US SME’s seeking outsourced, professional, international sales rep firms to introduce or “pioneer” their lines (often called “missionary” lines – that is, a product line or service that has no existing identity or business in multiple foreign markets) is of interest to SPAP if:
- It is reasonable to expect that the product and/or service could become a disruptive, game-changer within 18 months if accepted by foreign customers in a foreign country
- The principal is truly Export-Ready
- The principal is truly Rep-Ready
- SPAP is not expected to bear the full risks and sizable costs of the pioneering effort across multiple countries
If the principal’s present-day Export Readiness and Rep Readiness is clearly deficient, in this shared investment plan model the principal would pay SPAP a first day of each month, monthly, market development fee for a specified duration or until the SPAP’s commission income reaches a specified, agreed-upon level. The monthly fee and the commission percentage that will be proposed will be predicated first on the information a US SME fills out on the Contact Us page, and then on the more detailed feedback generated from going through the ERRRQ. International market conditions such as putative competitors, sampling policies, an ability to do localized clinical studies, Harmonized Tariff Schedules, private-label capabilities, willingness to modify products to meet local standards and rules, a formal, written code of ethics that employees and management adhere to, distribution rights policies, in-person and/or electronic training capabilities and awareness of, focus on and skills needed to attract and retain mindshare of SPAP’s foreign customers will all be assessed.
The type of monthly fee to be paid to SPAP will be based on what will have to be overcome using the mechanics of a less standardized international market development; in attempting to rise above and beyond certain commercial thresholds, SPAP can provide to the US SME commercial intelligence collection management work for additional fees. These optional, add-on, input services include bringing foreign KOL’s into discussions about the US SME’s products or services, various, relevant engagement with foreign institutions or associations in the country or region, arranging for talks before groups of doctors, arranging for talks about key, clinical studies your company’s product have participated in before regional or national conferences, generating media coverage or an anomalous Request for Information (RFI).
The principal would agree to a specified minimum contractual time period of 5 years and an extended post-termination commission payment clause so that, with foreign regulatory and registration issues in mind, SPAP can be rightly rewarded for its foundational work of building out an importer/distributor network. If the US SME already has in place a scaled down Objectives & Key Results (OKR’s)* system for the domestic market, to eliminate the mindset that foreign sales is an alien concept the goal would be to impose the same discipline and consensus and then graft and integrate into it an international, confidence-building process that builds awareness, makes export and rep knowledge-management operational and interweaves these news skills into reusable practices that the principal and its staff can then use in working with SPAP and SPAP’s foreign customer networks to meet shared, agreed-upon goals.
*Although OKR’s were first deployed by larger, manufacturing companies such as Intel and Oracle, OKR’s are also used today by companies of virtually all sizes (including Google, Twitter, LinkedIn). It is proposed that we would start by defining 1-3 key objectives and goals:i.e., formal communications with a combination of distribution candidates, universities, associations and the possibly KOL(s) to triangulate and indiginize, or localize, the US SME’s remote-presence in the country’s health/medical/life science/aesthetic/wellness community. The main benefit is to create a vision and a goal of achieving and sustaining momentum as the product is tested and possibly clinically studied in a country or region. The milestones could measure and entail whether or not the US SME engages a local KOL, if a specific PPM (Principal Product Manager) is assigned to the rep’s foreign distributors and KOL’s, how many visits does the PPM make to see the various distribution candidates in a country or region, are invitations issued to various distribution candidates in a country or region to visit the US SME’s HQ, is the principal willing to pay for third party clinical studies in the country or region, take out coop ads in specialized magazines in the country or region, do international webinars to train the foreign distributor’s employees, staff a booth at an international trade show to do demos and various other in-person and/or proxy opportunities and multipliers needed to shake off the relative anonymity of the US SME’s products or services.
- A less standardized, international, market development
- Shared investment plan for a specified duration or until the rep’s commission income reaches a specified, agreed-upon level
- Optional, add-on, input services
- Commercial intelligence collection management options
- International extension of Objectives & Key Results (OKR’s) program
- 5 year contract with extended post-termination commission payments