Background & Context:

Client is a successful mid-sized India based BPO & ITES player wanting to grow aggressively in the US.

 Before engaging us client had tried to sell in the US over the last few years, but had not achieved significant success, even though it continues to do well in India.  So company has been evaluating various options, including buying a company in the US, to using US based business brokers for selling in the US, as well as hiring and installing a full fledged sales organisation in the US (which are all quite expensive options, and net of commissions paid to the brokers or operating-capital costs in the US, do not yield significant margins or early/adequate ROI ).  Also the client has correctly come to the conclusion, that  using business brokers as a sales channel often cuts you out of the actual market (i.e. relationship with client )– makes you dependent - and is also not a reliable or predictable channel, for achieving sustained growth and improvement in shareholder/business value.

Client is an existing and respected 12 year old mid sized  IT and BPO player in South India; is profitable and has had good success in the India market and is keen to now penetrate the US Market to establish a path toward rapid & sustained international growth & improved profitability. An internal  goal of adding three new logo’s in the US has been set by its Board of Directors over the next 2-3 years.

Client is keen that US Expansion is executed in a lean, cost-effective manner. Client understands that if it can crack the US market, other international markets will be relatively a breeze.

Client is a successful mid-sized India based BPO & ITES player wanting to grow aggressively in the US.

 Before engaging us client had tried to sell in the US over the last few years, but had not achieved significant success, even though it continues to do well in India.  So company has been evaluating various options, including buying a company in the US, to using US based business brokers for selling in the US, as well as hiring and installing a full fledged sales organisation in the US (which are all quite expensive options, and net of commissions paid to the brokers or operating-capital costs in the US, do not yield significant margins or early/adequate ROI ).  Also the client has correctly come to the conclusion, that  using business brokers as a sales channel often cuts you out of the actual market (i.e. relationship with client )– makes you dependent - and is also not a reliable or predictable channel, for achieving sustained growth and improvement in shareholder/business value.

Client is an existing and respected 12 year old mid sized  IT and BPO player in South India; is profitable and has had good success in the India market and is keen to now penetrate the US Market to establish a path toward rapid & sustained international growth & improved profitability. An internal  goal of adding three new logo’s in the US has been set by its Board of Directors over the next 2-3 years.

Client is keen that US Expansion is executed in a lean, cost-effective manner. Client understands that if it can crack the US market, other international markets will be relatively a breeze.

Seattle, US

Seattle, US

 Hexagon Consulting together with its affiliate in the US - BeyondtheHedgeUS, based in Seattle US has been working with this client for more than a year to guide and support building of its internal growth engine & organisational capabilities to enable growth in the US. To tee off, we adopted the following three pronged approach to help client build its capability to grow in the US.

 

Solution approach:

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  • We started with some initial dialogue & consultations to understand client’s expansions & corporate goals and also provided client with insights on how best to approach its goal to succeed in the world’s largest, most sophisticated & rewarding, but  difficult market - US . In this phase, we started by focusing on understanding client's “as is” high level value proposition, degree of differentiation, competitive position, and prospects for US Expansion. This prima facie view formation took about 2-4 weeks to accomplish & we also used this discussion to see a cultural & mutual fit for us to work together as well on this path.

    During this initial phase we explained to client that we will help the client build its own institutionalized growth engine, at a minimum cost, and which is built gradually both in India and the US, and which will be developed to be effective by using our  MVE(minimum viable experience)  methodologies (outlined in some more detail later in this document).

    We brought out clearly upfront that our operating model is not about getting the client IT_BPO deals for them, rather help client develop its own repeatable & effective organisational capability to sell & market successfully  in the US. In other words we help the client to “fish” not “fish” for the client. Thus in effect helping the client develop an institutionalized capability to sell in the US and develop a predictable US penetration operating structure.

    The Hexagon Consulting – beyondthehedge,US “bridge” across India & US - facilitates the expansion of the India based IT/BPO players in the US. Senior practitioners from BeyondtheHedgeUS and Hexagon Consulting have decades of actual experience of having successfully developed business in demanding International markets, including the US in the IT-BPO space. So the “bridge” with  solid expertise & SME support helps mid-sized organisations get mentoring & expertise from pragmatic & experienced C level senior consultants, to tap & eventually mature organisational capabilities, to enable mining the largest opportunity in the world – the US market

    Selling in the US is very different from selling in markets like India/Asia. Selling approaches & practices that work in India, do not work in the US and organizations do need to adapt & change to meet the needs of one of the world’s most demanding markets.

