8. Identify the Right Contact

Who is the right person to contact at a prospective acquirer?

There is a simple rule for the right contact at an acquirer. If the acquirer has a Corporate Development function, the right contact is the leader for this function.

If the acquirer does not have this function, the right contact is the CEO (or the President or GM of a specific operating division).

Some of the likely titles for the head of Corporate Development:

•  SVP Corporate Development

•  VP Corporate Development

•  Chief Strategy Officer

•  SVP Strategic Development


A strategy in sales is to start at a “hands-on” level to find your champion, then have them help you through higher levels of approval. This doesn’t work as well with strategic acquisitions. Here is why:

The hands-on levels of a business, such as product management, can have a bias towards the build side of the build-versus-buy question when it comes to new capabilities

Corporate Development is in the business of acquisitions; your best odds of getting some consideration are with this team

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