Maintaining sales momentum after mergers and acquisitions is critical if providers want to achieve desired results, but many struggle to do this in light of the new technology buying cycle, Gartner Inc. found in a recent study.
Indeed, sales and marketing leaders from both companies in the transaction must proactively engage a broad constituency to capitalize on opportunities and prevent competitive disruption, the research firm said.
While M&A events can fail or succeed for many reasons, maintaining sales momentum, especially in the crucial early stages, can have an outsized impact on long-term success, Gartner noted. After a merger or acquisition, there is a natural desire to get sales organizations integrated as quickly as possible, especially for publicly traded companies. In theory, the faster the sales forces can sell each other's solutions, the more quickly revenue goals can be achieved. But in reality, faster does not always mean better, and in some cases, the risks significantly outweigh the benefits.
"The changing technology buying cycle and the corresponding shift in provider sales strategies to adjust to this reality has made life challenging for most salespeople. The list of challenges grows substantially after a merger or acquisition, and providers need to take proactive steps to maintain sales momentum in these situations," said Todd Berkowitz, research director at Gartner. "Providers can achieve next-level performance in this area by developing a comprehensive strategy that includes setting realistic timelines for sales integration; working to retain top performers; delivering targeted training on products, messaging and positioning; making the right content easily accessible; and communicating with customers on a regular basis in a meaningful manner."