B2B sales over the internet

My company sells software for small businesses. We would like to do B2B sales to businesses in the UK but my company is currently based out of Australia. What are strategies people have used for doing B2B sales when they don’t have a local sales person? Options I can see are

  • Get a local sales person (expensive)
  • Spam (not good)
  • Indirect selling online, don’t try and contact the business directly, but my usual Adwords, forums, other online websites, SEO etc
  • Something else…

Or to be even more specific, if I had a list of every potential business customer in the UK, name, address, phone, email, website (there is about 100,000 on the list), what is the best way to use that ethically for sales and marketing.

I’m not sure if it’s enough to just say “B2B” to answer this question specifically for your business. B2B businesses vary wildly… for example, how much technical assistance does a customer require when implementing your solution? Normally with SAAS this is very low, but not all B2B is SAAS…

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For my business technical assistance is normally quite low. I have a fair number of customers world wide and support them all remotely.

You didn’t mention remote direct sales. If your customer LTV is high enough, educate yourself on cold calling and cold emailing tactics, and get started.

I am seriously considering this, but it is fair to say this kind of thing is not my strength.

Mine either, but succeeding often involves getting better at things we’re not great at :smile:

Start with this post: http://whitetailsoftware.com/2011/07/how-i-got-a-100-conversion-rate-cold-calling-prospects-for-customer-development/ (ignoring the spam/hacked link at the top of that page)

Here’s his book (I haven’t read it): http://www.coldcallingbook.net/

I’m implementing some of these strategies as of a day ago. Happy to share those results later on if you’re interested.


Thanks. The cold calling book looks interesting.

I have been avoiding cold calling for years but our biz mentor always suggests we put the work in as it’s a numbers games! Would be interested to hear how you both get on!

I agree with Travis about getting comfortable with cold calling. Cold email is a fine way to start. If you’re brief, you send an email that feels personal to them, and you seem to have a solution for a problem they know they have, you’ll be surprised at how well people respond.

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Without more information its hard to know if this is appropriate. What about a local partner in the UK? Someone who is already in your industry and where your product is complimentary?

Aside: Pitch Anything has an interesting take on “the numbers game”. Worth a read (whether you agree with it or not).

@craigvn - can I ask, what’s the motivation for branching out to the UK? Exhausted the Aussie market?

Still plenty left in the Aussie market but we have a sales guy focused on that already. And we seem to get a lot of traction in the UK so I am looking at spending some time focusing on that. The US market seems the hardest to crack, I think while it is the largest it is also the most fragmented.