In this episode of our Go To Europe Series, we will tackle an important subject : Channels.
Having the right partner is an essential part of your strategy when expanding to Europe. Thus you have to evaluate them carefully. Here are a few things to take into account when choosing your partner :
1 -How many partners should you appoint?
Our recommendation: FOCUS on a few partners only. For a small business it takes time, energy and resources to train distributors and activate them. Thus we advise you to pick carefully your partners and due-diligence them.
Once those partners are successful you can explore expanding into other distribution channels if necessary.
2- How do you profile the right distributors?
First, if you have any European clients or leads, you should ask them with which distributors they work. In addition, if any of your Australian distributor works well for you, take a step back and look at their profile: are they small or large? How large is their product range? Which territory do they cover?
As an SME working with large distributors implies that more time is needed to activate them while small distributors are more active and reactive but might not be your long time partners.
Then you should decide in which industry they should focus on. Define the sectors you want them to target. It is also important to validate which complementary product they should distribute. For that, check the products your current distributors sell.
Regarding the marketing strategy, have a look at the marketing tools and media they use : catalogue, online marketing, trade show, advertising in press… and if they are good at it. Finally decide what role you want your partner to play : sales, after-sales support, technical helpline …
You are now ready to recruit and engage your partners based on those criteria! Best of luck!
If you want to know more about the other pillars of our Go to Europe series, follow the links below :
- Understanding your product’s potential in Europe
- Choosing the right country in Europe
- Take a big jump in your sales by attending European trade shows
- Your team : the secret ingredient for a successful expansion to Europe
If you have any questions, we’d be happy to chat with you on Twitter or email. For more information, please visit our website, and stay tuned for next week’s article.