This is a common question for US-based organizations deploying learning globally, and for sales leaders thinking about how to digitize their sales teams.
A few years ago, I would have answered the question differently. Maybe because we had only an intermediate level understanding of social selling in these markets, or maybe because these markets just hadn’t shown an accelerated digital maturity?
Those times are over…
Photo of Thomson Reuters – MENA sales kick-off in Dubai, focused on the digital seller.
In the last 12 months, we’ve seen a hyper-acceleration of social selling projects in MENA & APAC/APAJ:
1. These markets are heavily reliant in face-to-face networking to WIN accounts, but how do you think they are at finding, engaging and discovering new opportunities?
2. The sales techniques from the past are having a diminishing return on effort to find NEW accounts. The sellers can't rely solely on farming and shepherding their current customer database forever.
3. Many MENA & APAC/APAJ sellers are working local opportunities of larger multi-national accounts. The “buying committee” is also residing in London, Sydney and New York. The customer has gone global.
The modern, digital seller is using online sales best practices to drive conversations into the offline world. Your MENA and APAC/APAJ teams are fully aware of how business ENDS up closing. The question they need to ask themselves is:
“What am I doing more bodly and differently this year that my competition isn’t? Where is the white space?”
These markets are ripe with opportunity to differentiate. Video sales communication (which is still in the early adoption phase in North America and EMEA), is the Seth Godin “Purple Cow” in UAE and Singapore.
As a first step, you must overcome your #1 obstacle… the demonizing mindset of tradition and not evolving.
Don’t let localization be an excuse. Don't let the thinking, “that’s not how we sell here” cloud your judgement—that’s a totally lame excuse! Let the photo above, coupled with many others projects in China, Singapore, etc. be your proofpoint to make changes to your sales go-to-market strategy in those markets.