Correspond Investor Edition: New Features in 2020

It’s increasingly imperative to be strategic and differentiate your firm. Our focus is on redefining the relationship between GPs and LPs with upgraded products to reduce the time on investor demands and communication.

We believe that technology is the most efficient way to provide a better investor experience with minimal additional effort, and we’re thrilled to announce an all-new, improved version of Correspond Investor Edition in 2020.

Here are 6 new features designed to help you better audit documents and offer more flexibility to track and send documents.

correspond investor edition

Filter from Reports

Problem it solves: In some cases, users have subgroups within a single entity (ie, GPs and LPs) and need to send a different static doc to each group. One current workaround is to attach the sponsor group doc to all the investors in the batch and remove that doc, one-by-one, from the investors who shouldn’t get it. Not only is this process tedious, but it also leaves room for error. The user then has to repeat the process for the second group’s static document.

How it works: Using a Salesforce report, users can now choose a subset of an entity’s investors as recipients.

Merge Data Inspector

Problem it solves: Users populating merge data using tools like XL Connector may have varying degrees of experience/comfort with data loading. Historically, users have to spot check their work by generating documents and opening PDF by PDF, which is time-consuming and tedious.

How it works: Once users have generated a document from a template, we’ll provide them a searchable list of merge fields that have been incorporated into each Investor’s document.

Drafts to ShareSecure

Problem it solves: Sending important documents to LPs is a stressful process for many of our users. Many of them want as many ways to verify that the correct recipients will receive the correct documents as possible.

How it works: Users can now send their deliveries to ShareSecure as drafts for a final spot check on documents, recipients, and categories before you officially share them.

send drafts to sharesecure

Enhanced Delivery Report

Problem it solves: Previously, once a batch had been sent, users didn’t have a centralized location to check whether all their documents had been successfully delivered.

How it works: The new delivery report includes charts and filtering that helps users easily figure out which recipients have viewed documents in ShareSecure and opened emails. Users can also easily fix and resend any failures.

Investor-Specific Static Documents

Problem it solves: Occasionally, specific Investors need one-off documents delivered to them in a batch. Previously, we didn’t have a good way to accommodate this requirement.

How it works: Users simply upload the Investor-specific document through a newly added pop-up.

Master Investor Contacts

Problem it solves: IR professionals have needed to make time for repetitive, error-prone data entry that’s historically been required when users create a new Investor commitment, update a Contact’s Correspondence Preferences, or add a new Investor Contact to all of an account’s Investor commitments.

How it works: Master Investor Contacts (MICs) allow you to set up a standard set of Contacts for an Account that can quickly be added as Investor Contacts to that Account’s Investors.  For example, if the State Retirement System always wants Carolina Webster and Tad Nixon to receive Investor Correspondence, you could add them as MICs for that Account. Whenever you create a new Investor record, you can quickly add Carolina and Tad as Investor Contacts with the Preferences and override values that have been defined on the Master Investor Contacts you created.

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.

migrate data