5 Go-To-Market Strategies For The German Market (B2B)

  1. To sell directly from your home market
    This option can be fine if your target customers are rather open-minded and your product does not require too much effort and money to test.
  2. To sell via a local channel partner
    It can be a reseller, a reference partner, a local business development agency, or a professional with a relevant network.
  3. To sell via a strategic partner
    Ideally, a strategic partner could complement your product with their own and offer it to their customers. In some cases, it can even be your existing customers in Germany.
  4. To acquire a German company with a relevant customer base
    It can be a local competitor or a company with complementary products but with the same customer profile.
  5. To set-up your own sales office in Germany
    In this option, it is advisable to send somebody from your team to Germany to act as a bridgehead. Your key people from the German office should also visit your office to understand better the culture. This is especially crucial for US-based companies expanding in Europe.
    Since German landlords prefer rather long-term rents, a flexible co-working space can be more appropriate.
  • To gather market intelligence at relevant local events and from relevant associations
    Events held in the German language might be the most eye-opening ones. Events that provide lists of attendees and are not too big or too cheap normally are the best to short-list.
    Germany is the country of associations, so expect to find several local associations in your domain.
  • To perform a small lead generation campaign
    This is also a good way to learn about market requirements and to do user interviews.
  • To analyze your competitors active in the German market
    It can be local competitors and international ones. Pay attention to how they position themselves towards the German market. Read their news section to learn about relevant events, certifications, etc.
  • To learn relevant regulations for your product in Germany
    Compliance is the king in Germany. You can have a great product but if you fail to get all the necessary certifications, etc., you will not be able to drive revenue growth. Local business support organizations might be helpful to understand the relevant regulations.
  • To browse your existing network for expertise advice
    Filter your LinkedIn connections that are based in Germany, incl. your customers, investors, peer entrepreneurs, and reach out for a piece of advice, market feedback, and references, if appropriate.

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Business development advisor for expansion in Europe (www.scaleuphero.com) and mindful living enthusiast and coach (www.sergiysumnikov.com)

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Sergiy Sumnikov

Sergiy Sumnikov

Business development advisor for expansion in Europe (www.scaleuphero.com) and mindful living enthusiast and coach (www.sergiysumnikov.com)

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