Donald_MastroYour company was just acquired by a private equity (“PE”) firm. This is a game changer for you in many ways:

 

  • New board
  • New operating partners
  • Increased expectations
  • High urgency

     

As the sales leader, this can bring a lot of stress. What’s your response going to be?

 

A critical time is the first 100 days. Your new partners will review your sales strategy, org and execution plan. You will now have something called monthly operating reviews (MORs). These MORs are to ensure the 100 day plan is on track.

 

These meetings can be intense. They will be uncomfortable if you’re not prepared to answer their questions.  

 

Download the First 100 Days Checklist to help you get ready.

 

Your Life Will Change

Your new partners will be actively involved in the business. Donald Mastro is the EVP of Sales for AVI-SPL. He’s led sales for 3 private equity portfolio companies. AVI-SPL is in the Silver Lake Partners portfolio.

 

I asked Don what sales leaders can expect during the first 100 days.

 

Don’s Advice: A PE firm is very focused on the analytics and process of sales. You need to be prepared to understand your metrics in leading a growth sales organization. You need to understand the role of each board member from the PE firm. Listen to their advice at the MORs and pivot from that advice.

 

Get Aligned with Your New Partners

By using the First 100 Days Checklist, you can get aligned with your new partners. I asked Don what questions sales leaders should be prepared to answer. He provides 19 questions in the checklist. A few examples:

 

  • What is your industry Total Addressable Market (TAM)?
  • What is your industry Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM)?
  • Are your best people on your best accounts?
  • How do you enable the sales force to execute?
  • How accurate is your sales forecasting system?

     

You will find the rest of these in the checklist. In addition, there is a link to additional resources to help you accomplish them.

 

Don’s Advice: Be accurate with your budgeting and forecasting, including explaining variances weather positive or negative. Budgeting and forecasting should always be from the bottoms up and empirical in approach. PE firms love data and the expectation is you have it for your MORs.

 

The checklist will help you do this.

 

Final Thoughts

PE firms constantly evaluate the talent of their portfolio executives. You and your team likely had a thorough evaluation during the due diligence process. This process will continue with greater rigor in the first 100 days. Aligning yourself with this process will make your transition smoother.  

 

Don’s Advice: I survived 3 PE firms as a leader by being a strategic thinker. You should answer their questions with data and facts. You can always get back to a PE member with answers after doing research. Be prepared to lead strategic change for growth in your sales organization. Focus your time and energy on daily tasks that drive sales growth. Don’t forget the customer and your sales employees come first. The financial results will fall into place to satisfy the PE’s expectations.

 

To get more information on the first 100 days, visit our resources page here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryan Tognazzini

Works closely with B2B companies to solve strategic business problems so that they will make their number.
Learn more about Ryan Tognazzini >

Ryan joined SBI in 2010 as a Senior Consultant. Since then, he has worked extensively with emerging growth technology companies, including SaaS, enterprise software, systems integrators and OEMs. Additionally, Ryan works alongside numerous private equity investors, performing both sales and marketing due diligence and organic growth initiatives inside their portfolio companies.

 

Among a long list of accomplishments, he developed and implemented a sales and marketing strategy that resulted in the turnaround of a $1B IT integration clients. He executed organic growth initiatives to help a $100M software company achieve 40%+ year-over-year growth in preparation for an IPO. And he worked with a $1B enterprise software client to transform their sales and marketing go-to-market strategy for their cloud and SaaS offerings. Not surprisingly, in 2014 he was voted SBI Employee of the Year by his peers.

 

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