Globalization has proven to be a major boon for businesses around the world looking to grow profits. Although geopolitical tensions have been on the rise, there continues to be major opportunity for businesses to grow their customer base, increase revenue, and capture additional market share beyond their own regional headquarters.
Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. writes, “…reports of declining globalization are much exaggerated. Even with the apparent increase in isolationist behaviour in some countries, globalisation is not stalling. On the contrary, we are entering a new phase of globalisation, driven by digital connectivity and the flow of data, and this will lead to much greater global connectedness, not less.”
This is no doubt exciting news – but what does it mean for your business? How do you take advantage of international opportunities and grow sales in regions where your product or service would resonate, but you’ve never had a presence? How can you allocate and ramp resources, understand important cultural nuances, and communicate effectively with local businesses and their customers? Perhaps most importantly, how do you do all of this cost-effectively?
Regional market expertise and capabilities
Different regions around the world present complex sales environments. Just a few of the challenges companies face when trying to expand their international presence include:
- Unique business customs.
- Strict compliance regulations that vary by country or city.
- Employment requirements that may differ by country, county or city.
- Local competition that likely has a stronger foothold than your brand.
- Different languages and dialects.
Without a deep understanding of these elements, selling into a new region is often very difficult, costly, and rife with potential pitfalls. To combat this issue and scale quickly and effectively, you need to rely on sales professionals who have a deep knowledge of the area you are expanding into, who know how to navigate local business challenges, and who won’t experience communication barriers when working with prospects and closing deals.
Top-tier talent – but at what cost?
Hiring and developing your own international, in-house sales team will likely result in bloated and uncertain budgets. Hiring for management and sales talent can be a lengthy process, and also takes months of training and onboarding until team members are fully productive. According to research done by CSO Insights, 71% of companies take six months or longer to onboard new sales reps. Additionally, nearly half of B2B sales organizations experience annual rep turnover rates exceeding 30%. That’s a pretty startling figure, considering that a DePaul University study found that the average cost to replace just one sales rep is approximately $97,690. And that’s not to mention the major expenditures that come along with opening offices in new markets, which drives costs up even further.
A different path forward
Businesses looking to quickly expand their global reach but working within budget constraints should take a moment to reflect. How can they realistically expect to scale international sales operations when there are so many factors working against them?
By adapting and adopting. By that, we mean taking a critical look at their sales organizations, adapting to the new customer-centric B2B sales reality, and adopting new strategies they may not have previously considered in order to move forward and thrive within that landscape. For instance, many businesses around the world have increasingly been turning to external inside sales providers as a path to international growth. Key benefits of this strategy include:
- Rapidly ramping dedicated, knowledgeable sales teams at a predictable monthly cost, with no additional rep turnover.
- Driving more inbound sales leads, developing pipeline targets, and closing new business.
- Targeting specific geographical pockets or expanding in multiple regions at once – whatever is in line with an organization’s intended growth strategy.
- Freeing up resources to focus on improving existing products and services or launching new offerings.
If your business is committed to expanding its global footprint but not sure how to take the next step, take a few minutes to learn more about ServiceSource and how our inside sales capability helps market leaders around the world maximize their revenue potential.