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For the rest of the August 1999 issue of CRM magazine please click here

For sales departments, corporate mergers can bring the hassles of new products and tight technology budgets. But, according to Jerry Lepore, vice president and managing director of Pinkerton Scientific, a division of Pinkerton Computer Consultants, such tumult also presents new opportunities-if sales people play it smart during the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process.

To successfully navigate rocky M&A shoals, Lepore recommends that sales professionals follow these five best practices:

  • Become a stakeholder in issues and decisions that will affect your department as soon as possible.
  • Learn the customer base and the product offerings across the new corporation, not just what you have offered in the past.
  • Regarding technology, budgets will be tight, so be prepared to show how technology expenditures can directly increase revenue.
  • Reevaluate your department from an operations perspective, keeping an eye out for new opportunities.
  • Get involved in the data consolidation aspect of the merger. To succeed, sales departments must have access to uniform data.

These steps are time-consuming but may pay off in the end. As Lepore says, "In mergers, opportunities are greater than the obstacles."

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