You’ve worked hard to get to this point. Make sure when it comes time to close the deal, that you stick the landing.

You’ve achieved steady returns, navigated numerous challenges and subsequently piqued investor interest – you are now in the home stretch of closing the deal. You have all the tools at your disposal to guarantee success, right? Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are a lot of obstacles that can derail a successful exit, and many M&A deals that reach formal due diligence never make it to close.

As a CXO, how can you best partner with your firm, drive value, and deliver the best exit possible at this crucial stage in the process?

Know your market and value proposition

Buyers are seeking to understand the story of your business and why it is a viable acquisition. They require a cohesive and compelling equity narrative that highlights your unique market position and the value that the acquisition will add — be it by way of new distribution channels, offerings or possibly geography.

To this end, it is critical to think like an investor and prioritize value creation from the start. Understanding your place in the market and formulating a comprehensive exit story should be well underway no later than 18 months before the sale process begins. Collaborate with your management teams and your sponsor to begin crafting a narrative for your business that will foster buyer appetite. Fine tune your data room to ensure t...