If you want to grow your business, expanding into new markets is essential.

This is can be a complicated process, involving a significant amount of planning and a number of steps, but perhaps the most important factor determining whether your venture ends in success or failure is the extent to which you can utilize your sales team.

Salespeople are your boots on the ground, the personnel doing the hard work of cold-calling potential clients, taking meetings to explain the benefits of your products and services, and growing the relationships you already have with existing customers.

If you’re going to enter a new market, you need to make sure your team is up to the task, so here are a few tips that can help you get started.

1. Lead by Listening

After years of building a devoted customer or client base in one area, too many companies make the mistake of believing they can simply recycle the same strategy and see the same results somewhere else.

Every city or region has its own character and its own local players. If you want to make a strong entrance, start by listening to experts and gathering information about local market dynamics. This will you give you an edge when you decide to make your move.

2. Hire Local Talent

One of the easiest ways to handle a transition into a new market is simply by making sure part of your team is locally based. Hiring salespeople who already know the region will save you time, and can help you avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings.

For example, if you’re opening a new location or starting to court business in the Greater Toronto Area, get in touch with a recruitment agency in Toronto that can help you fill out your team’s roster with people who know your industry and have the connections and knowledge needed to navigate the local market.

3. Identify Your Ideal Customer

Identifying the target demographic is always important when expanding a business, so use your research to come up with a profile for your ideal customer.

If you’ve opted to hire local sales reps, make sure to get their feedback on the best demographics to target. This will help you focus your efforts and maximize your penetration.

4. Aim for Steady Growth, Not a Meteoric Rise

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your expansion into a new market won’t happen overnight. Give your sales team the time they need to spread the word and generate interest, and don’t lose hope if things move slower than you expected.

It’s far better to slowly grow a dedicated base of clients than to see massive growth that collapses within a couple of years.

Opening up a new geographic market can be a huge opportunity for any brand trying to build a national reputation. But it comes with plenty of potential pitfalls, which is why it is essential to make sure your sales team is up to the challenge.

Market research, hiring local sales representatives who know the market, identifying your targets, and staying focussed on long-term growth will help you position yourself for maximum impact.