Selling in challenging environment

Covid-19 has taken a big hit on businesses and we still haven’t seen the impact it will have on the world economy in the coming years. Many companies that rely on exports are struggling with sales as strict travel restrictions prevent them to fly out to meet their customers, prospects, or partners. Lots of questions marks and CEO’s and CSO’s are unsure what would be the optimal way forward in order to sustain growth internationally and even grab market share from the competition. This requires a whole new way of thinking and an implementation of a new Go-to-market strategy, to keep the ball rolling.

Still, many companies did just that and didn’t stay put. They looked for ways to continue, refined their GTM plans and sales models, and were able to, not only keep their existing customers but also add new ones. In uncertain times and in new challenging environments, the key is to think outside of the box. For example, combining lead generation, inside sales, and hiring local sales contractors, worked well for several of our customers. 

So, what is the new GTM strategy?

Due to stricter travel bans, you really have no choice if you wish to continue to gain business from your target markets. Your international sales team needs to build the funnel and execute deals. If you cannot meet with your customers, prospects, or partners on-site, you need to build a sales strategy and go-to-market plan, whereby you, for example, hire a local sales contractor to be your person on the ground and then you implement a support model to participate online when needed. You can complete the plan by bringing-in inside sales, lead generation, and content marketing functions. You need to define roles and responsibilities carefully, for example, if the offering is complex, you might choose to bring-in the product knowledge online by a well-trained pre-sales professional.

This is kind of a hybrid sales model, but it is also a “think-out-of-the-box” sales strategy to compete in the changing world.  This strategy combines optimal resources to create a sales engine to face the challenges of the challenging world situation caused by Covid-19, but even after we have conquered this vicious enemy.

Rinne & Partners is looking for Experts

We have partnered with  EBAN – European Business Angels Network and Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN), to help Angels’ portfolio companies to open new markets, and we are expanding our team of internationalization experts. If you are an independent consultant or sales professional working through your own company and have a solid track record of advising technology companies in internationalization related challenges, drop me a note at or fill in the form here:

Further information:

Petri Rinne, CEO, Rinne & Partners