Make no mistake: mergers are challenging. Even so, they can provide organizations with transformative possibilities. One of the biggest—the integration of sales forces—is central to ensuring revenue growth and driving the value that mergers promise but often fail to realize.

Yet integrating sales forces ranks among the hardest parts of a merger to execute—a fact not lost on senior executives. Mergers generate anxiety inside and outside the companies involved, and competitors happily exploit such fears to woo star salespeople and poach customers. Nonetheless, savvy companies embrace the opportunity to build a new sales organization that is more than the sum of its parts.