How To Approach The Challenge Of A Cohesive Sales Strategy On International Scale: Part One Of Two

Cohesive International Sales StrategyBusinesses often need to adapt to a growing market for their product, sometimes on an international scale. This transition requires extensive knowledge of the area and the people that will be buying the products.

A sales management team needs to sit down and address the overall strategy that they want to employ for expansion while also considering a specific approach for different regions of the world.

According to Heather Kivett, president of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, there are a number of different factors that a manager has to consider when choosing the international sales strategy.

“You have to deal with different currencies and buying cycles,” noted the executive. “Sometimes you even have different weather patterns. You may be in a completely different season in a different part of the world. Everything is backwards below the equator.”

Managers have so many variables to deal with when expanding their business, and this can often require them to seek outside help in order to ensure that the transition occurs in a smooth manner.

“If I were going to implement an international sales strategy, I would collect people from around the world who have been operating in the specific regions in order to get an idea of the cultural differences,” said Kivett. “You need to know what these cultures buy, what makes people purchase these things and ways to entice them.”

People in Japan have a different approach to business than many Americans do and Europeans buy in a distinctly different way than South Koreans do. Global business sense is necessary to understand the change in values from place to place, according to the executive.

These individuals may operate in a different fashion when it comes to their attitude towards their family, company or country and the level of sacrifice that they will make in any of these areas.

Individuals in these countries could also have a different length of period for employment, as cultures vary in terms of company retention and turnover rates. Understanding how long a person will be in a specific position will help to ease the sales process. Developing a relationship with someone who will be gone in six months is not ideal, according to Kivett.