Look at me there in 2010. I’m actually engaged in the discussion, I swear!
Here’s the backstory, which begins the origin story of BizXpand: almost 10 years ago, in spring 2010, I was invited to a panel discussion about “Doing Business In Austria.” The panel discussion was in Ljubljana (Slovenia), which is about a four-hour drive from Vienna. By the time I parked my car at home in Vienna, the idea of BizXpand had been created.
At this time in 2010, I was working for a Russian software vendor as an International Sales Director when I received this call from Slovenia to present my knowledge about complex B2B sales in the German markets on a panel discussion. Thanks, Barbara Bregar! I wasn’t really happy with the current job because of several internal conflicts. My former boss Matt Mayfield and I already brainstormed several times about what we could start together to make the B2B sales world a little bit smarter.
So yes, I was looking. I had my eyes out.
I knew the audience for the panel discussion would be about 150 to 200 people, including mostly startups and smaller local businesses who want to expand into the three major German-speaking markets: Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.
As soon as I arrived in Ljubljana (the beautiful capital of Slovenia) I met my sparring partner, Matt, for lunch. We discussed how we could benefit from the need of 200 people that want to expand their businesses to Austria. Here was the challenge: as I said above, the audience here was mostly small businesses and startups. Matt and I, though, were seasoned B2B sales guys and account executives. It wasn’t necessarily a perfect match as an audience.
I did my job there and explained the major differences between how to do sales in Slovenia and Austria (local relationship selling versus remote value-based selling). At the get-together after the event, five — 5! — companies approached me if I can help them somehow to expand their business into Austria. Again, start-ups and small companies. None of them would be able to afford a seasoned sales manager and none of them would keep a seasoned sales manager full-time busy.
Another coffee with Matt followed. He asked me simply:
“Ok, none of them alone would pay your bills but all five of them together would easily do, right?”
Yes, he got it.
We needed to create a full-service sales rep — but with a part-time business model. I left the venue and drove back to Vienna.
On the four-hour drive, I did a few calls with Matt. By the time I got back to Vienna, we had an idea ready to test. Here’s how it was going to be set up:
A complete sales office (go-to-market development, lead generation and sales execution) for high-touch complex sales in D/A/CH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). The business model would be scalable between 16 and 40 hours per client per month.
The very next day I sent a thank-you letter to the attendees of the event and introduced this new concept. You remember those five companies that talked to me after the gig? Three of them became our customers (again, thank you!).
BizXpand was born.
10 years later we still do the same for our clients: go-to-market, lead generation and sales execution on behalf of our clients. Our sales tactics, methods and tools did change A LOT over the past 10 years but the mission remained: value-based outreach to hyper targeted accounts. Go, check out what we do today.