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Integrating sales teams after an acquisition is challenging. Start with a current state review of both teams for best results.

You just found out that your media firm has acquired one of your competitors.

More products, more sellers, more clients…What an exciting time to be in media sales! But wait. How do you know how to build the right combined sales model? What are the first needed steps to ensure a successful sales team integration?

There is a proven path. The first step is to complete a full current state diligence of both go-to-customer (GTC) sales models to understand the differences and similarities within each model. This will serve as the baseline for designing an integrated NewCo GTC model, and eventually become the change adoption training materials for the activation and implementation to the sales team.

Current state diligence starts with comparing the strategy, structure and management processes of each media sales model that will ultimately inform the best path forward for the NewCo design.

Strategy

Organizations typically acquire competitors for four key reasons:

  1. Synergies
  2. Growth
  3. Pricing power
  4. Eliminate the competition

Regardless of the reason(s) for your media firm’s acquisition of a competitor, you first need to dig into each firm’s revenue segments to determine how to capture what should be newly unlocked opportunities.

Example:

NewCo wanted to know which products from both legacy organizations were sold into the same clients. The reasoning? If we were to create NewCo bundles of our new solution sets, which would most likely lead to the best cross-selling opportunities?

Product Correlation Analysis, Key strategy diligence questions

Key strategy diligence questions 

  • How does each organization segment accounts?
  • Where do we have overlapping accounts?
  • Which accounts have the best cross-selling opportunities with our new solutions?

Structure

There are many ways publishers can structure their NewCo sales and support teams to capture the new revenue intended by their acquisition strategy. Each company’s channel coverage, job roles, workload and associated headcount should be collected and compared to inform potential gaps and duplicate coverage.

Example:

Company A and Company B both believed that they structured their sales and support teams the same way. Once they laid out the roles by job responsibilities against the sales process, it was easy to pinpoint unique differences that required further investigation.

Sales Process Comparison, Key structure diligence questions

Key structure diligence questions

  • What sales and support roles exist in each organization?
  • Where do we have duplicate coverage?
  • What are the differences in job responsibilities?

Management

Once each firm’s strategy and structure are confirmed, you next need to determine the different sales management processes. A NewCo management philosophy will need to be communicated early and often to the sales and support teams to set the tone of the new path forward.

Example:

Two recently merged media companies had completely opposite sales compensation philosophies. Once they mapped the two companies’ pay curves against each other, it was easy to identify mechanical differences in the plans.

Alexander Group-Sales Comp Comparison-20200107

Key management diligence questions 

  • What key sales talent do we need to identify to ensure they are part of the NewCo?
  • What metrics does each company use to track and manage sales productivity?
  • What is the pay philosophy and overall sales compensation program of both companies?

Once the current state comparative diligence is complete, you have the right tools to move into the next phase—Design!

No matter what phase of acquisition your company is in, Alexander Group can help. Contact a Media practice leader today!

For more information on Alexander Group’s Media Sales Practice, please visit our industry overview page.
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