In order to develop, every company needs to prospect, both in France and abroad. However, canvassing is good, but it must be done efficiently. Indeed, your prospecting must enable you to gather the information you need to engage in conversation with your prospects, create a relationship and, ultimately, convert them into customers. For this to work, it is therefore essential to centralise reliable information on customers through an efficient commercial prospecting campaign.
1 — Start with market research
Reliable prospecting is prepared in advance. If you enter a market and start prospecting blindly, you are likely to spend a lot of energy, time and money, with very little success.
To prospect successfully, it is therefore essential to have sufficient knowledge of the target market, as well as the needs and buying habits of the local clientele. This implies gathering as much information as possible about the target market.
This can be done using the Internet. Information circulates en masse on the Internet, making it possible to build an action plan by studying certain questions:
- Will your offers be welcome?
- Are there any cultural barriers?
- Do you meet an existing need with your offer?
- Is competition already evident?
- What turnover can you expect from this market?
2 — Adapt your communication
To conquer a new market, marketing is essential. It allows you to make yourself known in the target country, but also to identify potential customers. The marketing strategy can include telephone canvassing as well as display, emailing or inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is an important ally when prospecting abroad. Indeed, most customers start their purchasing process with an Internet search. Therefore, communicating through a quality website or through social networks is essential to ensure the success of your export prospection.
However, the use of inbound marketing implies a certain personalisation of the message. To run an effective campaign, you must therefore know how to target prospects, their expectations and their concerns. It is also essential to take into account local cultural specificities. The market research carried out is therefore a precious help to avoid making any mistakes.
Getting support for a successful export approach.
To successfully complete an export project, it is advisable to be accompanied by a specialised service provider or a local communications agency. You will thus benefit from all the knowledge and skills of experts to avoid making mistakes that could prove catastrophic for your establishment in this new market.
3 — Analyse the behaviour of prospects
Running an effective digital marketing campaign involves analysing the behavior of prospects. Indeed, the more you know about them, the more you can adapt your communication and your media to seduce them.
To find out more about the behavior or needs of your prospects, the implementation of a marketing automation solution can be relevant. It allows you to see what Internet users are interested in, the documents they consult, the messages they click on… All this information will give you the possibility of defining a standard profile of your prospects, in order to refine your communication strategy. You will thus have a precise idea of the actions to be maintained and those to be developed for greater success.
Once you know more about your prospects, you can personalise all your communication, whether it be lead nurturing, emailing or teleprospecting campaigns via your sales teams.
4 — Ensure the financial viability of your future customers
Having customers is good but getting paid is better. And unfortunately, as soon as you work remotely, the risk of non-payment increases. That’s why it’s important to try, right from the prospecting phase, to find out if there’s any danger in doing business with a particular company.
Doing so early in the purchasing process may seem superfluous or even a waste of time. But the whole point is not to take risks or waste time by contacting companies that may soon go into insolvency or have other problems.
For this purpose, there are tools that give each company a solvency score defined on the basis of financial and extra-financial company data. Like a real financial barometer, this type of tool makes it possible to predict a company’s risk of insolvency over a 12-month period.
Taking out “unpaid” insurance.
Even with good supervision, bad debts can happen. To guarantee the financial health of your company, you can therefore take-out credit insurance to cover unpaid debts in the context of international export assignments.
To enter a new market, it is essential to anticipate well in advance. Reliable and efficient prospecting is the keystone of a successful export process. By trying to enter a new market without good prospecting, you risk not only missing your objective, but also putting your business at risk.
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