Within each industry there are certain complexities that make the tracking and management of data more difficult. In the manufacturing industry, for example, it’s important to track inventory, project statuses, equipment and time sheets. In the real estate industry, on the other hand, connectivity to multiple listing service (MLS) is a must-have. In the world of private equity and investment banking, a completely different set of capabilities is necessary in order to effectively record and leverage data day-to-day.

When evaluating CRM platforms, the highest level choice to make is between generic CRMs like Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics, often described as “horizontal” software for the way they can be applied to a broad base of industries, or purpose built and tailored solutions like DealCloud, often referred to as “vertical” specific software.

Horizontal vs Vertical
Horizontal software sells into many or all industries. Vertical specific software focuses on one.

For many firms, the “One Size Fits All” model offered by horizontal or generic CRM, ends up not being a good fit, and at DealCloud, over 50% of our new clients migrate off of these systems. Relevance, a tailored approach, and best practices are some important reasons why DealCloud is able to win new clients, enabling their deal & relationship management.

Relevance

One of the biggest pain points for customers using a generic CRM system is that the tool tends to struggle with the basics flows of their days to day. Lets say a banker calls a fund sponsor to talk about a few companies or deals in market, in generic CRM, this call can’t be logged against all the companies discussed in a single action, forcing users to pick between ease of entry or a detailed record. These type of trade offs ultimately hurt adoption, and according to a report by Computerworld, most companies only use 20% of the CRM functionality available to them. One major factor in that statistic is that generic CRMs are built with the needs of operating company sales organizations in mind, and not private markets deal professionals. The system simply wasn’t built for the average private equity or investment banking professional. 

When choosing and implementing a CRM system, it’s easy to get excited about a broad base of features or an ecosystem of downloadable third party tools. Our advice is to think less about the bells and whistles – and think more about which functions can be applied directly to your day-to-day business development, execution efforts, and operations. Relevant, and seemingly simple features such as industry, sponsor or intermediary coverage, fundraising dashboards, and buyers list builders, all found in DealCloud, can make onboarding and adoption smoother, and long-term use more likely. Generic CRMs won’t be able to handle these tasks with out a long, arduous and expensive implementation cycle.

A Tailored Approach

Its possible that no CRM will be absolutely perfect for your firm off-the-shelf, it’s important to consider which aspects of the software can or cannot be customized to fit your specific needs. For example, the language used in deal pipeline meetings should match the language and categorization found in your CRM. Without this type of customization, your team will likely grow frustrated by the inconsistencies between the software they use and their everyday business actions. Think about what comes out of the box with a system like Salesforce: Accounts, Opportunities, Leads, is this the way you think about your business?

DealCloud offers an out of the box blue print that gets most clients 85% of the way there right out of the gate. The last 15% is tailored to each clients specific unique process or strategy. Every firm we work with has the concept of key relationship management like managing investors, or intermediaries, or lenders, but the way each firm handles this process or what they might deem important is different. Think about it like choosing options on a new car vs. building your own car from scratch.

More importantly, the impact of this tailored approach on the availability of actionable insights is undeniable. In the private equity industry, a growing number of firms now rely on their tailored DealCloud instance to create private company call lists, generate geographic coverage reports, and develop deal status summaries. Unfortunately, many of these would be near impossible in generic CRM due to the inflexibility of what can be tailored.

Best Practices

An additional benefit of DealCloud is that in contrast with generic CRMs, our team has worked with over 450 clients to develop a process and set of best practices designed to make your teams daily actions easier or more efficient. We call this the DealCloud Power Index.

The average private equity firm struggles with the same pain points (tracking interactions with investment bankers and business owners, tracking which deals they bid on, etc.), so private equity-specific software and the account management support that accompanies it respond to those pain points directly. With vertical CRMs, there’s no need to explain the sensitivities or complexities of the task at hand. We speak Deals fluently.

DealCloud can also assist with automation and workflow. In investment banking and private equity, the need to track NDAs, IOIs and LOIs is is critical. Compliance checks, KYC, and other process heavy workflows are items we enable for clients daily. Generic CRM ecosystems don’t typically support your team’s ability to remain compliant and stay organized.

Conclusion

Relevance, a tailored approach, and best practices are 3 of many reasons why DealCloud might be a better fit for your dealmaking than generic CRM. For an industry as complex as private equity or investment banking, overlooking the speed of set up, and natural fit for your workflow can prove costly in terms of both time and resources. To learn more about how DealCloud can power your dealmaking process, please visit www.dealcloud.com or reach out to sales@dealcloud.com

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