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Building and running an international sales team: things you need to know

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Building an international sales team can be a tricky endeavor. Many elements must be considered when creating and running an effective international sales team. Firstly, you need to decide what types of employees should comprise the team; are they telecommuters, full-time employees, or contractors? Secondly, you need to consider language requirements for potential employees; will you hire people who speak multiple languages, or will one primary language suffice? Thirdly, there is the matter of training and onboarding; how will new team members receive guidance and instruction on their role within the team? Finally, you must ensure that everyone involved in the sales process can access necessary tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems. However, all these processes are the minimum to create a sales team. The real challenge is how you run one and, more importantly, how you run them successfully. Here are ten tips to help you along the way.

Defining the roles you want to hire internationally and roles you want local staff for. Hiring people locally is appealing as it allows you to build relationships and understand local customer needs more easily. However, many international organizations now realize they need to hire talent from across the globe to remain competitive. To ensure success, you must first identify the skills and perspectives needed in your global sales team.

Selecting a country or region to hire from: Once you have identified the roles needed in your team, it is important to determine where to source new talent. There are numerous countries and regions that offer great potential for international sales teams. Depending on the type of product or service being offered, certain markets may be more attractive than others.

Creating a communication strategy: Once you’ve identified the roles you want to fill and the region you want to fill them from, it’s important to develop a communication plan that outlines how members of your international sales team will communicate with one another and customers. This may include virtual meetings, email newsletters, or other methods for sharing information between staff members. This should also include details about how your team will use different languages.

Developing a training and onboarding strategy: Once you’ve identified the roles you want to fill and created a communication plan, it’s important to develop an effective onboarding process and ongoing training program for members of your international sales team. This should include providing detailed information about position descriptions, company policies, customer service expectations, and more. Additionally, offering online courses or seminars can help ensure new members have the skills they need to succeed in their roles.

Creating incentives: Offering incentives to staff members is also important in keeping them motivated and productive. These could include paid travel expenses or bonuses for meeting certain goals. You may also consider investing in resources such as technology or software to help staff members stay connected or customers.

Setting clear expectations: The success of your international sales team will depend on everyone involved being clear on expectations. This means ensuring that roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined and providing strong performance metrics to measure success. Additionally, you should create a feedback process that allows staff members to give constructive criticism or suggest improvements.

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Investing in the right technology: Technology can be a powerful tool for keeping your international sales team connected and organized. Consider investing in tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, business intelligence software, or customer service platforms to help staff members streamline their processes and stay connected with customers. Additionally, these tools can also help you measure success more accurately.

Recruiting and retaining talent: Finding the right people for your international sales team is crucial for successfully getting it off the ground. You should create an attractive job listing that outlines the position’s responsibilities, compensation package, and other details. Additionally, ensure that you cultivate an attractive workplace culture by offering competitive benefits and opportunities for development. This will help ensure that talented individuals are eager to join your team.

Creating a unified team culture: Your international sales team should work together as seamlessly as possible, so fostering a unified culture is key. This could involve setting up regular meetings or video calls with all staff members, creating shared objectives, and developing an understanding of how everyone’s roles fit into the bigger picture. You may also want to consider investing in team-building activities that help encourage collaboration and communication between staff members.

By creating a strong foundation for your international sales team, you will be able to ensure its success in the long run. Put the right processes and resources in place, invest in training and incentives to motivate employees, and foster a positive team culture that encourages collaboration and communication. With the right strategies, you can build and maintain an effective international sales team to help your business reach new heights.


Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at

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