Corporate mergers are often sold to investors and Wall Street on the illusory promise of cross-selling synergies. Often as a result of a merger, the marketing and sales organizations are charged with delivering growth through the combined portfolio of products and solutions.
Why is it so difficult for organizations to realize these synergies? Two major factors that influence success are: 1) whether organizations re-think the alignment of their sales organizations to customers and markets post-merger, and 2) whether sales teams have put in place effective Account Planning processes to capitalize on cross-sell opportunities.
Sales Resource Optimization
We have written a variety of blogs on the topic of sales resource optimization. Post-merger, we often see duplicative/overlapping sales teams which create inefficiencies at best, and at worst, customer confusion and defection. Companies that properly adjust the coverage, capacity, and capabilities of their sales teams against the markets their merged organizations serve are ready to reap cross-sell synergies.
For a detailed approach to sales resource optimization using our 4C framework (customer, coverage, capacity, capability), download our free eBook here:
Well-Executed Account Planning
We have recently partnered with a large high technology company to help them drive incremental growth from their top 100 customers (see case study here). Analysis of the top 50 customers from each company showed little overlap in services and a large opportunity to cross sell the combined portfolio. The core of the approach is to work with the account teams from both organizations to develop an overall customer strategy that identifies areas to leverage current relationships and strengths, along with opportunities to bring new value to the customer.
We regularly design and implement Account Planning programs for clients that leverages significant preparation and customer input, a facilitated planning session, and a review with internal executives to cover their strategies and any “asks” to support growth.
Through this process, the account teams have identified multiple seven and eight figure sized opportunities, and we’re working with the client to package the approach to be scaled down to their national tier of accounts. Through the focused efforts of our client and their account teams, they are on their way to achieving their cross sell growth targets. For more on Account Planning, see our post The Chronicles of Account Planning.
* February 2018: This blog has been updated with links to sales resource optimization resources.