If you are thinking about expanding your B2B business to a new country, you have a lot to think about. But don’t fear, in this blog post we will share our best tips on what to consider when doing B2B telemarketing campaigns in a new country. With more than 20 years experience in helping IT companies generate leads in multiple countries, I hope and believe that our insights will be useful!
If you are thinking about expanding to Denmark, Norway or The Netherlands – you will get some exclusive inside tips from our local consultants at the end of this post!
- Use native speaking consultants
This is the most important factor when it comes to expanding your business to a new market. Native speakers ensure a natural market entry into the countries thanks to their deep understanding of market culture, unwritten rules and codes of conduct. These are factors that gives your company a better starting point.
Native speaking consultants are able to interact on a more meaningful way with potential customers as they can speak with more confidence and better understanding of that country’s cultural norms. In B2B sales it’s very important to understand the market of the target country as these can vary significantly depending on the country. Using native speakers is essential in gaining good presence in a target market as they also are up to date with any developments in their country.
- Focus your marketing on building awareness and trust
When entering a new market, it’s initially important to focus on building awareness and trust. You should ask yourself how you are bringing value to this specific audience that will make them trust your brand.
- Understand the business culture.
As obvious it may be, we needed to include it on this list. If you want to learn more about the business culture in Denmark, Norway or the Netherlands, look at the end of this post!
- Start with bullets, not cannon balls.
Long gone are the days when you pushed into a new market with a million-dollar ad campaign and five new offices in the business quarters of the main cities. Today you can easily start small and see what works. For example, combine a social media campaign towards the industries and titles you know best, with one hired consultant who can start working from home somewhere in the country.
- Remember the Ansoff Matrix from business school.
It’s as relevant as it has always been. Don’t move into a completely new market with a new product or service. Bring something you know works, something you’re known for. Moving to a new market is difficult, keep all other things simple.
- Don’t start with promoting a big event.
Without a known name in the region, getting people to prioritize your event rather than all others happening will be just as hard as getting meetings with the exact same target group. And those meetings mean more face time with each prospect – use that time to learn what’s important for decision makers in this region, rather than standing on a stage telling them about your product.
Begin with a webinar instead, it’s a low effort alternative that is great to use in social media to attract prospects, and a great thing to speak with people about on the phone when you give them a cold call and they decline a meeting with you.
- Evaluate the market.
Spend some time knowing the market you want to expand into. Who are the main competitors? How has sales and marketing been done historically? How many companies in the relevant target group have parent companies abroad that makes all the decisions on investments? How is the culture around cold calls? Do people like web meetings? Are they likely to attend events? These are just some questions you can ask, but it gives some good indications on where to spend your effort.
Business culture in The Netherlands
Our BDR Peter has many years’ experience of marketing IT tech solution in the Dutch market. When doing business in The Netherlands you should know that the Dutch organizations often are very innovative and international. It’s an interesting and diverse market! The Dutch can be very direct, which in other cultures might seem a bit (very) blunt. But it’s nothing that should be considered as personal, it’s just the way business is done.
Business culture in Denmark
Our BDR Jeppe has a lot of experience in doing business in Denmark. Small talk is kept at a minimum and you don’t need to create relationships first. Danes are also known for using a very direct form of communication (may be interpreted as rude in other cultures). Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members.
Conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation and Danes are known for their long discussions until consensus has been reached. Workplaces have a very informal atmosphere with direct and involving communication.
Business culture in Norway
Our BDR Pål is one of our Norwegian consultants and has a lot of experience of doing business in Norway. He says that the Norwegian business culture are different based on the regional location. In some cases, quite big difference. In the north of Norway, they tend to be more direct, not afraid of others, they have more time and are more outgoing.
In the mid Norway they are less aggressive, but in the east of Norway business people are more aggressive and stressed, ambitious, colder, focused on career and have less time to get to know others. In the south-west they are more conservative, self-confident but still more relaxed.
In general, the business culture is more focused on reaching your goals and not wasting a lot of time on non-productive matters. This means that when approaching your customer for the first time you will be expected to get straight to the point and not talking to much around the subject.
If you have something that can help your customer in any way (like saving money and time or be more efficient) you will be welcome to present your agenda. Being prepared and acting professional, polite and patient will be expected.
Good luck with your expansion! Book a meeting with me if you want to learn how we can support your lead generation expansion. Brightvision have experienced native speaking consultants in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Germany.