B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 years ago

10: Establishing a US Technology Vendor in Europe w/ Patrick Conte

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It’s tempting to think that just because you’ve had success in one market…

You’ll automatically be successful wherever you decide to expand your business.

Patrick Conte is the Senior Vice President & General Manager of International Business at HyTrust, and he understands the challenge in taking your product and moving it to another market like Europe.

HyTrust is a cyber-security company that specializes in cloud security.  They protect the cloud workload for their clients (which is becoming increasingly important in this era of data protection we live in). They also focus on locking down the virtual infrastructure (cloud servers and admins) for their clients.

Patrick and his team were able to expand their technology into the European market through careful strategy and execution.  Patrick joined us for this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration to talk about the European expansion journey and the lessons learned along the way.

Every company that wants to expand intoa new market needs to look for some point of leverage, you're listening to be to B RevenueAcceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sailes and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show hi wantcome to be to be a reveneacceleration. My name is Olian with he and I'm here today with Patrickconte.How are you patrictoday very good, very good, really and nice to be here withyou good, so Patrick today we want to speak about establishing a US technogyvendor in Europe and before we go into the details of your suits and commentsand expiriencs around that, can you please tell us a little bit morefostibal about yourself, but also Bot, Hitres Tho company that you representat the moment sure to high trust? Is A siber security company based in SiliconValley there in California, and I like to tell people where we fit in theoverall scheme of things as it relates to sider security, because there are alot of different technologies, a lot of companies, a lot of different ideasabout what constitutes sideer security and so they're, really three maincategories of soccersecurity. There's the network security, which is whatmost people think of, and I think the SOM security and really is networksecurity- is really all about keeping the bad guys off of your network orcontaining them when they get on your network. It gets a lot of investment.Money probably has the most bad press or good prieces. The case may bebecause the BAK guys keep trying to breach that you know the network, andso it's a very important part of citer. But it's not us. The second part ofSevar security of the second big category is endopoint security, whichhas been around for a long time even before that the whole security era. Butfor a long time it was really just antivirus io, your laptop or you knowother devices, but now it includes Iot includes configuration management andincludes mobile device management and Mobil content security. So it's also avery, very important part of cyber, but it's also not us. So the third denegoryis cloud and that's where we play so so. HOESIS focused on sober security, butwe're specifically focused in providing sime security in cloud environments andcloud could be private cloud. It could be public claber, it could be thehybrin environment and there are two things that we only two things that wereally spend our time on and Develo our products for the first one isprotecting the cloud workloat. The cloud work. Loane is basically the VMthat has all the critical Dava in it for the you know, for the company orwhatever the case may be, and whatever the organization is so. The workload isthe most important thing, especially in today's data protection era that we alllive in with GPR and other day protection. A legislation that's outthere so protect the workloade, and we do this by encrypting it and also my gofencing it, meaning that we can make that work. Closhe stay where you wantedto say, and then the second thing that we do is lock down the virtualinfrastructure that sits underneath the cloud and what I mean by this. Thismight sound a little bit esocharict. But what I mean by T that is under etoecloud, our virtual service storage network and people, we call them adminsor virtual admans or cloud addments and actually at the cloud Adaman is wheretwo thirds of all the breaches happen. So what we do is we lock that down witha whole package of access controls and other capabilities that are very unique.So those are the two things we focus on: Protecting Te worklote and lock youdown the virtual infrastruction. So that's he. I trust par and that'sprobably spent a little bit too long on that. But basically, my job is toestablish high trust in eras outside of North America, because for the longesttime the company was really focused in the US and maybe to a lesser egree inCanada and sinse. I joined the company a couple of years ago. We made thedecision to to provide a global...

