You’re ready to set up your business in Europe, and you want your expansion to be as seamless and successful as if it was in your home country. Breaking through internationally means diving into foreign waters with all the language and cultural challenges that come with it. Sales success starts with strong lead generation, but global success doesn’t mean global marketing adaptation and this is where you discover that one size does not fit all. The sales process depends largely on the customer and whether they get what they want. Understand this new European customer. They will want to be attracted, approached and do business in their own language and culture. This is a given. Give them what they want.
This is not even a case of East meets West. In the West alone, there is a world of difference. After all, Europe has 50 countries with their own language and culture, which is not the case with the US and Canada, as our CEO and co-founder Alban VIANO acknowledges. And you must have a strategy that allows you to use a different approach to where you are going. Think carefully about the culture, language and business behavior of Europe and its countries and you’ll quickly realize how sales outsourcing services for the European market differ from those in the rest of the world.
Outsourcing sales services for the European market
First of all, you need to understand what sales outsourcing is and how important it is to your potential success in selling in Europe. You need to know all about the strategies you can use to increase your future sales – the starting point for launching the all-important sales process. First and foremost, you need to know that lead generation in B2B is a different matter than in B2C.
Data protection in Europe
Whatever campaign strategy suits you best, there needs to be a clear GDPR awareness to meet all requirements. It’s been more than four years since the EU’s GDPR laws went into effect, and they are the strictest and most stringent privacy laws in the world. You will have data on EU citizens, so you must handle it in a compliant manner. If you don’t comply with the EU GDPR, it’s at your own risk! The CSO explains what you need to know to be compliant and what happens in the event of a breach. And there will be breaches. Knowing what to do and how to act quickly when it happens is critical.
The Covid lockdowns continue to have a serious impact.
In recent months, countries such as Austria and Germany have been working mainly at a distance and it is not always easy to reach people when you need them. Dialing a reception desk is often frustrating, as they are unwilling or technically unable to transfer calls and cannot give out cell phone numbers. The GDPR restricts calls to mobiles in Europe, and Germany is taking this more seriously.
Learn the linguistics and laws of lead generation in Europe
Prospects expect to be marketed to and attracted to your products in their own language, an obvious but sometimes unthought-out conclusion. Lead generation services for the European market therefore differ from the rest of the world when it comes to basic advertising and marketing. You will need to break down these language barriers and expand your global reach. It’s not optional, in fact, in some countries you must do it. Our CEO for France, Alban Viano, makes a good point: “Language makes a major difference, and that includes accents. For example, a foreign accent or awkward expressions reveal a call coming from a foreign contact center and most people will hang up. The same is true for background noise.”
Well-formed professional calls are rare and appreciated, especially if they are personalized. For example, citing a trait or experience from the caller’s LinkedIn profile. And it’s best if the prospecting person books a call for another “expert”, simply gathering a few details to pre-qualify and document the actual discovery call to come. And be on the right side of country-specific laws. Here are some examples: In France, you must provide all marketing materials in French or with a translator. Germany limits the value of promotional offers. There is a directive on misleading and comparative advertising that has only been applied to business-to-business (B2B) relationships regarding the topic.
Campaigns in local languages require locals to deliver them fluently, and they must appeal to local buyers, which is one of the strongest arguments for using an outsourced sales agency. Remember, you have local competition on your heels, so get it right the first time or they will. Sometimes it’s not just about using the right language, it’s about finding the right tone. Should you be casual, friendly and conversational, or formal? Easy expansion into European markets requires multilingual skills from end to end.
Fine-tune your sales outsourcing
The transitional economies of Eastern Europe (especially with the dead-end situation of the current conflict in Ukraine and data and service technologies) also present challenges for technology companies that effectively use marketing technologies in Europe, where there are many tech-savvy consumers, but also a macro-environment that makes some market technologies more attractive than others. Taking these current challenges into account, along with language and cultural differences, helps clarify how lead generation services for the European market are different from the rest of the world.