How to sell software services internationally/worldwide?

How to sell software services internationally/worldwide?

Naturally, software companies are bound for global expansion, and there are many promising opportunities coming in. The advantage of SaaS companies is that they can win customers from pretty much anywhere and serve them from anywhere. Selling software services internationally can be a complex endeavour, but businesses can effectively do it by carefully planning their strategy and localising software.

The problem is that a truly global company cannot cater to every market it serves with a single generic solution. The customers would want their solutions to be tailored to local needs. So, software localisation is the best way you can adopt to sell your software services globally. In this article, you will learn about it in detail.

What is software localisation?

Software localisation can be defined as the process by which software is adapted to the end user’s culture and language, including everything from measurement standards to video and graphic design. The software is made to appear and feel natural to the intended user. The process does not simply involve translating the software so that users know which buttons to click. 

Along with the software’s user experience, it also concerns modifications made to the design elements, like the button’s size and placement on the page. It might even be necessary to make backend code changes to allow employees in different places to administer and update the software. In the next section, you will learn how to localise the software successfully.

Tips for successful software localisation

To leverage the benefits of software localisation and sell your software services internationally, you should consider localising all the elements of your software in a way that caters to worldwide users. Make sure that any changes you make to your software are well thought out and done correctly, as they could be impacted by anything from currency symbols and units of measurement to geopolitical risks. Some of the most important things to consider when starting a software localization project are listed below.

1. Be careful with the writing and text systems

When you consider localising a program, remember that the writing and text systems impact it. As said earlier, it is not just about translating the software to the user’s language; it should also handle the various character encoding standards and orientations, such as those for right-to-left languages like Arabic. 

  • When you localise software for areas where such languages are spoken, you must change not only text fields but also resource files such as menus, dialogue boxes, and action buttons, as well as user interface files such as localised strings.
  • It is essential to understand how the differently aligned language will appear on the screen and how that will affect how the program works. 
  • Understanding how native language users engage with written content is also crucial for optimising the experience.

2. Localise the graphic design

Not just language; the non-linguistic elements in the user interface of your software should be carefully considered. The symbols and images in it should be examined to make sure that they make sense to the target demographic and are not offensive to them in any way. Otherwise, when misused, it can cause great confusion. 

Sometimes, the functions of buttons or symbols can be misinterpreted. Even the choice of images can be controversial in some countries. So, your symbolism must be free of anything controversial or religious. Make sure to localise graphics that will not appeal to your target audience. 

3. User experience (UX)

Pay attention to how information is arranged when users interact with your product while concentrating on what they see and read. It can vary significantly across cultures. For instance, Japanese users frequently want sidebars, information boxes, and hyperlinks to provide them with additional options and information on a given page. A simpler, more American-style layout could make them feel as though they do not have enough information to move forward. It might seriously harm your conversion rates.

  • User research should always come first before you make any assumptions about your software. 
  • Speak with as many individuals as you can in your intended market, and gather examples of rival products and successful apps in the language you plan to use. 
  • Pay close attention to the quantity of text and information provided, the positioning of action buttons and form fills, and the information that is usually grouped on a page. 
  • If your software has desktop and mobile versions, remember to do this for them as well. 
  • To help you organise your product in a way that makes users feel comfortable, your research should reveal the unwritten rules that govern software design in that market.

4. Localise SEO

Software localisation also includes localising SEO. It means your software should have effective multilingual search engine optimisation. The way people from various countries do keyword research can vary greatly. So, you have to do exhaustive keyword research, which means you need more than just translating your keywords. Latin Americans search for information in a different way than European Spanish speakers do. A list of highly effective keywords for the US, Canada, some Latin American nations, Portugal, and Brazil might translate poorly to the UK, France, or Spain.

  • Respecting the most widely used search engine in each country is also essential. 
  • While Google reigns supreme in the West, Yandex is still the search engine of choice in Russia and is starting to gain traction in other nations such as Turkey. 
  • Baidu is the indisputable search king in China. Additionally, if your strategy is solely focused on Google, you might not show up in Yahoo or Bing searches.
  • It is also a good idea to keep an eye on search engine updates. Search engines are always working to update and improve their algorithms for returning results, which could result in your rankings changing suddenly.

5. Localise customer service and sales teams

Along with offering your services, you should also make efforts to localise your customer service and sales teams. Your marketing, support systems, and sales teams must all be localised if you want to serve global markets as successfully as possible. As you are aware, SaaS companies provide services online, and clients are typically less likely to put their trust in foreign businesses. 

However, fostering that trust can be significantly aided by delivering excellent, locally relevant customer service. Make sure your bilingual employees can respond to customer service requests in their native tongue.

Expanding your software services company internationally may present opportunities unavailable in your home market. But you should make several considerations, like software localisation, not to make a deal breaking blunder when you sell your services internationally. Make sure to follow the tips listed in the article to successfully expand your business overseas. If necessary, get professional advice from software localisation services.

Interesting Links:

Check out the 4 traps you need to avoid while selling software services abroad

How can software services be sold across several regions?

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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