Vmware, Diane Green, Diane Greene discussed on a16z



Salespeople stay in place. PL stays in place. They're separate. So for example, the MR bought a company called air watch. And they basically didn't touch it. There are other acquisitions that are basically mergers. They're like, okay, here's an existing Oregon. We're going to go ahead and squish you in that order. We were a merger. There was an existing networking team that we got squished into. That was actually larger than us. Those just tend to be a lot more difficult. And then, yeah, I mean, there's massive trust issues. You know, there's arguably inequity issues, right? Let's say two teams, both were working for four years on the same thing. One, you know, so the company for a whole bunch and the other one has to go ahead and adopt their technology or work with them or partner with them. I mean, that's kind of a tough thing to manage. And so having gone through it, actually, now twice. Infinite M and a happens the first order of business is to really, really make sure that communication culture operating all of that stuff is in place to manage the people aspect of the merger. So what are some strategies that founders should think about to make it work after the acquisition? What don't people know if they haven't actually lived through it? So an earlier selling this era, we actually had multiple companies that we were kind of thinking between. And then we decided that VM was the best strategic fit. We decided to go to VMware. So I called Diane green. So Diane Greene, of course, the founder of VMware was a CEO of VMware. And I said, Diane, you know, listen, we're being acquired by VMware. Do you have any advice or anything I should know? And she said something to me at the time, I didn't understand how spot on a prophetic was. She says, Martin, no matter what, don't give up your sales team. You must keep your sales team. I'm like, why, why is that? So not really knowing why when we are actually finalizing the details of the deal, I basically said, you know, with the CEO Steve landing, we're like basically, like in order to do this, we keep our sales team for at least a year. Steve may have known why we were saying that I had no idea why we're saying that. But it turns out that I think the difference between the acquisition being successful and not was the fact that we kept our sales team. And the reason is because in large companies, sales teams often carry many products and they are already used to a certain type of a buyer. And if you sell to a different buyer and or your product is more difficult to sail and the customers in a different adoption curve, it's very, very hard to get an existing sales team to sell it. The fact that we're able to control our own sales team, we had a bit of a different buyer, which is kind of network and security, which wasn't the current VMware buyer, like a 100% of their quota was our product allowed us to really build out sales. And so again, these things are situational. If you're in B2B and you do have a direct sales motion to sales team, I think keeping your sales is one of the absolute keys to being successful, post acquisition. It's almost that trust issue. I don't want to sell their stuff..

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