If your business is thriving and you want to capitalize on the opportunities for expansion to other countries, you need a dedicated sales team. The question is, do you want to employ an in-house sales team or would you prefer to go the IT sales outsourcing route where regional managers take you from market research to market share?
Sales management is essential for developing a sales force, coordinating operations, and implementing effective techniques to consistently achieve and surpass sales targets. In the European market landscape, having a robust sales management strategy becomes even more crucial for businesses to thrive amidst growing competition.
A skilled sales manager inspires and leads the sales department, driving performance and enabling companies to stay attuned to industry trends. Embracing a comprehensive sales management system not only helps reach objectives but also positions businesses to flourish in the dynamic and competitive European marketplace.
The European Single Market is designed to simplify trade between the 27 European Union member states. It has worked well insofar as its gross domestic product (GDP) contributes more than 15% to the global economic output. It has its challenges, however, as the member states have their own market landscapes which are impacted by cultural, linguistic, and regulatory variations.
Understanding these differences is essential if you want to build successful business relationships within the EU and other European countries and reach your target market. For example, research results on customer segments in the German market might differ from similar customer segments in Spain.
In some cases, a tweak is enough to accommodate the cultural differences. Occasionally, you might need to go back to the drawing board and approach your market strategy from a new perspective.
Linguistic nuances are also important across the European Market. Many major brands have made a mistake where either a product name or advertising slogan gets lost in translation, for example, in Italy, Schweppes Tonic Water translates into Schweppes Toilet Water.
Regulations regarding the different markets also differ by country or region. For example, the EU has enacted the Digital Services Act (DSA), which applies to online content, but (to date) the UK has no such law. Both the UK and the EU, however, are strong enforcers of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Any website looking abroad must comply with both, and any lead generation action must be GDPR-compliant.
Given the differences in the markets, international sales management is vital. One of the primary reasons is the local sales manager's market knowledge and understanding. They're used to adapting your business's marketing policies and sales strategies into regional sales trends.
Regional sales management is best undertaken by a sales team working under a locally appointed manager. They have the onus to keep third parties on point and ensure that the information gathered applies to your sales operations, strategy, and analysis processes.
Regional sales managers fill different roles, depending on the nature of the business. In general, their functions include:
The following are important to build a well-oiled sales team:
Understanding your target audience involves identifying the individuals most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Analyzng demographic data helps gain insights. For instance, in the EU, the e-Commerce sector witnessed a surge in demand from the 25-34 age group in 2022. An impressive 87% of individuals within this age range made online purchases or ordered services as stated in Eurostat report.
Once you have that you can tackle two of the most important factors to consider in tailoring a sales strategy:
Your market research should reveal the platform most suited to your target country
Hiring local sales managers is the best way to overcome language and cultural barriers. They're a valuable asset when visiting the countries in which you operate.
It's crucial to familiarize yourself with business etiquette and body language to prove your cultural sensitivity.
Familiarize yourself with forms of address, for example, in many Western societies it's common to use first names almost immediately but the mores in China and Japan don't sanction that kind of familiarity.
2. Avoid slang and jargon
Slang is not only unprofessional, but it's also extremely regional and easily misunderstood or misinterpreted. Jargon is also best avoided, even though you're in the same industry. Rather keep your language plain and simple.
3. Speak slowly and listen carefully
Speak slowly and enunciate your words. Listen carefully to what they say and use active listening. This is when you restate or recap what the other person said. It helps avoid simple misunderstandings and ensures the other person feels they're getting your full attention.
4. Turn by turn
Keep your points short and give the other person time to respond. Talking in big chunks can be confusing and frustrating and the point you're trying to make gets lost in a sea of words.
5. Don't be a clown
Humor might be a great way to diffuse tense situations or build relationships between people from the same culture. However, there is the potential that you'll offend the other person or at least make them question your professionalism.
All your regional sales managers must be on the same page regarding your business's objectives, mission, values, and goals. It's a good idea to have someone at your headquarters take responsibility for all sales-related communication, evaluation, alignment, and operations.
The head of sales also ensures that regional sales teams know where they stand in the bigger picture and how they contribute to the business's health, wealth, and future.
One of the challenges of outsourcing sales or relying on regional sales management is evaluating performance. Since you aren't hands-on, you need to be able to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) accurately for a true understanding of how the regions are doing.
Some common KPIs that bear analysis include the following:
Sales Force Europe is the go-to company when you need to streamline your tech business processes by outsourcing essential services. Our regional sales managers provide fast and efficient services that include handpicking sales teams who know the region and the field of business, including IT sales outsourcing.
You benefit from our expertise in sales outsourcing, as well as lead generation and sales assessment. Contact us at +34 659 449 202, complete the contact form on our website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!