...footprint for high trust and try tohelp customers for a headquarter outside of North America. Okay, THAT'SAL! That was really good and thanks for that, a minute that was a very, verycomprehensive undhestonding of the very proposition of which obviously lovebecause we've Di firount of work with you guys H. that's that's very useful.Thank you very much, but in term of the conversation kind of coming back to thepoint that we want to discuss, ther was, I was particuarly interested toinviteyou to Drin the podcast, because, obviously you are American. You arefrom the bay area, but I know from the work with them together that you havespent a lot of time not only in Europe but or tin, Asia and building up thebusiness from scratch and really what I'm an interesting to collect to themand Topiy that I want to stick to you about his is the journey of an Americancompany or Anemi American individual yourself. If you will, in the processof underfunding the local markets, where dod you start some of thechallenges, you came along the way so appreia. There is plots of things. Wedon't want to dig into too much details about all t e, the issues, the issuesand the problem that you come across, but patroty. What I'm interesting tounderstand is is your porspective from your American background in Yeorknowledge of the American market and kind of sessing the difficulties of thedifferences between your local markets and Democets, in which you are notsuccessful in but in which you had to storp from scratch. So maybe we hussometay, if you could give us some positive and negatives of thatexpension in Europe from an elable perspective, but w wit a pot for you,yeah yeah, that's fine! You know we is company. We have to look for an everycompany that wants to expand into a new market needs to look for some point ofleverage right. You want something that helps you list more than your ownweight. Otherwise you know you have to either hire a lot of salespeople oryou're going to have a very small, funnel and you're going to be. Very youknow very lasor focus on only a a couple of things and and either one ofthose lead you to a situation where you know you're ods of a big success or notvery good. So you have to find something that Heresso some differentways that will help you lift more than your own weight. That's usually comesin the form of some type of reseller channel. Could e potentially be astrategic partnership? You know something where a small companypartners with a bigger company and then you get the benefit of the biggercompanies relationships. So you know kind of business development type. Icould be an OEM situation where you actually sell your products through abeer company that maybe that company even brands year product so therere,these different different paths, I think tha. The least leverage comesfrom building a large sales force and you know immediately trying to selldirect into into European or even Asian markets, because companies outside theUS want to buy from somebody, that's local they want to buy for the mostpart they want to buy from somebody. That is, you know he tat's in country.That's you know that already has maybe that they already have a trusted bycell relationship with, so they don't have to renegotiate terms en enditionsetcetea. So again, you know there are good reasons for finding that leveragyand Winin, whichever it comes from. So That's interesting that because wealways took about the chicken an DAG, so we, when we engage with with ustatosthat are looking at expending their marketin in Europe. HEALWAS Ascaus, thequestions: Hey. Should I stougt by recruiting someone on the ground, orshould I stop by building up a channel and to be nest with you, Theanso thatwe give them is you should do a bit of boase and you should do it almost atthe same time, because the Chalnel is important, the Channe Willa, youpotentially shorten your selfcycles because you may find a reseller orsomeone wos get a relationship with that and user, and because there arereference with Tye and use, as you mentioned, they've got to come incondition and all that you can say six...

