Taking your Sales Global

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If conquering the world is part of your master plan, you will need to start selling your product in international markets. The prospect might be a frightening one, or an exciting one - but one thing is for sure - you will need to be prepared.

If you’re thinking about taking your sales operation global, you need to consider these things first.

Why take your sales global?

Of course expanding your sales to an international level isn’t an inevitability. You might decide that sticking to what you know and staying in your domestic market is the right move for you.

But what are the potential benefits? For one, it will hopefully mean more customers which will equal more revenue. Sticking to one market will restrict you in the long run, as there is only a finite amount of customers.

You will learn a lot when dealing with new customers from different countries and backgrounds, which in turn could improve your dealings and success with your domestic markets.

Above all else, it will reduce your dependence on your domestic market - which will reduce an element of risk too.

Before you decide to expand your sales, you should check if your business is ready for such a move.

Starting on the path to world domination

Taking your sales global and expanding internationally are essentially one in the same exercise. It just depends on what method and strategy you want to employ. The route you take will depend on a number of factors:

  • Where your domestic market is based

  • The product you sell

  • The size and intention of your operations

  • Your budget

  • Your team

  • Your prospective customers

You should feel confident in your domestic market, have a solid team, and also perform some internal business analysis before you even consider operating overseas.

But once you have made the choice to expand, the preparation begins.

There are so many things to consider when planning to expand your sales operations. Here is a mini checklist of things you should be thinking about:

  • Short, mid and long-term strategy

  • Goals and objectives

  • Metrics of success

  • Costs and benefits

  • Decide how: Choose an expansion model

  • Budget

  • Tactics

Check out our series on international expansion, where you will find guidance on various things you should be thinking about before you make any moves:

Consider a sales rep

If you’re not ready to launch a whole international expansion operation, you might want to consider working with a sales representative instead. This is the most light touch way to take your sales to new markets.

Working with a sales representative means you can retain total control over the sale, and the representative will pass enquiries through to you. You will gain instant access to a sales representative’s network, and their experience in the international market in question. But regardless of whether you use a sales representative or not, building a relationship with local businesses is a necessity.

While working with a sales rep might not give you the biggest impact, it can be a nice way to test the waters for interest in a new market, before making a more serious move.

Be thorough

Expanding your sales operation is a brilliant way to breathe new life into your company, but don’t get caught out by forgetting some of the essentials. Here is a handy checklist of some things to consider before you take things global: 

  • Culture and any potential barriers (eg language)

  • Legal implications and preparations

  • Tax and compliance

  • How you will invoice and accept payments

  • How will you differentiate yourself and your products from your competitors

  • Branding: keep it the same or adapt?

Once you’ve done your preparation, there’s no reason not to make the move towards selling globally. It might just be the first step towards becoming a globally recognisable brand.

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