This article was originally posted on Avalara and written by Mark Huson.
As a director in West Monroe Partners’ Mergers & Acquisitions practice, my team and I have assisted many private equity (PE) firms as they acquire companies for their portfolio. Growth is typically the cornerstone of the PE firm’s investment thesis when it comes to middle-market targets for acquisition — and thus, assessing whether the target business is fit to scale for growth is critical to understanding if the acquisition will meet the PE firm’s goals.
This experience has given me a lot of insight into how mid-market businesses should evaluate their “revenue engine” — that is, the marketing and sales activities that fuel growth — to understand where to focus in order to scale up. These lessons apply whether or not the business is for sale.
Many organizations face a common set of growth challenges as they seek to scale, regardless of the industry or company type. For many companies, the key to finely tuning their revenue-generation engine is introducing more focus and sophistication into their go-to-market activities.
To determine how well-positioned for growth your company is, you must first understand the details of the sales and marketing functions. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you focused on the right segments, or are you treating all revenue the same?
- Do you have a clear picture of your customers — who buys, who influences, and what drives purchase decisions — in the most attractive segments?
- Is your marketing mix optimized to how customers build awareness and consideration?
- Do you have the marketing and sales skills and roles needed to execute an effective go-to-market strategy?
- Have you set appropriate metrics and targets for marketing and sales activities?
- Do you have effective processes, tools, and technologies to support all phases in the sales and delivery cycle?
These questions may sound fairly straightforward but it’s my experience that they will provide highly tactical, actionable insight into how your marketing team and sales team can more effectively accelerate growth.
For more, join me and Avalara on Wednesday, January 17 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET for a webinar on how to prioritize your growth plan and focus your sales and marketing activities: Register here.