CEO Advisor Newsletter June 2023
The Benefits of Growth Through Acquisition
For small and mid-market companies, finding the right acquisition target takes focus, commitment and expertise. Finding great acquisition targets also requires a disciplined approach, experience, time, effort and finesse. The benefits of making opportunistic acquisitions include:
- Increasing Revenue and accelerating growth, while acquiring badly needed technology, products and services.
- Acquiring needed management team members and industry expertise to enable future growth.
- Adding to your programming/development team with specialized expertise.
- Adding Revenue to boost Gross Margin, while minimally increasing Overhead Expenses to further increase Net Profits.
- Increasing the value of your business by acquiring a business at a 1X or 2X Revenue multiple and combining it with your 3X or 4X Revenue multiple business making the acquisition accretive immediately. This same principle applies for acquiring a smaller company at a low EBITDA multiple and applying it to your higher EBIDTA multiple as a larger, more profitable company.
- Borrowing the money for the acquisition from a bank at 7% interest and gaining a 20% return annually.
- Acquiring a company that has specific strengths that your company lacks, such as a company with a strong national sales team or an international sales channel.
Strategic acquisitions take a real commitment, but are doable by most any company given the right team in place, including a corporate/transaction attorney, tax attorney/CPA and a M&A advisor to initiate and manage the entire transaction process.
Most small and mid-market companies that pursue acquisitions on their own miss real opportunities due to a lack of time, focus, a process and experience. Many companies tend to overpay so a defined, disciplined process with a seasoned M&A advisor is extremely important and will save your company a substantial amount of time and money.
Here are the most important steps to develop and implement with your M&A advisor leading the initiative. Define your acquisition strategy considering the points below:
- Define your investment criteria and budget
- Create an Information Request List and Due Diligence Checklist
- Build the Acquisition Target List
- Begin the outreach to targeted companies
- Gather information from interested parties
- Secure conference calls and meetings to better understand the business and the management team
- Gain additional information needed to compose a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI)
- Negotiate the Letter of Intent
- Perform Due Diligence to gain detailed information about the target company
- Renegotiate certain aspects of the LOI, if needed, depending on your Due Diligence results
- Have your corporate/transaction attorney draft the legal contracts
- Negotiate the legal contracts with the assistance of your M&A advisor, attorney and CPA
- Draft the documents required for the Conditions to Close
- Post-acquisition integration
Critical Sales Management Methods to Improve Performance
- Sales growth is a critical factor in driving Net Profits and value in your business. Sales management plays a crucial role in the success (or failure) of your company. Effective sales management sets the tone, culture, goals and expectations and drives your business forward. With so much invested in your sales team, it may not be easy to take an objective assessment of your team.
- You will benefit tremendously through improvements in your hiring process, goal setting, sales compensation plan, sales strategy and sales management methods to create a more productive work environment and sales team.
- Below are critical methods that will benefit you by re-assessing your own sales team and how you manage them with objectivity and fresh eyes. CEO Advisor, Inc. has successfully implemented sales strategies and affected the needed changes in our clients for nearly twenty years.
- Weekly Sales Meetings
- Consistent weekly sales meetings are absolutely critical to a motivated, focused sales team. Focus on goals, your sales pipeline and sales training each week to maximize sales productivity. Utilize a sales CRM such as Salesforce.com and require daily use for all sales team members to plan, track and report on all sales activity. Review summary Pipeline and Sales Activity reporting from your CRM at weekly sales meetings to increase accountability and results.
- Sales Management Training
- Managers often emphasize to their employees the necessity for constant development and training. The same applies to you as the CEO, president or business owner and to your top sales executive. Consider hiring a professional business advisor to optimize sales management within your company to help you manage your sales team towards a more productive and profitable year.
- Sales Goals
- Sales goals should be annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. Goals should include outbound calls, appointments, conference calls, opportunities, proposals, closed deals and other sales goals. Without the proper sales goals and tracking of these goals, your growth, sales, profits and the value of your business will suffer substantially.
- Assessment and Growth
- How do you set your sales team up to succeed? Assess and evaluate skills, and then set goals that are challenging but realistic and achievable. The more successes a salesperson achieves, the more likely they will strive for larger challenges and sales opportunities moving forward. Setting unrealistic goals may not allow for an environment in which the salesperson can grow and achieve results. Additionally, not tracking the goals of the sales team sends a message that accountability and results are not a priority and sales productivity will suffer.
- Sales Leadership
- Be a resource for your team. Share your own success stories, best practices, and advice on your areas of expertise, and provide direction to help your sales team in closing deals. Show your team that they can come to you with challenges and questions and expect to receive support and leadership. Role play in sales meetings to provide added benefits, closing techniques and confidence to win more deals. Lead by example!
- Address Issues Head-On
- Don't allow negative morale to penetrate your sales team. When signs of negative morale or other issues become apparent, find out what is at the root of your employees' concerns, and then have an informative and open conversation with them about their concerns to come to an expedited resolution.
- The primary role of any manager, especially a sales manager, is to provide leadership and guidance. The only way this will be effective is if you first build and maintain trust with your team. Then you can lead them to many great successes and achieve your sales goals.
- Create accountability in your sales team by ensuring that you follow up on directives, assignments, goals, requests and advice that you have passed down to them. Also, hold them accountable to their sales goals. In following up with them, you will also get a better understanding of the obstacles they are facing and be better able to advise them on how to overcome these issues. Lack of accountability by any sales team member should not be acceptable and addressed immediately.
- Communicate Effectively
- It's important for everyone on the team, not just management, to be aware of and understand the overall goals of the company. Be sure to communicate frequently to ensure everyone is on the same page and communicate your sales goals regularly. Ineffective or infrequent communications will cost you many customers and dollars!
- Give Praise - Sales is a tough job!
- Be sure to demonstrate your appreciation for your employees on a regular basis, even if it is in the form of a word of thanks for putting in extra hours, achieving your monthly goals or submitting reports timely.
- Let CEO Advisor, Inc. help you with your sales management issues and take your business to the next level. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.