As the former CMO, Isabelle has taken the company through five acquisitions in the last four years, providing her with takeaways and insights for B2B SaaS marketers who find themselves in the throws of M&A. Listen in as she shares what the marketing team can expect in an acquisition, what their role is, and how to align on goals with both your CEO and board.
Communication is the key
No matter what side you’re on during the M&A process, there’s a lot of change for which to prepare and Isabelle recommends including marketing leaders in the early stages of the M&A process. It’s essential to dig into the mind of your CEO to understand the ‘why’ behind the acquisition.
Understanding why the business is making this acquisition decision and why this is good for your customers will help your team develop the messaging to carry through your marketing efforts. Think about the press, external audiences, partners, investors, current customers, employees, etc.
Prioritize your people
As new employees join your marketing team, Isabelle believes that marketing leaders should make new team members feel good about the change by being empathetic.
“I think over-communicating and conducting one-on-one check-ins is what I have found works the most. In transparency, this is the best approach,” said Isabelle. “During check-ins, ask; how are you doing? I know this is a difficult moment; I know you probably have a lot of questions. Let’s talk.”
Bringing two groups together will not be a walk in the park. “It’s human beings and there is going to be friction at the beginning,” said Isabelle.
What has worked for Isabelle is taking her teams through the four stages of team development: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Once both groups are in unison, they will begin to perform better together. “It takes a village to do most things in marketing and more great brains we have, the better we get at what we do. -but it doesn’t happen overnight.”
Keep your standard KPIs
No matter the company’s size, acquisitions happen quickly, and the marketing team’s expectations will not change. Marketing teams will need to continue to focus on the core metrics of pipeline and revenue.
“You always want to generate demand, and you want to align with sales to be able to close, right? So that doesn’t change; now the expectations are even higher because hey, you’ve acquired another company and you’ve improved your product. Maybe even expanded your ICP. You now have more opportunities to generate revenue. So guess what? Revenue goals are higher, and we expect you to drive more demand.”
For more of Isabelle’s insights, listen to Episode 330 of SaaS Half Full.