Export Sales Manager: Employee Vs Freelance

2 min read –

Expanding into Asian markets presents a significant growth opportunity for European businesses.

Choosing the right strategy is crucial for success. Let us compare two approaches:

1- Having full-time sales managers based in your headquarters
2- Engaging freelance sales executives based in Asia

✅ Advantages of an employee ✅

1. An employee better aligns with the company’s goals and strategies. Regular communication is easier to manage.

2. He typically has a deeper understanding of the product, its unique selling points, and the company’s history, leading to better sales pitches.

3. He can foster long-term relationships with clients, as he becomes the consistent face of the company.

❌ Drawbacks of an employee ❌

1. High costs: salaries, benefits, training, and regular travel expenses add up.

2. A European-based manager faces challenges adapting to the local Asian culture and market nuances, reducing his chance of success.

3. The time required to travel back and forth delays decision-making and responsiveness.

✅ Advantages of a freelance ✅

1. It eliminates the need for a full-time salary and benefits.

2. A freelancer has an intrinsic understanding of the local culture and business practices, leading to quicker establishment of trust with clients and, therefore sales.

3. Freelancers can be engaged as needed, you pay only for the services rendered.

❌ Drawbacks of a freelance ❌

1. Ensuring remote a freelance adheres to your company’s standards and strategies requires robust communication.

2. He might juggle multiple clients, possibly leading to divided attention and lower effectiveness.

3. He might not always be ready when needed, which could disrupt activities.

Both solutions offer distinct advantages and drawbacks.

You don’t necessarily need to make a difficult choice.

💡 You can mix the 2 solutions and get the best of each.

At CINTASIA, we believe that in only 30-40% of the cases, you must send your employee on the ground for a business trip.

For example for firm price negotiation, highly technical clarification, or signing a contract.

In 60-70% of the cases, a local representative will do well.

The difficult part is to have this strategy accepted by your home-based sales managers.

If they disagree or if they don’t approve the choice of the local freelancers, that will not work.

At first sight, sales managers may dislike the idea, they might see freelancers as competitors.

But tell them to look closer, this is an opportunity for them to :

➡ Cover more countries, raising their influence.
➡ Use their time only for high-value-added missions, reinforcing their role.

At CINTASIA, we are convinced that flying people around the world for unimportant meetings is a practice of the past.

Contact us to discuss how we can make your sales and marketing more effective in Asia.

PS: Are you “Team Freelance” or “Team employee”? let us know at bonjour@cintasia.com or on Linkedin (link below).