Qualifying International Market Requirements

Identifying a “Compelling Need” with a “Compelling Event” for your products and services is key prior to investing in a go to market strategy. Identifying Compelling Need/Events for businesses in foreign countries is not easy. Not having lived in their culture experiencing their day-to-day lives, American marketing executives have a history of assuming that what businesses require in other countries are similar to the requirements American businesses struggle with, regardless of market vertical.

Dilution of Brand-Name Power

In today’s connected global market, American culture and the corporate symbols of that culture–brand names–are well known. This does not mean the American companies’ products and services will be popular when introduced in other countries. Being aware of a brand name isn’t the same as preferring it.

Communication Style

Business executives from different countries can encounter several barriers to effective communication besides obvious language differences. The traditional pace of business negotiations can be different. Americans typically prefer quick and efficient negotiations, whereas in some other countries emphasis is placed on building relationships before a business deal is seriously considered. Executives from other countries may place a higher value on relationships whereby trust is established prior to executing a financial agreement.

Distance and Time

Even with today’s communication enhancements, executives in other countries may prefer to establish relationships on a personal level. For a smaller American company, this can mean a significant investment in travel costs and having key executives out of the office for extended periods. Time zone differences can make it difficult to coordinate projects where collaboration is required. Executives on the West Coast of the U.S. are just getting to work in the morning when their European counterparts are winding down for the day.

Finding Reliable Partners

American firms often establish relationships with distributors located in the countries whose markets they are seeking to enter. They hire sales reps based in those countries. They may engage local marketing and public relations firms to assist them. Because the American firm might have no prior experience in that country, finding people who are trustworthy and competent can be a challenge.


Establish objectives that help bring your sales and marketing resources together to ensure there’s alignment in strategy and execution. The Priority Objective exercise will help ensure the right goals are established with metrics to affirm objective attainment. Once the team identifies, prioritizes, justifies and established metrics for attaining each priority objectives, then you can start collecting the specific data needed to finalize a market strategy that supports the priority objectives.

Additional Data Questions

Answering just one of the data questions can help you refine what tools you need.

  • Are you tracking your suspects (website visitors), prospects (those who you have contact with), qualified prospects and customers?
  • Are you tracking what channels are providing you the most prospects?
  • Do you know where your qualified leads came from?
  • Do you tie sales to marketing efforts?


Answering just one of the data questions can help you refine what tools you need. Then you can use analytics to determine which channels and efforts work best for your team.

Tracking Marketing Leads

Most all web activity is tracked. Marketing technology tracks if you click on an ad, then later if you visited the brick and mortar store. If you’re not deploying these types of marketing tracking tools then you have to ask yourself whether or not your competitor is?


Some tracking is free if your website uses Google Analytics. But tracking has become much more powerful with live tracking, smart phones and your social interactions. Tracking anything and everything is possible, but for most businesses, you need to go back to your Priority Objectives, to determine what type of tracking you need.

In order to manage predictability in your business, you must track the funnel, from visitor to customer, and understand what actions and funnels give you more sales. There are options for tracking you pipeline that offer compelling ROI’s, but only if your systems can track your data.

Campaign Execution

One of the hardest things in marketing is executing the campaign. The lack of systems to help you manage campaign execution can kill many great marketing ideas. Opportunities and relationships are lost because processes failed.


Implement a tracking systems. Seems like a simple answer, but we find that most B2B companies have not created systems that handle marketing execution and a customer relationship management (CRM) for your sales team. The best marketing systems are cheaper than hiring a full time employee.                                        

Additional Data Questions

  • Do you implement marketing automation?
  • Are you tracking what channels are providing you the most prospects?
  • Can you segment your data, so your prospects and customers are treated differently?
  • Can you provide your management with a dashboard of execution results?
  • Does your sales team all use the same contact CRM?


Mobile continues to be a game changer for businesses. Mobile commerce, mobile geo-fencing and mobile communications have all matured as technology platforms and has impacted most markets like never before.


You need to embrace a mobile friendly website. Secondly, help your internal sales people become proficient with mobile solutions. There are great new mapping, sales, tracking, and even mobile CRM solutions. There are tools that can show you the last contacts that opened or viewed your site, helping your sales people know when to pick up the phone and increase closing ratios.

Sales Funnels

Managing marketing leads and tracking them with your sales team has been a source of frustration for marketers and sales managers. The sales team is likely busy in the field with customers when suddenly the marketing team exports a bunch of leads in an Excel spreadsheet requesting the sales team to stop what they’re doing and follow up on these “hot” leads. Have the leads been qualified? Do they even have a pulse? What products and services might they be interested in?


1) Captures leads</p> <p>2) Establish qualification criteria by having the marketing and sales team collaborate to ensure compliance and accountability</p> <p>3) Wash the bad leads out of the pipe;</p> <p>4) have the marketing team stay engage to help the sales team close by providing collateral, references and case studies.


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