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3 Tips for Managing a Global M&A Pipeline

Does your company have multiple corporate development teams, located around the globe? Most of the time when I speak with companies that have distinct regional deal teams (e.g., LATAM, APAC, EMEA, US), they keep these teams – and their M&A pipeline of targets – in silos.

Even if they are rolling the pipelines into one, it requires manual work in Excel to do so. This means that the regional stakeholders are not sharing best practices with their counterparts, and processes and tools are inconsistent from one team to the next.

We’ve talked to our high-performing, global customers about how they manage their regional pipelines. Read on to learn their top 3 tips. 

1. Create a Universal, Stage-Gated Approach

All too often, each region at a global company will have its own process for M&A pipeline management. One team runs the process in Excel, one team keeps track of targets in a generic CRM, and a third team is keeping track of its pipeline of targets on four different spreadsheets, each with a different format.

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The best-performing acquirers, however, are choosing a more consistent approach. They collaborate using modern technology - either in the form of M&A software or a similar purpose-built solution - to define a stage-gated approach for managing a pipeline of targets and moving deals forward.

All regions follow a defined process and approach; as a result, these companies can more easily iterate and improve their process, enabling them to consolidate targets, refine their global pipeline and hit their inorganic growth objectives.

2. Report, Report, Report!

Instead of keeping each region’s pipeline in a different spreadsheet, then regularly needing to take the time to consolidate these spreadsheets and crunch the numbers at HQ, imagine a world in which each region follows the same stage-gated approach. Once you have this in place, reporting on aggregate, global pipeline data turns into a walk in the park on a sunny spring day.

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Top-performing acquirers can look at their entire M&A deal flow across regions, and then filter by location, or business unit, or target stage, etc. It is crucial to be able to see information about deal flow on a region-by-region basis, but also at a global level. Bonus points if you get out of Excel and use a system that updates M&A analytics in real-time, as your teams work around the globe.

3. Provide Stakeholders with Cross-Region Visibility

One of the biggest downfalls of keeping regional deal teams in silos is that collaborating and sharing M&A best practices becomes far more difficult. 

Ample research tells us that serial acquirers outperform their peers. Why? Because they leverage their experience wisely, constantly iterate to improve, and tweak their processes based on rigorous deal post-mortems.

By keeping your EMEA pipeline in one spreadsheet and your US pipeline in another, it means that you are missing a huge opportunity for your regional stakeholders to have visibility—and accountability.

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The best-performing global teams use solutions for pipeline management that allow them to effectively manage permissions so that information is kept secure and separate (when needed), but so that M&A leaders can also share best practices and process tweaks easily with their counterparts around the globe.

Do you have any tips from managing a global M&A pipeline, or questions about how our customers are successfully doing so? We’d love to hear from you!

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