Are you ready to begin or expand your technology sales into North America?
Key areas to consider:
• Understanding the market and selling dynamics - It is important to have some level of the market already defined and your core value proposition that you are going to be selling in a new market. An understanding of the competitive landscape along with some realistic initial goals and metrics for the expansion effort are also a key to selling in North America.
• What is your sales and business model for North America? This is usually is not the same model as the home market, especially for vendors expanding to North America from Europe. The sales mix needs to be considered carefully as the strategy is being defined. Are you going to sell direct, through channels, sales outsourcing or a combination of the models?
• What does your existing customer base look like? US technology buyers will always look to see who else is using your product, especially in their vertical market (e.g. Banking, Healthcare) There needs to minimally be some existing reference customers in your home markets that are using a functional, production product for a proven period of time. Ideally, some installed customers or partners in North America bring extra credibility.
• Do you have the patience for your strategy to take place? Depending on the product and market, a sales expansion effort normally takes 9-12 months to really start to take hold. There are some ways to gain quicker entry into key target accounts such as using an established industry contact or via professional outsourced sales organization. There are certainly early wins and revenue to be had but realistic timing needs to be factored into the overall strategy.
• Proper funding - Has an expansion effort been funded and approved at the senior management/board level? Any strategic initiative needs to have buy-in and appropriate funding from the senior management team and expanding sales to the US market is no different.
There are many decisions that factor into a sound strategic plan when a vendor is seeking entry into the North American market. These are just a few of the high level areas that we have seen to be key to success is building that plan.
For more information on how Mansfield Sales Partners has helped dozens of companies from all over Europe to expand or establish their presence in North America, please visit us at www.mansfieldsp.com.