...months of sen cycles, which isfantastic, but so our recommendation is always to do a little bit of both atthe same time, how did you go about it with itrust? Well, if we comeo now whatyou said, because I agree with you, you really. I don't think you can only doone, but even if you only have one person they're going to have to findsome way to balance their time and the reason for that is the channel. Even ifthey share your view on the marketplace and the technology had sether up, theyneed to be shown that there's money or else they're not going to they're, notthey're, not going to invest they're, not going Ao, invest their time,they're not going to invest their you knowthe people's knowledge, becausethey're for profit organizations just the same way that you are so you haveto show them some the path to money and the way you do that is you go and youtalk to the customers. First, you find the anger customers and in this way,especially for a company like Hi Trust Tat had success in North America. Youlook at the cut. You look at the companies that are similar to the onesthat we had success with with some exceptions, but for the most part, forexample, financial services. We did very well in the United State with thatgovernment. We did very well in the United States with that now financialservices, a little faster time to time to value government, is always verylong time to value, but but typically when those deals Tart to happen, thenthey're very large and then healthcare in the Unite States to something thatwe did very well, not really a big opportunity and outside the US becauseof all the social ized medicine. However, theyare they're more and moreprivate, Dr Groups and things like that, that and big hospitals and and otherthings that need our experts and helping to lockdown the infrastructurefor healthcare. The same way we can for financial andfor and for government. Sothere is some market there and there are certainly some groups that need ourhelp, but even anybod you could think of life sciences like pharmaceuticalsand and medical devices. But in looking at,for example, Europe, we hade to look at some other vertical markets right wehad. We had to be pragmatic about it. You know in Europe it isn't just as inthe US we could live on just financial services, government and healthcare,but in in Europe we really had to. We had to look at manufacturingtransportation and retail, because those are still very, very strongmarkets that don't have incumbent vendors that do the things that we doso so that's one of the things that we did is we shifted our focus a littlebit to add markets that were specific to the geography and the other thing wetried to do was to focus down on not covering the entire continent. You knowmultiple continents right. You know the ENEA theater that many companies callit is the entire. You know continent of Europe, it's the condent of Africa andit's you know a big chunk. o of the Middle East. You know are basically aGulf region and in northern Africa. So you can't cover all that, especiallywhen you're just getting started. So you have to have primary markets, T e,Secondary Marcus and then those secondary markets. You can only beopportunistic, you can't be strategic mean you can't really be proactiveabout building channels. Ere You have to focus on. Your primary mark is firstthe ones a yare going to return on your investment faster or the ones. Youbelieve that you will return on your vesta faster, so those are some ofthose are some of the things that we we employed ar some of the thoughts thatwe employed when we entered the market, and I would say that you know I believewe were right on most of them, but some of them, some of them, you know, tooklonger than maybe we would. We would have light for them to so. But that'swhat we did. Okay, that's very interesting and out of all that whichwas your biggest change. What is the thing that you found the most difficultto avecome or the most challenging from doing thisiess, Noth America to DoingBusiness in Europe? Yeah therare a couple things I don't know which one'sthe biggest but I'll tell you one big...

...one, and then maybe I'll tell youanother one. So one big one is finding reseller partners that believe the sameway that high trust US and here's. What I mean by that. So I believe that achallent partnership in many ways has nothing to do with the technologyitself. I mean technology is important, but I believe that a successful channelpartnership is really based on kind of a balance sheet approach between youand the partner, and there are really three things that department needs andvender has to do all of those things. Or else you can't have a partnershipand the partner has to do three things and if they don't, then the vendorcan't have a good partership with that, and so here's SOE thinkng about thingssort of on in this. This balance she approachd on one side. What does thepartner need? The partner needs three things. You know when everything elsefails, tepartn these three things. He needs you to be able to uphold hismargin structure because all resellrs do business on margin and that at theend of the year, that's what the owners pay themselves on in you're, a smallcompany yourself. I'm sure that the margins on your business, not just thetop line, it's more importantly, it's the margin right. So A for our company.You run your business on the Marget, not on the top line, so number one youhave to uphold the march an structure of vatcom. You can't ask them to takeless margin than is normal. Second thing is you have to give themsomething new and cool, to talk to the customer about that's where thetechnology comes in, but it doesn't matter what that is t you just need togive them something that that holds holds water with a customer, so theycan walk in and say, I've got something really great. You need to see it. Thethird thing is you gotto give them away that they can that they can actuallyprovide services around your product, and the reason that this is soimportant is because they may two to three times the margin on services thanthey do want software hardware. So if you give them those three things, thenyou or if you, if you make those available to them in the Parmership,then you've covered off the fhace that you have. You know the foundationalface. You happend yeah, that's one thing: The flipside is for company,like contrast a company not in the marketplace yet just getting into themarket. There are three things we need from our part. One is, we need a widerfunnel, and that is we need them to go talk to customers. It would take us along time to find one of the reasons why we engage with you are really indenyour organizations, because we need to witen our funnel very, very quicklywhich we were able to do, but the parter can help you do that withcustomers that he already knows. So why don the FIL number one number, twoshort: The sale cicle. This is where, at the beginning of the cell cycle, thcuster doesn't know you t. If a trusted advisor comes in the w the partnerstrust the advisor comes in and says, I've got something really great. Youneed to see it. I've! Never steered you wrong before that really takes a lot ofthe education part out of the front part of the cell cycle that then Idon't have to deal with because the encest were trusted the resell. Thethird thing that we need are feed on the street right. We need peoplebesides my own people, talking about the product, you know talking tocustomers about it, possibly and providing services and support or theability to demonstrate the product. So that's the leverage that comes frommore people right. So if, if we get the three things we need and they get threethings saen, then you you have e basis for a good partership, but there's oneother thing, that's very important. So those things e are great and you canget a customer or harder to agree to that. But the partner has to believethemselves to be the type partner whose responsibility it is to bring the newinnovative technology to their customers and there's a very seems likea fine point. But it's not many partners only want to sell the tride inthe true right. You know the thing...

