Our CEO Rick was recently asked what distinguishes a modern sales-driven company. You know, the ones quick to respond and adapt to changing markets.
He reflected on his 30 years in global expansion — 17 of that with sales outsourcing in Europe. Today we share his three tips to help your sales-driven organization focus on a future of closing deals and serving your customers.
A modern sales-focused company is all about international awareness. You no longer can just launch in the U.S., and then decide — like in the game of Risk — which countries to target step by step. Successful companies have a global vision and expand according to it. Not necessarily with a world-covering parachute but with a well-thought-out series of strategic drops.
For this you need to know your industry, your vertical and your niche through a global lens. Where’s your biggest opportunity? Where is there too much competition already? Say you are an Internet of Things company or you provide an augmented reality gaming or a health app, all of which takes a lot of bandwidth. You’re going to be looking toward China, South Korea and the U.S. because they have the broadest 5G adoption. However, if you are working in anything sustainable energy, you’ll want to target sub-Saharan Africa, the Nordics, Iceland and Germany who are leading the race there.
Those are obviously very different audiences with very different pricing and messaging strategies. Local intelligence allows you to understand the technical, cultural and economic problems of each new market and to prioritize the deployment of your global strategy.
Learn the pain points in each market. Don’t just check demand volume, but understand why they are demanding these solutions, at what price, and via which channels. Some communities favor efficiency while others cost-saving, while still others put security at the top of their lists. Even your product name may have to be reconsidered.
You need to offer an intelligent response to each international market, paired with competent, culturally translated messaging and an on-the-ground presence. This is even more essential right now when you can’t just fly to meet with prospects. This global thinking with local implementation is the key to quickly respond and adapt to changing markets.
Next, once you’ve taken a global perspective, prioritized your launch locations, and determined the unique messaging for each target geographic and demographic, you need to develop a defined lead generation strategy. This involves a multichannel approach that generates continuous inbound leads from your website, socials, newsletters, events and thought leadership. That mixes with outbound lead generation including cold calling qualified lists, LinkedIn outreach and paid advertising. Refined lead generation should be replicable yet adaptable across target countries, verticals, and personas.
And it’s got to be measurable — modern sales if nothing if not formulaic and analytical. Your team needs to understand the cost of those leads and to understand which of those leads are turning into revenue. What’s really making a difference? Blogposts? External lead gen? Instagram? A lot of early-stage tech startups are flying blind on this point. They stretch themselves too thin trying to do too much. When that doesn’t work — and they don’t actually know why — they dramatically cut back on marketing and lead gen. Outbound lead generation should have a quick return, while inbound means investing in the long game.
Dump the spreadsheets and leverage modern CRMs. Tools like Hubspot, Zoho and Salesforce (no relation) are really amalgamations of all your sales, communication, support and dashboard tooling. They take you through each customer’s journey, while giving you a global overview of your international expansion. Modern CRMs establish and compare the customer acquisition cost or CAC in each new market, so you can move resources and staff around in response. This then steers how you invest in and grow your target verticals.
While you should absolutely have clear knowledge of the results of your inbound and outbound lead generation and access to these dashboards and reports, you don’t necessarily have to in-house it. As long as you have full visibility into your lead generation, it’s fair game for outsourcing the process.
A modern, sales-driven organization knows when to do things internally and when to bring in competent partners that can do things faster, better, and cheaper. Not everything has to be homegrown anymore, especially when people aren’t meeting in the same office anyway. The lines are blurring between full-time staff and committed contractors.
Focus not only your sales but your entire business on what you do well. Then partner to outsource the rest.
Are you a sales-driven organization at its heart? Then by all means go all-in on that. If you’ve tech at your core, focus on engineering, but then get outside opinions for user and security testing. A lot of organizations choose to outsource administrative, accounting and legal work. Really anything that’s not core to your business is up for outsourcing grabs.
While they aren’t official parts of your organization, you can still consider them part of your team. These outsourced partners join daily standups and biweekly retros. And report directly to you. Representing your brand. You don’t necessarily have to have them full time or with long-term permanent contracts. The future of work is flexible, adaptable, and built on mutually beneficial project-based partnerships.
But that doesn’t mean you should outsource everything. As you’re moving from a startup to a scale-up, your core team is as important as your core value proposition. Make sure you and your co-founders are purposefully choosing key players to drive your team forward — your CTO, your advisors, your first human resources role. This allows you to attract the right people to then partner with to help you expand your business.
Throughout this whole process, you’re only as strong as your partners. When looking to expand, you can’t look at places as continents, but rather distinct countries — and even sub-countries — and cultures. Strategic partnerships help you unlock those new markets.
There’s a huge benefit of sales outsourcing in Europe — locals sell to locals. They already have the local contacts and know the local markets. They share the context and culture, and now even the local lockdown experience. They are uniquely able to ask the right questions and then to socratically position your tech offering as a solution to your future customers' problems — in their own language.
Sales outsourcing in Europe is about partnering with experienced teams who are already finding success generating quality tech leads and then closing deals locally. A modern sales-driven organization really understands the idiosyncrasies of different markets and how to match your tech with local needs and demand.
Just remember that a sales-driven organization doesn’t have to have its own sales team. In the end your success comes down to a localized global strategy, a comprehensive lead generation strategy, and selective outsourcing that enables you to focus on your core value.
We’re glad you’re looking to modernize your sales and lead generation processes. And, if you need help, give us a ring! We’re here for you.