    Seen from the eyes of a buyer in the US, who gets about 5-6 sales calls or reach outs every week, from different India based IT & BPO companies, most Indian IT/BPO players all have a pretty undifferentiated claims -  that they are very good in what they do and that they can deliver IT and BPO services at a high quality at a low price from India ?

    Following are some of the critical requirements for success in United States:

    i.      Shareholder / Board/CEO commitment to succeed in the US Market.

    ii.      American English communication skills and deep cultural familiarity-sensitivity  withUS Market.

     iii.      Satisfactory rate of growth in last two years; growing body of work; references

     iv.      Differentiated products and operating model.

    (v) Local full time presence in the US(travelling in and out from India to US does not work)

    Basis the above initial discussion to exchange of views on both sides, we agreed to progress with the next stage – i.e. The Readiness Assessment phase.

    }A formal proposal for the Readiness assessment phase was made and accepted by the client.

    Readiness Assessment. 

  • Success and competing in the US Market demands a high degree of operational and market readiness. Our readiness assessment helps us do a gap analysis between clients “as is” and “should be” so as to enable a diagnosis of what all needs to be done by the client organization to strengthen itself for  effectively and repeatably growing in the US. This requires a review of a number of aspects of the organizations existing organization, product and also a test selling in the US to check actual market response from the market(there is some more detail  on this, later in this document)

Competing and growing in the US Market demands a high degree of Operational and Market Readiness. The Phase II: Readiness Assessment is a diagnostic to determine the assets required to be developed to succeed in the US. Assets include development of the People, Processes, and Technologies across silo’s in an integrated manner to meet operational and market needs through the next phase of execution for US Expansion. Phase III. The actual US Expansion execution phase will follow this stage which is typically  medium-long term organisational capability development & growth horizon that normally requires 2-3 years to implement, after the completion of this phase – i.e. readiness assessment.

 

We guide & collaborate with client exec team to determine the level of work required to win in the US– each step of the way – (i.e to start with what is necessary to be in place to begin e.g. Market Test / Validation modules in the US as quickly as possible).  This helps to minimize time & cost to market, so we get client’s products and/or services to the market fast – using the lowest cost path. Specifically, we collaborate and with your teams to also participate in engage prospective customers meeting a targeted profile and start test selling as one of the first steps in the execution phase(i.e next phase).

The Readiness Assessment identifies gaps between your “As Is” Operational and Market Readiness and what is the “To Be” position that the US Market requires. We determine your Operational and Market readiness on three vital factors that impact your ability to succeed in the US.

Brand Promises / Core Values

Differentiated Value Proposition

Repeatability and Scalability

 First of all, we understand what the client stands for and what clients USP are, and what client can reliably deliver with its existing and evolving organizational capabilities. These can be expressed as brand promises or core values. This is the value the client delivers or can deliver to its customers, day in and day out, by express purpose and design.

 Next, at least some part of client’s offering must be differentiated and unique. For example, if you offer a service, how is your service different or better? Can you deliver a unique solution to an important business problem?

 Finally, in order to achieve break-out growth we must create a service offering and selling solution that is not just relevant for the US, but also is repeatable and scalable. Because customers decide to buy based on their buying experience in the US, the faster we can create the “Minimum Viable Experience” that reliably results in sales, the sooner we will be able to replicate and scale toward higher revenue.

Operational Readiness

The first step is an Operational Readiness Gap Analysis.

 You need to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of Operational Readiness, in light of the highly competitive market conditions in the US. This step involves face-to-face meetings and site visits to properly assess your readiness.  The following items are not intended to be an exhaustive list, and some items may not be areas for concern. We’ll work with you to make sure that all areas that are most relevant to your US Expansion are addressed.

 -  Management Systems

- Organizational Structure

- English Skills & soft skills Assessment of the managerial & executive teams

-  Problem Solving, Quality & risk & compliance management structure

-  Physical and Digital Information - Data Security,

-  Business Continuity Planning & Infrastructure

- Talent Acquisition, Training and Retention

- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)

- Technology Infrastructure

- Certifications and Awards

- Facility Infrastructure & Capacity Constraints

Market Readiness

The next step in the Readiness Assessment Phase is a Market Readiness Gap Analysis.

