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February 27, 2023

The Evolution of M&A Integration Part 2: GTM Integration

The go-to-market (GTM) integration strategy has a large impact on revenue generation and overall deal success. Integration can be very disruptive to the customers, but if done right, it can enhance the customer experience and acquisition results. In this 2 part article, Pat Belotti, VP Corporate Development Integration at Zendesk, continues to discuss the evolution of M&A integration and delves into the intricacies of GTM integration and offers valuable insights on how to approach it.

“It (the GTM) is all about the customers. It is very disruptive to customers when there is an acquisition and integration.  There are so many things that can go wrong.  On the other hand, you can really knock it out of the park.” - Pat Belotti

GTM integration planning

To ensure a smooth integration, Pat emphasizes the importance of involving the integration team early, even before the LOI. During this stage, the integration leader should begin GTM integration planning and gather crucial information, including:

  • Customers - How many customers does the inbound company have, and how many are overlaps? This information will affect the timeline and integration costs. 
  • Product plan - What is the plan for the acquired product, and how long will that plan take? Is the acquired product at par with the buyer’s standards regarding security and privacy?
  • Sales team - Who is the sales team at the inbound company? How do they sell? 
  • Specialists - If the host company has a specialized product, it will have a specialized sales representative that must be turned into an overlay specialist. They are no longer the single face to the customer and must be part of a team. The ideal situation is to put them in an incubation sales specialist organization if there is one. 
  • Product comparison - How hard is it to sell their product compared to the acquirer?
  • Generating revenue - When will the acquisition start generating revenue? The answer to this will affect many things, such as people retention, speed of integration, and product availability in the market. 

In addition to these front-facing aspects of GTM, backend compatibility must also be considered.


Proper compensation for the sales team is crucial for a successful GTM integration. To avoid salespeople competing against each other and potentially sabotaging each other's efforts, compensate everyone for every product sold to ensure a unified front for customers.

Success metrics

The ultimate GTM integration success indicator is revenue generation. Retaining the sales team is also a key metric, as losing salespeople can slow down achieving revenue synergies. By providing a fair compensation plan, engaging the sales team, and providing proper training, companies can retain top talent and achieve revenue goals.

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