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What is the root cause of sluggish sales, high churn and low profits for enterprise infotech in Japan?

CEOs of venture-funded and public firms grapple with the tremendous pressure to grow the business each and every quarter.

Sluggish Revenues, No Momentum

The figure depicts a common situation for enterprise software companies in Japanese markets: sluggish growth, negligible ARR growth, and lots of well-reasoned excuses.

The figure also depicts revenue acceleration of the main software company, introducing new products and services to its global portfolio.

However, Japan continues to flatline. They struggle getting new accounts, landing and expanding, and retaining the business.

In our work with US and EU software firms that sell into Japan markets, we find three contributing factors to sluggish growth and churn:

  • Underperforming country managers
  • Missing business capabilities
  • Weak teamwork / talent pipelines

Probable Source of Sluggish Revenues

We also found that the missing business capabilities, weak teamwork and thin or non-existent talent pipelines track back to an underperforming country manager with these characteristics:

  • Speaks and writes better English than closes deals
  • Tolerates sub-par performance from reps and marketing
  • Over-indexes on process metrics and does not build high-performing  teams
  • Does not inspire excellence and consistent unsupervised follow through by team members and partner
  • Lacks initiative and creativity

So, now what?

Someone hired the underperforming country manager.

These comes done to three choices:

Let it bleed

Put a bandaid on it … but where?

Get after itSchedule a 15-minute call and see if you are a good fit for how I work

Quick Fact Overview

  • Metropolitan Tokyo clusters 
  • Metropolitan Tokyo clusters 

        • 37.46 million consumers, the highest density of middle class consumers in the world;

        • 3,000-plus companies over $1B in turn-over; and

        • 3.7 million small-to-midsize enterprises.

  • Despite the sheer market size, a small technical labor pool and language barriers pose significant challenges in launching a country office
  • Japan ranks 55th in English proficiency among 100 non-English speaking countries[4]
  • This makes smooth entry a challenge.

Jay Revels

...more to come

The Total Mindset

The Total Mindset (TTM) is a growth accelerator for small to midsize digital enterprises based in N. America, Europe and Australia with the strategic goal of starting or growing their Japanese businesses.

TTM partners with the CEO of infotech providers of software or digital services to Japanese business customers.

Unlike traditional advisory firms, TTM provides ready-to-operationalize Nemawashi growth playbooks, co-sources talent and partners, and co-supervises execution and weekly pipeline and operational reviews.

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