The most common reason for failing internationally is poor planning and preparation.
Companies often underestimate what is involved in going international. It can seem very easy to sign up resellers that happen to visit a company’s tradeshow booth or make contact through its web site. However, dealing with a business partner in a foreign market will create problems that many companies are not used to dealing with. Some of the specific issues that hinder success are:
Poor qualification process: It is not unusual to find developers with a network of 20 or 30 international distributors, of which only two or three generate any real revenues. It costs very little to sign a contract, but it can be very expensive to support inactive distributors, and it can be difficult and expensive to get out of the contract.
• Lack of targets and objectives: Many companies look at anything coming from foreign markets as “found money”, so they do not bother to set performance standards that have to be maintained.
• Product pricing issues: * There is not enough margin to make it interesting for an international partner to invest their time and effort * Pricing within the developer’s home country is substantially lower than the international pricing * Pricing on the developer’s web site
• Payment terms and conditions: This can vary country by country. What is a simple process in-country can be a major obstacle in another.
• Product security: Without it, there is virtually no way to ensure that you or your channel partner gets paid.
• Communications: International partners are often ignored or put on the back burner because there are more important things to deal with on the domestic front.
• Knowledge transfer: Companies usually know why their product is a success at home, buy they do not always pass this critical information on to their international partners.