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Direct Sales

In B2B Direct Sales is the process of a vendor selling directly to end consuming companies.
The direct relationship with the clients through a vendor's own account managers usually provides the highest level of customer loyalty and satisfaction, excellent customer feedback and focus. As a dedicated sales team can be trained individually, this approach enables a vendor to sell even the most difficult solutions into a complex market.
Due to the high cost of sales this will only work for deal sizes far above 10,000 EUR. 

Advantages

  • highest level of customer loyalty
  • excellent feedback from client's
  • supports difficult solutions 

Disadvantages

  • huge cost of sales
  • initially a lot of patience is needed

Who should do so?

If the solution has an average deal size far above 10,000 EUR this is the approach of choice.

How to . . .

If you want to make yourself different from other vendors from abroad an be customer centric, you should give yourself a German appearance:
  • complete German website
  • German mail address
  • German telephone line
  • German flyer(s)
  • German reference story / stories
Also be prepared to communicate in German. This includes german product descriptions, proposal text and marketing material. Such a local German appearance already remove one big hurdle and bring you much closer to German deals than your competitors from abroad are.
The next step is to inform the market about your capabilities. There are many different possibilities to generate new leads:

Online Advertising

If you use online advertising (e. g. Google Adwords) you should use the specific German keywords to be found. Combine it with specific pages of your website and use conversion tracking. Use German pr portals to create backlinks to your website, be sure you have excellent meta tags and add the site to all search engines. Use analytics tools and logfile analysers to verify the results.

Events

Use German events to create leads. Beside the huge trade shows (e. g. CeBit in Hannover, Systems in Munich) there are many events from marketiung companies and magazines. If you are a partner of one of the international big brands, extend your existing partnership to cover Germany as well and use them for your start in Germany to produce leads. Be prepared that joining events is the most expensive way to generate leads - but the most powerful as well, if you have the right people to represent you on these events.

Cold Calling and Mass Mailing

If you consider buying many German contacts from various databases to start cold calling, you should know that due to UWG (German law) there are clear limitations. Conflicts with this law can become very expensive. This also restricts your possibilities to send out mass emails.

Networking

Use networking to introduce your products, services and solutions to the market. The most successful networking platform for business users currently is XING. Make your German representatives create a profile there, join the forums and use the platform to contact up to 20 interesting people every day. You will find them easily by keywords. Create your own forum and invite relevant contacts to join it. Build your own community there.

Develop Opportunities

Once you have these new sales leads just provide the necessary follow up, develop your opportunities and finally close your deals. In the B2B business a realistic approach should include the persistance of at least one year. Some lucky orders will possibly come in earlier - but German decision porocesses take their time.
SELLto.de: B2B Sales Outsourcing
SELLto.de: B2B Sales Outsourcing
2010-05-06
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