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Written by Catherine Pearson Content Writer
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22 Oct 2019  |  Expanding Internationally

Expanding Internationally: The Stats Behind Selling to New Geographies

6 minute read

We’ve conducted research across hundreds of decision makers in SaaS companies based in the UK and Europe to bring you insight into the ways SaaS companies grow. In this blog, we’ll be digging into the successes and difficulties experienced when expanding into the international market so you can decide if this is a growth route for your company. With data-led insight from our SaaS Commerce Trends: 2020 Report, we show you how your business can take off!

Looking to expand internationally? It’s a tried and tested route to growth, but that doesn’t mean it’s a quick and easy process.

When looking to expand the reach of your product to other countries, it's crucial to do your market research first. Scoping out local taste and requirements is key. After all, you need to ascertain if there’s a desire and/or need for your solution in other countries and to what extent your product would need to adapt to best serve this new market.

Next, you need to focus on making these changes. This would include any language translation, changes to messaging and localizing pricing.

It’s a painstaking process, but for many SaaS companies its more than worth it. Let’s take a look at the data behind this route to growth.

The average impact of expanding internationally on revenue growth is 13%

As we introduce in our blog SaaS Growth Strategies: The Five Stars Framework, we’ve identified 5 key growth levers to grow your SaaS company. 

These are:

  • Moving Upmarket

  • Moving Downmarket

  • Expanding Internationally

  • Expanding your Product Suite

  • Optimizing Monetization

We surveyed hundreds of SaaS companies (all with between 1 and 500 employees) and, based on each company’s experience with expanding internationally, we found that the average impact of this growth lever on revenue growth is 13%.

Here’s the impact that the other growth levers were discovered to have on revenue growth:

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We know what you’re thinking. It’s hardly topping the list. However, through overseeing the checkouts of thousands of SaaS companies, Paddle is seeing businesses leveraging this growth lever more and, in many cases, to great success.

SaaS companies who’ve expanded internationally are perceived as more mature companies

We asked SaaS companies who’ve already made the move to expand internationally what the biggest successes were when taking this route to growth.

Around two fifths of SaaS companies who expanded internationally cited successes including better external perception, less reliance on a single country and new immediate sources of growth. 

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Interestingly, when we asked SaaS companies who haven’t already expanded internationally if they plan to in the next 12 months, the result was almost split - although overall more companies stated that they would be moving their product into more geographies.

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Selling to new geographies can be a step into the unknown

We wanted to know the difficulties of moving into new geographical markets as experienced by SaaS companies who’ve been there and done it. 

The results of our survey revealed that adapting to the needs of a foreign market was the most frequently experienced difficulty by a considerable margin, seen by over a third of SaaS companies as the most difficult aspect of expanding internationally.

We asked: What have you found to be most difficult about expanding internationally?

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There’s a lot to consider when expanding internationally - not only if its the right move for your company, but also the fiddly aspects like pricing, currency and international sales tax. Learn more about the 5 growth levers and see how Paddle can eliminate the hassle of selling to other countries with our SaaS Commerce Trends: 2020 Report.

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