Internationalising our B2B SaaS is the logical step after establishing ourselves in our first market.
What steps should we follow?
First of all, we should keep in mind that no two markets are the same, and what worked in one instance may not work elsewhere. We should consider the cultural en economic variables.
Research the competition
When a company decides to enter a new country, the first step should be to identify the competition and understand what’s valued and what isn’t valued from their product.
In an HR SaaS in Spain, a time control feature is highly valued, as this is regulated by law. However, this may not add any value to other countries. We need to understand what is important for each market and add value in that area.
Understand the culture
We should understand sales styles in different countries. What for us might feel slow or too aggressive might feel just right for your new market.
German markets tend to take longer to close deals, as sales require more detail. On the other hand, they like to get to the point in the first meeting.
Differently, Anglo-Saxons start with an informal conversation to build a strong starting point for the sales process.
In LATAM, it’s best to have a clear focus on the objective in the conversation, in case it ends up being longer than expected.
Sales reps must never be late. Full stop.
In the US and EMEA, buyers tend to be punctual as well. However, in other markets time has a different value and might be late. This is a cultural variable, so this is something you’ll have to take into account if you’re interested in making the sale.
An American sales rep mentioned that the harshest buyers were Germans and Spanish – she worked with Germany, Spain, and the UK.
When negotiating with Germans and Spanish, the conversation was always polite, and the Spanish tended to kindly push towards a lower price.
Conversations about price tend to be more direct outside Europe in the USA, LATAM, and Asia (except for Japan, where any type of confrontation is avoided). More specifically, price is considered to always be negotiable in the USA.
If there are any cultural doubts, it’s best to ask the client to make them feel more comfortable.
The sales rep profile
If sales are conducted in English, the sales rep should be as neutral in their accent and expressions as possible, as the buyers may be less fluid in the language.
When internationalising a B2B SaaS, many companies have a preference for native SDR and Account Executives, as they will fully understand the culture and linguistics. This will help towards fluid and efficient communication.
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