Is Your Company Ready to Expand into Europe?

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Operatix

Is Your Company Ready to Expand into Europe?

Author:

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Is Your Company Ready to Expand into Europe?

Operatix

CEO - Operatix

Often, technology companies in the US complete the same checklist of mistakes as they begin their expansion into Europe. These mistakes include a lacking investment, misunderstanding the European market, and poor sales generation tactics. Knowing the pace at which to begin hiring and where to find the salespeople who can get the job done is not as commonsense as some may expect. Likewise, neither is the process of creating a proper channel for sales and the directions that can be taken. The best advice we at Operatix have to offer is this: Use people who know the market and spend money to make money. The goals in an expansion are reaching revenue and creating an established extension of your current business. These can be achieved with proper investing, hiring, and experienced oversight. We are here to show you how.

Investing to Win

Operatix has helped two big players in the IT Software market expand into Europe, with one raising $260 million in their IPO and the other being acquired by IBM for more than $400 million. Both companies came into the market with the right investment, maintained their bread and butter back in the US, and attacked the market continually to create a stable foundation to build on. During our time in business, we have discovered the competent minimum investment necessary for a business’ successful entry into Europe.

We have seen companies expanding successfully with a minimum of $1.5 million investment to cover a period of 2-3 years; without this level of funding, our best advice is to wait. Inversely, overconfidence through excessive funding can be just as harmful as underfunding. Balance is a must and working with a team in Europe who knows the ins-and-outs of investment allocation, however large or small, proves successful every time. This type of educated spending and effective hiring can be achieved with extensive experience in the market from an established team on the ground.

Hiring a Quality Team

When helping one of our clients to expand, we advised them to take the slow-but-sure approach to hiring. Their first day on the ground saw a single salesperson in the field. Within six months they had 5 people in their team. A very reasonable pace for a company that could have easily afforded to move far quicker, but instead chose a slower, healthier route. It is important to realize that telling a potential salesperson “you’ll be on a team of 25 in six months” translates to “you’ll have a minuscule sales territory, few accounts to manage, and a lack of ample potential to earn”. Instead, slow the initial growth and find employees who become invested in your product. Employees who know the market, understand your vision and sell with the confidence that what they are offering will positively impact the end user.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

From a channel perspective, the best approach to reaching out to the European market is the two-tiered approach. This approach requires working directly with a handful of resellers to create movement in the market; the cost of a reseller can cut just 20% into revenue acquired through their sales. Likewise, the two-tiered approach necessitates acquiring a distributor who does the necessary work in managing and controlling their own batch of resellers. While a distributor may charge 35% of the revenue acquired through their sales, the benefits from this additional 15% will prove instrumental in the process of building a strong foundation in the market. Remember: Spend money to make money.

Without proper incentivization, however, resellers are more likely to continue selling the products they know will produce for them. The work around, in this case, requires sacrifice. Using in-house salespeople, a company can reach out directly to the end user, prove their product, entice the reseller to their product by showing that the end user has already displayed interest, and hand the initial direct-to-consumer sales off to the reseller as a show of goodwill. With a quality distributor and a team of resellers under their belt, this company will be fully prepared to move forward with a stable business model in place. Now the only question remaining is: where will this venture begin?

The Optimum Locality for European Business

Through tried and true experience, beginning operations in the UK have proven itself an invaluable decision. The UK shares a few things with the US that the rest of Europe does not. The foremost of these shared attributes being: the shared language, the strength of being an established trading hub of its region, and the power of the employer; with the greatly differing laws, letting go of an unproductive employee is a far more complicated task in the Netherlands than in the UK.

Another misconception in European expansion pertains to references. Business ideologies in the UK can vary greatly from those in the US. Businesses within the boundaries of the UK have a greater willingness to work alongside a company with local references. A strong relationship with a bank in the US does not carry the same weight with banks in the UK. As with references from the US to the UK, the worth of European references remains within each respective country’s borders.  Additionally, discounted or free-of-charge product to win references can prove extremely valuable in the long run. Likewise, while sales will not be poor, expecting that European sales will quickly match those in the US will be met with disappointment. This is simply logistical proof that there are vast differences in the markets and that knowledge and understanding of these differences are necessary for success.

The Power of Acceleration through Operatix

The goal of Operatix is to empower the time, effort, and money allocated by technology companies when expanding into Europe. We know the proper investment allocation, hiring practices, channels, operation hubs, and clientele etiquette necessary for a successful future. We have refused partnerships with close to 25% of our own potential clientele due to a lack of realistic views, too much aggression or pessimism, or not wanting to consider local differences; sometimes, all that is requisite for a company to move forward with Operatix is to wait. Within the last twelve months, we at Operatix have helped 12 businesses achieve their revenue goals by using our tried and proven practices. You can either go out on your own and do it or you can work with an expert. Expanding into Europe is very similar to home renovation. Making the investment to hire professionals and get it done properly the first time is worth it to avoid the frustration of limitless return trips to the hardware store. So, do you want to learn how to do business development or do you want to get to revenue? Because this is the real question. If you want to get to revenue, then the choice is an easy one. Speak with us for more information on where to begin. We look forward to seeing you grow.

About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

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Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

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