How to start a business in a new territory?
Many companies are successful in their home territory and perhaps have received some venture capital to scale fast. They will also have ambitious plans for growth in the coming years. How you do that however is an entirely different proposition.
Usually, the initial idea is that you must open your own office, hire and onboard your own people. This will allow them to get familiar with the market specifics in the new country, build some networks and eventually get some business going. This takes quite some time and you will face some administrative and logistic issues. You’ll also need to build up a network and there are also legal matters to consider. All of this comes with risks and don’t forget that this will also cost a lot of money. Sometimes companies decide to work with local distributors, resellers, or system integrators. The problem here though is that to make the channel successful, it often takes more effort than it is worth. Even then, that still might not be enough and you would need to invest a lot more of your own time in the process.
An alternative to this is to outsource your sales and marketing activities. An immediate advantage of this is that you have a local team that has a track record, that are already employed and ready to start working for you. Additionally, they speak the local language, they know the business environment in the specific market and they get the culture. Local market understanding cannot be underestimated.
The changing role of the salesperson
The change from sales being people-centric to online sales mean the information advantage is not there anymore. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The traditional sales representative is no longer in the same role. Extensive product knowledge, in-depth understanding of the customer’s situation and excellent personal relationships with the accounts have been proven to be insufficiently distinctive. The salesperson’s job is being overtaken by IT tools and online interaction. Digital and social platforms are often the ideal way for prospects to search for and compare information. The bigger parts of the decision-making process are being taken before a prospect even talks to a salesperson.
The role of the salesperson is to add value by being inspiring. By having an understanding of the domain in the broader knowledge sense. The modern salesperson should be broad in knowledge, as well as be able to inspire and build up a relationship to work together with the solution.
Future of the salesperson role
The marketing and sales landscape has evolved, and nowadays inbound marketing is more important. Businesses require a lot of online activities. Whereas traditionally the focus was on getting yourself on the radar whenever and wherever possible, with inbound marketing activities the goal is different. With inbound marketing communication where you have permission and when you have been asked, you can generate qualified leads online.
The importance of content creation online has increased. Companies are creating content, for example, blogs, podcasts, videos and more. If you make these pieces relevant for the target group, it allows the company to position itself as a thought leader within a certain domain. Marketing and sales should work more closely together since marketing is feeding leads to the sales pipeline and prepares the prospect for the contact of a salesperson. In the B2B context, there should still be person-to-person contact and inbound marketing and outbound are better when they work in tandem.
How to close big deals with a large account?
In order to close big deals, it is important to understand the role of the salesperson and to be trustworthy and reliable. You should work with the client instead of selling to the client. It’s important to ask as many questions as possible to qualify leads. What information are they willing to share with you? Are they willing to sign a contract? All of the questions you ask are relevant as it gives you an idea as to how prepared your prospect is.
If there’s anything more you’d like to know about the process, leave us a message and we’ll arrange for someone to get in touch.