Selling in India cannot be done without a strong local sales team

Client Speak
LI Ping HR Director / BHS Corrugated Machinery(Shanghai) Co.Ltd

Strong support in recruitment
M+V is very professional in India HR market. They were able to provide us with strong support in our recruitment. We are satisfied with their service.

Falk Tzchichholz Sales Manager Export / Kjellberg Vertrieb GmbH

Incubation solution
With the incubation solution from Maier + Vidorno , we successfully placed our products in the Indian market and established valuable product market presence, which we can now build on further with our subsidiary

Andreas Dauerbock Quality Assurance / Voestalpine Grobblech GmbH

BIS registration project
The BIS registration project went smooth and efficient. We are very satisfied with the way the documentation, communication and inspection on-site was handled from the Maier+ Vidorno Team. We are happy to recommend working with M+V in India – with the expert’s advice you will need.

Rajesh Nath Managing Director / VDMA India Services Pvt Ltd German Engineering Association

Competent Partner
India has great investment potential for foreign companies if you manage the highly complex business environment professionally. Our experience shows – Maier+Vidorno is a competent partner to efficiently set up and run business.

Bjoern Becker Export Sales / Jumo GmbH & Co KG

Market Presence and Profitability
The cooperation of JUMO and Maier+Vidorno is a success story in India since 2008. Our sales, market presence and profitability in India shows constant growth. M+V knows about the challenges foreign companies face while doing business in India – and provides hands-on solutions.

Rene Pluss CFO, Member of the Board / Regent Beleuchtungskorper AG

Business Diagnostic and Implement Improvement
Maier+Vidorno understands business challenges in the Indian business environment and provides solutions with the help of its experts. M+V has experience in running business diagnostics and implement improvement and expansion strategies in various industries in India.

    Selling in India cannot be done without a strong local sales team But how do you create such a winning sales team in India

    How do you create such a winning sales team in India?

    Amazon, Walmart and Apple. In 2020, all three of them will target one of the fastest growing economies in the world via their aggressive sales team in India. And that’s not surprising! Despite a lot of hiccups in the Indian economy, India is expecting structural economic growth in the medium term. Additionally, India is rapidly digitizing, putting the value of the Indian e-commerce market at around 200 billion dollars by 2025.

    In short, this is a good time to enter the Indian market. To make your market entry a success, you need a good sales team. The country is almost as big as Europe. Therefore, without local support of sales team in sales and distribution you won’t be able to serve all regions in India. Knowledge of international sales is not enough. Take the recent example of Uber. It had to sell its Indian UberEats branch to its main, Indian competitor Zomato. This shows that you need to know the Indian consumer well in order to succeed as a company. So what would be the best way to organize sales?

    How do you start a sales team in India?

    A traditional sales team in India normally consists of several managers: national, regional and local sales managers. At the top of the chain are the national sales managers. They define the sales strategy, maintain relationships with key customers and coordinate the entire sales process. The regional sales manager is in charge of coordinating and negotiating with distributors, after-sales and inventory. Because India is so large, sales managers of a sales team, often divide the country into 4 regions: North, West, South and East. The regional sales managers are responsible for one of these regions. Further, they appoint local manager within these regions, who have the responsibility ‘on the ground’.


    Search for a manager who can find Indian customers

    If you’re just taking your first steps on the Indian market, you won’t usually start with such a big sales team. It’s therefore crucial that in the start-up phase you work with a local manager. He will have a lot of experience with your specific product segment. Besides, he will have a good understanding of how to market that product in India. The fact that this manager has never worked as a national sales team manager before doesn’t even matter that much. It is more important that this person can find Indian customers, set up the (online) sales, know-how distribution works in India and dares to take responsibility himself instead of delegating tasks to others.

    Selling in India without a national sales manager?

    If you have found the right sales man or woman, do not immediately designate them as national sales manager. Not even if he or she will eventually lead your sales team. In India, these titles are linked to a specific salary. For example, the national sales manager has an average income of more than €50,000 per year. In addition, you create the expectation that he or she will be supported in his or her work by a team of regional and local sales team managers, while you want to wait a little longer.


    What are the alternatives? Give this first salesperson the title of business development manager. This position in India has exactly the same tasks as a national sales manager. However, this will be without the generous price tag and expectation of the support of a structured sales organization. Your first man or woman can gain experience in this way to eventually reach the position of national sales manager. This way, you will have the money left over to grow the sales team at a leisurely pace.

    Another option is to choose a business incubator. This is a low-threshold and cost-efficient way to set up a sales office in India. That too, without having to register your own entity. You can fully rely on the existing structures and people we have in India for the export to India and the internal sales processes. Besides, you are not legally responsible and do not have to incur costs (compliance, audits, etc.) normally associated with setting up an office. It is therefore the safest way to explore the Indian market and grow in a flexible way.

    More information about business incubator can be found here.