Driving Top-Line Growth in Europe

Europe represents one of the largest and wealthiest economies in the world. However, top-line growth has slowed, creating a challenge for sales organizations. Since growth is the primary driver of value creation, is there an opportunity for Sales to close the gap?

Buying behavior has fundamentally changed, and it is up to companies to adapt to these trends. Cloud platforms, XaaS and AI created new opportunities for consumers to research and procure goods outside of the traditional sales relationship. AI and ML advances helped manufacturers to shift to Smart IoT devices and Industry 4.0. Medical technology offers new solutions for chronic disease treatment, as does the consolidation of healthcare facilities into ACOs and IDNs. Media services are now digital, and financial services are transitioning to integrated services and new platforms.

Innovation is changing the customer experience and contract. But selling models must also adapt to support corporate growth.

European Market Complexities Impact Growth Planning

There are over 20 official languages in the European market, making it challenging to deploy a one-size-fits-all-buyers model. In addition, with multiple government institutions and dynamic political environments, wide variances in income per capita, and a significant difference in healthcare spend per capita, companies must be prepared to address the complex profiles of consumers, buyers, and government regulations.

As a result, business practices must be tailored to regional needs, as does compliance with regulatory requirements. To achieve top-line growth, companies must balance openness to innovation with risk tolerance and cultural norms. Growth plans must consider these factors to develop strategies that meet European buyers’ changing and complex needs.

Proximity does not equate to similarity. "Europe" is a convenient term to describe a dynamic, complex marketplace.

Executive Comments

Ways to Drive Top-Line Growth

Once the organization fully understands the underlying market complexities, the organization can devise specific sales strategies.
Levers for driving top-line growth include:

Precision Selling

Using data to target and organize around customer behaviors.

Strategic Partnering

Carefully selecting and leveraging partners based on their value.

Create Centers of Excellence (COE)

Leveraging resources and expert resources.

In addition, companies must shift from go-to-market to go-to-customer, leveraging data to be highly selective in targeting growth opportunities. Precision selling requires the sales organization to have deep knowledge about their target customers and create sales motions that define revenue segments by the type of buyer. In addition, they should favor target markets and buyers while leveraging the correct sales motions.

To complement internal resources, companies should also create strategic partnerships that add value to the sales process and buyers. Engaging the right partners is essential, especially those with a small, local presence, expanding up and out when appropriate. Enabling business partner success is also critical, helping the company and partners to achieve scale. These partnerships create an expert, local presence that drives value and supports growth.

Centers of excellence can offer specialized expertise and regional support. For instance, inside sales, sales specialists, or sales enablement associates can provide support, expertise, and local knowledge in the sales process. These teams, groups, or locations are critical to delivering the localized services that customers expect.

Next Steps for Sales Leaders

Establishing growth plans in a complex market requires a focused effort but can result in promising growth. Start by asking these questions.

Assess your current investments, performance and productivity.

Have you applied the right balance between global and local investments?

Evaluate your future growth expectations and plans.

For example, do you have clearly defined revenue segments? Are you set up to drive precision selling?

Define your revenue segments and target buyers.

Does your sales model reflect their legacy behavior but not their new buying patterns? Are you deploying the proper sales motions?

Select the correct sales motion for each segment.

Do you have the right local resources? Are you leveraging partners wisely? Where do you need to invest in greater local coverage?

Leverage Centers of Excellence.

How effectively are you leveraging inside sales? Have you considered a hub strategy for specialist roles? What enablement programs and tools do you manage centrally?

Your Partner for European Market Growth

Deploying a growth-oriented sales plan in a complex, competitive market requires expertise. Sales strategies must address new market dynamics and buyer behaviors and be tailored to regional needs. Alexander Group assists clients in accelerating top-line growth in new markets, assessing current conditions and using proven strategies that help companies scale.
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Alexander Group understands your revenue growth challenges. Since 1985, we’ve served more than 3,000 companies across the globe. This experience gives us not only a highly sophisticated set of best practices to grow revenue—we also have a rich repository of unique industry data that informs all our recommendations. Aligning product, marketing, operations and finance efforts behind a successful sales organization takes insight and hard work. We help the world’s leading organizations build the right revenue vision, transform their organizations and deliver results.

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