The Role of Regional Sales Management in European Sales Outsourcing

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?

Effective sales management to help your business thrive

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.

An insight into the European market landscape

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. 

The letter of the law

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.

The need for European regional sales management

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.

The role of regional sales managers

Regional sales managers fill different roles, depending on the nature of the business. In general, their functions include:

  • Hiring suitable staff
  • Defining each role or job description
  • Setting relevant goals 
  • Creating sales plans/strategies
  • Arranging training programs
  • Coordinating teams to optimize business processes
  • Coaching and motivating the team
  • Acting as the communication go-between with the client

Building and managing a successful sales team

The following are important to build a well-oiled sales team:

  • Emphasize support - Create an environment that encourages empathy, open communication, engagement, problem-solving, and growth.
  • Set expectations - People work best when their role and the means by which they fill the role are clear. For example, you expect a team member to format and manage spreadsheets for prospects, leads, and deals. They can only do this when you provide training and a template for reference.
  • Feedback - Feedback is essential to maintain a high standard of work and provide encouragement, celebrate goals, and problem-solve issues. Team feedback is given in a team meeting, but personal feedback and performance reviews are private. 
  • It's not just about work - Have a little fun. For example, an optional team barbecue every second Thursday or a fun day once a quarter like wine tasting or picnic.

By partnering with the right sales agency, you get all this baked in and more.

Tailored sales strategies for specific European regions

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:

  • Cultural context - What is acceptable in one country might not be so in another; for example, an ad might have a woman washing her hair in a shower while a man shaves in front of the mirror. It's fine in the UK but won't go down well in cultures that consider the scenario highly inappropriate.
  • Marketing channels - One of the best ways to deliver tailored sales is through social media, but you must consider which platform you're going to use. Facebook is one of the top three social media platforms in many countries around the world, but it's hardly used in Japan.

Your market research should reveal the platform most suited to your target country

How to overcome the language and cultural barriers

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.

1. Etiquette

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.

Collaboration between regional sales managers and headquarters

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.

Measure and evaluate regional sales performance

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:

  • Customer lifetime value - CLV measures the total income generated by a typical customer throughout their relationship with your business. It helps gauge customer worth and potential long-term earnings.
  • Retention rate - RR measures customer loyalty; how long they'll support your business. If you discover a consistently low RR, you need to probe deeply into the reasons. You might need to conduct additional market research or adapt your sales strategy.
  • Conversion rate - CR determines how many leads or which marketing channels resulted in completed goals. For example, did a recent exhibition result in more subscriptions than a demo? Your findings will influence your future marketing activities.
  • Revenue streams - It's important to know what drives revenue. For example, Facebook campaigns, email advertising, online coupons, etc. Regional analysis is important because success depends on the business environment. 
  • Sales per rep - SPR includes individual conversion rates and the length of the sales cycle. Short sales cycles and high conversion rates are rewarded and serve as motivation. They're also learning tools, as you analyze tactics, resources, and the potential for team generalization. 
  • Employee retention - ER measures satisfaction, contentment, and a positive attitude, which result in loyal employees. You need to investigate a high turnover rate to determine the cause and avoid the expense of constantly hiring, training, and losing employees.

Trust Sales Force Europe to Provide Your Organization with the Right Regional Sales Manager

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. After all, that's just what our sales agency has been doing since 2003! Contact us at +34 659 449 202, complete the contact form on our website, or email today!

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