Attracting foreign customers can be challenging because of cultural barriers and linguistic differences. An international sales development team can help overcome these obstacles and allow businesses to boost oversea sales.
What is International Sales Development?
International sales development refers to the process of preparing foreign customers for buying. It includes activities such as research, prospecting, and lead qualification. This process bridges the gap between the sales and marketing teams and minimizes missed opportunities.
Due to globalization, overseas markets are overflowing with unrealized opportunities. Your company can gain foreign customers and achieve revenue objectives faster by having a dedicated sales development team specializing in international clients.
Here’s a short video explaining how globalization opens new opportunities for smaller businesses to compete in the global arena:
International Sales Development Vs. American Sales Development
The concept behind American and international sales development is the same, with a slight difference in their approaches. These distinctions focus on the following factors:
- Culture: What resonates with American consumers might not work with international clients, even when they represent similar buyer personas. Internal sales development representatives must know these differences to establish rapport successfully and create a positive impression with foreign prospects.
- Language: 75% of the world’s population1 does not speak English. Because communicating directly with prospects is a huge part of sales development, you need to hire SDRs fluent in the language your foreign leads speak.
These two critical factors make international sales development more difficult to achieve, but when done correctly, organizations can gain big returns and position their brands as authorities in the global market.
Tips on How to Boost International Sales Development Strategies
International sales development strategies are more complex, as they require unique expertise and in-depth knowledge of the global market and consumers. Here are tips to boost the success of your sales development strategies:
Invest in Research
Research is the groundwork of any international sales development strategy. It provides valuable insights that point salespeople to the best alternatives, increasing their chances of success.
A few key areas to investigate for international sales development are:
- Target consumer pain points: Does your product offer value to international clientele? If it does, in what way?
- Competitors: Who are the leading players in the international market? How are they attracting customers, and what are their wins and failures?
- Risks: What are the possible challenges you’ll face when entering the international market, and how can you solve them?
The collection of accurate data is a complex process that calls for expertise. Hiring salespeople specializing in overseas market research is highly recommended to receive the most accurate data.
It’s crucial to track metrics when running an international sales development campaign. They will reveal whether or not you are progressing toward your objectives and provide insight into where you should make changes.
Important sales development metrics to monitor are:
- Number of calls: The total number of calls an SDR makes on their day-to-day operation.
- Response rates: Reveals how many prospects respond positively to SDRs’ phone and mail outreach efforts.
- Sales qualified leads (SQL) generated: This metric will tell you the number of prospects converted to SQLs in a specific period.
- Conversion rates: Refers to the number of leads pushed to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Number of calls per win: Provides insight into the number of interactions required to close a sale.
Outsourcing involves hiring a third party to take over a specific task or process. International sales development is a great candidate for outsourcing, as it requires unique expertise and can be time-consuming and costly.
It may be a while for an in-house sales team to reach maximum productivity. It takes an average of 3.1 months2 to onboard SDRs and 12 months to make them top performers in the local markets.
Putting together an in-house sales development team is also expensive, as you have to pay for full-time employee salaries, benefits, and training. A team of international SDRs and managers can be even more expensive because:
- They’ll need cultural training: SDRs and managers need cultural awareness to properly empathize with and address the pain points of foreign prospects.
- Multilingual SDRs and managers are paid more: Bilingual or multilingual employees get paid 5-20% over their monolingual counterparts3.
When outsourcing sales development teams, choose a partner specializing in foreign markets. They are more likely to have in-depth knowledge and offer an expert workforce that can boost strategy success.
Take Advantage of Tools
The right set of tools can significantly boost the productivity of your international sales development team. Recommended tools include:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools: SDRs can use these tools to compile and organize client information.
- Auto dialers: This allows SDRs to call foreign prospects without a local phone number.
- Scheduling tools: This tool makes it easy for prospects to book a meeting that’s convenient for them. It also allows SDRs to keep track of their appointments and stay organized.
International sales development allows businesses to boost revenue by opening new markets in other parts of the world. You can achieve your goals faster with an experienced sales development team specializing in handling foreign customers.