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You would like to expand to across the border and explore new markets. But doing business in other countries is an expensive path to tread, full of practical and legal obstructions. You must be able bridge the gaps between commercial cultures, languages, time zones, and currencies. Often, working with resellers is a good solution. They know all about the local markets and have valuable networks. The problem is, however, that they don’t know your products. This is a major impediment, because it means you will need a solid office sales department to support those resellers. And you still have to deal with the differences in time zones and languages too. The communication among the various parties tends to get stuck on the differences between normal office hours and the available staff who can speak the required languages. As a result, it can be quite tricky for your resellers to produce quotes quickly and that, in turn, can reduce your appeal as a vendor. And the longer a quoting procedure takes, the greater the chance of errors – because the price of materials might change in the meantime. Moreover, differences in language and currency can produce a lack of clarity and misunderstandings: Were you dealing in gallons or liters? Was the price quoted in dollars or euros?
Lots of e-mails with lots of chances for things to go wrong. The product contains options that turn out to be prohibited in that country and you only discover the errors in the quote after everything has already been put into production. Or perhaps your product does not meet the customer’s expectations because your reseller’s communications were not quite clear enough, so your customer refuses to accept the product, which causes a great deal of confusion with resellers and customers who are far away. The result is that you end up paying for all the costs.
Sofon is indespensible if you want to do business on an international level. Sofon is a limitless, international solution that makes all the information on your products rapidly available to resellers, who can then produce error-free quotes 24/7 in their own language and currency without expensive, time-consuming commercial support from you.
You create knowledge models of your products in the languages you need and with all of the cultural elements that could have an effect, such as: (legal) regulations that apply in a certain region or country and prices that are in keeping with the local negotiation culture. As a result, you will have an accurate source of information 24/7 for each region or country that your resellers can consult.
Your resellers can login to the Sofon server whenever it is convenient for them. With the aid of a questionnaire in their own language, they can put together an error-free quote. The quote is automatically composed in the language and currency used in the region or country in question. The resellers cannot select any options that are prohibited in their markets. The quote is always correct. The resellers can produce as many versions of the quotes as they want, whenever they want.
The essence of the solution is that your resellers can work independently. In reality, what you do with the help of the Sofon solution is send your resellers quotes informing them what products can be bought from you for what price. After that, the arrangements that the resellers make with their customers – the promises they make and the discounts they offer – are entirely up to them.
The resellers are also responsible for their quotes and, in turn, for any errors they might make. For instance, if a reseller forgets an option and the customer then neglects to read the order confirmation carefully, they cannot hold you to account for the delivery of a product that is missing a part or for the wrong product.