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CMO-CFO Alignment in Portfolio Companies: Why It Matters, and How To Achieve It

When you bring on new portfolio companies, defining titles, setting expectations and clearly assigning responsibilities in the company is usually among the first things you do. This should include identifying and optimizing areas of alignment between the leaders in the company. But, too often, this gets pushed to the back burner because there doesn’t seem to be a direct connection to the investment thesis or because investors are cautious of interfering with the company’s internal dynamics.

However, without alignment between function area leaders, the company could be:

  • Missing out on budget efficiencies
  • Spending dozens of hours on overlapping work
  • Losing potential customers in the cracks between departments
  • Pulling the business in multiple different directions

You can’t assume the executive team will be aligned just because they’re in the same office. These relationships need to be proactively managed, with clear communication requirements and goals...

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PQLs: The Metric Low-Touch Models Need To Improve Sales Efficiency

Improving sales efficiency is one of the most common growth levers that feature in PE investment theses. There is huge potential for growth here if you improve conversion rates throughout your sales funnel. However, you can’t improve sales efficiency if you don’t have data on how prospects are moving through the pipeline towards closed-won.

In high-touch sales models, getting data on pipeline status is as easy as shooting an email to someone on your sales team. But in companies with low-touch models that have small or nonexistent sales teams, this can be more complex. How do you know if a lead is moving through the pipeline if you don’t have a salesperson to collect that feedback?

In a low-touch, ‘try before you buy’ SaaS model (for example using free trials or freemium plans) you’re likely dealing with small deal sizes and short sales cycles. There are thousands of people who want to try out your product: The challenge is converting these users...

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How to Hire Marketing Leaders for PE-Backed Companies

Whether you’re filling gaps in the current marketing strategy, growing the marketing function, or restructuring the team to merge products, hiring new marketing leaders is a common step after an acquisition. 

Without the right leaders, Marketing won’t have the management and expertise it needs to scale demand generation, improve nurture, and support Sales. But finding marketing leaders that suit the company, its objectives, and your ideal roadmap can be a challenge.

The right marketing leaders will accelerate your growth; the wrong marketing leaders will keep you stagnating at status quo, or make rash decisions that could damage your brand. If you hire a CMO who isn’t a good fit for your business, the best-case scenario is several months of slow progress on your growth levers, money wasted on initiatives that go nowhere, and the expense and hassle of hiring a replacement within a year.

For PE firms, that kind of outcome is disastrous. With a limited time to...

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How to Get What You Need From Marketing at Every Board Meeting (+ Free Template)

Portfolio companies often believe that their investors only care about EBITDA and, therefore, that they’ll refuse to invest more into an initiative. If you’re a PE investor, you’ll know that’s far from the truth. 

After an acquisition, aligning the management team and the board around core initiatives as quickly and efficiently as possible is the number one priority for both portfolio companies and the PE firm. Scaling Marketing is often at the center of this, and most PE firms are keen to give Marketing budget to grow—if Marketing can prove they’ll deploy that additional budget responsibly. 

Too often, Marketing walks into the boardroom and asks for another $1 million to supplement their budget, without data to back up their request and without explaining how these projects support the key investment thesis growth levers.

Do you know where and how Marketing would be using the extra budget, and what their projected growth metrics are?...

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3 Questions Your Marketing Due Diligence Needs to Cover

One of the things we see when companies are acquired is that the acquiring company will do all kinds of due diligence. For most companies, that includes technical, financial, and legal due diligence, as well as an assessment of the market and the pipeline. But one area that we see being consistently overlooked is marketing due diligence. 

There is plenty of data, information, and opportunities hidden within the marketing side of every business that aren't analyzed before an acquisition. With all the other kinds of due diligence happening during the LOI-to-close stages, marketing due diligence often isn’t prioritized. 

In this blog post, we’re going to show the types of insights that can be uncovered, and the value they can help you capture, and even give you a step by step checklist to follow. We’ll cover:

  • Why marketing due diligence is critical
  • The five areas your marketing due diligence should cover
  • Three questions your due diligence need to answer
  • The...
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