How do I start selling SaaS solutions outside the US?

Start in the U.S.

What I mean is that SaaS is inherently global, especially if your product is language localized.

  • See if any of your first 100 customers are naturally / organically in other countries. They often are. Natural search, press, app stores, etc. are naturally global sources of leads. If any of your first 100 customers are in other countries — you can get more. Count on it.
  • Also, see if a partner brings you into another country, and has any success at all selling your product there. They may accelerate this for you. Again, if you can get 1, you can get 2, then 4, etc.
  • Then … see if say 10 of your first 1000 customers (1% or more) are in any other countries. If they are — maybe you are ready to focus strategic effort there. Put someone on it. See if that resource can at least pay for itself over the next year.
  • Once you get to $1m in revenue in a single country? You are probably ready to set up a field office there. It will be accretive.

Oftentimes, in SaaS, just by a few million in ARR, you’ll start to naturally have customers in Europe, and more uncommonly, parts of Asia. If you see 4%+ of your customers in the U.K. for example early — double down there. It’s going to continue to scale.

Be wary of investing a lot until you have any customers in other countries, however.

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Published on August 14, 2018

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