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OK, the Merger’s Done. How Do We Secure the Promised Revenue Synergies?

Stiff market competition, expansion into new territories, product portfolio extension, and gaining new capabilities are the prime reasons why more and more organizations are seriously looking into the prospects of—and carrying out—Mergers and Acquisitions.  However, only a few M&As achieve their desired revenue objectives.

Revenue Synergies are a decisive factor in closing such deals.  However, identifying precisely where these Revenue Synergies lie and then capturing them isn’t as easy as it sounds.

A McKinsey study comprising of 200 M&A executives from 10 different sectors revealed that all the respective organizations of the respondents remained short of achieving their Revenue Synergy targets (~23% short of the target on average).  Securing Revenue Synergies is a long-term game.  Studies reveal that the companies that succeed in securing Revenue Synergies achieve the target in or around 5 years.

Leaders aspiring to achieve Revenue Synergies should first clarify the objectives from and the schedule of the revenue synergies, lay out the organizational priorities and go-to-market strategies, remove obstacles from realizing value, and gain across the board readiness and commitment for the initiative.  Organizations that are most successful in securing revenue synergies pay close attention to these 7 guiding principles during the Post-merger Integration process:

  1. Source of Synergies
  2. Leadership Ownership
  3. Customer Insight-driven Opportunities
  4. Salesperson Driven Strategy
  5. Ambitious Targets and Incentives
  6. Sufficient Support
  7. Performance Management

These 7 guiding principles to capturing Revenue Synergies are critical for effective integration of two firms after a merger and unlocking potential benefits from the deal.  Let’s discuss the first 3 principles in detail now.

1. Source of Synergies

The inability of the leadership of the acquiring company to spot major sources of revenue that integration brings in results in losing significant pools of opportunity and failure of M&As.  Realizing Revenue Synergies demands a thorough methodology to ascertain and qualify revenue prospects along markets and channels, Go-to-Market Strategies, and developing commercial capabilities.  This entails:

  • Evaluating customers and markets, selling offerings of the combined firms utilizing existing and additional channels, and adequately training and rewarding the sales teams.
  • Coming up with innovative new products and bundles utilizing combined R&D capabilities.
  • Sharing best practices and commercial capabilities that mergers offer.

2. Leadership Ownership

Organizations that accomplish their Revenue Synergy objectives guarantee that their top management and employees commit themselves fully to the initiative from the onset.  They identify potential value pockets from the integration, examine the assumptions about securing value, and get them endorsed by the senior management and front-line staff.  The potential Revenue Strategies are regularly evaluated by inter-departmental experts.

3. Customer Insight-driven Opportunities

Accurate estimation of Revenue Synergies demands top-level estimates—assumptions on market share gain, revenue enhancement, or improved penetration—alongside comprehensive bottom-up customer insights, and evaluation of customer relationships.  Other important elements to consider include analyzing the offerings being offered to customers, discerning other potential products and services required by the customers, and assessing the ability of the sales team and brands in terms of the potential they offer to the clients.

Interested in learning more about the other guiding principles of securing PMI revenue synergies?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Post-merger Integration (PMI): Securing Revenue Synergies here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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About Mark Bridges

Mark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

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