Last week I hosted the latest OGV Energy Live on the topic of ‘International Growth’.
We heard from the leadership team at Motive Offshore Group Ltd on how they are expanding into new territories.
It got me thinking about how we used to do this before Digital:
Perhaps we were fortunate enough to be taken into the region with a project win and saw the wider opportunity
👉Or, we had some idea that there was activity in a particular country that would require our products or services.
👉We did some due diligence, checked some databases, scrutinised the internet, called trusted contacts who were in the know and built a rough idea that there was something of interest.
👉We put some numbers to it and weighed up the risk of investment against return.
👉We presented a plan to the board and were given the green light to take it to the next step.
👉We started making calls, sending emails, trying to set up some meetings.
👉We agreed to meet a recommended agent in country and booked our flights and hotel rooms for busy a week in country.
👉We arrived in country, travelled around the different buildings meeting with people and soaking up information for our plan. We try not to be too frustrated with the last-minute cancellations, ‘it’s part of the game…’.
Analoge working in a Digtial world...
We got home, dumped all our findings into a report and start to build a business case. We present out latest finding to the board and are given another green light to proceed to the next level.
We needed deeper level information, so we started to build contact plans, find email addresses and phone numbers of those in our newfound target accounts…
We set up meetings and start to fly into country once per month for pitch meetings in conference rooms with prospects.
If all worked out well, we got the chance to join bid lists or prepare proposals…
This is one version of how we might have gone about cracking a new territory, of course there are others...
Today we know that cold calling and email do not have the success rate they once did – people don’t like being interrupted.
Many organisations have changed their travel policy, so it’s not as easy as it once was.
We still need to break into new territory, but how do we do this in a Digital world and how do we get the jump on our competition?
Now we use our Digital Strategy to develop new territory strategy and plans and we use Social Media as the conduit.
Let’s walk through a quick 'Digital New Territory' plan using Strategic Social Media…
For this example, we are considering that your team are trained on Social Selling & Influence, they have optimised, buyer centric profiles and understand how to grow networks and engage in digital commercial conversations.
👉You have identified that there is a need for your products and services in a new geographic territory.
👉You have identified target accounts with projects that fit...
👉Connect and grow a network in Country.
👉We design a Social Media connection plan that covers buyers, influencers and people who can amplify our messages within those target accounts and territories.
A common mistake is that people only connect with people they know that are buyers – we need to think strategically here and bring in those influencers and people who can amplify our message into our network.
These influencers and amplifiers may well be out with the account but, are related and useful for us such as, local government, regulators or industry representatives.
We use the search and filter feature on LinkedIn to filter locations, companies, and disciplines.
As a team, we are connecting across many different levels in the target accounts and within a few weeks we will have good cross account coverage.
In many cases you will already have conversations ongoing just from the connection process.
Groups and Hashtags
Seek out the right groups to follow. When you look at key target’s profiles in country, look at what groups they belong to and join them.
Now, all the activity this group sees will come into your news feed. You can also post content into this group to increase your visibility.
Visibility is ok at this stage, but we need to go deeper at the right time, we need qualified relevance from this visibility.
You can see the members of the group and connect with those of interest.
Hashtags are important.
Find the Hashtags that are relevant to your target country, industry, sector, and companies - follow them and start to use the tags. Now, all of your content that you tag will be delivered directly to relevant in country, industry, sector and company targets.
You will start to see interaction and network growth, very quickly you will be having conversations you would never have had by any other means.
Once you have established a decent connection lever in those target account within your new geography, start to produce content specifically for them.
We don’t sell to our networks – We don’t advertise to our network – We build influence with our networks!
The mindset here it to become the leading technical and Commercial Digital Influencers in your sectors.
Write blogs about how you have taken your business in to other countries and how well it went.
Create posts about how you’ve worked there before on that big project.
Make interesting video that is related to what you do and how you rise to challenges – not just showing your stuff and saying, “contact me for information”.
Hashtag all of this with the tags you know your audience in country are following.
Using Digtial and Social Media for New Territory growth
There are ways and means to super charge this process within teams, one method is with Sales Navigator which gives advanced leads and company search capability, enhanced lead recommendations and CRM integration.
This allows you to find the right people faster, keep track of lead and company changes easier and, enhance reach and engagement with prospects.
This is a basic, 2-minute, chat on how you can use Social Media to break into new geographic territories with Digital, it’s a conversation starter.
When we do this with management team on real life scenarios, we go much deeper and develop a more rigorous strategy, but this gives you an idea of what you can do in 2 minutes.
The net result:
⭐You save money and time
⭐You form relationships with key people in country
⭐You are seen as the leading Technical and Commercial Digital influencers in your sectors
Doors open - Conversations take place, Decisions are made
⭐You have cut out waste in your process
⭐You have accelerated progress
⭐You are closer to wins
We are in the midst of the most significant evolution in company growth since the turn of the industrial revolution yet, many are still playing around hoping that something will change.
What does you Dital Sector Growth Strategy for 2023 look like…?
We are leading Digital Commercial Advisors and we are here to help you grow.
Live Social ’22-‘23