If Europe is your next entrepreneurial move, then look to London as a location for your European tech sales. The UK capital scores highly as a global destination for tech VC investment — ranking fourth behind the tech meccas: San Francisco, Beijing and New York. Valued at more than $731 billion last year, the UK’s startup and scale-up ecosystem is up more than 120% from 2017.
"We all saw the business impact [of Brexit] in early 2019, but it is fair to say that the UK tech market came back strongly. All markets are facing economic challenges currently and Europe’s biggest players — France, Germany and the UK — have always been challenging to penetrate,” said our CRO and UK Country Head Gavin Page. “However, since Brexit, the UK has a position to be more flexible in the face of these challenges than anywhere else and this is being reflected in the continued VC investment here."
Post-Brexit, Britain may be out of the EU but is still firmly an anchor in Europe. It maintains its reputation and leading stance as a world leader for all types of tech sales. There are vital reasons why you should target the UK for tech. And how best to do it.
With the easy language transfer, London is a great launchpad for your further expansion from another spot in Europe into the U.S., or from North America or Asia into Europe. What about staffing, B2B lead generation and sales outsourcing? Should you use an outsourced sales agency to assist your smooth transition to the UK?
Let’s take a look at what works best and how best to build your UK team.
As a tech business founder, you are under pressure to lay the foundations right to secure the future of your business. Entrepreneurs will find in the UK a healthy and thriving startup scene combined with a vibrant investment community.
London is known as the Startup Capital of Europe for good reason.
Managing the first leg of your international expansion means making smart choices. Consider that:
Are you ready to scale your startup beyond founder-led sales? Scale sustainably with your own route to market in the UK. Sifted reported that UK scale-ups raised £5.32 billion in equity in 2019, 1.6x more than the year before. The same report also shows that private equity and VCs are leading investments in scale-ups, making more than twice as many deals than business angels and eight times more than corporates.
With better social benefits and relatively lower cost of living than Silicon Valley, we witness a mass migration of U.S. businesses choosing to base themselves in Europe, and in particular, the UK. There’s an understanding that people can work from anywhere successfully, but recruitment still seems tied to North America or UK residency requirements. It used to be just the U.S. This expansion out of America is because organizations recognize they need that London foothold in Europe.
Last year, the UK government commissioned the UK Tech Competitiveness Study to assess the overall health and competitiveness of the UK tech sector. The result? Despite Brexit and COVID-19, the UK tech sector is in fine fettle and is well placed to compete with any of the top global competition.
Which are the best technology fits for the UK market?
We have already mentioned that there are no local language support requirements to take into account when hiring sales agents in London. You may eventually decide to delve further into Europe. And the UK, London in particular, is a smart start in getting your tongue around language issues.
However, availability of talent is something to be taken into serious consideration. Do you really have the luxury of hiring in-house? When you consider local laws, HR costs and the time spent. Maybe resulting in a bad hire who won’t stick around — but you still may be required to pay. Add to this, while the UK is a fruitful tech buyers market, the talent war is on. With less than 4% unemployment and “we’re hiring” signs on every door, at least a quarter of UK employers are expecting an increase in hard-to-fill vacancies. This is likely double for more senior roles that require a deep technical understanding, paired with buyer motivation.
Seven out of ten British businesses outsource to third parties, according to YouGov, noting that outsourcing is a good solution to your three biggest challenges of time, budget and desire.
Choosing a sales agency in the UK is therefore a good move for the supply of your staffing requirements, including development, B2B lead generation and your sales and marketing functions. You will have the flexibility of outsourcing all or some of your team, with the added advantage of being able to scale up or down at will to suit your growing business. And they are completely acting like part of your team — all the benefits with far less risks.
Outsourcing is a great fit for SaaS and other tech industries but is it right for you? Make the most of good advice and ask a LOT of questions. Because all good sales — and any international expansion — starts with a great conversation.