Are you ready to bring your scale-up abroad in 2023? Our experts offer you international sales tips to get you there.
Or, to paraphrase Dory, just keep selling, just keep selling...
"Cut back on costs but still drive revenue. You need to stay active in the market. Just do it in a way that’s less risky, more focused and flexible. If you’re afraid about what the future is going to bring, as the markets get tougher, it’s fine to save money but invest in what’s going to bring in money," said our CEO Rick Pizzoli.
"Clearly we are going into some headwinds, seeing massive layoffs in the headlines every day, but people still need to sell. Cut back on costs but still drive revenue. You need to stay active in the market. Just do it in a way that’s less risky, more focused and flexible. If you’re afraid about what the future is going to bring, as the markets get tougher, it’s fine to save money but invest in what’s going to bring in money.
"Just make sure you do it smartly. Ensure that you have flexible revenue and sales models in your target verticals and markets. Be smart about investing in that new market. Know exactly the revenue target you want and know you have the team in place – whether yours or partnering with someone local – that’s going to be able to deliver on that revenue target.
It all comes down to developing and understanding your Ideal Customer Profile – including decision maker/s, vertical, company size, motivation, pain points, channels to reach them.
Once you understand this, "Be wherever the buyers are independently researching you. Know what they want to buy and for whom. Develop a thorough Ideal Customer Profile and then be present where they are across traditional channels and social. Connect all your touchpoints to understand your ICP's journey," says our Nordics advisor Petri Rinne.
This then drives your go-to-market plan, which should be built through the lens of your ICP. Working with your founders and board members and strategic partners like us, for each new market or vertical you are going for in 2023, your go-to-market strategy should include:
Nailing your ICP and Go-to-Market Strategy may be your secret to nailing your Series A funding in 2023!
"Money is scarce, especially for retailers and indirect sales. Having stock before you launch abroad is a way to make sure the competition is barred. Competitors can’t take the place online or on the shelf, when you've already filled them as the first to market."
This sensible sales advice comes from our French country manager Yves de Beauregard.
To paraphrase another Disney classic, Yves also reminds us, you want to be where the people are. Where YOUR people are. (Tying it back to that ICP, everything does.) Use social networks tailored for the age you target. "Facebook was for youngsters and now its for parents," Yves says. It's interesting because some of the same work can go into different platforms, like there's no need to make it TikTok vs LinkedIn because the same engaging videos can work on both. "Maybe tomorrow that will be another equivalent. If you want to target a certain age range, make sure you use what they are looking at," he said.
So, where are your customers? Where will they be in 2023?
Our CRO Gavin Page advises to continue evaluating your UVP and product-market fit: "Do you offer the potential to increase revenue, or save cost, or both? This will be a critical metric for buyers in challenging economic times – it is not enough to be nice to have."
"If you are not expecting 2023 to be challenging then I would be surprised. But general economic pressure is often an opportunity, especially if you consider pivoting your positioning. If you were selling on the basis of revenue creation and opportunity, think about focusing a bit more on the cost-saving benefits of your solution or services," Gavin continued.
Are you ready to pivot your benefits message to meet changing customer demands in 2023?
And don't forget flexibility is key to respond to any market conditions, for both you and your customers: "Also consider your own commercial strategy – can you offer flexibility to allow your customers to quickly change their position based on, for example, their own market or customer pressures? If you can, or do already, make more of this in your own positioning. And remember that, while any recession is challenging, the key is ensuring you keep focus on your own pipeline build and creating the best platform for the inevitable return to growth," Gavin explains.
You got this!
"What I encourage all our clients to do is to use data to forecast as accurately as possible. We know typically that out of X meetings, we get Y opportunities. Whether it’s across a quarter, six monthly or yearly, you can as accurate as possible predict what the next six quarters will look like." Our SDR account director James Smith is right, you to 2023 planning has to be all about the metrics.
As Adele Crane put it on Sales Focus Advisory:"To future proof sales and marketing organizations, mean changing how your organization operates and the tools that you use. Reliance on individual representations of performance is replaced with analytics proving buyer behaviour and shifting from product informers to product advisors."
We've already talked about how, no matter how uncertain 2023 gets, you can't stop selling, which may take you to new markets. "Try and de-risk by outsourcing it," James said. "Why, as an American startup, why would you not take the risk out of building a sales team in UK tax, pension implications, manage remotely across all timezones? Sales outsourcing allows you to scale up and scale down. Especially in the economic climate, it makes the most sense."
How are you de-risking and future-proofing your new year?
"We help companies break into the U.S. market and one thing we see people getting tripped up on is assuming that having product-market fit their home market automatically guarantees product market fit in a new one. It doesn't," explains our strategic partner Collin Stewart of our strategic partner Predictable Revenue.
"Buyer preferences and your positioning can vary greatly from market to market so we find it's helpful to think of opening a new market as something that requires market validation first. These market validation efforts look similar to sales outreach but include much softer messaging and the CTA [call to action] is usually more focused on interviewing/learning from the recipient."
Predictable Revenue offers this service in the U.S. parallel to what we offer in Europe – a way to leverage decades of experience in tech sales and global expansion plus up-to-the-moment learning from actual leads to test the viability before approaching a new market.
You really should do your proper research before going abroad in 2023. Resolve to listen to your clients and prospects next year!
"My main tip would be to ensure you don't forget about your partner/referral channel and leverage your champions as best you can. If you have people in your network or ecosystem that will endorse you and/or your service or solution, ensure you show them your appreciation and keep them engaged where you can." Great, mindful advice coming from Jennifer McGuire, the strategic partnerships director of our own strategic partner G-P/Globalization Partners.
Globalization Partners is the top employer of record that allows companies to hire the best candidates no matter where they are based. We can vouch that G-P is a stellar partner. And we fully agree that developing a continuous habit of gratitude with your customers and your partners and your teams is a wonderful way to live and to work.
Want more like this? Our sales reps and regional sales managers have been accelerating your B2B tech’s European expansion for 20 years now. Can't wait to work with you more in 2023!