...trying to reas the things that are verywell known by the customers and the things thatare already being asked, forthey don't see themselves as Bradi the newthits, but some parners do and thoseare the ones that you need, especially if you're a new vendor coming into amarketplace. You need people that see things the same way that you do. I kindof call this sort of evangalist partner, so number one hard thing about enteringe markets, finding those guys, because you have to look for them just like you-have to look for sales people an other partner, so that was that was one ofthe main things I would say. The second main thing that was difficult for us aswe entered the market was because we really had no presence at all. We hadto establish presents with our strategic partners, especially Intel anvmwere where they really didn't know us, and they knew us in the US and theyknow us from a headquarter basis, but in the field they didn't know us at all.So it's taken a long time to you know, find the right people that we couldtalk to you there that understood our mission in just to the ROM ISSON andhow we would fit into it in ECO system, and so I would say, that's just beenroll up to sleeves kind of spade work if you will so those are the two thingsI would say that have been the most difficult as far as getting givin goingat the base challengees we found in expandy in Europe, okay, so so woul D,You say thinbut that you see you see a difference in the way the US channel isoperating the sus, the European channel, or was it just a question of buildingup this relationship at the beginning with the Europe and Patnos? I think itwas a matter of first of all, finding the Parkers tat that felt the same waythat we did, because you never know you have to cast your net very whit andtalk to a lot. U Talk to a lot of touch to a lot of people as the same tos kissa lot of frogs, and so you have to talk to you know. A lot of partners willapproach you, especially if you know they see you at a show or whatever, butthey a lot of them will waste your time, and so you need to you need to find outquickly. Are they the evanguelist that will help? You spread the word aboutyour product, or are they really looking for an easy sale because nostartup company, no young technology company, no private company- is goingto have something that is so easy, thati's just going to fly off theShelvs, and if it's that easy, then you don't even need a channel. You can justsell it through a retailer or you know some type of you know some type ofdirect marketing or you know something like that. So it's always going to besome real work, rolling up to sleeves and going and finding those customersthat you can help. I sort of think about this in that way right you haveto seek out those customers that that need you, but don't even know that theyneed you. It's almost like this is ot a religious reference. So please don'ttake it that way, but I think of it really more like the missionary, whohas to go out and seek out the unconverted, but the unconverted arethose companies that don't know that there's a technology that can help them,and so you have to find resellers and partners that believe the same way thatyou did the belief that finding those that the number one most importantthing is to find customers, you can help with your innovative technologiesand those those partners are very rare. So I will just tell you that you knowthat's that's one of the most difficult things you can't use models from the USbecause in the US, if you already have a business that has eas volume, thenthe resouls can they can take orders, and they can you know they don't havethey don't have for hard to be evanchelous for our your technology,but in a new market like Youre, a Perasia, you have to find the ones thatbelieve yeah, tabsolutely so very interesting. Fom in the response thatOu you gave me regarding the Chalenges, you don't mention the direct Sel FORSO.The direct people that you had to recruat is that because it was like a aflowless process for you. Is it because you rere creited people that you walkedwithin the past of people, that you know a that it, but is o reason why youdon't mention any challenge, but actually finding these first. I trustpeople on the ground, N Yin, a new theritory. No, it is a challenge andI'll tell you that I didn't mention it...

