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Business development in Germany: 7 quick (but important) notes

Based on 2017 GDP data, Germany is still the world’s fourth-largest economy, as well as the largest in the EU. Switzerland’s at No. 20 globally, and Austria is at No. 30 (and growing). There’s a lot of money in the DACH region. That part you probably already knew. The next part you might not: how do you get access to a slice of that pie? How do you think on business development in Germany?

Business development in Germany: Quick concepts to know

We felt like seven was a good number:

 

  • Germany is very SME friendly: You might know bigger German enterprises like Siemens, but about 80% of the German market is SMEs — with about 3.6 million companies providing more than 60% of jobs. SMEs are welcomed here.
  • Legal climate: German law doesn’t make any distinction between Germans and foreigners in the establishment of companies, and there aren’t restrictions on the repatriation of profits.
  • Er, no Brexit: If London was the EU capital for American and other abroad businesses, the political climate is shifting that towards the DACH market, including financial capitals like Frankfurt and Zurich.
  • The market is friendly for investors: North of 22,000 foreign companies have established businesses in Germany and employ close to 3 million people.
  • Trade show heavy: The DACH market has long been pretty good for trade shows, which are a staple of early-stage business development. One of the world’s largest travel trade shows, for example, is held each year in Berlin. There are other examples. CeBIT in Hannover for example. This is Europe’s largest IT and digitalisation conference.
  • All the necessary boxes get checked: The DACH market workforce is highly-educated, driven, and focused on detail. Switzerland is the third-highest ranked country in the world for education and skills of workers, for example. If you’re looking to do business development, the first thing you’ll need are people — well, until automation gets to scale — and the DACH market has people. (It should be noted that eastern Germany does have relatively high rates of unemployment.)
  • Partnership is going to be necessary: That’s where we come in. The German sales market and sales cycle tends to be relationship-driven, but as we all know by now, relationship selling doesn’t scale. You’re going to need a mix of in-person, relationships, native German speaking, cold calling, cold emailing, trade show appearances, and value-based selling.

 

Bottom line: as our man Martin says — “We studied how the world’s fastest growing tech companies scale their business. We took their best practices, combined them, and adapted them to the specifics of the German speaking market. Today, we are the most sophisticated B2B sales machine in Central Europe.”

If that’s not a turbo charger for business development in Germany, we’re not sure what is.

Come take our hand (in a platonic, revenue-driven way), and we’ll guide you.

Ted Bauer
About the author

I help companies to market their content in the most effective way.
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