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Can I sell if someone opens up doors, or do I need more comprehensive approach?

Blog post   •   Feb 16, 2018 11:01 GMT

In B2B sales, customer typically needs to meet you more than once. Is door opening enough for you and you can take it from there?

There are many public organisations helping you to access new markets. The consultants in these organisations are pondering

  1. should I invoice this client as I am going to do a lot of work for him, and
  2. how far should I go in order not to cross the “equality threshold”

“If I am occupied with this client, others can’t receive my service. I should then provide the same service for others as well, but hey, that is not sustainable…

"...Help me, I do not have enough of resources to maintain the same service quality for everyone!”. 

This is what I faced everyday when I was working for these organisations.

Therefore, the service is understandably limited to market research actions and opening the doors of new potential clients. There is nothing wrong in that, but the quality of the end result then mostly depends on the activity of the entrepreneur himself. This approach suits companies already able to commit to opening up a new market with fully proven products and business models. The underlying issue is, that

… only rarely potential client is willing to make the purchasing decision immediately after the first meeting.

How to do it better

As internationalization resources are always limited, one wants to start small and obtain sales proof, before making the big investment decisions. In that sense, the above-mentioned model is theoretically correct. However, this model fits to only a limited number of companies. It is perfect for a company who has

  1. clarified the customer, as well as the “buying center” in the new market
  2. obtained well-tailored sales story and channels for these customers
  3. got a product that can be sold without tailoring
  4. good business model/pricing strategy boosting the sales
  5. created communication material and sales communication in the right language, and in the right market customer segment
  6. engaged sales resources to nurture the network and carry out closing

Very often one does not meet all six. Markets face varying conditions you might know nothing about. Getting to first sales typically takes more time and resources than you anticipated in the first place. Therefore we have created a market validation workflow that will require only little effort from our client’s end and is fully scalable in any new market.

If a company is missing out in any of the six points above, we will go out and meet with the potential customers, as well as ecosystems, and start finding out the missing links. This is the most efficient mechanism to discover the prevailing conditions and underlying sales arguments needed for efficient sales communication. At the same time we already find potential pilot clients and can propose a suitable business model promoting more sales.

What is important to notice, the sales arguments typically vary between target segments and therefore we will concentrate on the market segmentation and matching the right sales story to these prospects. The communication will harness mechanisms, such as printed material, online material, audio/video, social media, press etc. – anything what is needed to obtain the attention of the buyers while creating and strengthening the brand. We’ll also make sure that new leads are always collected and stored in CRM via mechanisms such as chat, opt-in and landing pages.

Usually you do not know what is the right way to create traction. Then the oldest trick works, try it.

When we finally learn who are really interested in your products and services, we will ask to tailor the offering (if need be), or propose a pilot project directly. In cases, where the product is based on in-depth expertise, our client needs to take part in the sales discussions. This can be done over Skype, especially if the trust has been already established before.

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