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Why is strategic selling important for Language Service Providers?

From a recruitment standpoint, one of the biggest challenges facing LSPs is with sales, such as breaking into new markets and finding the talent that has the ability to do that.

According to Jim Watson, former Senior VP of Global Sales and Marketing at MultiLing, LSPs should focus on the “solution-sell”, rather than simply relying on your sales team’s relationships to find new business.

“I think the LSP space is somewhat fragmented, which means a lot of different players going after the same wallet-share within a particular company,” Jim says.

“So I think it’s really important to understand what solution you’re offering as a vendor in the LSP space and I think it’s important from a long-term perspective that someone looks at the value of the service that’s being offered.

“I’ve talked to different companies and there’s this idea that it is based on relationships and if I hire a certain salesperson, they’re going to walk across the street with their book of business. But that doesn’t typically happen.

“So I think it’s more important to really think about a solution-sell. It takes longer and it’s more complex, but the value is so much greater than someone’s book of business that could be here or could go away really quickly.”

For Jim, whether and how you engage in strategic selling depends on your go-to-market strategy.

“Start by identifying your ideal customer profile,” he says. “Now think of your go-to-market strategy – and I think of that first as research – so you have data points in a business case, and then you get into the market strategy, which gets into the ideal customer profile.

“I think in a particular segment or niche – like someone who’s selling into the legal space – I think the legal purchasing departments or the corporate legal departments really look for a solution more than they look for a one-off service. But I think it applies across the board.”

Jim Watson has more than 20 years sales experience working with Fortune 500 companies and was Senior VP of Global Sales and Marketing at MultiLing before being sold to Questel in 2018.

Jim has vast experience creating and leading high performance sales teams with a focus on activity-based KPIs and strategic selling.

If you want to know more about this area, visit Lion People Global’s website where you can watch back our LT Talks series of videos where we have talked to some of the industry leaders in localization for their insights into the world of translation.

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