Success story: Cool Clean

Breaking Through Cultural Barriers with Cool Clean

EuroDev helps transcend cultural barriers between American and European companies. Jake Wikstrom speaks from the perspective of being part of EuroDev during a summer internship and being an integral part of our client Cool Clean in the Business Development sector for many years. In this blog, Jake shares his insights from both his internship and the collaboration between Cool Clean and EuroDev. His narrative sheds light on how this partnership has played a pivotal role in Cool Clean’s successful entry into the European market.

Cool Clean, sales outsourcing europe


Can you give us a short company introduction? How did the idea of expanding into Europe come about, and what led to your collaboration with EuroDev?

Cool Clean has already established a presence across Asia and beyond as of a few years ago, despite its relatively moderate size. As a team, we realized there was a great opportunity within Europe, so we decided to expand there. We weren’t ready to fully start positioning ourselves in Europe, which is where EuroDev comes in. We started looking around for companies that could handle doing our sales development and felt that EuroDev would be the perfect fit. One difficulty we had is that we create extremely technical and niche products; a lot of what we do is custom. We needed to locate a company that was open to learning and evolving alongside us, as we navigated the intricacies of such a technical process and engaged with diverse technical industries. When we started our partnership with EuroDev, we began focusing on our automotive market, which is our most standard product.

After about a year of working with EuroDev, I actually went to the Netherlands for an internship at the company. I stayed with Mark De Vries and his family for a few months as a marketing intern, which was very interesting and insightful. I was able to learn and grow from my experiences with both EuroDev and with Mark, who is a unique and smart guy. After a while, I went back to university and finished my degree. I began doing my own outside sales with Cool Clean. Eventually after a couple of years, I became the International Business Developer with Cool Clean and worked directly with EuroDev and their inside sales teams. So far, the partnership has been great. It was difficult to find a company that could handle the scope of what we sell, but eventually, we were able to find EuroDev. We have been steadily growing over the past 2.5 years, finding new strategic partnerships, which has been going quite well considering the level of growth that we’re at right now.

You had a really unique opportunity to gain insights into both EuroDev’s operations and their understanding of your company. In terms of challenges or barriers when entering the European market, did you face any difficulties that you think are common among American manufacturers?

Absolutely, our biggest barrier was not having an actual presence in Europe. This is where the relationships we’ve forged with technical partners and integrators, coupled with EuroDev’s linguistic capabilities and alignments with the correct time zone, have proven instrumental. These aspects have been pivotal in overcoming our primary barrier to entry into the European market. Having actual footing in Europe offers immense advantages. Language and cultural nuances play a huge role in high-level business-to-business sales. Transactions occur at a measured pace, often spanning years rather than days. Nurturing these relationships is crucial because they provide us with a strategic approach to language and cultural dynamics. Given the disparities across European countries, it’s unrealistic to expect a one-size-fits-all approach; EuroDev’s assistance has been essential in navigating these complexities.

Are you satisfied with your collaboration with EuroDev? Is there anything that you believe could be improved, or do you have any feedback that could enhance our partnership?

Honestly, the team members that we’ve collaborated with have been great. Again, our main challenge stems from the inherent complexity of our technical products and the intricate sales process. We engage with industry veterans, so rotating inside sales personnel necessitates adaptation.

Aside from that, we’ve consistently received proficient team members who exhibit a remarkable willingness to learn. Their willingness holds greater significance than prior experience, given the unique demands of our industry. It is definitely a complex endeavor with no one-size-fits-all solution. Few companies possess your capabilities, and achieving what EuroDev has done for us within this timeframe is remarkable.

We take the approach of collaborating with a sales development company, rather than fielding independent sales representatives. My experience over the last few years, particularly since taking over international sales and development, has been exceptionally positive. The journey has been smooth, marked by growth, and we’ve made substantial strides in cultivating strong relationships with technical partners.

When it comes to international business and beginning to explore the European market, what key considerations do you believe American companies should keep in mind?

Certainly, the cultural aspect should definitely be a key consideration. For example, interacting with the French drastically differs from engaging with the Italians. They just have different ways of doing things and having someone who understands these considerations and can help you as an American company is extremely helpful. Something people should be aware of is that the European business realm is very segmented, unlike the United States, which has a relatively uniform business landscape. EuroDev offers invaluable support in navigating these intricacies and adapting effectively.

Is there any additional information you would like to share or something that came to mind?

One thing that we did not think about until we were actively engaged in these sales trips was the intricacy of logistical planning. For example, during our recent trip to France a few weeks ago, John and I found ourselves navigating the challenge of booking trains. All of the information was in French, which made this task incredibly difficult. EuroDev has been incredibly helpful with the logistic planning; they helped us out with public transportation, renting cars, and booking flights, all while dealing with varying languages and regulations in different countries. These are all things I wouldn’t really think about until we arrive, which I also think would pose challenges for other Americans.

Ready for your story in Europe?

Our team would love to get in touch with you!