The background I represent a small Australian software developer. We have been working with our clients over here for 9 years on a product suite which is a worlds first for the targeted industry.
It has several "sub products" that make up the suite (think execl/word as part of office but all playing together on the one format). The suite is now far more powerful (the whole being greater than the sum of the parts) than any of the competition ... the final component is the key "magic" that makes it all work.
It has now proven and rolled out in Australia to the largest player in our market (representing around 80% of the total market). We have also got around 60 other sites using various combinations of the sub products from the overall solution ... so it is well established technology.
We have a few runs on the board sales wise, 1 in Canada and 5 in the USA but are now looking at how to "go to the next level" and sell to large groups in the US.
The products are installed per site/group of clients at this stage with about 2-3 weeks of integration with "surrounding systems", it has the chance to be a Saas offering but isn't yet.
The question :
How should we go about taking our product to the US?
Any other ides?
INTERNATIONAL MARKET PENETRATION.
I was siting the other day and telling my father - of 85 - that with technology trends today, it would be just as easy for me to start up an international enterprise as it was for him to open regional offices.
My point that I am trying to make is that you really just need a proper:
a) Marketing Plan followed with a proper
b) Sales plan.
It sounds to me as if you need to do proper research about your overseas market. You have a superior product - and that is great, well done - , BUT does your market want a superior product, or simply a basic one that gets the job done.
With my experience, I have found that software companies tend to want to create the most powerful and impressive systems. We tend to try and build windows 8 while the target market still want a slower less impressive windows XP.
Lets use a weird example, just because it is fun:
We tend to want to design systems that can shampoo the cat while feeding the dogs at the same time. Although this is all good and well, sometimes your customers simply want a product that remembers the cats name in a "cute and cuddly" way.
Do the research needed to make and informed decision for your specific field.
From this basic information you can start making informed choices on if you want to penetrate the market, as well as how you want to go about doing so. O, and please remember its not about making projections into a 5 year timeline, its simply about figuring out how to make your monthly quota. In other words.
Figure out what you need to sell in a year to make it viable, then figure out how you will reach your target per month. When you know that to do per month. Work your backside off to make it happen.
Read a few sales books to stimulate your mind, I would suggest you try:
How to sell your way through life - Napoleon Hill
http://www.amazon.com/How-Sell-Your-Through-Life/dp/0910882118 Good luck with your expansion, I'm sure things will turn out for the best.