Germany stands as a promising market for international tech companies looking to expand their B2B sales operations. However, you will face some unique challenges that determine the long-term success of your German market entry.
If you’ve been tirelessly working on building your B2B sales in Germany without securing any promising meetings with potential buyers or resellers yet, you’re not alone. To help you reach out to the right decision-makers, I will present 5 crucial questions that international tech companies need to confront themselves with when entering the German market.
Key Question No. 1: To What Extent Are German Companies Receptive to Your Technology?
Countries vary in their level of digital development, and Germany is definitely not at the forefront. It’s crucial to consider whether the current digitalisation level in Germany aligns with the tech solution that you are offering.
For instance, in the context of cloud-based services, you should first assess whether German companies are inclined to entrust their data to the cloud or if they prefer on-premises solutions. I have worked with a CleanTech startup that was successfully selling in North Africa but struggled to gain a foothold in the German market.
While I don’t discourage you from pursuing the German market for your SaaS or cloud-based solution, I would recommend setting realistic expectations for your B2B sales in Germany, targeting more technologically advanced German companies, and adapting your German market entry strategy.
Understanding the level of receptivity of German companies to your technology is a fundamental starting point when entering the German market.
Key Question No. 2: Are You Looking for German B2B Sales in the Right Places?
Germany offers great B2B sales opportunities beyond Munich, Berlin, or Hamburg; potential buyers or resellers can also be found in many other German cities and towns.
Also, consider exploring regional business clusters or science parks. It’s important to note that certain regions may be more favourable to developing B2B sales in Germany than others. Conversely, some German companies in specific regions might be more hesitant to work with “outsiders”, making it just a bit more challenging to win them over.
When entering the German market, international tech companies should look beyond the larger cities and explore regional B2B sales opportunities too.
Key Question No. 3: Are You Working on the Right Accounts for Your German Market Entry?
Relying solely on industry directories for identifying potential buyers or resellers when entering the German market may not be the most effective approach. These lists often include companies that may not be relevant at all to your tech-related B2B sales in Germany, making it challenging to distinguish which ones to prioritise.
Consequently, you might find yourself contacting lots of companies in the German market that are not at all interested in your solutions, leading to more and more frustration, and eventually giving up on your German market entry for the wrong reasons.
What you need instead is a list of potential buyers, resellers, and business partners in Germany that is well-researched and refined with valuable insights on how you and your sales team can get a foot in the door.
That is why I provide international tech companies with a hand-picked selection of potential buyers and resellers in Germany. While I use a proven combination of new technologies and AI tools to help me do my job, it is my extensive experience in the German market and my commitment to understanding your business model, production processes, and value chains that enable me to present you with the best possible B2B sales opportunities when entering the German market.
Key Question No. 4: Are You Getting Valuable Feedback for Future B2B Sales in Germany?
Have you ever wondered about the perception of your tech solution in Germany?
If you’re currently working with a commission-based sales agent or a call centre, chances are you might not have a clear picture of what people’s reactions are when hearing about your tech solution.
These agents often operate as a “black box,” and usually do not share any market insights with you. Call centres, on the other hand, make numerous calls but rarely engage in in-depth conversations with potential buyers or resellers to uncover the reasons behind a lack of interest in your offering.
And even if you do get the chance to speak directly with German decision-makers, the fact that you’re seen as a salesperson can make it difficult to get to the bottom of why someone seems not to be interested in buying from you.
However, for the success of your future B2B sales in Germany, it is crucial to genuinely comprehend how your tech product or service is perceived by local decision-makers. This understanding will enable you to make informed adjustments to your German market entry strategy, ultimately leading to more effective B2B sales outcomes.
Key Question No. 5: Do You Know How Germans Like to Do Business with International Tech Companies?
Germans are often seen as rude in B2B sales meetings because they don’t spend much time exchanging pleasantries. In the German business culture, focus and time efficiency are highly valued, which is why they tend to get down to business very quickly. However, entirely skipping the small talk might baffle them. It’s all about striking the right balance.
Moreover, Germans, known for their preference for facts and knowledge in business interactions, might view individuals from cultures that prioritise relationship-building and personal connections as less professional. If you present yourself and your international tech company as a service provider rather than an expert who offers straightforward problem-solving, you might encounter difficulties in sealing a deal.
Language can also be a potential barrier when entering the German market. While many Germans speak English proficiently in a business context, they might not be familiar with terms related to your product or industry, especially if they are not on the same advanced tech level. Additionally, differing accents when speaking English as a lingua franca can sometimes hinder the high level of effective communication Germans need to agree to further collaboration.
Conclusion: How International Tech Companies Succeed When Entering The German Market
Understanding how decision-makers and the market as such tick is essential for successful B2B sales in Germany. This includes everything from evaluating product demand and technical development to understanding cultural nuances when setting up initial sales meetings. While there are many challenges to entering the German market, a tailored business development approach will make the deal for international tech companies.
If you’re ready to raise your game in B2B sales in Germany, contact me today: hello[at]andra-ibf.com. I’m a strategic partner who understands the complexities international tech companies face when entering the German market and will support you in navigating them with confidence.