Build Stronger Relationships with an Investor Management Platform

It has become more difficult than ever to secure capital and close deals in Private Equity. When you listen and provide investors with value, you build relationships, earn their trust, and instill loyalty. But, with today’s level of competition, it’s challenging to build solid relationships without the help of an investor management platform.

As business practices and technologies evolve, so do communication tools and investor relationship management. More and more Private Equity firms are adopting scalable and efficient communication solutions. 

To differentiate firms and strengthen relationships, the right communication tools make a huge difference. Firms need to focus on improving how they interact with investors and increase transparency at the core of GP-LP relationships with an investor management platform.

A Tool Purpose-Built for Private Equity Communication

We’re in an era when technology is improving rapidly and there are endless options for communication tools. But what tool will best fit a firm’s needs? 

A tool made specifically for private equity is essential. Investors have specific needs and letting them know that they are understood is a critical relationship-building step that will pay off immediately and in the future. 

The right investor management platform:

  • Automates processes to save time
  • Removes the risk of error
  • Gives the gift of time back to your team so they can focus building solid relationships 

That’s why Altvia built a Private Equity communications solution, Altvia Correspond. Correspond uses one integrated system to manage data, communications, smart lists, enhanced analytics, and flexible mass emails and templates. 

There are currently more than 5,530 active users on the platform, connecting with investors, and nurturing relationships. See how they use the platform to connect with investors and how it has transformed their communication

Automate IR Processes

The IR teams’ goal is to drive high-impact outcomes for your firm. Removing administrative tasks and data entry projects will give them more time to effectively and thoughtfully achieve their goals. The tools chosen to support communication should make things easier, not add busy work.

Correspond provides the high-touch investor experience that investors demand while streamlining reporting and communication processes. Teams can grow relationships with personalized communications and leverage contact lists and communication templates for more frequent engagement. It’s so simple that one person alone can handle large-scale communications—up to 50,000 recipients.

An investor management platform should bridge the gap between a CRM and the back office. Establish trust with investors with relevant, on-time communication. Investors don’t want to wait for the next reporting cycle or to ask for the latest fund performance report. Thankfully, with today’s technology, they don’t have to. 

Correspond simplifies processes by generating personalized documents and auto-populating them with data already stored in the CRM. It empowers IR teams to send on-point email communication through the entire investor lifecycle, including capital call notices, PPMs, and K1s. 

Provide Personalized Responses and Avoid Errors 

With a tool like Correspond, you can be confident that investors are receiving error-free documents and up-to-the-minute reporting. 

Since communications are automated and connected to the CRM, there’s minimal risk of sending incorrect data or missing an important deadline. Correspond reduces the time required for teams to pull reports and send them off to investors from 5-10 hours down to 30 minutes. 

Be proactive by addressing investor questions and sending them the materials they want, exactly when (or even before) they need them. 

Some of those materials include:

  • Performance data and reporting on investment performance
  • Market insight
  • Industry information
  • Communications about annual meetings
  • Investor documents and agreements

Send the right information at the right time with smart lists. Create dynamic and segmented email contact lists to ensure data integrity and send targeted communications. 

Personalize communication even more by creating groups of contacts to send documents regarding investor commitments and record those contacts’ communication preferences. That way important files, like capital calls, go where the investors want them–their  Portal or email. 

Once you’ve set these preferences, Correspond automatically applies the preferences to all future mailings driving accuracy and efficiency in your operations.

Enjoy audit functionality and the flexibility to track and send documents by email or through a portal to give peace of mind when communicating with key stakeholders. 

Get Back the Time You Need to Engage with Investors

Time is precious, and so are investor relationships. Investor relationships are a key driver in a firm’s success. With the right technology, IR teams will find more time on their hands to focus on nurturing relationships. 

By automating processes and significantly reducing the risk of error, teams will be less weighed down with administrative tasks and repetitive data entry. 

To make things even better, Correspond empowers firms to share reports and fund information and then track what the investors are doing with that information. This allows firms to track behavior and monitor their investor interest to improve the targeting and personalization of investor communications.

Embrace Technology to Elevate Investor Relations and Drive Revenue

By working hard (and smart with the help of technology) to manage investor relationships—earning their trust and anticipating their needs—you will set your firm up to be well-positioned for a “yes” from investors when the next fundraising opportunity arises. 

The goal should be to exceed expectations. Firms operating with tools like Correspond can be both proactive and predictive, giving their investors error-free, relevant information and guidance every step of the way. 

