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M&A Wisdom: Don’t Buy What You Can’t Sell

M&A wisdom: Don’t buy what you can’t sell

The broadcast industry often feels like a Pac-Man game with larger vendor swallowing smaller ones in the alleys of trade shows. The mix of company sizes with only very few above 100M€ and hundreds between 10 and 20M€ yearly revenue is favourable to such a consolidation.

In a competitive non-growing market with a limited number of potential customers and significant R&D spends vendors once they have reached the limits of their geographical and product niches often look at mergers to sustain growth. Alongside with the interest to acquire missing or emerging technologies one of the key drivers behind mergers is the wish to increase sales organisation productivity by expanding the product portfolio.

For having being involved in over half a dozen mergers I realized that they most of the time fail to deliver the expected value and synergies. In most due diligences it is striking how little attention is paid to sales and go to market strategies. It is assumed that the sales team with minimal adjustments will simply be able to carry the extended portfolio once pipelines are merged.

In a fast transforming industry requiring a high level of consultative selling where buying decisions often involve multiple specialised stakeholders it requires much more than simply adding a few presales resources to avoid significant revenue drops and upset customers.

The indispensable sales transformation project starts with the due diligence of the respective sales resources and go to market strategies. In parallel a new combined go to market strategy and sales processes are defined to deliver on the mid-term growth objectives. The resulting skill and geographical gap analysis will drive the sales organisation restructuring action plan including the combined distribution model.

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