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The 6-Step Guide to Managing M&A as a CSM

If you’re part of a SaaS customer success team, mergers and acquisitions are an all-too-common occurrence in your life. While these corporate milestones can mean growth and opportunity for your team and you personally, they can also be confusing and difficult to navigate for both CSMs and customers alike.

If you’re going through a merger or acquisition or want to ensure your team is prepared to manage M&A if and when the opportunity arises, here are six fail-proof steps to implement a seamless, pain-free process for your customers.

1. Research the details

Your customers will have as many questions as your team does about the transactions’ in and out, so you need to have some answers on hand when they do. Take the time to research the acquiring company or the company that your team acquired. Focus on the details such as the business value prop, the leadership structure, tech stack, and more.

2. Opportunity assessment

Next, take a look in your CRM to see if the new company involved in the transaction is an existing customer or a prospect. If they are either, this can be an opportunity to identify new opportunities, revenue potential, or other strategic ways your teams can align.

3. Discuss with your customers

Now that you have more details and information about the M&A, it’s time to discuss this upcoming change with your customers. You have gathered the information and know more about the business cases, so you should be well prepared for any questions they may have. Depending on the timeline of the M&A, this may be the first introductory conversation of many down the road. 

4. Get access to the new team

One of the great attributes of an M&A deal is that these kinds of transactions bring in new team members with different skill sets that can benefit your organization. When the timing is right, customer success leadership should schedule some time to meet up with counterparts at the incoming organization to discuss risks, opportunities and future strategic direction for customers on both sides.

5. Schedule your next EBR

M&A conversations are the perfect place to highlight all of the value your team has delivered to your customers throughout the lifecycle of your relationship. Schedule an Executive Business Review to open up this strategic conversation, discuss where your project plan is heading, and put future-facing intentions on the table. 

6. Manage through the change

As many of us know, M&A deals can take quite a long time to go through, and it can be even longer before actual change is realized. Regardless of the changes (or lack of changes) taking place, CSMs must stay actively engaged with customers and on high alert for any issues or challenges. Things move slowly during M&A until they move quickly, which means you need to stay plugged in at every step.

Ready to learn more? Check out these ClientSuccess resources: 

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