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3 Strategies for Successful Banking Mergers and Acquisitions

By 11.02.21
Reading time: 4 minutes

After dipping in 2020, U.S. bank mergers and acquisitions are picking up steam. Companies announced more than 132 deals this year as of August 2021 — compared to 103 for all of 2020 — and total deal value grew by over $10 billion. 

But a deal announcement is far from the finish line. After months, maybe even years, of planning, now it’s time to start integrating systems, combining teams, and getting the message out to clients and the rest of the world. 

Salesforce can save you a lot of headaches during this process, and working with a partner like Silverline ensures that you have Salesforce solutions tailored to your unique M&A challenges and the know-how you need to get the most out of your investment. Here are the top three things you need to consider. 

3 ways to effectively facilitate banking M&A

Bank mergers and acquisitions require dedicated resources, which can potentially interrupt or delay other areas of business if there isn’t a detailed roadmap and consistent communication — both internal and external. These strategies can help you avoid operations hurdles during the M&A process, providing a strong foundation for the new combined entity. 

1. Assemble a dedicated task force to support the merger

Typically, only a select few people within the organization know about a merger before it happens. Once the announcement is public, there’s a lot that needs to be done to execute on what is planned during the due diligence stage. 

Successful mergers and acquisitions have a dedicated task force of people within the organization who understand both the financial and operational needs of the combined entity. IT and core banking systems are top priorities to ensure the cleanliness of the data that is brought into a centralized data warehouse. With Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, you can update connections within the current systems and continue business as usual while other team members are quickly onboarded. 

Companies may be one entity at legal day one, but they often operate with separate systems: loan origination systems, account opening systems, websites, CRMs, communication tools, and more. In complex mergers and acquisitions, it’s useful to bring in a partner like Silverline to evaluate the systems and help both parties understand their best options. 

Silverline can determine the feature functionality that will best serve your organization’s strategy moving forward, taking into account the user experience for both the customer and the internal team, as well as the maintenance support that will ultimately be needed.

2. Onboard team members to optimize collaboration

Organizations often don’t spend enough time thinking about what the combined team structure is going to look like. When a leader from one organization takes over a new team, there needs to be a process that onboards everyone appropriately so that they are comfortable doing business together. 

Updating processes and procedures to align the entire team around their new shared culture and HR guidelines takes time, but Salesforce offers many opportunities for team onboarding. Whether you’re using a separate learning management system or a Salesforce feature like myTrailhead, you can build out educational content that’s gamified to track and measure that people actually understand the new things they need to know to manage and sell products.

With certifications around products, services, and features, you can make sure every team member is properly educated and has the ability to quickly reference that knowledge. Using full or partial Sandbox environments in Salesforce, you can synchronize and test new data during training sessions, enabling new associates to get hands on with the system right away.

3. Bolster marketing efforts to keep clients informed

Marketing carries significant responsibility in communicating mergers and acquisitions via press releases and client communications. 

Organizations keep more clients if they give them a smooth transition to their new bank, and tools like Salesforce Marketing Cloud can help teams deepen interactions with clients. Marketing Cloud provides efficiency and transparency for both internal and client communications with automated campaigns and workflows that recommend next steps and track follow-ups.

As communication starts to go out, you’ll want to have a mechanism in place to receive inbound questions and requests, whether it’s an FAQ site, a chat bot to help online visitors, or contracting a call center as a service firm to take overflow calls that you don’t have the capacity to support. 

Say you acquire a company with an entirely different business model. If that company will maintain its own separate brand, it still needs to be built into the overall visibility and functionality of your existing tools so you can start collaborating in the right way. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can create new business units in your marketing tools to keep brand identity and compliance, but still limit visibility for certain people who are only clients of one brand versus the other.

Implement Salesforce for a smoother M&A process

If this year’s upward trend continues into 2022, it will be even more important for banks to understand best practices for mergers and acquisitions and how they can implement them into their existing operations. Silverline can help you optimize the Salesforce program to support your M&A priorities, providing expert guidance on how you can leverage the platform for all aspects of your organization. 

Our team’s expertise in both financial services and Salesforce technology gives you the tools and knowledge you need to satisfy employees, customers, and stakeholders throughout the M&A process. Contact us today to learn more.

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