Achieving success in your existing and local markets is often only the first step; continued business growth requires expansion. When surveyed 87 percent of U.S companies stated that international expansion was needed in order to meet long-term growth targets. Forecasts revealed that global spending for enterprise software would reach $376.3 billion at the close of 2016; while the global IT services markets has seen a steady rise over the past few years and is set to culminate in 2020 at a $1.1 trillion peak. Globally, opportunities for the IT and technology sectors are on the rise and when considering the prospect of expanding internationally a strategy of expansion must be created which takes inconsideration a number of factors.
B2B lead generation is proven way of driving business growth and expanding the sales pipeline; but more than this it is a method that works both nationally, internationally and even globally. However, in order to design and deliver a successful direct and digital campaign across continental borders a number of factors should be acknowledged and considerations made.
Understanding your market
The first and most obvious decision to be made is the selection of international markets in which to take your product or service. Developing a sound understanding of local culture and legal requirements is essential as ultimately the whole of your international lead generation strategy will be centred around these details.
Consideration into these areas shouldn’t just be an organisational box ticking exercise – but rather a comprehensive experience of learning for those that will be operating directly within these new markets. In order to generate high quality leads your sales and marketing teams will have to interact directly with the people you hope to target. A developed understanding of these new markets will enable your team to build relationships without unknowingly engaging in behaviours which might be considered ‘bad practice’ or illegal – despite being acceptable elsewhere in the world.
Generating leads with a Direct & Digital strategy
SMarketing: A direct and digital lead generation campaign into foreign markets can only be successful if both sales and marketing are unified in message, strategy and end goal. Efforts should be made to achieve a developed understanding of how the targeted personas differ internationally as well as the types of content needed at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Content Creation: Prospects engaging with your content is essential for digital lead generation and in many cases content can simply be repurposed for international markets however; consideration should be made to understand the language requirements of your chosen market. This goes beyond basic translation and extends into things like tone and the use of technical terms; each of these must be considered for their ability to be understood and accepted across international borders. The various methods of content distribution may also have varying effects across your different markets while also requiring compliance with additional cultural or legal stipulations.
Website Design: As your international presence grows so too will the traffic to your website. As the central focus of your online presence your website must be optimised to convert your visitors into leads. This means that your website should be augmented to host a variety of different potential clients all at once. Marketing Automation platforms, such as HubSpot, can empower you to create a website and landing pages that are reactive to the specific visitors your site is receiving, giving a personalised experience.
Data Enrichment: Data collection and profiling is an essential component of a direct and digital marketing campaign as it is interwoven into each of your other lead generation activities as a continuous process. However, acquiring data to launch an international campaign can be a tricky process requiring many legal considerations.
Inside Sales: Your team of business development consultants are charged with engaging directly with your new international prospects; and just like your content it is important to ensure they are able converse and engage in the appropriate language while also using locally understood technical terms. Traditionally, the inside sales team fulfils a consultative role as they engage with potential prospects, however their style of approach and engagement may require adaptation for overseas interactions.
These considerations require deliberate thought and research in order to drive successful international business growth, however, there are also practical considerations that must also be overcome. It is inevitable that global markets will operate in a variety of different time zones. Scheduling your direct and digital marketing campaign so as to align with these will require additional resource to be put in place. Particularly in relation to your inside sales team as these will be required to operate solely within your international markets hours of business.
Successfully expanding internationally
Expansion into international markets is a route that can have great rewards; however, the process of delivering successful lead generation within an environment that is different to your own, is often not as straight forward as first thought. Doing so successfully requires a highly trained team which is able to adapt and navigate changing cultural and legal requirements; while still distributing engaging content and interactions which convert and qualify highly profiled sales opportunities.
Choosing to create and deliver this strategy in-house is one approach, however, for many international expansion becomes a greater reality through a strong relationship with an external party with the knowledge and expereience to bridge the gap and deliver results.
INCo has a wealth of experience supporting a whole range of organisations in the IT and technology sectors achieve international expansion. With a highly trained multi-lingual sales team and knowledge and experience of foreign markets INCo has been able to deliver successful direct and digital lead generation campaign on a global scale.