As companies expand globally and internationally, they look to establish a U.S. presence. The U.S. offers opportunity and great possibilities but it also comes with risk in a competitive landscape. When done correctly, it can prove lucrative with a higher return. When done impetuously and without research, it can prove difficult and be a costly failure.
In order to expand to the U.S., you must hire the right sales professionals and leaders to grow a new territory, break into a new marketplace, and achieve revenue growth.
Building a U.S. sales team can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure of where to start. It’s easy to assume that your business will operate and find the same success as it has in other regions of the world, but that assumption is false.
In order to successfully break into the U.S. sales market, there are many things for you to consider. Not only does your product, service, or solution need to be different and better than existing competition, but you must also have the financial resources and support to successfully deploy a U.S. sales strategy.
First things first, there needs to be strong leadership in place. Decide whether you will be bringing an existing executive to the U.S. to oversee this initiative, or if you will need to hire a sales leader already in the U.S. to launch the sales team.
Whatever you decide, you will need a strong salesperson who has experience with driving revenue, P&L responsibilities, hiring and training salespeople, operations and efficiencies, and has a strong understanding of the U.S. market.
If you want to successfully launch and grow a U.S. presence, your approach needs to be sustainable and scalable, and that starts with solid leadership. Expectations must be clearly set since this person will be the foundation. They will need support as well as flexibility as they figure out the sales strategy.
Where will your office be located in the United States?
Focus on what you are selling and where the best-suited talent for your company is located. Think about and consider travel ease. How easy is it to fly back-and-forth from this city to your corporate HQ overseas?
You also need to consider the average cost of living and cost of rent. Not only for your own location purposes, but to also understand the average salary a salesperson is making at a competitor. Can you afford the level of talent you need?
It may be appealing to consider a more cost-effective U.S. location (removed from the city borders), but will you run the risk of limiting the talent pool?
Even if you are planning to have a remote/outside sales force, you still need a physical office location.
What type of culture and office environment are you trying to build to attract talent? Your location will be a determining factor. For instance are you looking to hire software sales professionals or healthcare sales professionals? Then Boston and its surrounding suburbs may be a top location to consider.
Salary, Benefits, and Insurance
Even if you believe you have the best product/service and company culture (and maybe you do), understand that trying to hire 100% commission sales reps will not work in this competitive job market.
When unemployment is low, it becomes a job seeker’s market. This requires offering both a competitive base salary and commission plan.
Do your research and due diligence. Learn what competitive salary and compensation plans look like to recruit and retain talent.
Do you have benefits that translate well into the U.S. market to support a growing sales team? What is your vacation policy, health insurance plan, and 401k plan like?
With different insurance policies, currency rates, and taxes, it’s important to partner with a great consultant and advisor in the U.S. to help you navigate the murky waters around U.S. laws and legislations.
Before you can build a pipeline of talent, you need to have a pulse on the job market. You need to understand the sales characteristics that best align with your sales role and sales culture. You also need to understand what types of candidates you want to target for the role. You must have an optimized hiring process and someone in place who can manage the entire process effectively.
You must be educated on realistic expectations around your sales hiring wins and your sales hiring challenges.
Align yourself with a trusted partner that can find the qualified sales candidates you are looking to onboard. By partnering with the right sales recruitment firm, you will be introduced to candidates you won’t find on the job boards. You will be tapped into a network of thousands of sales candidates who already have a trusted and established relationship with the recruiting firm.
You will have a deeper understanding around your own sales hiring needs and challenges, and be better equipped to make the right sales hire. You will have the sales data you need to extend an offer to the right candidate(s).
Remember, if you do not already have a VP, Executive Leader, or General Manager in the U.S. to spearhead the sales strategy that needs to be your first and top hiring priority. Once sales leadership is established, work down the list to hire the remainder of the team. By having the right sales recruitment partner in place is critical to your success and growth in the US market.
U.S. Business Model
You need to have a U.S. business model blueprint in place. Understand your niche, your competitors, your selling process, who your buyers are, proposition value, and KPIs.
You need to also take time to educate yourself on U.S. culture. There are generally subtleties that differ in business acumen from country-to-country. Do some market research, or hire a company to do this for you. Evaluate your options on how to enter the U.S. marketplace.
By having a well-thought out business model, it will make is easier to attract and recruit top sales talent.
You will need the right people in place to make this a success. You also need to be 100% committed to supporting this growing sales team from overseas. As a leader in your company, make sure you yourself or trusted members are invested in seeing this market transition and success.