Sales Series: Should We Expand Internationally?

Is now the right time to expand internationally?”

As a three-year-old start-up, we asked ourselves that question almost jokingly. Knowing how many things we were working on in our Headquarters, it seemed like it must be too early for us. Trying to open another office could easily become a big distraction from our core business.

But on the other hand, it was enticing (and let’s be honest, kind of sexy) to go international after only three years. What was the right decision for us?

Rather writing it off just because it seemed too early, we decided to use our tool to take a closer look at our international data:

  • How many leads did we receive in each country?
  • How well did we do at converting those leads into sales?

The answers are in the bubble map below.

Outside of the US, the UK had the most significant number of leads. We judged these leads by every meaningful metric we could think of: deal size, time to close, conversion rates, etc. We found that they were not significantly different from our core business here in the US.

What we did not realize was that historically about 15% of our business came from outside the US, without any targeting. People were just finding us. We then began researching and talking to others that had opened offices internationally and found that if you have 10% or more of your business in any one area, you should consider opening a local office.

So, we did just that. Our first international Grow office opened in Reading, UK on August 14th. It was much more work than we anticipated, but with just a little focus, we are already doing exponentially better than we anticipated in EMEA.

Next week, we’ll share our to-do list for opening an international office (and a few lessons learned along the way)!