Tal Paperin is the Head of Global Success at KSW Solutions. KSW Solutions is an Israeli based business development, sales and marketing company specializing in international sales.
How has business development changed?
Due to globalization and a general decrease in barriers to entry, and a greater reliance on outsourcing abroad, there is much more competition than ever before, which of course impacts business development. The amount of available money isn’t growing as fast as the number of companies who want that money, nor is market capacity.
We have done business development for a dental implant manufacturer in Israel, so we know a great example of this: in the 90s there were 3 brands of dental implants, but now there are 400 companies trying to compete. Even though there are more people who need dental work, there is no way the demand can satisfy 400 companies.
Where is it going?
It’s going towards brutal warfare. Corporations and startups are all competing for market share. Corporations may do this by buying up startups. Samsung developed a VR headset and they are looking to purchase a startup in this area. In 2015 there were maybe a dozen or so who did this, but now there are over 150 startups doing the same thing.
Whether you are a startup trying to get a buyout or increase your market share to compete with the big brands, marketers have to work even harder to catch the eye of decision makers.
How should business development managers adapt?
You need to use any tool available to find leads. Keep up with the different marketing channels and be open to channels you didn’t consider – whether it’s joining Snapchat or putting up a billboard. In addition, you need to think outside of your current markets.
For example, the competition is fierce in North America and Western Europe in almost every industry, so you need to consider other markets, consider creating a local subsidiary, look into social media channels in those markets – you can’t just use FB or Google ads to get the same results worldwide. and which social media platforms to use in those countries.
What should executives know?
You need to put in way more effort than ever before, especially because of COVID-19 and you need to be open-minded about approaching new markets you never would have considered. Ask yourself seriously, why aren’t I selling in Southeast Asia or Africa?
The business environment isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago, or even just 5. The road to market has changed, the way investors and investments flow have changed. Make sure your business practices are up to date and you have the capacity to work in this new environment.
What experience do you have in Southeast Asia and Africa?
We have experience helping a pharmaceutical company in China that had a great sales team, but couldn’t succeed in marketing. We were able to help them make the connections in the local market to successfully launch their campaign, but in general China is too competitive for most foreign industries to try to approach.
Where should a company thinking about Southeast Asia and Africa start?
Market research!!! No matter how promising a market seems, never start any road to market endeavor without doing market research. At the very least, you will understand how to price and position yourself, and at the most you will save yourself the time and money wasted on a failed launch that could have been predicted.