In Mergers & Acquisitions it is common that several sales organizations are merged. The result is that people often need to sell new products or services, and that they need to negotiate prices and deliver value arguments that they are not familiar with. Here are 5 areas that can determine whether the pricing side of a M&A implementation is successful or not:
- Determine role of all products in the combined portfolio and set the pricing strategy for each. Communicate this well to the sales team, so they don't continue to favour what they sold before the merger.
- Train on value argumentation of the combined portfolio. If you pursue a value-based strategy, then all products must be sold along that strategy, not just one half
- Create Q&As, make negotiation trainings to sell the merger itself. Clever customers will try to exploit the confusion from all the many things that need to happen in a merger, and if not well prepared, sales might feel tempted to get give additional discounts to get the customers to accept the premises of the merger. Generally, the merger should not be an accceptable discount reason, but the sales team must be trained on that.
- Create and rehearse different negotiation scenarios with key accounts that are important for the overall business due to their size. In a number of industries 2-4 customers might make up more than 50% of sales, and it is important to have run practice negotiations for the proposed package post-merger.
- Make your sales people the PR function of the merger. The sales team is very much the spearhead of the merger, and how they interact with customers will have a great impact on how the merger is perceived in the market place. A group of confident and well-articulated sales people who can sell the value of the merged product portfolio will mean that the industry will accept the merger quicker, which usually leads to quicker reaping of the planned synergies.
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