Planning and Integration

The Power of Organizing Your Deal Process

Completing deals at today’s pace just can’t happen without an efficient end-to-end process

M&A transactions are time consuming and stressful, exponentially so for a company for highly acquisitive organizations.

However, they remain critical to many companies’ strategies for share growth, technology and talent acquisition, and organizational synergy.  The environment today, makes deal making all the more challenging: the field is more competitive and deal speed is ever increasing.  The increasing pace of deal making requires significant changes to a company’s processes and organization—even if the deals are smaller. Deal making today has a new look: more tactical, faster, focused on both growth and specific objectives.  It is no longer the case that teams pursuing 3 or 4 major deals per year are considered “busy”.

Today, it is very common for executives to work on 10 to 20 deals per year – often smaller, but over the same period and perhaps even more critically, simultaneously.  When you try to juggle more and different kinds of deals simultaneously, productivity can suffer.

Many companies are not prepared for the intense work of completing so many deals: a lack of focus, unclear decision making, reactive identification of potential targets and fumbling over the process can jeopardize the very growth companies seek.

Completing deals at the expected pace required today just can’t happen without an efficient end-to-end process.

For example, when companies increase the number and pace of their deals, a significant practical challenge they face is not simply getting the deal team in place, but the right team for each deal.

If they don’t, they may buy the wrong assets, underinvest in appropriate ones, or manage deals and integration efforts poorly. Organizations must invest in both tools and skills and capabilities before launching an aggressive M&A agenda.

It is an unfortunate reality that some organizations lack either the tools, skills or ability to adapt to changing situations.

Recent studies show that while many organizations either use different or modify their playbooks for each deal, there remain a significant number that utilize a static process for all deals or do not even have a formal process.

Thankfully there is a growing awareness of the importance of having a standardized but flexible process to get deals done.  Only a small proportion of M&A practitioners are content with their existing playbook.  Most recognize the value of updating and redeveloping their process.

However, even companies with established deal-making processed, will need to adjust them to play in this new game.  The most successful deal makers link every deal explicitly to the strategy it supports and create processes readily adapted to the fundamentally different requirements of different types of deals.

Achieve Better Outcomes

The benefits of structuring your M&A process is not simply reduced stress, but, most importantly a better outcome.  Having an efficient, repeatable process to keep track of deal progress can is critical.  Simply put – advance preparation is key to a successful transaction.

Deal specific tools help create the framework needed to reach the transaction objectives and goals. If a M&A team’s systems are not properly organized, tasks pile up, paperwork gets lost and valuable time is spent finding information that should be readily available.

There is an understandable priority to focus on getting the numbers to work, often leaving the critical issues of merging the two organizations into a synergistic entity on the proverbial “back burner”, resigning the post-merger integration process to the ‘too little, too late.’ Category.  A failure to address such issues can leads to the financial objectives of the deal being missed.

Tools facilitating organizational planning and development can help executives on the path toward strategic and financial success and enhanced M&A outcomes.


Richard Martin

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