GUEST: Justin Hartanov, Chief Commercial Officer of Syndigo
If you've ever been through an acquisition, you know there are a lot of moving parts to it. It's a tough thing to pull off in a year.
Could you imagine going through 33 in 13 years?
Justin Hartanov, Chief Commercial Officer of Syndigo, doesn't have to imagine — he's done it and lived to tell the tale, which is why we brought him on the show to share the secrets to a successful acquisition.
“From a private equity perspective, there are two ways to achieve growth: Organic and inorganic growth — and you certainly can't make your numbers with just one."
Justin Hartanov, Chief Commercial Officer of Syndigo
Acquisitions are one of the two possible ways your business can grow — the other being the solutions you bring to the market. The most successful companies learn to use both growth strategies.
You may think you do not need acquisitions because of your fantastic product, but the two growth strategies are complimentary. Sure, your product is the best possible solution out there, but don't other companies have unique capabilities that would make it even better?
Better serve your customers
Ultimately, expanding your capabilities means being able to better serve your customers with a more capable solution.
Consolidating these capabilities makes your solution more effective — which is great news for you — but it's often even better news for your customer base because it means they don't need 10 different companies to serve their needs.
Beyond expanding your capabilities and better serving your customers, a successful acquisition allows your company to expand its revenue stream by assimilating not just the acquired company's solution but also the sales team who previously sold it.
Bringing them into the fold makes your sales team stronger by increasing its knowledge, solution options and knowledge base.
What makes an acquisition successful?
A clear vision
If you've followed along so far, you may be thinking (or screaming loudly at your device): If acquisitions are so tremendous, why have I seen so many turn into complete disasters?
Most likely, it's because there wasn't a clear vision as to why you were acquiring in the first place. Is the product really complementary to your own? Is the customer base? Is the culture?
When going through an acquisition, everybody in both companies needs to understand exactly what business outcomes you hope to achieve and the overall methodology by which you plan to achieve them.
Negotiables and non-negotiables
Your vision should give everyone a clear picture of where you are headed, but when it comes to methodology, perhaps the newly acquired teams have their own priorities and ways of doing things that have made them successful. This is a good thing — part of the reason you are acquiring is to expand your capabilities, right?
Well, you still need to be cohesive, which is why Justin recommends outlining the negotiables and non-negotiables for your new frontline sales managers early on.
Non-negotiables are the things you expect from them without debate. Negotiables are areas in which you encourage creativity and freedom in their process, promoting a more collaborative approach to growing the business.
Enablement and training
When it comes to the non-negotiables, you need to make sure your sales teams are equipped with the tools they need to meet and exceed these expectations.
The way you do this is by ensuring you are enabling, developing and training your people. Investing in an acquisition isn't just about the initial purchase; you also need to invest in the people involved.
Acquisitions are a solid growth strategy.
Acquisitions can fuel growth, but only if you go in with a clear vision and plan. Otherwise, they can become unwieldy and difficult to manage. If you want an acquisition to succeed, you need to ensure that everyone in your organization is on the same page.
Now that you know how to handle acquisitions as a growth strategy, are you ready to learn the secrets to personalizing at scale or what it takes to be a phenomenal sales leader? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.