Gengo-dō: Building a world-class sales team
Gengo started with a novel idea and a single location in 2007. Today, we’re a global community made up of over 50 team members, 21,000+ translators and thousands of clients in almost every country on Earth. For a company that’s so inherently global, it also makes sense that our team doesn’t belong to any one nationality or country.
This month, we highlight our sales department made up of individuals spread across four different time zones. On a daily basis, they actively engage with prospects and support customer projects from start to finish. Let’s take a look at the evolution of our sales program over the years.
Tokyo is where the company had its beginnings, and continues to be the site of our Japan sales team to this day. Back when we launched in 2009, we didn’t even consider the possibility of a global sales team. But as we’ve scaled, our team has adapted to accommodate a quickly growing customer base. And while our Japan sales team is still going strong to this day, much of the team is now based in other countries.
We learned early on that much like our global translator community, our customer base is comprised of brands of all different sizes, countries and industries.
In 2012, we opened our second office location in the Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the tech industry. Today, our San Mateo office serves as the main hub for the Gengo sales program.
Last year, we made the decision to put our team where a large percentage of our customers are—Europe. In London, we have sales representatives on the ground, attending key industry events and nurturing relationships with our EU-based partners and clients.
This close physical proximity to our European-based customers allows us provide quick and speedy support whenever needed.
Last September, we opened our third office in Manila to meet the needs and expectations of our growing customer base and translator community.
Since then, our Manila sales program has grown tremendously, with nearly a dozen individuals working around the clock to provide world-class service and support.
Tips for running a world-class sales team
Growing and managing an international team in multiple countries is by no means an easy feat. Having employees scattered throughout the world adds a new dimension of complexity. Fortunately, today’s technology makes it much more accessible.
Spencer, our Director of Global Sales, shares a few tips he’s learned along the way:
- Constant communication
With a considerable time difference between all of our offices, it takes more than just email to get things done. We use several tools to connect and stay organized, including Slack for messaging, Zoom for video conferencing, Basecamp for projects and more. Whenever our hours overlap, we open up a video portal between the offices to feel like a single team.
Another great way to stay connected is by setting up common dashboards. This provides visibility into teams and activity throughout the organization. Global dashboards help everyone everywhere to stay informed, as well as a key component to understanding what a global sales organization is and should be.
Having a universal process, playbook and proper documentation helps codify the steps so everyone stays on the same page.
Keep trying new things, find out what works, openly communicate what doesn’t, and strive for constant process improvement.
From the beginning, we’ve made it our mission to make it simple for people anywhere to get translations online, and having a global sales team helps make that a lot more achievable. Over the years, we’ve listened closely to our client voices, executed swiftly and scaled our team to provide world-class support for all of our customers anytime, anywhere.
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