Salesforce is the world’s CRM powerhouse—here’s why that’s a good thing for Private Equity
Salesforce has once again been named the world’s #1 CRM provider by the International Data Corporation (IDC). To celebrate the titan’s sixth consecutive year at the top, we decided to shine a little light on why Salesforce is such a powerful tool for the private equity market specifically.
There are some common misconceptions about using Salesforce for PE. Teams have found the platform to be complicated to implement and configure. Some have even decided they needed to build their own CRM from the ground up specifically for the PE market.
Instead of “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” many PE firms are discovering that there are many benefits to running their business on Salesforce, with some customizations for their unique needs. While a lot of people like to hate on it, there are significant benefits to implementing a CRM system that is the industry standard.
1. Reliable Infrastructure
The funny thing about the software world that we work in today is that we rarely have to think about things like technology reliability and infrastructure security. We simply turn it on and expect it to work. But the reality is that a lot of sophisticated engineering goes into building applications that work—and are able to keep your proprietary information secure from external threats.
As the market leader, Salesforce is capable of employing some of the world’s top product engineers and InfoSec experts to build and maintain the product that we all take for granted on the front-end. The fact that you’re able to login to Salesforce and have access to your data anytime, from anywhere without service outages is actually an astonishing feat.
The application security that is built into the product is rarely considered but is perhaps the most critical differentiator for private equity firms today. Think about the consequences of the possibility that a hacker might be able to gain access to your organization’s proprietary information. Information such as customer and prospect data, and intellectual property can all mean a significant loss of competitive advantage and revenue for any PE firm.
Salesforce also upgrades its product on an insanely fast release cycle. They’re rolling out patches and minor upgrades all the time. But even more exciting are the major upgrades to features and functionality that happen at an incredible three times per year.
For Altvia, this means that we’re constantly gaining access to new and improved tools, features, and functionality through our Salesforce partnership that can be repurposed specifically for the private equity market. Again, we don’t have to build each new upgrade from the ground up. We can take what Salesforce—the largest and most well-funded CRM in the world—builds and package it for the specific and unique needs of the PE industry.
3. Add-Ons and Integrations
Salesforce is built to allow add-ons and integrations with a wide variety of other products. Many organizations use it as their central data hub, which can be accessed and easily re-packaged for use in other tools that need a variety of information. This also means that customers get robust reporting and dashboard features within Salesforce that allows them to pull information and trends across all of their technology systems into one place. This unique capability provides deep insights that help firms make sound, data-based decisions.
Additionally, most third-party app companies build their platform to play nice with the world’s #1 CRM. Doing so gives them the best ROI, with Salesforce users reaching over a million. Meanwhile, other private equity CRM’s are racing to convince those third-party apps to partner with them. The result is far less choice and functionality for their customers when it comes to powerful integrations and add-ons.
The second reason is that the Salesforce API is much better and more robust for third party integrators to work with than a smaller vendor is typically able to provide.
Why is this important? Just ask Altvia client IVP. With Salesforce’s integration power, they are able to use ShareSecure, to reduce the time it takes their investor relations team to build reports from 5 to 10 hours down to 30 minutes.
4. Talent Pool
The final benefit to using Salesforce over a smaller vendor has to do with being able to find and hire an employee or an outside consultant who knows how to use it. There are far more people in the labor market who are Salesforce power users than any other CRM available on the market. This means that, if you’re planning on hiring someone to help with the implementation and/or management of your CRM system, you will have a much easier time finding someone who knows how to use Salesforce over any other CRM.
On the flip side, people are typically more willing to work with Salesforce than another CRM. They know that Salesforce experience is a more marketable skill for their on-going professional development. They also know that there are far more resources available to them to learn how to use Salesforce. There are untold millions of articles, guides, videos, etc. documenting how to do just about anything in Salesforce.
Salesforce also hosts live meetings and conferences regularly that users and vendors can attend to learn about the newest features and functions, and how to leverage them in their own organizations. The resources available for other CRM systems pale in comparison to what is available for Salesforce.
Don’t let the rumor-mill ‘Salesforce is daunting to PE firms’ happen to you. In our experience, It is true, Salesforce is quite robust, but it is far better to start out using technology with strong foundational development, and investment, then it is to use something that a small team is attempting to build from the ground up. View our blog post, Challenges using Salesforce for Private Equity: Debunking the Myths for more on this topic.
If you are interested in seeing the power of Salesforce and Altvia to speed up and streamline processes at your firm, click the button below to see a demo.