...only because I felt that you know whenI took this challenge on, I needed to understand what the market was going tobe like before I went out and found the people that you know we would be ableto. we be able to use TI, grow the teams and there's a reason for that. Ibelieve very strongly that you build the team to support the mission, notthe other way around yeah lot of people in Silicon Valley. A lot of companiessee at the different see it the other way. They basically say well, let'sjust assembl a team and then like them, Tel les figure out what what we shouldpoint them at, but I believe that nd, I believe this even more and more after anumber of different startof companies that I've been with over the years thatyou, the first thing you start with, is the fundamental problem that you'resolving with your technology. The second thing that you look at is: Whois the customer that I'm helping with this? The third thing you look at iswho's the person inside that customer who needs you right or it could be. Itcould be several different groups, but you need to identify tha person thatyou can make a hero out of if your technology works. The Fort Thing youlook at is: How do they want my technology to be packaged so they canconsume it. The fifth thing that you look at is how do they want to buy? WhoDo they want to buy it from like kind of a channel? You know direct Veon, theWeb, a service whatever that is, and then finally you not at you know yourchannel, in other words that last part and then the last thing is the team,and it should be the last thing because you need to have all these other thingssorted out before you build a team, otherwise you're building a team thatmay or may not fit the mission, and you know I will say that I have o I've beena chief revenue officer, I've Bein this CEO, you know, I've been I've, beenahead of sales for Co, sales marking, business development for a number ofstartup companies, and even more now, after all this time. I believe this tobe true, that you build a team appropriate to the mission, and sothat's why you know when it came to hiring. I didn't really worry about itin the early time I needed to understand the market. I meen ounderstand the mission and then you go and you find people that you think aregood, you know are a good fit and even when you feel like you have a goodunderstanding of that, you could be wrong. I will say that you know I waswrong in the initial fires I made in Asia, Pacific o. You know the peoplethat I hired. There were not start up. People and that's that's a criticalthing would bring me somebody into the company that' the company as stage thathontrust is that is they have to be flexible enough to deal with the thechallenges of what I call startup land, because it's not the same as bigcompanies where you have a lot of support and you have maybe a different expectations, etc. Sodafutely a that's very true. I mean we seen a case many time where individualweve been very successful in a larger organization, with a ITMORONTHEM arrivein the smaller organization, where you know Itto iito of the recruitment TAC,you need to have H, channel Atry to be a dark seles person. You almost need tobe a Swiss army knife. You need to be ready. There will be a new chalengecoming every day and sometimes a Caenge may be. You know bringing some milk inthe ofice or whatever it could be. It could be some city things, but it'sabout it's about being ready to walk, very inotonomy and I think that's verydifficult in loge organization, because you've got a lot of supot fromdifferent places. Okay, I've seen some people starting in Europe. You knowhaving to really do some neetegrity stuff and, and it takes a specificcharacter to be able to do so and and definity Aing, the Entrepreneua or the.I think some management exprience in the past an can very be very useful.We've also seen some opencoming, you know kind of people that may never haveproved themselves before in running an organization in Europe, but particularlin one of theen point company, one of the Big One we've seen one gay. It wascoming from anosor start of just as one of the top sens guy picking up hisfirst VP ENA roll and being very successful. So I think it's a mix ofBos. Sometimes you may need to look at...

