Over the past several years, I have helped several companies enter and develop the U.S. market. Historically many companies have failed in one of the largest commercial markets in the world. Here are the top ten traps to avoid:
- Assuming that your domestic sales and marketing strategy will work in the U.S. market. Business is done very differently in the U.S versus other parts of the world. The U.S. is very sophisticated in digital marketing, online vendor search, and referral sourcing.
2. Sending over your semi-retired and politically favored VP of Sales for a two-year ex-pat stint. I have seen this happen many times. The assumption is that your top domestic sales guy will be able to replicate his or her past success in the U.S. I have personally seen many international companies do this. Often the VP of Sales spends most of his or her time networking within their own limited community. This is rarely where the business opportunity is. Others take full advantage of an extended vacation and a chance to experience the U.S.
3. Locating your office in the wrong location. Many choose cities where they have a comfort zone and not where the bulk of their customers are.
4. Over-relying on quasi-government country development resources. While these entities can help and do make local introductions, these efforts rarely lead to revenue
5. Failure to develop a documented market and competitive analysis followed by a robust Go-to-Market and Demand Generation Plan. In addition, companies tend to lack a prioritized segmentation plan with a tightly focused & rank-ordered set of prospects.
6. Assuming that you can quickly ramp sales without any reference accounts
7. Underestimating how competitive a large market like the U.S actually is.
8. Failure to develop a compelling and unique positioning followed by a detailed and documented demand generation plan. Foreign companies lack keen industry insights and insightful thought leadership programs. This tends to bothers prospects and makes them uncomfortable.
8. Not hiring or engaging with proven local sales and marketing experts who can help you launch into the U.S. market
10. Underestimating the level of effort to be successful, both in terms of time required, people and budget.
Happy to help companies develop a U.S. market entry strategy that leads to a predictable revenue stream.