How to Align Your Sales Team After a New Acquisition
Categories: Sales Messaging | Company Alignment
Acquiring a company can be an exciting time for an organization. It may bring new capabilities and solution differentiators, perks for employees, verticals to target, etc… On the flip side, an acquisition also brings the challenge of incorporating updates and changes into the sales function. Depending on what was acquired, it may bring changes to your sales process, your qualification process, your negotiation frameworks and/or your sales message. Putting a disciplined plan together that equips your teams to execute at the buyer-level is critical. That plan often starts with your sales messaging framework. Here are key areas to consider as you start aligning your sales team after an acquisition.
Align your sales message with the value new or elevated capabilities bring to customers
How do new or elevated solution capabilities translate into business value for your customers? Are your salespeople equipped to articulate this value in front of the customer and align it to the problems your solutions are already solving for current customers, to generate cross-sells, up-sells, etc?
One of the most basic things you can do as a sales organization is ensure that you are aligned on the key value and differentiation your entire solution brings to customers. We write frequently about the importance of the Essential Questions and how they can be used to help company leaders generate agreement and executional alignment on the value and differentiation of their solutions. How would your cross-functional executive team answer these questions?
- What problems do you solve for your customers?
- How do you specifically solve those problems?
- How do you do it differently than your competition?
- What’s your proof?
How have the answers to these essential questions evolved with the acquisition?
Even prior to launching new capabilities, many companies struggle with creating an environment where every customer-facing employee has agreement on the answers. This misalignment can become even more problematic when trying to ramp up a sales organization after an acquisition. In this instance, many companies provide their sales teams with product training and content on new offerings. However, in the chaos of bringing companies together, leaders can miss the opportunity to train reps on how to progress new types of deals and how to have a new type of value-based conversation at the buyer level.
Assess your sales content to ensure it is taking account of new and or adjusted answers to the essential questions. Make sure marketing assets align with any new value, pain points or differentiation the acquisition brought your organization. Great design on a landing page is nice, but if it’s not aligned to the value and differentiation your salespeople are articulating in their conversations, you are missing opportunity. Make the necessary updates to your sales messaging framework to ensure your salespeople can efficiently use both to create and capture value in new or adjusted areas of business, and in-front of decision makers.
Even your top salespeople may find themselves ill-equipped to progress their deals efficiently because they aren’t able to have the right type of conversations with decision makers. They may not understand how the answers to those essential questions may have changed. Since an acquisition could require your sales teams to communicate with new buying personas within each account, take time to consider how each answer to the essential questions may differ from a CEO, to a CTO, CRO, etc....
Developing a customized Value Framework tool can help you equip your salespeople to not only get in front of the right decision makers, but have the right conversation aligned to the value and differentiation of your solutions. Not to be confused with a script, the value framework is a tool sales reps can leverage to guide the customer conversation throughout the buying process. The framework’s foundation is cross-functional company alignment on the value drivers and differentiators that are top-of-mind for your most influential buying audiences. Whether you’ve already begun to tweak your messaging framework or not, ensure your reps are able to execute on it and capitalize on every valuable lead.
Companies generate consistent sales revenue when everyone in their organization has internal alignment on the answers to the essential questions. Developing a consistent sales message, based on this alignment, ensures salespeople have a clear understanding on how to articulate value and differentiation in a way that has meaning to each decision maker in a deal. Assess your executive team’s answers to the essential questions. Ensure you have alignment on the answers and then make sure they’re incorporated into the sales conversation.
After an acquisition, equip your sales team to execute repeatedly
Aligning your sales organization behind your company's acquisition and enabling them with a value-based sales messaging framework can drive rapid revenue growth. Equip your team to succeed early on in an acquisition by generating alignment on the value your new or elevated solution set brings to your most influential buying audiences, new and old.
See how Intercom unified their global sales force on their message, vision and value, supporting their sales organization in driving significant increase to average deal size.