Knowing a country’s business culture is crucial for internationalization

The German market is confirmed as the most attractive for Italian SMEs, and despite the difficulties of the moment, companies are working to strengthen their presence in Germany.

From an economic point of view, Germany is the first trade partner for our country, both as a market for Italian exports and as a country of origin of imports to Italy.

For more than 20 years, Roncucci&Partners has been accompanying Italian companies in this complex and competitive market through a team experienced in the country and native speakers. This is because it is important to approach such a challenging context in a manner consistent with the local business culture.

We support our clients in finding business partners through customized solutions based on the company’s characteristics and business sector. In most export processes to Germany, we follow the scouting of potential customers or evaluate the opportunity for Italian SMEs to search for an agent in the territory.

It is necessary to consider some substantial differences of the commercial agent market in Germany compared to that in Italy.

First, the number of professional agents in Germany is one-third of the number in Italy. The reason for this is due to the fact that German companies tend to internalize their sales. Also, for this reason, almost all agents are multi-firm, because the figure of the one-firm agent is assimilated to a salaried sales resource.

Also, complex and varied is the issue of commissions, which average 3% but can vary depending on the sector, product and target market, ranging from a minimum of 1% to a maximum of 15%. For this reason, it is necessary to learn more about the market and carefully check the commission offered for your target sector.

Selecting and getting in touch with qualified profiles for one’s company is another issue to watch carefully. As Roncucci&Partners, we have partnered with the main trade association that brings together German commercial agents. This allows us to conduct an active search for profiles, as well as disseminate a search announcement in our partner’s main communication channels.

The company that intends to export its products to Germany can enjoy the fact that the agent:

  • Has knowledge of the market and is a native speaker of the country that must be penetrated;
  • Is able to develop sales according to the needs of the exporting enterprise;
  • Has potentially already an established customer portfolio;
  • Allows the company to maintain its own leaner structure;
  • Allows the firm greater control over its customers, to whom the firm sells directly.

Some industries benefit from the presence of a skilled and qualified agent who can offer a consultative approach to selling the often technically complex or highly customized product or solution. These include the medical, automation and robotics, chemical, IT, and green technology sectors.



Anke Reichert e Giacinta Acerbi

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