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"Where should I focus my efforts to cultivate strategic M&A interest?"

The first step is deciding where to focus your efforts to cultivate M&A interest.


Here are the three key areas to prioritize (in order of importance):


1. Product Sponsorship


Product leaders at the target company must be convinced your solution offers concrete benefits. Focus on quantifiable metrics related to speed to market, unique capabilities that align with the acquirer's product strategy, or risk mitigation. Ideally, your offering is viewed as a proven accelerator. 


2. Executive Lean-in


Relationship building with other key senior executives is crucial. The earlier you start, the better. These executives must understand your company's value proposition and how it can support their strategic objectives. Bring a unique point of view and insights to your conversations. Begin collaborating early, even on a small scale. 


3. Corporate Development Support


Corporate Development shepherds the acquisition process, handling negotiations and guiding the deal to completion. Establishing trust and rapport with this team can help smooth the path toward a successful outcome. 


Of this trifecta, Product Sponsorship is critical. Prolonged engagement with a Corporate Development team without meaningful Product Sponsorship is often a red flag. 


Prioritize your efforts accordingly.

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