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!