Getting to Know Welocalize Business Development Europe
A Day in the Life of Steve Maule, Welocalize Business Development Director in Europe
In our continuation of the “Getting to Know Welocalize” series, Steve Maule shares his experiences in developing new relationships in Europe and helping clients reach their global business goals. As a market expert in localization and translation strategies, he spends most of his day on the road, on the phone or in meetings. Here is his story (while on the road).
You may have seen some blog posts recently from my colleagues here at Welocalize aimed at providing insight into their jobs, lives and the subjects they think about most. For this blog, I was asked to think about our clients and prospects in Europe. What do they want? What characteristics do they share? How are they different from our clients in other regions like North America or Asia? The truth is that I am not sure there’s an answer to those questions, as all clients are looking for the similar outcomes. At Welocalize our ideal client profile are enterprises in the technology, consumer, manufacturing, legal, finance and learning industries who have large and complex translation needs and who expect a long-term and transparent relationship. Geography is not what really defines our client relationships, we are global and have global solutions.
As, I thought more about the experience I have in selling to clients and prospects in different regions, there are perhaps some characteristics that I have seen more in Europe than elsewhere. Here are a few generalizations:
- More clients and smaller clients. I tend to find that, in general, our average European clients spend less on language services than our average US-based client. They are often smaller enterprises and/or they have less content to localize. What that means for me is that we have to bring on board more clients more often to hit our growth targets, always balancing this with choosing the right type of clients so that everyone gets the attention they need and the best service.
- Centralization of localization as a business function is less common. I find that the job title of “Localization Manager” or “Head of Globalization” is less common here in Europe, especially in those smaller enterprises. Often localization responsibilities are bundled in with other functions like Marketing. For me, this means that buyers are harder to find at the prospecting stage and that there’s likely to be more of them. For example, I have one client in Europe with more than 200 individuals buying language services from us. They spend the same amount collectively as another client in the US with just one central point of contact.
- Less mature in localization. At Welocalize, we always want to move beyond just “service delivery” to become the value-add strategic partner in our clients’ international journey. Sometimes, our smaller clients in Europe just aren’t ready to move to that level, or simply don’t need to – all they need is reactive project delivery. For me, the opportunity is to recognize when that’s the case and make sure that we invest our time and resources wisely to provide that customer-centric service and solution. As an example, some clients are not ready for a complete language services business process outsourcing model for a company if they only require two or three translation projects each quarter.
- Fast-growth. As in my previous blog I am noticing more companies in Europe who are recognizing the need to manage localization differently as they accelerate their growth. In fact, I’m writing this blog in the car park of one of these companies as I arrived for our meeting early! The stakeholders have seen the growth plans for 2016 and know that their usual reactive approach to localization won’t work it if they’re to achieve their business goals. They need Welocalize to help bring structure and best-practice to how they localize, what we call our Program Approach. Wish me luck!
In retrospect, sometimes we do need a different approach here in Europe to help our clients and prospects. One thing that should always be present, though, is making sure we exceed their expectations in our 4-Pillars – exceptional customer service, global teamwork, innovation and quality. These are the 4-Pillars of our company culture which underpin everything that we do, and we ask our clients and prospects to hold us accountable to this no matter where in the world they are.
What do you think about my generalizations? Do you have the same experience and opinions, either from the client perspective or the selling-side?
All feedback welcome.
Based in the UK, Steve Maule is Business Development Director at Welocalize
MORE GETTING TO KNOW WELOCALIZE
The Getting to Know Welocalize blog series highlights our team members around the globe and the work they do for our valued clients. In their words, it gives you a look into how Welocalize’s diversity, culture, and expertise empower us in doing things differently. You can view all here Getting to Know Welocalize posts here: http://web.welocalize.com/Getting-To-Know-Welocalize.html
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