A Guide to Sales Outsourcing in the UK

Your company is growing and the next move is to scale to London and continue to increase revenue by attracting new customers with the help of sales outsourcing in the U.K. And now is the right time for you and your business to explore new markets abroad. Expansion into Europe raises all sorts of questions and there’s serious planning ahead. First decide on location and find the most desirable market for your SaaS product or service. Prior to planning your go-to-market process, strategy and plan — and any decisions around hiring an outsourced sales team — you need to consider the where and how. Once decided where, setting up, scaling and growing in the shortest time is the real key to success, as you move quickly with the best sales team.

Where will you choose to expand? There are plenty of good reasons to place a pin firmly on the U.K. Discover why the U.K. is one of the easiest markets in which to gain traction, and take some tips from our guide to sales outsourcing in the U.K., making the road to Europe and to successful selling, problem-free and smooth.

Post-Brexit U.K.: A different landscape

The Brexit referendum charged many a lively debate before, during, and after it was passed. The withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union (EU) and the referendum itself damaged the economy, there’s no doubt. However, now that the dust has more or less settled, it’s safe to say that the U.K. is still a great place to expand to, to do business, and to consider sales outsourcing for your tech business.

The U.K. is a good choice for European expansion

Why might the U.K. be best for your European expansion? Measuring numbers is a logical start so let’s check out the stats:

  • During the past five years in the U.K., tech companies raised £97 billion.
  • Last year, the tech industry there continued to race ahead at record levels of success — £24 billion — higher than both France and Germany combined.
  • There is more venture capital (VC) investment there than anywhere else in Europe.
  • The U.K. has eight cities with more than two unicorns.

London is a natural landing point (from the U.S.) for technology companies like yours and post-Brexit it’s still a great place to work and live, with an excellent scale-up community as endorsed by our sales partner here at Sales Force Europe, Nigel Pollard. Working with us for the past 13 years helping tech companies go-to-market in the U.K., Nigel admits he has seen all the crashes and downturns from Brexit fallout to layoffs. “And in each case, there's been a shock and then a period of stagnation, before companies get on with it – or see their competitors beat them to market." 

Three reasons why the U.K. is the right choice for your tech business

The U.K. has no language barrier

Paving the way and avoiding obstacles makes the fastest route. Prepare by looking at country-specific issues that might hold you up and find the best solution. One of the most obvious of these is language and the barriers that can bring. When you’re looking to attract new customers, suppliers, or business partners — strategic partnerships that will take you to sold — isn’t it just easier when they’re already speaking your language? That’s probably reason enough alone to make the U.K. an attractive contender for your tech offering, as you won’t have to invest in translating your English app and marketing materials.

SaaS is evergreen in the U.K.

Identify product market fit (PMF) and ideal customer profile (ICP) for perfect alignment. Your product has to closely match the chosen market, and you have to know exactly the customer who wants to buy it. There are of course, tech trends, and these should be closely monitored to ensure you are selling the most up-to-date and required SaaS solution or product. The U.K. is the place to be when it comes to fintech. The number of firms in that sector (1600) is projected to double by 2030. With over 76,000 jobs in the U.K., the fintech market is an important contributing industry to the country’s overall economy. Sustainability is a subject that everyone is talking about. The U.K. is known to be leading the race to a net zero carbon economy, with cutting-edge technology and revolutionary research, leading the way in clean growth. Perhaps that makes it just the right place for your sustainable and innovative greentech SaaS service or product?

Tax incentives for your tech business in the U.K.

The U.K. is an attractive and business-friendly location for expansion and growth. Worried about corporation tax? The U.K. has one of the lowest rates in the G20 at just 19%. There are also plenty of tax credits and incentives to take advantage of and be duly noted when considering the U.K. for your company’s growth and expansion into Europe. On the other hand, due to some government funding changes, visas are likely harder to come by, so partnering with a sales team already based in the U.K. might be the smarter move.

SaaS sales in the U.K.

The U.K. is a competitive market, but with a good sales strategy, a target market and a well-planned and carefully thought-out approach, you will succeed. The target market is already there. Your SaaS product or service is only as good as the sales people you hire who will be out there introducing it to your new U.K. market. First impressions count. 

A new market will mean you will encounter teething problems and issues to overcome.

The language may be one barrier you don’t have to cross when you expand to the U.K., but there are still regional accents and local cultural hurdles — and how to pour your tea and spread your scones — to be aware of and traverse. That can be overcome by sales outsourcing in the U.K.

U.K. business culture counts

Business culture is something we are all aware of today, how you do business is often the deal-sealer. Companies (and therefore new customers) will often prioritize this. British business culture exists. Punctuality is high on the list, as is politeness, trust, fairness and respect for diversity. Humor may sometimes be perceived as ironic, and may take some getting used to. 

Whoever you employ to take your product forward to a new U.K. market will need to be as fluent in British culture as they are in the language. 

Create a strong and local U.K. sales team

You will need the best-performing team. A team of strong sales representatives comprising experienced people who will get things done and get the sales that are necessary — fast. They will be locals, used to doing business in London or other U.K. cities and well-versed in local business culture. They will also understand the sales cycle, and how that has changed over time.

Our CRO at Sales Force Europe, Gavin Page, has worked in tech sales leadership and management in the U.K. for more than 30 years, including with scale-up companies from the U.S.

Gavin notes that despite the political turmoil of the past 12 months the U.K. remains in a position of relative strength, especially considering the more obvious and macro-economic factors of Brexit, the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, and the winners and losers from that. For tech companies the new way of working  — working from home and hybrid — has brought a change in infrastructure that they were already familiar with. There’s already a lengthening of the sales cycle, with those buying software solutions looking for a much more defined return on investment (ROI). Nobody is buying quickly or on a whim. Sales teams have to really look at what is being brought to the table and know their product and their customer, advises Gavin. “So ensuring that unique selling point (USP) and that return on investment, and making sure that those things are very, very obvious to your customer, is critical in ensuring that you don’t have your sales cycle derailed at the last minute. And again, focus on that, does it increase sales? Does it reduce costs? Does it do both? And be really clear about what that message is.”

By leveraging the services of sales outsourcing in the U.K., you will be able to get that message across with ease. You’ll stand out from the crowd with a tech-savvy London team of sales agents all managed at the local level. Relationships are still what close deals, especially when approaching channel sales, government contracts and telecommunications. 

Ask the experts

Don’t rush the initial decision-making. As much as you want to get in there and start closing deals, you have to get the process right with expansion and sales outsourcing in the U.K. Zero in on your target market, check out the competition, sure — but also consult market experts. Experts with professional specialization in your vertical that will act as your guide to sales outsourcing in the U.K. At Sales Force Europe we will also advise you how best to position your offering in the market, localizing the offering and presenting it in a way that's a good fit by a great outsourced sales team.

“It’s all about trust and experience,” says Nigel Pollard, “knowing what works for the client and for the customer, otherwise it just won’t work. It’s essentially about time, patience, timing, and of course, a little bit of luck.”

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