International Sales Strategies For Canadian Companies

Internal Sales Strategies
I make the trek from Toronto to Waterloo a few times a month and I often time it so that I can attend the Business Development & Senior Sales Peer 2 Peer meeting. The session this month on International Sales Strategies did not disappoint with excellent presentations from Robin MacNab the Trade Commissioner for Ontario Region for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and Carlos Hernandez, Vice President of Sales Latin America & Caribbean for Sandvine Inc.
Robin started off the session reviewing some of the benefits that the Trade Commission can bring to companies looking to grow International sales. These services include:


  • Market research
  • Use of facilities
  • Introductions to International organizations
  • Virtual Trade Commissioner
  • Updates on programs including the Ontario Export Market Access Program which may cover up to 50% of eligible costs incurred to develop export sales

If you are selling internationally you should be engaging your local Trade Commissioner. I was able to utilize the Canadian Embassy for a trip to Abu Dhabi with a client. You can find the details in my blog, “When selling to other cultures do your homework”.
Next up was Carlos with some insightful points on his experience and plan for selling in foreign markets. The main focus was plan your strategy and highlights included:

  • Be focused and select one or a couple geographies to start where you will have the most success quickly
  • Do the research on the markets and what is needed to close a deal there. Will you need partners? What kind of contractual terms are in place?
  • Understand that different solutions may mean greater investment in country. Software is easier to sell and support than hardware from Canada to an International market
  • Try and deal in US dollars or Euros to take currency risk out of the deals
  • Get familiar with the region first. You can attend trade shows, visit prospective customers, or talk to channel partners
  • Create a checklist for the things you need to have done and be in place

If you are a member of Communitech and in a senior sales role I suggest that you look to attend future meetings.
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International Sales Strategies For Canadian Companies