Updated: Oct 28, 2020
In today's business environment, going international does not have to be costly and risky. Software vendors can build a sustainable revenue stream from overseas quickly and remotely. Here's why we know so.
Globalization strategy remains mostly traditional
It is often tragic how difficult it is for some to embrace change. Tragic, because others do it before them, thereby taking a considerable lead over the timid. There are events that act as catalysts, accelerating the adoption of new technology and ways of doing business. Undeniably, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of them.
So, while IT analysts point to the fact that this crisis is accelerating long-term trends - which were already emerging - in the way of buying and selling B2B software (investment in remote selling, greater indifference to buyers in terms of supply channels, the adoption of digital tools to access customers), the approach to going global for software publishers remains tragically traditional.
Yet, shouldn't tech companies by nature be at the forefront of these trends?
Globalization strategy for B2B software – traditional methods don't work
At a time when SaaS solutions proliferate, where the Cloud allows you to offer secure operational solutions, why would you continue to retry strategies that don’t work, specifically by setting up physical operations in a country to penetrate its market? We would know if our trade balance was positive. We would know if the share of French software SME revenue, for example in the United States, was greater than 10%, for a market representing 60% of global software purchases. So it very well means that our usual approach to internationalization strategy and going global doesn’t work! As Albert E. said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Therefore, this crisis gives us the opportunity to change our way of doing things, to try out new business models, now that we have the technology means to do so. The goal should be to protect our first investments, while also limiting our risk, because it is not enough to move to a country, to experience this fleeting euphoria that quickly fades. You have to last, put it back to the pot, deal with rapid staff turnovers. Setting up physical operations in a country is a one-way train where the only way back is an impoverished company.
Hear me well! Public aid such as Coface insurance and VIE Export vouchers are laudable, but frankly insufficient or unsuitable in view of the results, and above all of global commercial issues. Private initiative remains the best way to going global and develop internationally. Let it be said, globalization has passed - and one can objectively be moved by its negative effects - but your competition is now American, Indian, Chinese, very soon Malaysian or Chilean. Why? Because these countries embrace the possibilities offered by digital means to penetrate markets other than their own. And it would be tragic if you did not do it yourself to enter their markets.
B2B software companies globalization strategy – doing it remotely is now possible
Frictions remain nonetheless, even if they are therefore less and less technological. It remains difficult to adapt to certain cultures, to different professional practices, and there you have to rely on people who know the country, who have already made the obstacle course of market penetration, and who have succeeded. A handful of local partners who understand the difficulty of selling B2B software, by remunerating them in success fees, once again to limit risk and investment. Watch out for false oracles though. You will need to check the pedigree of your interlocutors. Your globalization strategy aimed a a swift market penetration a demanding exercise, unlike the organic development of an already established market. The ambient marketing noise in some countries is extremely high, and you will need support to open doors.
Once you have your first references in a market through your partners, you will see that local presence is no longer a prerequisite. If you want to travel, you can always take an Uber to the airport, and an Airbnb in New York. Oh yes ! These platforms have already become commonplace all over the world ...
To find out more about how about WholeSoft Market is helping B2B Software Companies execute their globalization strategy by quickly expanding into foreign markets at a low risk, please visit our website: www.wholesoftmarket.com/software-vendors.