With more than a decade of experience, Neil Carpenter, Chief Revenue Officer, has seen the global expansion journeys of our team, our company, and our clients. We talked to him about building out a global sales team and his perspective on international growth.
Let’s start with background: How long have you been with SafeGuard and what roles have you taken on?
Neil Carpenter (NC): Been with the company for 11 years now! My anniversary was just last month and I’ve enjoyed every bit of the journey so far. We started as a team of just eight of us, and we’ve seen fantastic growth year over year in terms of our size. I’ve gotten to wear a lot of different hats in the business: I went from a Sales Development Representative to an EMEA Sales Manager, to a General Manager and SVP of Payroll. Now I’m in my role of Chief Revenue Officer overseeing our international sales team from our global headquarters in Austin, Texas.
That’s amazing! So, how many people are on the international sales team now?
NC: Over 25 and growing all the time!
What was the push to hire teammates around the world?
NC: Being a global business and operating internationally, we wanted to give our clients the best service possible. The market told us that we needed to grow and expand our reach beyond domestic sales, so we started looking. With a huge talent pool to explore, we were able to see different markets and costs of doing business there. We were able to get a pulse on where we’re needed most.
Is that the trend for most companies now?
NC: Absolutely. Today, more than 50% of US-based businesses are going global and it doesn’t matter the size. There are a ton of ways to support a global workforce: Whether you have five employees or 20,000 employees, technology and communication have evolved in a way that supports expansion around the world and it’s a really cool thing to see.
Why do you think that is?
NC: The world is a smaller place now! With technology, freedom of movement, and the ease of looking at new revenue streams, it’s easier than ever to explore options internationally. It opens up huge talent pools, too. Look at Asia, for example: the talent pool is plentiful and the market potential there is huge!
What are the other benefits you’ve seen, first hand, when taking a company global?
NC: Our benefits have been huge. When working just domestically, we were able to see only a small fraction of the market. Since expanding, and continuing to do so every year, we’ve been able to penetrate mass new market opportunities for new sales and deliver a more cost-effective product to our clients as well.
What was hardest part of getting to that point in the journey of expansion?
NC: The hardest parts are compliance, the time it takes to get in a country, and understanding culture in the places you expand to. With compliance, we needed to navigate countries’ laws and how to avoid the massive fines an organization can face or being blocked entirely from ever entering that country. With the nature of our business, that was easier, but it can still be a minefield of unknowns that totally derail plans if you’re not prepared.
Finally ready to explore a new market? With Global Employment Outsourcing, hiring internationally is simple. We act as the “employer of record” for your international employees. Safeguard Global is responsible for all statutory employment requirements within each country, ensuring operating compliance for employee and client. This leaves you to manage the day-to-day activities of the employee and focus on your business.