...someone who's good to put in Shor DNAGand is angry to of Sheis 'n great to prove yourself for himself, andsometimes you need Toa someone. You could look at the Sagon profit, whichis that individual that has already done it in the past, but that's thereason why a to the question, because we know that it's a paying point formost of most of our clients coming into Europe and We'e, seen people makingmaking making the mistake- which I don't think you should be ashamed of,because it's it happens at some points you need to make a decision. The mostimportant is to make sure that if you make the wrong decision you can you canrectify it as quickly as possible, but look at that was very useful. I guessmy next question to you is really around Ou. Do our listener cand get intouch with you if they want to discuss about Hytra or they want to discusssome of your experience in Europe Apack and carrying the flag of itress in Tusneuterratory in e very successful way. So what is the best way to get in touchwith you, Pat Yeah sure so probaly? The best way is for the email me at PCO nteat Hitrocom peconty at Ijoscom, and you know if they want to reference thispodcast. I heard you on the podcast or en trested to talk more about thisparticular subject. I'm always happy to talk to companies, and you know, peoplethat are looking to enter markets and whatnot. I've done a lot of that kindof consulting and those types of things in my past and it look. It's not easyand I think that, ultimately, if you do one thing right in entering a newmarket as a company, it's to hire that first person hire the right firstperson and you're right what you said that they may need to be a Swiss armyknife. They may not ultimately be the person that grows and leaves theorganization Bhut they may be, and but the most important thing is they haveto have that that mentality that we were talking about before that sort ofthat missionary mentality and because you're going to you, know tyou're goingto hear a lot of nose. You're going to you know, you're going to run into alot of road blocks that are just naturally put up for you a lot offriction, and but you can't let that stop you if you believe in what you'redoing, if you believe that you can help customers with your innovativetechnology, then, and you won't, let that stop you and an here's. My analogyright, you know, there's there's different, you know the missionary hasreally one thing that makes them different and that is they do it forthe mission right I mean my Catholic school nuns used to call it missionaryseal so and that's what missionaries do they go out and because they believethat theyre they're there to help save people and again this is a religious.This is about saving people technologically, but remember, rememberif you're a crappy missionary, what happens to you, you cul kill the neatenby the natives right I mean that is o. So therefore, missionaries are fearlessbecause they don't they don't think about the negative consequence, becausethey're not there for a plus Minas they're there for the mission, and sowhen you hire people y. u need to hire people that you believe feel this wayand and little lots of people think they do. But I like to test peoplebefore I hire them and say: Look you know think about what this is going tobe like when things are good, you know and you're getting good response fromcustomers and things are moving forward and you're all energized and thinkabout it. When, when things e are not is good yeah, will you whil you be ableto keep your energy lovel lup where you be able to make that next call? Willyou be able to push through because the opportunities are there and Europe inparticular, is a phenomenal market and it is it's in many ways in many waysit's the best job in the company. I have to say I really enjoy being overthere. I enjoy talking to customers and prospects and all these differentcountries I enjoy the you know the challenge, the sort of the puzzle offinding a way to fit how our innovative technology can help these companiesthat may not even know about it and ilike working with world classcustomers. So you know it's a great opportunity. I'm still excited about it,even after even after the couple of years that have been, you know theheavy duty spad work, if you will, but...

...personally I like building companies,and so when you pick somebody you have to find somebody that is willing to do.The hard work is willing to do the the manual labor of company Bill and soSONA GAS TAT. That would be my last maybe comment and then I'm perfectlyhappy to talk to anybody who's interest unless you're, direcking, better andwhich case, if you buy me a drink on migt talk to you il say it's more like four. Five frommy onpustln experience, an tethatws again lots of things ID that I likesome of the enerergy that you've used. I think it all makes sense and yeah. Iwould encourage really anyone that may want to have a chat with someone andBounde Om, adies and but also looking at expending a US organization, or itcould even be an Australi vendom Asian vendor wetha vendor outside of Europe,trying to come into the market. I know that you are very sorough when youlooked at the different resetal distributor, what Modol, valvs, etc,etc, because we actually spoke about it in land a few time, so I think theywould really benefit from your expirence. I would brey encourage inyour forlisseners to to get in touch with you. They are looking at expandinggeographicpy, but you know, as of today, Pat Ir really appreciate your time andinside. So, thank you very much for today and yeah, as wit, I cousope wouldsee you son in London for one of the drinks yeah looking forward to that,and thank so much for inviting me. I really enjoyed it and you know I'lljust say goodbye to all your all your listeners. Thank you. operatics has we defined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies worldwide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams in househas existed for many years, companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see how aupeauperatics can help your company acceleratepipeline at operatics, dot net you've been listening to, b, to b revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime.

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