3 Essentials for Scaling Your Business and Sales Development in Europe

Author:

Henrique Moniz de Aragão
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Episode

93

3 Essentials for Scaling Your Business and Sales Development in Europe

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Henrique Moniz de Aragão

VP and GM, EMEA at G2

Scaling your business in Europe is not easy.

Local knowledge, dozens of languages, tiny budgets, and brand awareness are just a few of the difficulties you’ll have to overcome during the process.

In a recent episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration, I had the chance to speak with Henrique Moniz de Aragão, VP and GM, EMEA at G2, about the challenges of breaking into the European tech market.

“We add value and make money by helping marketing and sales teams and tech companies connect with more than 5 million buyers a month,” Henrique said. 

In the last 18 months, G2 has been going through an expansion phase to bring its technology, already popular in the U.S.,to Europe.

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There is a huge value in being in touch with how people like to buy.

Henrique Moniz de Aragão – VP and GM, EMEA at G2

The European expansion phase

So, the last time that Henrique took a software into Europe, it was with Salesforce.com. 

It had 90% of its customer base in the U.S.

A lot of things aren’t different in the US compared to Europe, but one obstacle he had to overcome was stereotyping.

European buyers have been underserved by the stereotype that they’re years behind the U.S. ‘in cloud adoption’ — or generally slower in terms of adopting new tech.

This is incorrect.

“European buyers are some of the most well-educated, savvy buyers in the world,” Henrique said. And they’re always hungry for new tech.

Even if it may not seem the ideal time to bring your business to Europe (Brexit, COVID-19, and all the business uncertainty of 2020), it’s always a good time to build brand awareness. 

In their expansion to Europe, G2 ramped up the team in March –  ramping up teams already comes with its challenges, but just as they got to this stage, COVID-19 hit, they had to stop, analyse and re-plan.

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You don’t need deep pockets to do great work.

Henrique Moniz de Aragão – VP and GM, EMEA at G2

Scaling at startup or enterprise

European’s seem to always be hungry for new tech, even with COVID-19, technology is a place, and one of the only places to come out of this pandemic feeling safe and looked after – that’s important to remember when scaling up. 

The European territory has the reputation of having lots of small, unique pockets: selling in Germany is totally different than selling in France, this is due to a number of reasons, some of which are listed below:

Local knowledge

G2 had broad appeal across industries — but not much awareness in the market. 

The distribution model relied on field-based sales teams in individual countries, typical B2B sales with long sales cycles, workshops, multiple stakeholders, etc.

“There is a huge value in being in touch with how people like to buy,” he said. “We celebrate our diversity in Europe, and that translates into the way in which we do business.”

Regardless of whether you have local teams right now, Henrique recommended focusing on countries that are happy to do business in English, and to have a focus on building a diverse team.

Pros & cons of scaling at enterprise

No two big businesses are the same, just as no two SMBs are the same.

In a big business, keeping the company culture and values the same as you scale becomes a real challenge.

Another con is that it typically takes a longer time to get approvals for something, compared to a smaller company, by which time your prospect may have lost interest. 

Employees, too, might think you don’t care about them.

“You get a lot more infighting and issues around territory allocations, especially in sales, like splits on global deals, all that kind of stuff. So a big company will provide you more obstacles in terms of building an environment that is supportive,” Henrique warned.

On the pro side, you’ll typically have a much bigger budget. You could also enter a new territory with strong brand awareness that makes for an easier sale.

Pros & cons of scaling at startups

Just the same as big, corporate companies, no two small businesses are the same, you cannot compare team cultures, and remember – people don’t leave managers, people leave teams.

At a startup, you’ll have a smaller budget (a lot smaller) but likely more freedom to use it at your discretion.

So, a startup is much more agile and flexible but also takes more grit and hustle.

Your company culture could be tighter, but you almost certainly lack the training resources to really perfect your team.

“If you spend your entire career doing just startups, I guarantee you, especially as a fast growing startup, you will get left behind because the company will outgrow you,” Henrique said.

In other words, startups have a huge turnover, as we know.

A big company will provide you with more obstacles, in terms of building an environment that is supportive or rewarding in multiple ways. It’s important to have a combination of startups and big corporate – to scale successfully.

A bit of both

It’s important to strive for a blend. “One of the reasons why some of the teams that I’ve had the privilege of leading in startups and scaleups have been as successful as they have is because of a lot of the big corporate frameworks, processes, and scalability initiatives that we’ve brought from our time at big corporates,” Henrique explained.

He also gave this encouragement: You don’t need deep pockets to do great work.

Experienced people are the key to giving you a huge competitive advantage.

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Don’t try and be everything to everyone. Focus on nailing one market or one segment before moving on to the next.

Henrique Moniz de Aragão – VP and GM, EMEA at G2

3 essentials for scaling in Europe

If you’re going to scale in Europe, you’re going to need these:

1 — Brand awareness

It doesn’t matter how big or well-known you think you are (or that you actually are in North American markets), building trust and awareness with the skeptical European buyer will take time.

It’s essential to assess the levels of engagement you have right now by looking out for website traffic, levels of engagement, and search engine results. Rank yourself against your competitors by popularity, satisfaction, market presence in the region, etc.

“Most companies I speak to tend to be quite surprised, sometimes offended, just at how unknown they are in the region,” Henrique said.

2 — Existing revenue

This will dictate how you start your team. If you only have 20 customers in Europe, you’ll have a smaller team than if you have 100 European customers.

“If you have no customers and no revenue, the first step is to hire one or two people max,” Henrique said.

But if you have some local customers that you’ve been supporting remotely, you can build out some non quota carrying roles. (That’s the key to scaling, after all.)

3 — Stay niche

You should resist the urge to go into multiple markets and multiple segments.

Ask yourself what’s your sweet spot and then keep very close to that. Don’t assume because, for example, you have gone enterprise in the US, that you will get this result in Europe straight away. Consider starting in the UK, as well, because of its diverse talent. 

His top tip for budget is “Don’t try to be everything to everyone, focus on nailing one market or one segment before moving on to the next.” If you are spending financial and human capital on acquiring companies, take into consideration that just because a company is an ideal customer, this does not mean they will buy from you. 

He explains, “Do yourself and your budget a favour, invest in technology that allows you to understand what these activities they are doing online say about their readiness to buy, that allows your budget to go further”. Henrique took emphasis on the fact that there shouldn’t be such a focus on acquiring new customers, as things go so much further when you look at your growth economics and satisfying your current customers.

Get in touch with Henrique on LinkedIn.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

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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