M&A events should send vendor AR teams into overdrive

Too often only the vendors involved in a merger and acquisition (M&A) event interact with the industry analysts, and frequently that is only to do a quick briefing is that long on high level talking points and short on substance. What should be happening is that all the vendors in an affected market respond rapidly with best-in-class AR techniques to provide the analysts with balanced views of the event and equip their sales forces with information and tools to mitigate the FUD that will be swirling around tech buyers getting close to making a purchasing decision.

 Even if an analyst does not publish a piece of instant analysis on the M&A event, they could be impacting market perception through their conversations with customers and prospects, press, and financial analysts.

 The bigger the deal, the more AR needs to systematically interact with the analysts, both to brief them and to leverage the analysts’ insights and intelligence.
 
SageCircle Technique:  We can describe a very high level overview of the techniques involved when a M&A event happens, but SageCircle clients should arrange a strategist inquiry (see below) to get more depth on this topic. 

Vendors involved in the M&A Event

  • Before the announcement work with your legal and IR teams to get permission for you to involve some trusted Tier 1 as advisors to the deal since they will be your most ardent champions in the press and published research post-announcement
  • Give analysts the most likely to be go-to resource(s) for the press advance warning, even if only a few minutes early and only a vague “Check Yahoo News at 8 am for an announcement”
  • Send press go-to analysts an e-mail with the main talking points and FAQs with responses. This should be unformatted text so it can be read on Blackberries and smart phones
  • Use Twitter to provide real time tidbits of information and insights 
  • Execute an outreach campaign that starts with mini-briefings upon announcement and then follows up over weeks with in-depth briefings on strategy, implementation, customer success stories, marketing campaigns, technology integration and go-to-market plans
  • Conduct analyst inquiries to get marketplace and customer reactions and competitor intelligence
  • Conduct analyst inquiries to test messaging to be used by your sales teams
  • Continually evaluate which analysts are positive about the deal to use for press and sales references
  • Conduct sales force training and provide Silver Bullets about analyst commentary on the event and how to leverage the positive and mitigate the negative

 Competitors

  • Conduct analyst inquiries to get instant analysis and to subtly inject your point-of-view
  • Determine which analysts agree with your point of view and provide a list to PR
  • Conduct analyst inquiries about the impact on any in-progress sales deals and test your sales messages
  • Conduct sales force training and provide Silver Bullets about analyst commentary on the event and how to leverage the positive and mitigate the negative
  • Execute a series of periodic inquiries to determine how customers and prospects are reacting and feed that intelligence to marketing and sales


Bottom Line:  A major M&A event demands serious effort by AR at all the vendors in the affected market. The industry analysts can be important conduits for getting your messages to the market place and impact perception.  They may also impact sales deals in progress.
 
Questions: Tech buyers – If you have a sales deal in progress do you call the analysts when a M&A event happens? Vendors – How aggressive are you in reacting to a competitors M&A announcement?


How SageCircle can Help: If you need advice about how to conduct a M&A campaign or respond to a competitor’s M&A event, check out SageCircle’s two-hour and five-hour advisory paks or Annual Advisory Service. The advisory paks are easy to setup and pay for via credit card. We can help you plan outreach campaigns, suggest inquiries, and help equip your sales force with training and best practices. For more information, visit our website or contact us at sales@sagecircle.com or 650-274-8309. 
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One Response

  1. [...] When a significant announcement occurs in a market (e.g., a major merger) inquiry can be used to raise the analysts’ awareness about a broader range of issues than what the vendors are briefing the analysts about. Inquiry is especially useful for parties not directly tied to the event. Analysts might not accept a rush briefing from a vendor during the early hours of news, but they will – have to – take a client inquiry request. Just make sure your inquiry is reasonable (see M&A events should send vendor AR teams into overdrive). [...]

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