 You need to know where there are gaps between your current market readiness and what will be required for fast, lean, and enduring growth in the US Market. To accomplish this, we need to experience your sales process exactly as a prospective customer would, so we can evaluate it against competitive buying experiences. By actually experiencing what a prospective customer experiences, we will be exposed to your sales and marketing assets, the people involved in the selling process, and the process itself.

The following Market Readiness items are also not intended to be an exhaustive list, and some items may not be areas of concern. We work with you to make sure that areas most relevant to your US Expansion are addressed.

-  Value Proposition Strength

- Brand Promise / Differentiation

- Sales Pipeline Management

- Marketing / Sales Processes & infrastructure

-  Digital presence/ Web / Inbound Marketing

- other Digital Marketing Assets

-  Proposal / Legal Library

-  CRM System  & processes Maturity

-  Vertical Market Focus

- Capacity Constraints, inside sales & offshore sales-relationship management  capability

The BeyondtheHedgeUS’s agile lean aims for fast Market Validation method in the next phase of execution, to cut out wasteful processes that interfere with the amount of time it takes to get your message in front of customers.  You may appreciate, there is no more direct way to be effective, that to learn if you are ready to succeed in the US, than to test and learn and continue to evolve to prove it in the marketplace. The classical we can do it cheaper and better – just does not work anymore in the US. A differentiated product and a great customer experience all along the engagement and execution of the sales and delivery cycles are pre-requisites for success.

  US Expansion execution phase - identify vertical

Marketing and selling to a specific vertical market is the fastest and most cost-effective strategy to learn from a market.  Time spent up front to identify our targeted vertical market pays dividends in time and cost savings.  When your value propositions and communications are founded on industry knowledge and expressed in the common vernacular of the targeted vertical market audience, the time to move a prospect from interested, to engaged and ultimately closed is shortened. This shortens your time to market.

 So in the next phase of execution, we guide your team to refine each hypothesis, and agree upon fast, lean, and effective ways to test each so that we can gain validated learning and ultimate proof about each hypothesis that forms the Minimum Viable Experience. This ultimately leads to repeat ability and scalability.

Developing & selling to a list of prospects in the US

We guide our client’s to develop vertical market specific -  list of targeted Senior Executives in the potential targeted vertical,  that is the first step to facilitate fast outreach and penetration.  Our partner firm in the US – BeyondtheHedgeUS, Seattle, US supports Indian SMB IT & BPO clients along all steps of the B2B sales engagement cycle from pre-sales, sales outreach, prospect engagement…all the way through till deal closure- while ensuring that client develop’s capability to effectively market and ensure a great customer experience at each and every stage of the sales cycle.

 The list development is done using is a multi-channel approach with good old-fashioned as well as modern technology enabled methods  including using inside sales agencies, enhancing client’s website to enable Inbound Marketing, and digital communities like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Forums, video’s and Blogs. We are this uniquely positioned to reach qualified Buyers fast because beyondthehedge.co  helps clients  grow in the US faster.

Rapid Cycle Learning

We apply Rapid-Cycle Learning based on principles from the Lean Startup Movement, and principles that Bain Capital Research proves to be effective in their book: Repeatability: Build Enduring Businesses for a World of Constant Change (by Chris Zook and James Allen).

 The Beyondthehedge.co  - agile2 Expansion Platform enhances the capability of client organization to develop suitable technology, processes, and systems that are ready for deployment, so that you can start learning from the very first sales or marketing outreach.

 The “Learning Infrastructure” is built on our implementation of CRM, Marketing Automation, and User Behavior Analytics - technology and processes to collect and organize Buyer and Market Data (feedback) such as email response rates, website visits, responses to specific sales scripts, and so on.  Rapid Cycle Learning is the “Mindset” for both Operational and Selling Processes. This balanced view of Operational and Market Readiness is quite different from other market-only solutions.

 We seek agility to rapidly adapt to new information, and take action as quickly as possible to adjust, refine or make pivots in strategy to improve buyer interest.  The beyondthehedge - agile2 Expansion Platform provides a process to manage learning cycles, and focus your limited resources where they provide the fastest path to enduring growth. Rapid Cycle Learning is a core principle.

Market Validation

Market Validation is achieved when we collectively have evidence that your products and / or services can be competitive in the US market.  Test Selling will permit collection of quantitative and qualitative customer data.  Quantitative data is collected through A / B testing on messages, frequency, and cadence; web analytics; links opened in email, etc.  Qualitative data is collected through phone, video, and when possible in-person conversations with qualified buyers, interviews with vertical market industry leaders, forums, blogs and social media. 

 We continually analyze market data to prove or disprove our hypotheses. Collaboration between and among BeyondtheHedgeUS and Hexagon Consulting, and client helps client decide to

Continue testing new hypotheses until proven or disproven

Develop hypotheses that prove that market needs and clear opportunities exist

Our Market Validation step provides one of the first market & sales exercises in the US- in the next phase-Execution phase which helps to mitigate/optimise your costs & market development risks.

 Scalable growth begins with MVE (Minimum Viable Experience) validation and moves on to execution against a proven methodology that works. This is done as a structured exercise over 1 to 2 years at the minimum, with Client being continually supported onshore in the US by our beyondthehedge.co  senior partners. They help the client develop the right and optimized marketing & sales structure and methodologies, which is effective at the lowest feasible cost

Depending upon the maturity level of the Indian BPO/IT player, its investment appetite and pace of growth expectation, options of organic and in-organic growth or a hybrid approach is adopted. As beyondthehedge is based at Seattle, near Silicon Valley and the venture capital belt, opportunities of leveraging the right resources for M&A and venture capital funding are easily explored.

A typical Phase III US Growth execution plan development is the next stage - after the due diligence phase. This being a proprietary & complex framework which is customized to needs of every client, the sector it operates in and the results of the Phase III exercise leads to US growth .

 Current Status with this client.

With this client we have completed the phase –II assessment successfully – and client is now progressing on its  phase III journey.

Client’s Board has appreciated our Phase II report tremendously, and the feedback we have been given is “this is an excellent practical, grounded and detailed report on both the “production aspects” as well as the “sales and marketing” aspects that the organisation needs to enhance”

Hexagon and beyondthehedge teams are have been supporting and guiding organization’s leadership team to build the requisite infrastructure and assets to enable a sustainable US Expansion growth.

Beyondthehedge is Hexagon Consulting's partner based in Seattle, US and works collaboratively with us to help mid sized IT&BPO organizations in India achieve success in the US.

Hexagon Consulting’s Strengths as your consulting partner

Our consultants based at Delhi in India, have deep understanding of the outsourcing-off shoring space on an end to end basis including considerable experience in India and overseas in systemically institutionalizing centers of excellence and growing operations in multiple markets including Phillipines, US, Europe, Mexico, Australia, etc. The case study is an outline of actual case study of some of the work done by us. We are passionate about outsourcing-off shoring, especially  in the SMB space - and believe this sector represents the next frontier !

Above case study & white paper has been written by Hexagon Consulting’s, Analysts and Consultants, based on its deep expertise and experience of its senior consultants in the customer service & customer experience management domains, as well its own consulting work done in this 

 Current Status with this client.

With this client we have completed the phase –II assessment successfully – and client is now progressing on its  phase III journey.

Client’s Board has appreciated our Phase II report tremendously, and the feedback we have been given is “this is an excellent practical, grounded and detailed report on both the “production aspects” as well as the “sales and marketing” aspects that the organisation needs to enhance”

Hexagon and beyondthehedge teams are have been supporting and guiding organization’s leadership team to build the requisite infrastructure and assets to enable a sustainable US Expansion growth.

Beyondthehedge is Hexagon Consulting's partner based in Seattle, US and works collaboratively with us to help mid sized IT&BPO organizations in India achieve success in the US.

Hexagon Consulting’s Strengths as your consulting partner

Our consultants based at Delhi in India, have deep understanding of the outsourcing-off shoring space on an end to end basis including considerable experience in India and overseas in systemically institutionalizing centers of excellence and growing operations in multiple markets including Phillipines, US, Europe, Mexico, Australia, etc. The case study is an outline of actual case study of some of the work done by us. We are passionate about outsourcing-off shoring, especially  in the SMB space - and believe this sector represents the next frontier !

Above case study & white paper has been written by Hexagon Consulting’s, Analysts and Consultants, based on its deep expertise and experience of its senior consultants in the customer service & customer experience management domains, as well its own consulting work done in this