Redefining Growth Strategies in Private Equity: Insights from the Operating Partners Forum New York

Written by Natasha Bunten
October 30, 2023
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From Buzzwords to Execution: Navigating the New Landscape of Sales Excellence

Private equity professionals converged at the Operating Partners Forum in New York, united by a common goal: driving portfolio growth. Yet, as conversations delved deeper, it became evident that there was a pressing need to bridge the gap between intent and execution, particularly in the realm of sales excellence. In an interview with Centrae’s VP of Sales & Marketing, Dan Perry, Director of Sales and Commercial Excellence at Parthenon Capital, offered three pivotal takeaways that promise to revolutionize growth strategies for private equity firms.

1. Networking: From Intent to Execution in Sales Excellence

“It’s meeting like people at other private equity companies that share the same challenges you face and how do they overcome those challenges.”

One of the biggest problems that kept coming up is that PE firms are holding companies longer because buyer and seller expectations aren’t in alignment. PEI Operating Partners Forum served as an invaluable platform for private equity firms to meet other sales excellence and commercial excellence professionals, each with portfolio growth at the forefront of their minds. However, what emerged was a shared realization that the execution of sales excellence remains an untapped frontier. Historically, PE sponsors have discussed sales and marketing strategy at high-level, but haven’t needed to be this involved in the execution of those strategies in their portfolio companies. The necessity to transition from theoretical strategies to actionable, results-driven approaches was palpable.

2. Demystifying AI: Moving Beyond Buzzwords

In an era where AI is hailed as a panacea, Perry offered a dose of pragmatism. He urged attendees to distinguish between the buzzword and the genuine game-changer. The litmus test? Request a live demo. Witnessing AI in action provides an unvarnished view of its impact on operations.

One example was the ability to create a marketing campaign using AI after answering a series of five questions to include an advertisement and email campaign. “The first thing I thought was, I don’t need an advertising agency anymore.” Another AI supplemented customer service agents to make them conversant and helpful on a wide range of topics. “We are likely underutilizing AI.

Perry went on to highlight the transformative potential of Generative AI, drawing a stark contrast between antiquated models and the cutting-edge technology of today. He likened the leap to upgrading from a Model T to a state-of-the-art sports car. Among the sessions, it’s a clear directive for private equity firms to not just adopt AI, but to leverage it to its fullest potential.

3. Unpacking Go-To-Market: Where Value Meets Challenge

The concept of Go-To-Market (GTM) structure can be a nebulous term, carrying different interpretations for different individuals. Perry, however, underscored that the real value lies not in the definition, but in the meticulous oversight and execution of sales and marketing excellence. Some sessions at PEI were strategic and some were tactical because so many of the firms are at different levels of expertise along the GTM lifecycle.

This resonates deeply within the private equity sphere, where historical practices often focused on high-level strategies. The shift towards a more hands-on approach to GTM signifies a paradigm shift. Perry’s message was clear: to truly unlock value, firms must roll up their sleeves and actively guide the execution of GTM strategies.

In conclusion, Dan Perry’s insights at the Operating Partners Forum New York illuminate a path forward for private equity firms. Networking for execution, demystifying AI, and prioritizing hands-on GTM oversight represent transformative steps towards achieving tangible growth. These takeaways offer a blueprint for firms looking to transcend conventional approaches, embracing innovation, and propelling themselves into a future defined by results.

About Centrae, Inc.

The Centrae Platform pairs cutting-edge technology with expert services to empower revenue teams to consistently accelerate scalable, repeatable, and profitable revenue growth. Our unique combination of tools and expert professional services deploys proven best practices to optimize performance and operational excellence and maximize company value.

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