Livefyre the following advantages:

– A local presence in the EU without having to set up an office.

– A local sales hire without needing to obligate the company with burdensome EU – employment regulations.

– A fast track to a rich EU sales pipeline.

Within three months, Livefyre closed their first strategic deal with a major player that established regional credibility. In less than 9 months, Sales Force Europe had closed multi-million dollar deals for Livefyre with a pipeline many four times as great.

Stay tuned for more!

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OxCEPT

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OxCEPT had developed a military-grade authentication and security protocol for transmitting sensitive data via iOS devices. The technology was developed at Oxford University and customers include the US Navy and the British Ministry of Defense, and is now commercially available as an iOS app.

OxCEPT’s flagship software, Scrambl is military-grade communication app that enables teams or individuals to create Private Virtual Channels (PVCs) between any iOS device, over any unsecured network. PVCs can be created in less than 30 seconds, and can be used once and discarded, or left up indefinitely depending on needs. Scrambl PVCs can be used for text, file transfer, and in upcoming app versions, voice communications.

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Sales Outsourcing Story About Sales Force Europe: Our Way


Sales outsourcing and go-to-market sales in Europe can be daunting for American tech companies and failure is expensive. If you know someone that may have Europe on the 2016 radar, then this short YouTube will increase their chances of success.

Video Transcript:

Since the beginning of time, we’ve always wanted to go further, cross the oceans and conquer new frontiers at great risks, costs, and delays. Opportunities were achieved by the wise.

This is a story of Sales Force Europe. Imagine a man, a man with an idea, an idea that turns into a business and a company that wants to grow. The question is, “How can the company reach new markets?”

One way to begin is by taking hundreds of planes, opening new offices, hiring people, paying for lawyers, all while losing track of the goal – revenue and profit.

Is there a better way? Here is where Sales Force Europe comes in. How do we work?

One, we get to know the company and propose a strategy.

Two, we test markets before major investments are made.

Three, we prepare SFE people located in qualified target markets to be part of the client’s team.

Four, we find customers, close deals and grow revenue and profits, all in the name of our clients.

The Sales Force Europe service has many benefits. Cost savings, fast time to market, reduced risks, clear objectives, local knowledge of the target markets, experienced team and achieving revenue and profit objectives without the headaches of flights, recruitment and offices.

That makes the man with the idea a very happy man indeed.

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Graebel

Graebel Companies is a global organization that administers the full suite of employee and commercial office relocation, mobility management, workplace and consultative services for the Global 100, Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies. On-the-ground services are managed in 165 countries on six continents. The world headquarters is located in Aurora, Colorado USA with centers throughout the Americas, APAC and EMEA regions. Known for its industry-first innovations, Graebel holds numerous quality and security credentials, and has earned accolades from clients and from within its industry for its best-in-practice performance, market intelligence research and corporate social responsibility initiatives across the globe.

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