Sales Around the World is a new series that explores the dynamics of selling in different markets and different countries.
To launch this series, we’ve asked Aurelien Mottier, a Frenchman based in the UK, to share his thoughts on how sales differ from one country to another.
About Aurelien Mottier
Company Name: Operatix
Title: CEO and Co-founder
Quick Pitch: Operatix works with B2B technology companies who have long and complex sales cycles, a high-value proposition and a focus on medium to large accounts.
We help them to accelerate sales cycles, increase their average deal value, and close more business.
Our approach combines a mix of account-based marketing and account-based selling activities, and our team is expert in networking with organizations in order to identify decision-makers and set up the initial sales engagement between our client’s sales team and their prospects.
Sales Cycle Timeline: 3 months
Number of people reporting to you: 120
Sales Around the World
Do you believe sales is essentially the same or different in different parts of the world? Why?
I believe that selling is about adapting to the prospect in front of us, and to that extent, I think it’s critical to adapt to the cultural differences in each region / country you are selling into.
For example, I’m French, so I come from a Latin type of mentality, but I change my focus depending on where I’m selling.
When I do business in France, Spain, and Italy, I feel that trust in the individual and making sure you won’t be let down are important to the prospect.
When I am selling in Israel, my prospects are mainly interested in getting references from other Israeli companies we have been working with.
In the UK and in the US, these are the things that make a difference:
- Having a bit more of a “challenger approach”
- Being able to demonstrate ROI by building a business case
- A bit of reverse psychology (i.e., “you need to be the right client for me, as well as me being the right company for you”)
So if I was to summarize, here is why you need to adapt:
- Cultural differences
- Local competitive landscape
- Local adoption of your services / product
On the Job
What’s your biggest sales challenge right now?
We always try to bring in “better clients,” and by that we mean:
- Clients who will have the ability to increase their spent over time
- Clients who have the correct funding / team in place to make the most of our services
- Clients who have a disruptive value proposition
What’s the #1 sales skill that helps you engage B2B buyers, close deals, and secure revenue for your business?
I need to give you two, I’m afraid: our understanding of their world, and our honesty in the acquisition process.
This is coming from our experience, but we have thousands of war stories and have already made all the mistakes there are to make!
We run a people business, so we cannot guarantee 100% quality, but we are honest from Day One about some of the issues we could experience and discuss them early in the sales process.
What new tactic have you adopted that’s changing the game (or promises to)?
Having a challenger sales approach and taking more of an account-based approach.
In essence, drinking our own champagne, as this is exactly what we do for our clients. We have been able to refine that process better for our own sales team over the last 3 years, and the results have been impressive.
What sales trend is influencing your region as a whole?
What do you believe this trend means for the future of sales?
I actually believe that “good salespeople” have always used an account-based sales approach. It was just called something else in the past.
But in terms of what it means for the future, I believe sales will be one of these concepts that will be difficult to automate fully through AI and machine learning, simply because it’s not an exact science, and emotions get involved in a buyer journey.
Inside My Head
What’s the one app you can’t live without and why?
Simply my email app on my phone. I am always on the move and like to be responsive, so if I am not at my desk, you’ll see me typing away on my phone!
What is the one thing you can’t do your day without?
I am basic, but coffee is the one thing you don’t want to see me not getting!
What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you were 22?
It’s not the stronger, fitter, more intellectual people who survive and thrive in business, but the people who adapt the best.
Look at yourself in the mirror every day and keep on embracing changes, even if that means taking a risk that leads to a mistake. Just make sure you don’t make that same mistake twice.
If you were starting your career over right now, what would you do to kickstart success?
This may sound arrogant, but I would not change a thing. Maybe I’ve just been lucky!
Favorite social media channel:
- Personal: Instagram
- Professional: LinkedIn
Favorite sales book: The Challenger Sale by a mile!
Favorite way to reward yourself for hitting your goals: I love Swiss mechanical watches — I own a few and get one for each achievement in my professional career.
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