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The 3 Truths of Gaining U.S. Sales Traction

December 13, 2023

How to get US sales traction.Have you ever gleaned lessons that you’d rather not relearn? These invaluable insights often come at the expense of trials and tribulations, leaving indelible marks that shape our future endeavors. The same is true for most companies as they learn how to get US sales traction.

With over a decade of experience aiding international B2B and B2G companies in gaining traction and scaling operations in the U.S., we’ve distilled three core truths. These revelations stem from witnessing companies grappling with these lessons firsthand. The toll of failure ranged from significant financial setbacks to personal upheavals, including health struggles and even marital strains. By embracing these truths, you’ll pave a smoother path toward validating product-market fit, fostering traction, and achieving scalability within the U.S. market.

Customer Density is Critical for US Sales Traction

Securing a sale is no small feat, especially in a new market. The inaugural sale invariably proves the most arduous, entailing a labyrinthine journey fraught with many potholes and hazards. In the U.S., establishing trust amidst unfamiliarity—be it with your brand, customer base, or market successes—poses a formidable challenge to conversion. The path to easing subsequent sales lies in proximity. To achieve this the second customer shares a strong linkage or industry alignment with the first. This proximity capitalizes on insights gleaned from the initial sale. This leverages knowledge of customer pain points, relevant use cases, and implementation hurdles to expedite and enhance subsequent transactions.

Beyond bolstering sales efficiency, prioritizing customer density streamlines onboarding, service delivery, and ongoing maintenance—a holistic approach pivotal to sustainable growth.

Founder-Driven Sales

A common pitfall for companies venturing into the U.S. market is entrusting initial sales efforts to local representatives. This approach often backfires due to several reasons:

  • Lack of Foundation: Local representatives commence with zero customer anecdotes, institutional insights, or adeptness in articulating your tailored solutions to target buyers.
  • High Turnover: U.S. sales representatives, if met with initial challenges, swiftly move on to other prospects, amplifying turnover costs.
  • Dependency Challenges: New market entry necessitates robust support from various departments at the home office, a rapport difficult for local reps to establish.

Founder-driven sales circumvent these hurdles, offering a higher likelihood of success during the nascent stages of U.S. expansion. Founders bring unparalleled historical context and narrative depth, fostering connections and they navigate organizational support structures with ease. The founder’s initial presence in the U.S., albeit minimal, gradually escalates alongside demand, persisting until a repeatable sales process emerges—typically spanning 12 to 24 months.

Agile Marketing Communications

Upon entering the U.S. market, companies often overestimate their grasp of customer acquisition strategies. This overconfidence manifests in rigid promotional materials, similar to casting a fishing line without considering bait or fishing grounds.

Similar to planning a fishing trip, your U.S. market strategy should address three key questions:

  1. What’s the Target Fish?
  2. Where’s the Best Fishing Spot?
  3. Which Bait to Use?

Adopting an agile marketing approach empowers local teams to iteratively refine marketing assets, swiftly adapting to evolving market dynamics. This nimble methodology minimizes both time and cost investments, which are crucial for establishing traction, and then identifying and scaling a sustainable sales system.

By embracing the principles of customer density, founder-driven sales, and agile marketing communications, your journey into the U.S. market can be marked by strategic finesse rather than repeated trials. May these insights serve as a beacon, guiding your business through the intricacies of market entry and positioning it for enduring success in the competitive landscape of the United States.

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MEET helps international B2B & B2G companies gain traction and scale in the U.S. through trade shows, events, and strategic connections. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: or +1 (860) 573-4821.