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Irish International Selling CEO Workshops

I finished up my second CEO workshop this afternoon in Limerick as part of The Dublin Institute of Technology/Enterprise Ireland International Selling Programme.  We covered three critical success factors for building and scaling a sales capability for international trade: Hiring, Compensation, and Qualification and Prioritization (as it applies to the pipeline and forecast at the CEO-level).

The high point of the yesterday’s workshop event in Dublin was the CEO Forum.  My guests were (left to right) Gerard Keenan (Keenan Systems), Bernie Cullinan (Clarigen) and Dermot Farrell (Lakeland Dairies).

They each shared with the group their unique challenges with respect to exporting their products internationally.  Some areas covered were credit management (Ireland experiences most of what the U.S. does, and not long after), the challenges of employing both a direct and reseller channel, and the cultural challenges related to selling into other countries.

Today’s CEO forum included (left to right), my guests, Helen Ryan (Creganna), Gerry Raftery (Dawn Farm Foods) and Ian Bolger (Bolger).

There were a host of take-aways for the other CEOs attending the event.  Here are a few examples:

Q:  How do you adopt your sales process internationally?

A:  Helen Ryan: We modify it to align with how the customer segments or types buy (that’s large versus small entities, regardless of the deal size).  It has much more to do with how they operate as a business than their geography.

Q: As you expand into each new country to use local salespeople or relocate Irish salespeople.

A: Gerry Raftery: Local people are the answer.

Q: Has the employment of the sales process you developed from the International Selling Programme enabled you to sell more effectively with respect to corporate buyers?

A:  Ian Bolger:  With all the training, strategies and tactics employed by big U.S. multinationals, our process has enabled us to stay even.  Those buyers get tougher and tougher each year.

The sales executives reporting to these CEOs are concluding an eight two-day module program.  The 2009 series begins in January.

Many thanks to hosts Claire McBride (DIT) and Eileen Banks (Enterprise Ireland).

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