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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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