Selling Globally

What is Selling Globally?

Global sales competencies involve the knowledge and skills individuals need to successfully sell in our interconnected world. This means being able to ...

Recognize and truly understand cultural differences
Reconcile and leverage cultural differences for business advantage in other parts of the world
Speak the language or enlist the help of an interpreter

Understanding how people work together and relate to each other in other countries is, in essence, being globally sensitive to their way of doing things.


STEP 1: Being globally aware

STEP 2: Learning the skills to be more adaptable in these interactions

STEP 3: Using those skills combined with selling skills to effectively interact and do business in other parts of the world

Our Growth Path to Global Success

Strategic Enhancement Group (SEG) uses a Growth Path to Global Success for sales people to learn new skills that, when used properly, will help them sell more and be more successful.

The Growth Path includes not only the training element, but also a process for communicating the importance of the initiative, preparing the participants for the learning and reinforcing and coaching them to use what they have learned.

Sales Training Growth Path

How Do You Maximize Your Learning To Attain Sales Success

75% of overall effectiveness is achieved before and after the training event.

A learning event, by itself, will improve skills up to 25%, but without reinforcement it will begin to deteriorate over time. To improve the results and achieve the desired performance outcomes of a learning event, there are some best practices that will dramatically increase the likelihood that what is learned in the classroom makes a difference in job performance.

According to research conducted by Wilson Learning, if you do pre-event preparation and communication using the tools listed below, you will increase the likelihood of improved job performance after the learning event by another approximately 25%. They also found that the way to get the very best results, i.e. sales people and their managers using the skills successfully, is to reinforce the skills through coaching and skill refreshers after the learning event. This will add another 50% effectiveness to the training results.

+ 25%

Pre Event Preparation and Communication

Prior to a learning event, preparation should be done to set the expectations and help improve learner readiness. This takes little time but reaps great rewards.

  • Link to Business Strategy
  • Executive Sponsorship
  • Communication Plan
  • Expectations, Processes and Tools
  • Manager Preparation


Learning Event

Having seminars that employ inside-out learning with skill practice in the workshop give the best chance that the skills will be used. Our programs challenge people to think, which helps participants to make better connections between the new skills being learned and their use in the work place.

+ 50%

Post Coaching and Reinforcement

With managers who are trained in coaching skills and actually coach their direct reports, the performance of direct reports improves by about another 50% and continues for longer periods of time. This plan gives the best chance for a good ROI.
  1. The manager is trained on general coaching skills
  2. The manager is trained on how to coach to the specific skills their employees are learning
  3. The manager coaches their direct reports

Why is Selling Globally Important?

Having a workforce that is fluent in the ways of the world is no longer optional.

As more and more companies are selling their products and services outside of the US and the world gets smaller and smaller and our markets expand to other parts of the world, it is extremely important that we know how to work with people of different cultures. There is much to consider when taking on the global market, not least of which is how to interact with people from different cultures. You can have all of your ducks in a row, but completely foil the entire endeavor if you don't understand the language and cultural nuances of the places to which you want to expand.
In other parts of the world, Americans are thought to be arrogant, pushy, and too direct. We tend to believe everyone should think and act the way we do.
In some cases, it is very difficult for us to understand how differently we really are. One example is that Americans are conditioned from birth to be individual achievers. Even when we are on the same team, we think about our own stats, our own contributions to the team. Every other country in the world is less individualistic than we are and some are so team oriented that no one wants to stand out as being better than anyone else. It is culturally taboo.

Does your sales team lack global sales competencies that involve the knowledge and skills individuals need to successfully sell in our interconnected world?

Let's talk selling globally

What are some symptoms of a culturally insensitive sales force?

You’ve invested a lot of money expanding to other parts of the world. After a reasonable period of time, nothing has happened and sales are still at $0.00

There are 13 key ways (cultural dimensions) to work with people around the world. The five most critical ones are task/relationship, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism and context communication. And of those, arguably the most important one is around task/relationship. And not relationship as Americans understand it. People in 80% of the countries in the world tend to be more relationship-oriented than people in the United States. One of the biggest mistakes Americans can make when working with people from other cultures is the urge to get down to business right away. In most countries around the world, that relationship is paramount in gaining trust as well as them deciding whether or not they even want to do business with you. It doesn’t matter if your widget is the best thing ever invented either. Moving too fast to the task is a major breach of trust. This is just one of the dimensions to consider.

You thought the negotiations were moving ahead smoothly when all of a sudden it feels like you’re back to square one

Many business opportunities are lost due to cultural misunderstandings. Everyone who is involved in an interaction, from sales to support, with someone from a different culture, needs to have and use the appropriate cultural knowledge and skills in those interactions. The consequence of not doing so can result in costly mistakes, broken deals or worse yet, broken relationships. Things we may take for granted, like inviting a support person to join in on the conversation when making decisions, can be strictly taboo in another country where the hierarchy is strictly adhered to. Or singling out another for their important contributions can result in mortification and embarrassment for that person.

You’ve been “kicked out” of companies in other parts of world, but you don’t know why

Culture has a lot to do with how you would interact with people in a country. Culture has aspects that are obvious such as language and styles of dress, food, and housing. It also has some aspects that are not so obvious – the importance of nonverbal communication, role expectations, what motivates people, attitudes towards work, negotiation styles, ways of establishing rapport, pace of moving from formal to informal interactions and many other values, beliefs and patterns of behavior. Violate any of these norms and that could be the end of any chance to do business with them. And some of these things are nowhere on our radar, so It’s no wonder that we are in the dark about what went wrong.

You’ve become vulnerable selling only to the US market

With all that is going on in the world, it seems like a sound strategy not to put all your eggs in one basket/marketplace. Expanding to other parts of the world makes a lot of sense ONLY if it is done the right way. Most companies get the strategy on paper but forget that they are not dealing with companies, they are dealing with people. They will move forward with what worked for them domestically only to find that it doesn’t fly internationally. This could ultimately prevent them from growing. You need to adapt your marketing, sales delivery, branding and value propositions to the culture to which you are expanding.

Our strategy worked in France; why isn’t it working in Germany?

This is a common mistake. Many companies believe they can enter new markets by following the same play book that made them successful in another country. They are learning the painful lesson that they cannot make that assumption. Every country has its own local laws, cultural norms, unique business practices, language etc. and thus require a play book specifically for that country. They each have a patriotic pride that needs to be respected. According to Mary Beth Lamb, co-author of Do’s and Taboos Around the World for Women in Business, “having the right people is key. Companies fail when they put a global strategy and structure in place, but don’t develop global people who can make the strategy work.”

 Do you want to develop a top performing global sales team?

 The Path to Growth Starts Here

How Can SEG Help?

Strategic Enhancement Group can help your organization understand how to be globally effective in sales - and how to put that understanding to action. Drawing upon proven expertise we can help your organization avoid costly mistakes by:

Assessing your current level of global effectiveness

Developing a cultural mindset that will ensure the success of global strategies

Teaching how to understand the mindset of your clients from anywhere in the world so as to connect with them in their cultural context to drive increased and sustainable sales

Learning the do’s and don’ts of conduct wherever you conduct business to develop positive business relationships anywhere in the world

Monthly Tips and Insights to Help Develop Your Best Sales Talent

Join over 1,100 professionals for the Strategic Insights Newsletter
Copyright Strategic Enhancement Group 2006-2023 All Rights Reserved
Site by Neuvocreate