The German market is obviously different from other major economic markets globally, but how exactly?
The German identity is largely tied, production-wise, to engineering. The DACH market is very tangible. German buyers and potential German-speaking partners want tangible outputs (and inputs). They want to be able to measure different things, notably your quality standards.
This is a tough transition for American companies sometimes. In America, the business focus is often on “fast.” It’s a quarter-focused system and there’s a big “culture of busy” in American business. There’s a lot of now now now and urgency.
The concept of “fast” matters in the DACH market, but it matters less than stability and being robust. You need to have a good product and good control of your metrics and quality standards. There needs to be robust reporting and transparency around what is being measured, what the inputs were, and how the process was ultimately determined.
The DACH market is much more about process control. Surprises are not good. Some American venture capital models can “play fast and loose” with money and approaches, and the German market doesn’t tolerate that. Punctuality is also crucial.
The sales cycle
As noted here, the German sales cycle can be about 2-3x longer than a standard American sales cycle. That’s bad news at one level. The good news is that customer loyalty, especially for quality, stable products as noted above, is often about 8-10x higher than American transactional business. In other words: It will take you longer to get the customer, but you’ll also keep them for significantly longer as well.
How we help
We offer outsourced sales services for German markets, and can even guide you to the top 300 performing companies in the DACH region. Basically, we help you sell more in German markets. A large part of that is making sure you’re culturally aware and have the right product-market fit.