Optimizing your export strategy: A complete guide to best practices

12 January 2022

When was the last time you reviewed your export strategy? Be sure you're ready to compete with other global players by mastering these best practices.

By Kompass International

12 January 2022

The world was able to move nearly twenty trillion dollars in exports in the year 2020 alone. This fact is a point of pride and joy for many people, and it is down to sales staff worldwide that this happens. Each of them does their part to instigate their own expert strategy in a dog-eat-dog environment, but do you have your own strategy?

This article will help you understand some of the best practices for forming and supporting your export strategy. By the end, you will be able to engage with export businesses in a way you have not before.

Why do you need an export strategy?

An export-oriented strategy is one of the best ways to plan how you will shift your products. This is rather than assuming everything will go well when flying by the seat of your pants.

Instead, you should investigate the market, customers, and competitors to work out what you need to succeed. After you have researched these and the various regulatory steps you need to go through, you can start building a plan.

Below are some specific areas you will need to focus on and why to create a working strategy.

Choose the right markets

It would help if you made an effort to choose the right markets before organizing your export processes. This way, you will not put all your eggs in the wrong basket.

To help with this, companies like Kompass can offer reports such as their Market Ranking report. This will allow you to know where to focus your efforts. Your company will not get a reputation for exporting to the wrong locations, and you will not lose money doing so.

Pivot the product

While you may believe you have a fantastic product, there may be things you do not understand at the start of production. After discussing with your clients what you can offer them, make sure you talk with your suppliers. You may find that you need to make significant changes to your offering to stay relevant to your largest customers.

The truth is that hubris is the enemy of success. If you believe that as your product matches the local market, it will work fine with external partners, you may be very disappointed. This has been the downfall of many products over the years, and you really need an export marketing strategy to match your target audience.

Every market you deal with may have its own preferences and foibles. These may be due to cultural needs or may be due to an excess or lack of something else in the market that either does or does not solve other problems. These can have a significant effect on what you need to offer these groups.

This way, you can assure that your product is well suited to assist those it is going to. You will get a reputation for providing exactly what people need better than competitors.

This will end up with you on the top of the “must-have” export list by only making small changes. All because you paused your exports to deal with an important addition to the product.

Build relationships

When creating a plan to export your product, the ability to do so comes from ongoing positive engagement with others. Networking and building relationships with your customers can give them a real sense of brand loyalty to you.

For this reason, it should include maintaining interactions with others in how you handle your supply chain. This way, you can win those in your industry over and gain significant kudos in the market.

There are two primary ways your relationships should exist. Either:

  • You will sell straight to a customer, and thus you will need to build relationships with the users of your product
  • You will sell to distributors and thus need to explain the benefits of your product in a way they can pass on to potential customers.

You can also make use of a combination of these techniques. By marketing straight to customers while you also export to businesses that resell your product, you can eat your cake and also still have it.

You should understand, though, that both groups of people have different needs. Appealing that appealing to each will need you to understand what makes each group tick.

Companies like Kompass can even help with this. With Kompass’ worldwide database, you can identify the best potential distributors and partners. Especially those in the market you are aiming to work with.

Kompass has details on over 768 K export companies from the B2B industries. It is thus the best place for exporters to showcase their products, show off their services and meet buyers.

Filter options even allow you to focus your searches. This way, you can find the B2B export businesses you need at all times.

Understand who your rivals are

Knowing who you are selling products alongside can help you in two primary ways:

  • First, you can make sure to avoid their specific target audience if necessary
  • Second, you can aim straight at their audience if you think you can outshine and outperform them

To be able to do this, you must engage in competitive research. If you do not know the state of your competition, you cannot hope to understand what they are doing right or wrong.

As Sun Tzu said, “To remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition […] is the height of inhumanity”.

With research, you can know the following and use them to alter your export strategy:

  • Customer service strategy
  • Distribution plans
  • Marketing
  • Market share
  • Pricing plans
  • USPs

Understand your market’s regulations

When working with a busy marketplace, you are undoubtedly aware that there will be many steps you need to take to avoid getting in trouble with the law. These laws and regulations can affect your export-oriented strategy, so make sure you investigate what they may be.

Examples of issues that sometimes come up when exporting can include:

  • Anti-dumping regulations
  • Price ceilings
  • Enforced pricing
  • Additional taxation
  • Quality certification
  • Manufacturing assurances

These are in no way the limit of what you may face but can hamper your plans moving forward. Knowing what you may encounter means you can plan your prices to match the amount of work you need to do with every export. Planning up-front will prevent you from having to pay through the nose, which could end up being costly.

Where else can you get info?

You should now have a much greater understanding of how to focus your export strategy so that you can boost your sales from now on. If you still have questions, though, do not fret. Our specialists are on hand to direct you to our directories.

We have databases filled with millions of companies you can leverage to make sure your export plan fits your needs in a more precise way. So, you need only get in contact to receive directions to find precisely the group of organizations you need.


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