CRM is becoming a must-have, not a nice to have for any investment firm that wants to scale up, raise capital faster or accelerate the exit of their investments: From evidencing to regulators who were met, when and what was discussed; to surfacing the key info you need on the move; to a growing need for sophisticated feedback and targeting tools as more is done in house; to granular, real-time reporting and analytics for the executives and the board – specialist CRM is at the heart of it all. You cannot know what you could be doing until you can analyse what you are doing.
CRM is usually being discussed in the board rooms but the adoption of it often fails there. Make sure, you as an executive, become a role model for your internal systems. Credit: wocintechchat.com
Key benefits investment firms gain on average with CRM Solutions
Raised capital faster by staying in control of the sales and marketing efforts
Accelerated investments and exits and improved competitive positioning due to a strategic and collaborative approach to data in one single source of truth system
Improved view into the relationships with all LPs, investments, target companies and others, incl. partners, employees, and vendors
Maintained strong relationships with existing investors by matching the right investments with their interests
Improved productivity and efficiency of investor relations, deal teams and internal operations
Once you have decided that your next strategic action is the implementation of a CRM system, it's important to set achievable and measurable goals before the implementation. As with any investment project, the more specific your goals are the more targeted, faster and successful the implementation will be. At this stage, it is desirable to think big and long-term as you are selecting the strategic tool that is going to grow with your company. Thinking big does not necessarily mean proportionately higher implementation costs, given the implementation partners should have experience building similar solutions for other investment firms and can leverage that experience to deliver results faster and more easily.
Focus on the most important questions that will make the scoping, implementation and support easier and more cost-effective.
What are the most inefficient processes in our business and what do we want to improve with a CRM system? For example, you might have investors provided by your fund administrator on a regular basis and you don't want to spend time importing them manually in your CRM. Or you may need to track neglected fundraising opportunities.
What operational processes and workflows do we lack and need to add? For example, with limited travel opportunities to meet investors, you may need to implement additional tools that you didn't think of before the Covid-19 hit that can help you track engagement across the multiple proposals you send and on different channels.
Who in our company is going to use CRM now and in the future? How many users do we need? Do we have internal resources to support the implementation? Determine who are the key users that are going to drive the adoption of the tool and could help others with onboarding and training etc. CRM implementation is not a vendor-only implementation. Instead, a high-quality vendor is here to become your partner, ask the guiding questions, help you along the way, perform technical tasks and give industry-relevant advice.
What other solutions will we need in 1, 3, 5 years? What other software do we want to integrate with a CRM system? Think about other solutions that most of the funds use or put yourself in the shoes of your investors and other stakeholders. For example, data rooms, investor/member portals, e-contracts and e-signatures, KYC checks, integrations with accounting and compliance systems, fund administrator, research platforms and more. The more specific with the use case for integration you are, the better for the development later. Don't forget to ask yourself "why do we need it in the first place?"
What are our budget and timeline? It's good to be realistic here. Rome wasn't built in a day, and your CRM will not be either. The initial implementation is just a take-off of your journey to becoming a more investor-centric organization. Implementations can be quick, but adoption and support of the system are long term investments that you need to also consider .
Do we need customizable CRM or do we need an all-in-one solution? When it comes to CRM features and decisions you will need to ask yourself whether to go for a general solution that is best in class on flexibility and an open ecosystem full of useful apps, or with a fund platform that includes CRM, accounting and more. There is no clear-cut answer to this question but we recommend checking out our entire blog post which describes in detail what to consider and why.