“It’s about growth. When we hire salespeople and look at going into new markets, the question is why are you doing it?” – James Adkins, Head of Commercial, IRIS HR Consulting
To make international growth impactful for your company, not just today, but for years to come, it’s essential to ask yourself, “why are we expanding?”
That was the topic of discussion at the PANGEO panel, “How to Increase Your Sales Internationally and Accelerate Your Company’s Growth,” a session moderated by Nick Adams, Vice President of EMEA at Globalization Partners, and James Adkins, Head of Commercial at IRIS HR Consulting.
The two business leaders shared insights from years of scaling sales teams across the world, and their learnings from shifting to a remote-first approach over the past two years, leaving the traditional office setting behind.
What’s most important for companies ready for global growth to keep in mind when building their sales engine around the world?
Lean forward into technology – it’s integral to remote business
While it’s commonly been possible for people and companies to sell goods internationally, selling services globally has only just started to get easier. This is largely in part due to technological advances.
For companies to take advantage of the growth opportunities in a remote-first working world, it’s vital to embrace technology in all aspects of the business.
“It’s very interesting to see how the world has had to embrace buying into technology to be able to operate remotely,” said Adams.
At the same time, adapting multiple technologies at the same time can lead to inefficiencies. It’s important to identify which tech is going to make your individual team members more productive, and positively impact your company’s bottom line.
“Companies have one opportunity to enter a market and do it right.” – Nick Adams, Vice President EMEA, Globalization Partners
Don’t just look for talent – look for opportunity
Before you hire individuals, you need to create a pathway for them to succeed. This is where Adkins encourages companies not to simply look anywhere in the world for specific sales talent, but first assess the markets they will own. Answer the “why” before you identify the “who.”
“It’s about growth. When we hire salespeople and look at going into new markets, the question is why are you doing it?” said Adkins.
To confidently move into a new region, market research is critical. Assessing the costs and benefits based on revenue potential contrasted with investment required to set up can indicate the strength of the foundation you’ll be asking new sales talent to build.
The real challenge isn’t solving for today – it’s looking 2 to 3 years ahead
Both Adkins and Adams agree that having a long-term view for any growth and expansion across borders is critical for success. Moving quickly isn’t a bad thing, unless you don’t properly and compliantly move into the region. In that case, you have a potential reputational crisis for your company, and it can be hard to course correct.
As Adams said, “Companies have one opportunity to enter a market and do it right.”
Adkins encourages companies to look down the road first, then solve for the present. “When you’re looking at new markets, it’s key to say: what is that market? What is that market worth?”
Using a company like Globalization Partners to hire quickly and compliantly is a great way to start, but you still need a plan for the future. “We can dip our toe in the water and see, but what does the next two or three years look like?”