A traditional crm was built for general ‘customer’ scenarios

Software platforms have made the world a better place by making work a better place. Indeed the world is better off when people enjoy their jobs even marginally more, and workplace applications on big CRM platforms like Salesforce.com have done that and much more.

But the potential that platforms like these offer presents diminishing returns: once the platform provider has engineered too many industry specific components into its platform, its usefulness for other industries begins to be threatened, and with that so do the usefulness of the component tools built into the platform.

So it is with the CRM category that Salesforce.com has defined: it is generic enough to work for many industries, and yet still offers the potential for others to round off the edges and nail more vertically-oriented and extremely tailored software solutions.

Private capital markets are actually a great demonstration of this dynamic. Where generic CRM platforms simplify — appropriately so — to assume there’s a business, a customer, a sale, and service of that customer, there are a few industry-specific pieces that are missing.

Take for example, that investors become customers by investing through legal entities the GP raises. It’s a subtle but important nuance that just doesn’t make sense at a platform-as-a-service level (because it’s overly complicated for a simple one-time sale that many industries require), but which can easily be added without 10 years or software engineering. Once provided, the rest of the platform’s components become tremendously powerful again and you’re set to take over the world.

As a traditional CRM in our pillars methodology, these nuances must be present to properly account for investors in these legal entities, potential target companies and which are owned by these entities, the context of all interactions with these parties (as well as the appropriate overlap, ie co-investments), and how you’re arriving at finding these opportunities on both sides of the equation, such that you’re able to piece together what’s effective and what’s not. Not just because we say so, but because these are the very relationships and data that are key to the motivation behind a CRM in any industry.

It’s critical, too, that the valuable publicly-available information that helps to enrich CRM systems and save users painful steps of entering it themselves is fully-integrated at the platform level.

Again, look no further than the 3,000+ pre-built integrations that Salesforce.com — the creator of the CRM platform concept — has at a platform level to do so, and which only exists by way of holding just short of overly-specifying certain industry workflows that would present challenges to properly integrate.

Stakeholder reporting and communication (investor relations) draws on a range of datasets

The traditional “customer service” model of CRM systems once again makes overly-simplified assumptions about the customer relationship when applied to private capital markets.

In fifteen years I personally have yet to hear the terms “warranty” or “service call” in this market because it’s just not the same. But make no mistake, as uncomfortable as it may be to say aloud, customer service is more important now than ever and it’s constantly happening; the industry is, after all, considered to be a financial “service”.

As it turns out, that service is primarily information-based — it’s driven by data and takes the form of reports and analysis that drive decisions, and then end up again in investor-facing reports and analysis.

The foundational elements of a private capital markets CRM must be built such that they accommodate this data (like we discussed above), but so too that it can accommodate additional supporting data that investors (customers!) need in the context of service.

Oftentimes this supporting data — financial metrics and time-based values, for example — is believed not to meet the traditional definition of CRM and the natural thought is “well, better do this in Excel!”.

While I happen to believe Excel is still the greatest software application ever built, its introduction to this value chain we’ve discussed herein actually creates the problem many firms suffer from: key data needed to provide customer service (again: effectively the entirety of a firm’s reports and analysis) is now in disparate systems and detached.

Both of those dynamics are important and distinct: not only is this supplemental data disparate, but when brought together there is no logical association that can be made between the two data sets.

Allow me, then, to make the point very simply: not only can this financial and time-based value data (you may be thinking about is as “portfolio monitoring” or “accounting”) be a part of a CRM, it is arguably the most important part of a CRM because it’s at the core of what providing service to the customer entails — information that comes out of data!

Firms need a digital method to engage stakeholders (ie investor portals)

Investor portals are not new; in fact, for many of us — including myself — they conjure up horrifying nightmares in which we’re aimlessly guessing at folders to find the newest document we need.

So in lies the opportunity: not only have the portals we’ve come to hate not simplified the process of acquiring information, they’ve failed to create an entirely new experience that is “customer service” driven.

To be fair, this is not a B2C market where you’d be long out of business for not having focused on customer service and thus the customer’s technology-driven experience. But don’t expect to be around too much longer if you aren’t thinking about this shift.

Today’s institutional investors increasingly expect this same consumer-like experience, and a massive opportunity is being missed by not providing it. It’s not about providing them the experience they desire; it’s more about the ability to measure engagement that is had in return.

Put simply: what’s keeping the market from providing this experience is the availability of the information that’s required to create the service that provides the experience.

If you’ve hung in this long, you know that by focusing on your CRM, you have the data that’s required to manage the customer relationship and the technology-driven experience through which that information is shared to create a differentiated and opportunistic customer experience.

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