How a foreign manufacturer can establish a sales network in Germany

Establishing new sales structures in Germany can be quite complex for foreign manufacturers. There are a number of possibilities to enter the German market. Typically, you can differentiate between two main strategies:

Working with a sales partner:

  • Collaboration with a general importer
  • Use of existing multi-brand dealer networks
  • Cooperation with a sales partner or integration in a shop-in-shop system

Developing solutions for direct sales:

  • Centralised sales through e-commerce platforms combined with a Germany-wide service network
  • Establishment of a dedicated sales organisation or flagship stores
  • Establishment of a dedicated franchising system
  • Decentralised direct sales organisations

This list can be extended or complemented with the addition of hybrids. To some extent, various models can follow upon one another within the context of a step-by-step development of a sales network. Transitioning is usually a very difficult task. This is one reason for adopting the correct approach from the very beginning so as to achieve the desired results quickly.

Our consulting experience in the field of sales of high value mobile assets is: it is worthwhile to look beyond business segment boundaries. There are many possibilities for partnerships between different business sectors in establishing a sales network. The special features of the product and its best distribution need to be taken into consideration, of course. Since “new territory” is being developed here, a risk strategy is essential for survival. Therefore:

  • The sales partner has to be verified
  • There need to be clear delivery and service contracts
  • Adequate / Available financing structures need to be established

Our expertise in developing sales networks for foreign manufacturers has shown that a many options are advantageous. So a foreign manufacturer can select a “suitable path”, which coordinates the manufacturer’s sales strategy and resources as well as the functioning distribution channels in Germany. Here, we would recommend a step-by-step roll-out plan, a quick pilot study…and a great deal of perseverance.

If you are interested in further information, please contact us.