Successful tech companies are always for your next move. If that’s upscaling to Europe, it could be a well-thought out, shrewd move. If you want to look at where technology, the world’s most powerful industry, is headed, then look to Europe, rather than to the U.S., predicts The Economist.
Europe boasts 132 tech unicorns — companies that have a valuation of at least $1 billion — with 84 launching just last year. A regional insights article by Just Entrepreneurs found that, yes, the U.S. still has quadruple the unicorns, but, lately, Europe has seen the most growth.
Europe provides a large and varied consumer market, but some types of tech companies are better suited to launching in particular European countries than others.
One burning question is how to be just as successful across Europe as you already are at home. On home turf, you’re well versed in the tricks of the technology trade in order to get and keep repeat customers — the raison d’etre for your success. But, there can be a lot lost in translation with a move abroad — so maybe the real question is: How can I get clients from Europe?
Here are three dos — and two don'ts — to assist you in making the right decisions to increase the likelihood of attracting new clients from Europe.
Before we talk about how (and how not to) and where to attract clients from Europe, let’s first talk about the biggest success case if late. There’s a clear focus on the European unicorn leaderboard — fintech . We see this in our own fintech clients who have successfully expanded in Europe, including Alma payments platform, the Direct Commerce paperless source-to-pay (S2P) environments, and Zwipe biometric card platform. And we can’t forget to brag about our client SumUp card reader, which has attracted 4.5 million users in Europe alone.
But it’s not just fintech making the rounds. EdTech, marketing and HR tools are also finding successful roots in Europe with clients from Europe and abroad.
Research is everything. Scaling up and finding new clients from Europe means that first comes the homework.
So, once you have established that your product or service is required - your product market fit (PMF) — and is both unique and competitive, then you absolutely must create an ideal customer profile (ICP) to establish who those clients from Europe will be. You already know who ticks the boxes in your home market. Trends are subject to change of course, from demographic to demographic, so location matters. Gather as much information as you can, be it from information via your landing pages or from surveys you send out. Specific industry publications that relate to your location of choice are a great source.
The actual companies you will gather will be your ICPs — rather than buyer personas, who are the names at those companies in charge of decision-making and the wallet.
It’s possible there will be more than one ICP if you plan on scaling into various European countries. It might be one continent but there are 27 different countries with individual buying habits and requirements. Maybe you’re a startup? It’s crucial for startups to win local markets one-by-one, rather than in one fell swoop according to a report by McKinsey on winning formulas.
Once properly defined, your ICP will lead to smoother and faster sales cycles. Without it, you're looking at a high churn rate and a directionless method of selling — the ‘anyone and everyone’ approach — that will doubtless lead to pipeline bloat, failure in Europe and a damaged reputation to boot.
Finding clients from Europe requires local feet-on-the-ground lead generation and sales strategy teams. Time really is of the essence. Don’t struggle to create a localized campaign for a new, foreign market.
They will develop crafted content and other lead gen tactics that speak volumes to local prospects, all the way through to inside sales, and international sales development representatives. Already selling SaaS all day long to qualified prospects and allowing you to move faster and get clients from Europe easier.
It’s essential that you create and communicate the right message to the right culture. It’s so easy to trip over and fall when you’re only at the introduction stage of your tech offering.
Getting your brand message out there is one thing. Getting it across smoothly is another. Even brand names sometimes fail in translation. Not so hilarious when your reputation and business is on the line.
From choosing the right brand name, marketing, and eventual sales to the best-fit clients from Europe — leverage local outsourced talent for the best chance of success.
Aside from the various European languages, cultural differences also matter. When and how to do business, meetings, and respecting local cultures can make the difference between a “thanks, but no thanks” and a signed deal.
OK maybe this should’ve been our first point made as it’s perhaps the most important, but often the most ignored.
European laws can be as varied as the languages, food and weather! European labor law defines rights and conditions for both employers and for employees, and can vary from place to place as well as be subject to change, as there are minimum standards to adhere to, but individual countries are free to add on higher levels of protection if they so wish. So, given all of that, compliance is something that you will really need to be both knowledgeable about and be prepared to keep on top of, on an ongoing basis. That’s a lot of time and expense, but failure to comply or breaching any of these laws — for example, GDPR — can lead to high fines. So, what’s the alternative solution? An outsourced sales agency will provide you with compliance, there’s no need to delve any deeper into the red tape, or be tripped up by it.
Spend less time trying to figure out how to get clients from Europe and more time exploring the possibilities of outsourcing direct services to get you there quicker. Faster time to market equals profitability and success for your European venture! Now you know the answer to: How can I get clients in Europe — compliantly and faster!