Can growth be achieved in the target company?

sales team optimization worksheet

Because the whole point of an acquisition is the accretive growth, the ability of the target company to not just maintain, but grow, will be a critical factor in the final go/no-go decision.

The Sales Team Productivity Planner helps prospective acquirers envision growth strategies prior to the acquisition, to arrive at a reasonable offer.

…run your numbers here:

Mind your revenue gap

how to assess prospect list quality


One of the simplest and most effective tools that leaders can deploy is a sales gap analysis.

In essence, it asks 2 questions:

1. Where are we likely to end-up?

2. Where do we want to end-up? …the difference is the gap.

The management challenge is in figuring out how to close the gap – that’s why sales leaders make the big bucks. Run your numbers here, and use the dozen or so tools below to determine your strategic options:

If you find yourself shy of where you need to be…we should talk.

Turnaround planning

Strategic planning

Prior to the go/no-go decision, its prudent to acknowledge that the target company will require some ‘turning around’.  – define that as you will.

Of course, the unique particulars of the target business will govern the approach – but in general, the activity needs to be disciplined: number focused, and people-flavoured.  The turned-around business either stands on its own, or it doesn’t (keeping personalities out it at this early stage can be most helpful).

Tactically, the approach will follow the 4 step process in the worksheet below – use this tool for scenario planning now, to avoid making a decision you’ll regret later.

The process involves:

  1. getting clarity on your current situation (step 1),
  2. defining the to-be business (step 2),
  3. reflecting-on, and prioritizing the key activities to be achieved (step 3),
  4. and assessing the do-ability of turning around performance in the key dimensions identified (step 4).

Marketing plan challenger

Does the target business have a high performance marketing plan?

Is it capable of delivering the strategic objectives – particularly your sales goals – that the acquisition will require?

Get a sense of the effectiveness of the business’ current Marketing Plan to power market-growth goals, and start putting the pieces together for a post-acquisition marketing plan that fills these gaps:



Are you priced right?

determine market share

It’s a tough, but generally useful exercise for every business to look inward every now and then, and challenge the current pricing model:

  1. Will the market bear what you intend to charge?
  2. Is what you intend to charge enough?
  3. Is the intended price too much?
  4. How will you achieve sales at varying price points?

Use this worksheet to test various pricing strategies, and identify the break even number of units you’ll need to achieve your target:

How motivated is the team?

team motivation diagnostic

When you’re considering an acquisition, the quality, motivation, skill, ability, and adaptability of the team at the target company will be a critical dimension of the go-forward decision.

A motivated team is a high-performing team.

A motivated team generally scores high on measures related to Desire, Ability, and Belief in the company.

This Team Motivation Diagnostic will give you an Overall Motivation Score for the team – helpful to identify improvements that might be necessary in the near future.

Understand your market leverage

Strategies for Uncertain Times

The positive elements are substantial: a forced reflection on each of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is clearly valuable.

…the challenge arises in what to do with the information. For example:

  • do we deploy our strengths to offset our weakness?
  • do we deploy our strengths to defend against threats?
  • …or, do we deploy our strengths to maximize our opportunities?

The answer of course, is ‘all of the above’, and ideally, only after management is satisfied that a detailed reflection of each element of the SWOT analysis has been completed.

Because our focus is on selling (more) – we are biased toward the exploitation of opportunities.  This tool helps you record your top-5 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and presents you with a prioritized list of your market leverage (your strengths + opportunities), to focus your communications, and market development activities, so that you can sell, more:

Do you know the market share?

determine market share

While market share can be a tough thing to discover, it’s a really useful tool in strategic market planning.  Knowing, or at least estimating market share will provoke meaningful discussions around:

  • Pricing
  • Direct sales/conversions
  • Advertising strategy
  • Social media strategy
  • Service quality

Get started by estimating your market share by using this tool, and tracking changes over time:

Calculating market preference

Calculating market preference

Service businesses in particular can have a tough time getting a grip on the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

This is a useful tool both in planning and in optimizing the business:

Anticipating post-purchase turnover

post-acquisition turnover

Before entering an acquisition, it’s wise to get a grip on the potential turnover-related costs that might await when the target company is finally assimilated into the new corporate structure.

This worksheet will give you a handle on calculating the true cost involved: