Learn How to Make Sales Abroad With the Right Reflection, Planning, and Metrics



With a lot of uncertainty in the market, you may want to look for other opportunities – including making sales abroad.

Even if your intention is to expand globally, it doesn’t mean targeting a continent as one country. It also means not casting a wide net and going after everything.

How to Make Sales Abroad

You should be smart about this and only pursue promising leads. You need to measure, repeat what is working for you so your sales team can focus on the right prospects.

Let’s explore the process that SalesForce Europe takes on behalf of our clients and in their own lead generation strategy.

1. Develop a targeted sales strategy

I think it’s important for companies to be focused when doing international sales, as they can’t travel around the world and explore different markets.

Before you go abroad, it’s important to think about your current situation.

You need to figure out who you are as an organization, and what your target market is. Look at the most profitable clients that you have, and document them.

Who is your ideal customer in terms of vertical?

You may have sold to different verticals during your product-market fit, but when scaling internationally you need to focus on one or two key markets and build an international sales team around these.

What roles are you selling to and why are they buying?

You need to develop a buying persona for each stakeholder profile. Then understand that in certain countries, like China or Japan, “manager” may not be the right translation because it’s reserved only for the top executives.

One of the most important parts of a persona is how they want to be addressed. In some countries, people prefer formal titles while in others, informal approaches are preferred.

Who are your favorite customers currently?

What’s your favorite, though? Is it self-service and auto-renewal for some people or enterprise accounts that take a lot of hand-holding but also do well? No one knows the bread and butter like you.

Really examine your favorite sales processes and see what worked. Ask customers for feedback on their experience with you to help diversify the job market.

2. It should be expanded to emerging markets.

Start by mapping out your main competitors and where they are selling. You can usually find this information on LinkedIn or their company website.

But even if you have a product that’s in demand, don’t be afraid to look at competitors. One way is by signing up for their trial or demo and seeing how it compares with your own.

3. Consult with locals

If you want to be successful, talk to people who are already in the field. Find out what they do and how it works for them.

Know where you’re headed

When you’re planning a trip, research and map out where to go. Look for patterns that will help your decision-making process.

Next, decide which markets you want to target first. Remember that not all countries in Europe are the same and it might take a while to test out every market.

If you have multiple products, which ones are your hottest? These are the products or services that should be leading when expanding internationally. Launching by being narrow-focused is better than launching with a broad proposition.

You need to make sure that you have the following:

  • Target countries
  • Target verticals
  • Target personas
  • Product and service portfolio

Document what you are currently doing to sell. What is working and what isn’t? This includes digital marketing, outbound lead generation, inside sales and field sales.

Now that you know what the services are, ask how they measure success.

Once you have the successful model above in your target countries and verticals, it is important to pay attention to metrics as you build up this team.

This process can be done either by hiring your own team or working with a third party. Regardless, document all of the metrics and findings from step one so that you have an idea going forward.

Making Sales Abroad means understanding your existing metrics

Let’s say you have $10 million in annual revenue. If your sales and lead generation team is about 30 to 40 percent of the total, then that means they’re responsible for generating around 3-4 million dollars a year.

When hiring an enterprise sales executive, you should know that they would cost about £10,000 a month. A lead generation representative supported by back-office support staff will probably cost around £7,000 monthly

You need to have a lead generation pipeline worth about £4 million with 300 leads in order for you to hit your revenue goal of £1million. You also want 80 opportunities turned into 20 closed deals.

So you need 300 leads to hit your numbers. There are about 260 working days in a year. So ask yourself, how many leads does one full-time SDR deliver on average per month? Usually they can produce 10 leads per month if they work every day of the week and there is no holiday or vacation break.

If you’re not getting enough sales-qualified leads, then the answer is to ask yourself what are your SDRs doing? How many outreaches are they making a day?

You need about 100 points of contact a day, but how many are producing marketing qualified leads? One out of 20.

The key to creating a successful team in Europe is figuring out how you can structure them like your teams in the U.S.

With sales, you have to ask yourself if it’s an art or is it a science? I always say that math seems to be the answer. That’s why when starting any engagement with a potential client, I first want to know what numbers look like in their home market and how they compare.

Once you have a European structure, make sure to come up with clear key performance indicators or objectives and goals on all actions. Agree on how the data will be reported so that there is an understanding of what information needs to be shared weekly and monthly.

Managing a new market expansion is challenging, and you can’t do it alone. Your sales team leader needs to track progress and manage objectives delivery.

Just because it worked at home does not mean that you can use the same strategies in other countries.

Just keep measuring, and you’ll find what works for your company.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀  sales abroad

Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.