Sell more here; Sell more there - global business development anchors

Ed Marsh | Aug 26, 2013

Every business needs growth

But not everyone knows where to find it - or has the savvy to look and the gumption to pursue it.  But it's safe to say that every business owner tries.  Some stumble, and sadly others fail to even take a big step and then stumble.

In our world we believe that business development can be boiled down to a pretty simple formula.  Every company has two options for growth.

1. Sell More Here


2. Sell More There

Sounds simple?  We agree.  But as the saying goes - it's simple, but it's not easy.

Both take a $h1tload of work - fierce determination, executive commitment, investment of resources and patience.

And both take one more key ingredient - expertise.  

Sell More Here - with more effective marketing

Boston was ground zero last week for the #SellMoreHere revolution. Inbound marketing clearly is no fad as success story after case study confirmed.

Robust content marketing programs crafted with integrated inbound marketing methodology and artfully (and consistently executed) offer an unmatched opportunity for small businesses and large alike, to align their B2B marketing and sales with the way buyers actually buy today.

Companies that haven't embraced the methodology yet (really embraced - not just a 'blog' with a few annual press releases and a twitter handle with 73 updates), delay at their own peril. Learn more about the shifting landscape here.

Sell More There - diversify into rapidly growing markets

Another phenomenal opportunity is for companies to broaden the scope of markets that they sell into.  While growth in the US is basically stagnant (between -2 to 2% annually) other markets are growing at rates that exceed even our exciting go-go days of 8-10% growth.  

But there are two problems.  First, these markets are probably not the ones you're thinking of.  See, I knew it.  I'm not talking China, Brazil or India.  There are other markets with far lower barriers and far higher (attainable) growth than the BRICs.  Of course if you're not deeply immersed in thsi stuff daily, most folks resort to conventional wisdom (kind of like 'inbound marketing is all about social media', right?)

inbound marketing and global business development mindset

The second problem is "mindset".  And this is actually kind of funny (as long as you are someone that can chuckle at themselves.)  Inbound marketers periodically affirm for themselves that they are quite innovative and cutting edge.  In fact, there's often an edge of condescension toward the unwashed mass that just blindly pursues traditional marketing approaches.  "Why can't they wrap their minds around the need to change?" is the refrain.

Here's the funny part - when you ask those same folks about the international leads they generate, the reflexive answer is "We don't sell overseas."  Ask a couple further questions and one quickly realizes in most cases that the resistance isn't a byproduct of careful strategic focus on a key market but rather naiveté or ignorance of what's involved in selling internationally.  "That's just not the way we do it."

In other words, it's rather hypocritical.  The same lame justifications for sticking with traditional marketing at which they scoff are convenient when they explain why they don't pursue global opportunities.

An extension of what you're already doing

Now let's make it immediate AND easy.  You already have a ton of international leads - if you're like most inbound marketers, probably between 35-50% of all your leads.  And you probably follow up on ZERO%.

Does 0% call for a smug #smarketing fist bump?  Seriously, aren't you supposed to be using leads to grow the business?

So there are a couple easy steps to take in the short term.  First, disable your lead grader that automatically discards international leads.  Also, consider allowing your smart forms to accept gmail addresses - because many legitimate global business inquiries will use "free" domain address.

Then begin to respond to them to determine engagement.  If you'd like to talk about strategies to differentiate opportunities, call me.  I'm happy to talk about it.  This is important - the tone and pace of your international response should be different than your standard domestic reply.

Looking for a deeper dive?  We'll be publishing an eBook soon with more details on how to manage international leads and projects.  We'll announce it in our blog, so subscribe and you'll be notified.

Footnote for inbound marketing agencies

Let's synch quickly.  If you're an agency it's sometimes easy to get focused on tactical execution and lose sight of what your clients hired your for.  It's not to execute inbound marketing, create content and manage their digital marketing - but rather to help them grow their business.

So you can deliver value to them by sharing information on how to maximize their leads - all their leads, even the global ones - and perhaps generate more.  Global offers great opportunities.

Want to talk about it?  Call me.