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14Sep

Competing against Bigger LSPs

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When competing with large language service providers, small and mid-sized LSPs can feel at a disadvantage when it comes to securing or safeguarding revenue. However, it does not have to be that way. It is not always about size when presenting your company as a successful match for buyers’ needs.

There are two core scenarios in which smaller and mid-sized LSPs encounter their larger counterparts: 1) during the sales process when larger LSPs share an interest in the same accounts; and 2) when shielding an existing client from the temptation of switching over to a larger vendor vying for the account.

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CSA Research analyzed observations and interactions with LSPs and buyers to develop a guide for LSPs where we document 10 strategies to improve the odds of winning when facing competition from larger LSPs.

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As a smaller or mid-sized LSP, you need to address the following points to achieve this:

  • Turn competitiveness into a cornerstone of your strategic plan. Develop a vision of how you intend to stand out when playing against more sophisticated LSPs. Compile a three-year plan on how to achieve that goal by incorporating the 10 actions and subtasks we detail in our report. 
  • Invest in your plan to increase your ability to compete. Every LSP struggles with conflicting priorities when setting budgets. As a result, they often delay the investment in structure and staff that are essential to support clients’ wants and needs. To succeed against the bigger players, don’t delay – choose meeting client requirements and satisfaction over other priorities. This requires a near-term investment in staffing for all growth functions – marketing, sales, and account management. 
  • Get a 360-degree view of all of your competition. Threats come from more than the larger LSPs. Perform a similar exercise as described in this report to address how to compete against smaller providers or substitutes to current LSP models such as marketplaces, crowdsourcing, and machine translation.
  • Plan who you will be as a large LSP yourself. Offer the benefits of large LSPs while retaining the attributes that endeared you to your clients – creativity, agility, and flexibility. This requires a strong company culture built around empowerment. 

As the old saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Big LSPs like to buy specialized providers that round out their portfolio of solutions. Don’t rule out being acquired by a larger company but have clear motivations governing your exit strategy – will you sell to the highest bidder or consider only companies that share your values? Think about your clients and employees.

Want to learn more about successful sales techniques? Join CSA Research’s sales course this October. We will provide you with concrete data and information on how to perfect your proactive sales technique through 8 online sessions. Reach out to sales@csa-research.com for more information.

About the Author

Hélène Pielmeier

Hélène Pielmeier

Director of LSP Service

Focuses on LSP business management, strategic planning, sales and marketing strategy and execution, project and vendor management, quality process development, and interpreting technologies

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