Second Annual WSC Searcher Activity Survey


This past month we conducted and reviewed our second annual searcher activity survey – an aggregate report of search strategies, outreach volumes, and searcher outcomes from over 70 searchers in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Spain. Through a review of the data and discussion with our searcher partners, we were able to discern commonalities that searchers can then use to inform their search strategy selection, better understand the tradeoffs for those strategies, and provide searchers with down-funnel benchmarks that are relevant regardless of strategy.

Universal learnings from 2020 and 2021 were:

  • Outreach volume and efficiency weren’t mutually exclusive. Higher-volume outreach strategies converted targets into qualified leads at similar rates to those pursuing outreach strategies with higher personal customization – on an absolute basis, those with efficient and higher outreach saw more companies for sale that weren’t on the market.
  • Technology has increased attainable Volume at a Reasonable Personalization (VaaRP). This is important to consider when thinking about (i) how many “personalized” messages you should be able to send, (ii) how many other unsolicited emails owners are getting daily, and (iii) how your hypothesis about what their daily inbox looks like should inform your messaging design.
  • Decisiveness in submitting LOIs and killing live deals was key to the success of the searchers who acquired in 2020 and 2021. Knowing how to make key bets and when a deal is no longer attractive will allow you to maximize the use of your most scarce resource – time.

Other helpful information within the surveys:

  • Market-specific benchmarks across outreach, funnel efficiency, and valuation by industry.
  • How searchers are designing intern programs and what types of activities are interns performing.
  • What technology tools do searchers find most useful when tech-enabling their search processes.

If you’re interested in learning about the findings from this survey, how we partner with searchers, or our approach to the search fund model, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the link.