Answers to Your Top Three Global Expansion Challenges

November 8, 2019
Contributor: Sara Hartanov

Expand your software sales strategy and brand awareness with our techniques to manage the top three challenges of expanding globally.

As the software industry becomes increasingly global — with 80% of software-related searches conducted outside of the United States — it’s more important than ever to incorporate global buyers into your software sales strategy.

As manager of the Gartner Digital Markets client services team, I often field concerns from software vendors who are on the fence when it comes to targeting global markets, and a lot of their concerns are valid. Based on the questions I’ve heard from the thousands of vendors we work with, I’ve compiled the top three hesitations we hear, and the practical advice I give them.

Do time zones keep you from expanding globally? Watch this video for a simple, highly effective solution.
What if my business hours don’t align with those in the market I’m trying to reach?

Sales teams who reach out to leads with significant time zone differences can find it challenging to connect immediately, but that’s no reason to give up on those potential sales.

Develop an auto-response email to maintain immediate outreach and begin nurturing leads from different time zones even while your sales team is out of the office. Boost engagement by including a free trial or video demo of your product and any personalized or localized marketing assets, such as translated product information and converted pricing sheets.

 

How can my sales team and prospects communicate if they don’t speak the same language?

Language barriers can feel like a daunting divide between your sales team and global prospects. To bridge this divide, focus on the effectiveness of your team’s communication rather than trying to hire a special team to field international leads.

Remind your team that English is the language of the global economy — 1.75 billion people speak it at a useful level — and connecting across language barriers is achievable, as long as they speak clearly, avoid culturally specific words or phrases like jargon and idioms, and they don’t forget to discuss pricing models using the appropriate currency.

 

Can I expand into global markets if my website and marketing materials aren’t translated?

It’s not a deal-breaker to share your materials in English only, and you should reach out to global buyers regardless. That said, we’ve found that many buyers prefer to perform initial research in their native language, and it’s a good idea to translate key sales and marketing assets — most importantly, your product and pricing information — if that fits within your marketing budget.
 

Take a look at these tips for your team on how to expand your software business into the global market.

Sara Hartanov

Sara Hartanov manages the Client Success team at Gartner Digital Markets. When she’s not studying up on inbound marketing best practices, she loves trying new restaurants, exploring the outdoors with her energetic toddler, and spending time with family in Arlington, Va. Connect with Sara on LinkedIn.