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Sales Around the World: Business Development Across Cultures

Industry Insights

Sales Around the World is a series that explores the dynamics of selling in different markets and different countries.

Today, we’ve asked Eduardo Baez, a Business Development Consultant for a global company based in New York, to share his thoughts on how sales differs from one country to another.

About Eduardo Baez

Company Name: IBISWorld Industry Research

Title: Business Development Consultant

Country/Region: New York, New York, USA

Quick Pitch: IBISWorld is the leading provider of industry intelligence in North America with 1,395 unique industry report titles covering 97% of the U.S. economy.

Sales Cycle Timeline: 6-18 months depending on deal size.

Number of people reporting to you: I am a player coach, but I am not in a sales manager role. I assist with training and development for a team of roughly 15 individual contributors.

Sales Around the World

Do you believe sales is essentially the same or different in different parts of the world? Why?

I think sales, and the sales process we need to follow, is completely different when selling internationally. It requires the use of internal resources and cultural capital that is atypical for most B2B sales transactions domestically.

On the Job

What’s your biggest sales challenge right now?

Currently, prospecting from the top down as someone who owns the full sales cycle for their book of business can be challenging.

This — coupled with the new cadence platforms that are being introduced as part of the company’s sales enablement strategies — is rapidly commoditizing personal outreach. It’s acting as both a positive and a negative catalyst for change in the community. It’s forcing rapid change in buyer behavior, and cultivating an environment of over-saturated messaging, over-stimulation, and more timing constraints for the buyer. To be heard through the noise requires a higher level of commitment to differentiation with your personal outreach and potentially leveraging fewer traditional methods.

This can be especially challenging when all you have been taught are the traditional methods of outreach, and when you’re in a traditional sales environment where atypical forms of outreach may be frowned upon.

What’s the #1 sales skill that helps you engage B2B buyers, close deals, and secure revenue for your business?

Successful trials are my major differentiator as an individual contributor. I know that not all organizations are able to offer trials for their products and services. However, having been afforded the opportunity to do so in my current role, I am able to create a safe space for my prospective clients.

The trial gives them a chance to learn about the product, identify new applications for tools that we didn’t know existed, gain an organic sample size for feedback, and take everyone’s view on the sales process into account.

What new tactic have you adopted that’s changing the game (or promises to)?

We have been leveraging internal cultural capital to help us shorten sales cycles and break in with companies we sell to in different regions around the world that have our ideal customer profile.

Cultural capital helps us identify cultural norms, avoid cultural sensitivities that could otherwise hinder sales opportunities, and help us target our clients using social hierarchy norms and other culture specific considerations. We can then marry our traditional selling style domestically with these cultural considerations to foster a more collaborative and strategic, customer-centric, approach to the sales process.

What sales trend is influencing your region as a whole?

A move towards more personalized messaging.

What do you believe this trend means for the future of sales?

Individual contributors will need to spend more time researching and learning to hyper-personalize messages. They’ll need to cast smaller, more targeted nets for their initial prospecting touch points.

Inside My Head

What’s the one app you can’t live without and why?

Wunderlist and Todoist. These are both list tools that help me organize and prioritize my world on a daily basis.

What is the one thing you can’t do your day without?

A CRM tool like Salesforce to manage my sales cycle effectively, and Zoominfo/Sales Navigator for client prospecting.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you were 22?

I wish I would have done more internships and invested more time networking and building professional relationships outside of my career.

If you were starting your career over right now, what would you do to kickstart success?

Networking is single-handedly the fastest stimulator of growth and development for any sales professional. I believe wholeheartedly that if I had not invested in being part of sales networks and networking communities, my career, and my results, would be vastly different. So if I had to start over right now, I would start networking 24/7.

Rapid Fire

Favorite social media channel: Top1.fm — The Sales Success Stories Podcast

Favorite sales book: Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount, and a non-traditional sales book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink.

Favorite way to reward yourself for hitting your goals: Vacations to a different country or state in the U.S.

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