My client is a leading Taiwanese manufacturer with annual sales of US$150M and a strong position as a supplier to the electric vehicle manufacturers in Japan and China. They wanted to expand their global footprint by entering the European market.
In the first phase my client had constructed a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Eastern Europe. The second, and equally critical, stage required finding, vetting and hiring the right local partner for a successful selling effort into the highly competitive German automotive market. The selection criteria included a sales organization with an unrivaled selling network, cross-cultural experience and a successful track record of developing business with both OEMs and tier 1s in the German automotive sector.
Creating mutual understanding in the initial stage is essential. It paid off when we started visiting potential customers together.
The initial discussions with PBS Sales culminated in developing a multi-phased market entry strategy with key lead and lag factors to monitor progress during each phase. Progress tracking, monthly reporting and NDAs were key elements which facilitated communications required by both parties. PBS Sales’ contract was vetted and approved by my new client’s legal experts and within 60 days, PBS Sales was the official German sales office, with a second optional phase for other European markets.
Part of PBS Sales’ success mandates that we, as the assigned key account managers, travel to the manufacturer’s plant for technical training, as well as to create and nurture personal connections across all key departments. Two of my fellow account managers and I visited the plant in China. In addition to the training, we created and refined a target list which leveraged my client’s differential advantages for each market and sub-market.
PBS Sales’ unique approach utilizes client-specific email addresses and phone lines for each key account manager. Business cards and ancillary selling materials project a committed sales organization focused on one principal—not the typical multi-line, impersonal approach which is the hallmark of “independent sales reps”, who represent themselves first.
Thanks to our strong network in the German automotive sector, the first orders came in quickly.
Repeated calls, follow-ups and tight communication with my client in Taiwan produced rapid success. After only two months, we received the first order from one of the most significant German tier 1 suppliers. Subsequently, we successfully arranged the first audit by a German automotive OEM at the production plant in China. We also supported the acquisition of a plant in Central Europe, where production for the European market is now being ramped up.
I enjoy the weekly Skype calls with our forward-thinking energetic team in Taiwan. The PBS Sales team as a bridge between the Taiwanese manufacturer and its German customers is proving to play a key role in establishing new business.
How we can help your company to expand into the European market.