Dos & Don'ts: Go To Market (GTM) Strategy

28 February 2023

When it comes to your Go To Market strategy…

“don’t spray and pray!”

Defining a Go To Market strategy (GTM) is critical to maximising buyer engagement during the marketing phase of an Merger & Acquisition (M&A) transaction. It’s important you articulate your business vision with robust analytics and supporting narrative to increase the level of engagement.

Vasu Majumdar’s an experienced corporate finance deal maker with a demonstrated history of executing M&A transactions. He’s completed 38 M&A deals with a combined value of over £5bn in a corporate finance career spanning 19 years.

Here he shares some dos and don’ts of your go to market strategy to create an effective marketing campaign for you and your eventual buyer.



 Identify 3-5 strategic buyers

At the end of the day, there’s only going to be one buyer.

Identify 3-5 potential buyers, spend time with them, get to know them. When you understand their specific requirements, you’re in a better position to positively influence their decision-making.

Any more than five and you’re not giving each buyer the special treatment they deserve.

Avoid the ‘spray and pray’ approach

By this I mean avoid mass marketing.

The one-size-fits-all approach that sends (sprays) the same message to all buyers in the hope that at least one of them ‘bites’, simply won’t work.

Keep the process tight and don’t let everyone know you’re selling up. It’s about targeting the right buyers rather than too many wrong ones.

Stay factual and objective

When promoting your business to a prospective buyer, use success factors, metrics, and key result indicators to back up your story.

Ensure you’ve captured all of the successes and deliverables that have developed your business’s intellectual capital.

It’s this evidence that illustrates the true excellence of your business, as a matter of fact.

Avoid using hyperbole

“We’re the best in the world!”

It’s easy to get carried away when communicating how great your business is – after all, it’s your business you’ve successfully built. But making assertions that aren’t backed up by facts or empirical data can be readily seen as hyperbole by potential buyers.

Let your buyers see the facts and judge for themselves.

Position your business as ‘Best in Class’

Use quantitative drivers such as revenue growth, profit margins, and market share to demonstrate your competitive positioning.

Are there parts of your business where you’re performing particularly well?

For example, if you’re B2C, do you have a specific standout product category? If you’re in the services industry, is there an area of expertise that’s outperforming the others?

Present the KPIs that work in your favour – those that best demonstrate the value proposition of your business.

Don’t be ambiguous with the numbers

“Our annual turnover’s approximately £X.”

This is somewhat of an extension to the first ‘don’t’, but avoid using wishy-washy statements on your business’s performance. Always provide accurate financials – no wishy-washy, ‘grey’, or approximate answers.

A clear cut response gives your potential buyer the confidence they need to proceed to the next stage of buying your business.

Make it personal

This is your opportunity to tell the story of your business and how it came to be, but targeted towards the specific buyer.

Be proud of the legacy you’ve created, not just for the here and now, but for the future of the business as it transitions into new hands.

Don’t share too much commercial information

This is particularly important during the initial marketing stages. Such information may include employee names and sensitive pricing information.

Be clear about your wish list

What does your preferred deal structure look like? How flexible are you willing to be when it comes to your buyer’s financial options? Would you rather receive a % of the sale upfront, with instalments over the next 3-5 years?

Set out your terms up front.

Don’t drag your feet

It’s important to keep to your timescales for marketing. You should give the potential buyer reasonable time (but not too much) to come to a decision.

Selling a business can be a complex, drawn-out process, so don’t make it any longer than it needs to be.

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