The subject of international development is positioned as a priority for many French IT companies which, after having tested their solutions on the national market, decide to distribute their innovations to other countries. If the idea is indeed tempting for many companies, it is clear that developing internationally cannot be improvised and requires proper preparation of the project. Indeed, a simple “copy and paste” of the business model applied in France generally results in disappointments. So, how to do it and which avenues to favor?
Take height on your project
An important first phase consists of being precise on the territories where you want to develop and at what pace you want to launch your operations country by country. In this sense, the notion of testing and planning is important. It is not a question of having a “big bang” approach, but rather a progressive approach to test its processes, its management mode and to set up an efficient approach.
How to launch operations locally
Very quickly, another central question will arise. How to address future customers and market your offer? On this subject, it is clear that the direct sales approach does not seem to be the most relevant in the world of IT and telecoms. Indeed, for many reasons (language, proximity, costs of setting up local teams, etc.), this approach remains tedious in many respects. On the basis of these elements, opting for an indirect distribution strategy seems better indicated in view of the operational and financial gains generated by this approach.
Set up an effective partner strategy
On this point, one thing is certain. Opting for indirect distribution is necessarily accompanied by the establishment of a complete program for the partners. Indeed, it is essential that the latter be able to benefit from all the necessary resources in order to appropriate the marketed offers and to master all the technical components. This then involves the realization of many remote training and support programs.. Pre-sales support must also be part of the system as well as the co-creation of marketing programs. Once these elements are available, it is then possible to launch a campaign to recruit distributors.
Finally, another major advantage of opting for an indirect distribution approach is linked to the deployment of this type of program. Indeed, whatever the target country, we see that it is possible to capitalize on a unique approach (unlike direct distribution). The network management and piloting processes are therefore essentially the same and the local specificities are managed directly by the partner who will represent the publisher directly. The local sales network will then position itself as a real accelerator for marketing the proposed offer.
Through these elements, it is therefore clear that the notion of international development must be based on a proven substantive strategy. On this point, in the IT industry, resorting to a local distribution network seems to position itself as the most suitable approach for a successful export strategy. It is therefore necessary to draw the contours well and not to rush before launching its operations.