Last month, Verb announced an exciting step in our company journey: the commencement of our Japan operations. That means we now offer in-country, native language sales and support for our interactive video-based CRM application; we also expect to offer a small-business version of the app soon, as well as our much-anticipated verb LIVE application.
Getting into Japan is a huge step for Verb, as it signals the launch of our global expansion strategy. We want to make our innovative platform available to businesses around the world—in addition to the European and South American markets we’re already part of—so that everyone can take advantage of our unique business tools.
As a U.S.-based company, we’ve taken steps to establish our place as a leader in technology in our own market. Now that we’re in a secure position, we’re continuing to carry our success to other strong economic markets, and Japan is at the top of that list.
Additionally, Verb has several trusted clients who are already doing great business in Japan, so this is a great opportunity to expand on the features we currently provide for them, as well as to facilitate the needs of a larger portion of their customers.
“We are very confident that our partnership with Verb Japan will be the catalyst needed that not only helps get us through this time, but also puts us on a trajectory of customer acquisition and retention like we’ve never seen before.” – Scott Murdoch, General Manager, Japan division of Sisel International, a current VERB enterprise client
The direct sales industry has a long history in Japan, and our research shows that while several of our clients in the direct sales space have major revenue streams originating in Asia, only a small percentage of distributors there had access to our platform. We’re ready to close that gap by providing innovative sales solutions to an incredibly large, already existing salesforce.
Built for Expansion
While other tech companies have experienced difficult growing pains when attempting to translate their products to other cultures, the Verb platform is optimized for wide-scale adaptability. For example, Japan boasts strict regulations regarding solicitation and the use of private data, which could be a deterrent to some sales tools. However, as the Verb platform was developed to allow users to leverage current relationships rather than fishing for unknown prospects, that legislation hasn’t proved to be an issue.
Another key advantage on our part is that Japan is known for its a mobile-first society, a trait that is ideal for taking advantage of Verb’s mobile tools. This is especially true due to the fact that there was a total lack of effective, mobile direct sales solutions on the market. Our features are uniquely suited to fill in that void by providing content sharing, sampling and other sales tools, right from the palm of the user’s hand.
In the words of Kazuhisa Haginaka, Chief Marketing Officer, Integrity Japan (a new VERB client), “We believe that this partnership and VERB’s industry leading technology will help us differentiate our product offering and empower our team to engage clients in the way clients want to engage.”
Overcoming Cultural Challenges
That’s not to say that the process has been completely without its challenges, however. Verb’s entrance to one of the largest global economies was almost a year in planning and required the expertise of local professionals, particularly those skilled and experienced in the development and implementation of business ventures in Japan by American companies.
This was critically important, as Japan has a unique business culture and Verb was completely dedicated to adapting our platform to fit the needs of local users. We took great steps to ensure that we completely localized our products—and not just in regard to language translations. Employing local, business-savvy teams to culturally review our offering allowed us to make sure that our products were a great fit for users in Japan on every level.
For example, our original, U.S. product helps users connect with contacts on a personal level, generally by using their first name (“Hey Katie, I wanted to reach out…”). However, in Japan, family names (surnames) are used first. Correcting this for the Japanese market required new code, but it was vital to the use of the app in that region.
As we continue to learn and grow, we’ll continue to make localization efforts that enhance the overall value and user experience of the platform.
What’s Next for Verb?
Further global expansion is just the beginning of a bright future for Verb. Over a million people have been exposed to our product in just one vertical—network marketing, which represents one of the most dynamic and complex sales environments in the world. Next on the horizon? Taking our expertise and knowledge to other sales verticals through Verb for Sales. “We’re having great success with Verb for Sales, and we’ll be a great fit for every SaaS, technology or pharmaceutical company whose sales team could use a mobile-first strategy,” said Nick Hoggan, our Chief Revenue Officer.
Interested in learning more about how your company can benefit from Verb’s innovative platform? Contact us for a demo!