by Melissa Lincoln, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Leadspace
San Francisco and Tel Aviv are two of the greatest cities in the world for tech, each with a distinct culture and unique benefits to offer.
Leadspace was founded in 2010 and maintains offices in both San Francisco and just outside Tel Aviv in Hod HaSharon, Israel. In our experience, having offices in both locations is ideal for a B2B tech company because the complementary strengths of the two locales open the door for fast and sustained growth.
Let’s start with San Francisco. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to one of the world’s leading B2B technology markets. The region is densely populated with many of B2B tech’s greatest success stories, including Salesforce, Box, and Marketo, as well as numerous promising B2B startups. This fertile crescent of B2B technology is an unbeatable homebase for a growing technology product’s sales, marketing, and success teams.
In addition, San Francisco is within striking distance of other major US B2B tech markets, like New York and Chicago. Home to major branches of many advertising and marketing agencies, including Publicis, Ogilvy, IDEO, and Razorfish to name just a few, San Francisco also offers a rich talent pool of workers with sales and marketing expertise.
A San Francisco office empowers “boots on the ground” B2B sales, marketing, and success teams. They live where the top customers live. They can put a face on the organization, establish relationships with prospects and customers, and provide immediate, local support when needed. Clinching a sale or addressing a problem doesn’t require overcoming a significant time-zone difference or an expensive plane flight.
However, a B2B tech company based solely in the Bay Area can encounter challenges. As any engineering VP based in San Francisco knows, it’s a competitive market for technical talent. It’s difficult to hire and retain the top designers, engineers, data scientists, and QA professionals, and an organization’s sustained growth can be threatened by this block to growing engineering teams.
The nation of Israel, on the other hand, provides an ideal pillar of technical expertise to support a growing B2B software company. A technical office in Israel enables tech companies to find and hire engineers and data scientists with meaningful, real world experience.
Israel offers a pool of developers unlike anywhere else in the world thanks to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In the US, most software engineers enter the workforce following college. In Israel, software engineers enter the workforce with not just a college education, but also military service experience. This period of service cultivates unique maturity and efficacy within the talent pool and helps foster a productive development culture within an organization.
In the case of Leadspace, data science expertise is also critical to the technology’s success. Thankfully, Israel also happens to be a world-renown incubator for data scientists. As described in “Start Up Nation,” the well-known IDF Unit 8200 is responsible for collecting signal intelligence and code decryption. The members of this elite group solve novel “big data” problems under the pressure of national security, so this environment produces experts in cutting-edge predictive analytics, semantic modeling, and machine learning technology. As pointed out by Forbes, this type of data analytics is hugely relevant in B2B lead generation.
The third major benefit of operating out of both San Francisco and Israel is it makes customer support inherently robust. The end of the US workday dovetails with the beginning of the Israeli workday, and vice versa. This means customer support teams in each location can do seamless handoffs and avoid unsustainable work schedules. In addition, the Israeli weekend is Friday and Saturday, which means the work week starts on the US Saturday night and operates through Sunday–seamless, straightforward 24/7 coverage.
An early stage B2B technology startup may appear insufficiently large or well-resourced to sustain an international presence, but taking this step early can help overcome many challenges young companies face. For Leadspace, having a customer-facing office in San Francisco and a technology hub in Israel has helped set up the organization for industry-leading momentum and success.
Melissa is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Leadspace. She’s spent the last seven years developing and supporting technology products in the San Francisco Bay Area. In particular, Melissa has held roles in engineering, professional services, and product management. Prior to joining Leadspace, she spent several years as a Product Manager at Marin Software, a leading cross-channel performance advertising technology.