With the market uncertainty, there has been more stringent deal preparation before a company goes to market for any type of M&A transaction. But many executives aren’t familiar with the deal landscape they’re facing today.

Dan McIntosh, Director, M&A at BMO Capital Markets, speaking at last year's Minneapolis Smart Business Dealmakers Conference, said there's still a lot of a lot of capital that's available., but much of it is chasing the best deals that are out there,. That could mean strong margin, strong growth, great management team, sales prospects, etc.

"Those that aren't as strong are those that are slowing down the most or coming apart," he says.

The biggest he says he had been seeing this past year was that when a process would start, people would let him know upfront that they were not going to accept any contingent or note or any similar kinds of structures within a proposal. This year, it's becoming much more of the norm, much more understandable, if something's a more aggressive adjustment, or something that's more pro forma in nature.

Also, it's now more important to help sellers understand the fit of the leadership team to the potential buyer, whether financial or strategic.

"That's probably one of the most important pieces of this from a long-term, successful transaction perspective is making sure there's the right culture, the right transition that fits with the team, fits with the ownership that maybe staying on board," he says. So, that was one of our main discussion topics was how do you look at a partnership down the road, looking at different options that could be coming your way in terms of both value, long-term view, etc."

Looking out into the market, McIntosh says what is most notable is how things have changed from a year ago is the go-to-market prep.

"In general, we would try to be as thoughtful as we can. We're putting together marketing materials, measured presentations, things of that nature. But we're putting more focus on now with the all the uncertainty around us is just what some of the additional costs and complexities have been."

Another consideration is that lenders are tightening the credit at the same time that it's gotten more expensive. There tend also to be more terms around lending that can make it tougher, but he says it's still there and still happening, however hazy the crystal ball might be looking forward.