Fundraising in Salesforce for Private Equity

What really matters when you’re talking about investor engagement? Fundraising and firm performance. To set fundraising teams up for success, they need the proper fundraising software.

Businesses of all kinds use CRMs to manage everything from contacts to relationships to meetings. Salesforce is an excellent example of a CRM that is used by many private equity firms. As the #1 CRM solution in the world, Salesforce is a powerful platform, but you need to use it right for it to be effective. 

Often, private equity firms struggle to customize their CRM to fit their very specific needs. For example, Crosslink is an investment firm whose investments range from early-stage private companies to well-established public corporations. Their team adopted the Salesforce CRM but confusion arose almost immediately on how to structure the system for their needs. 

Crosslink’s investor base is made up of large organizations that often have smaller subsidiaries that need to be tracked and managed separately. Data on these smaller divisions, however, needs to be rolled up to the umbrella organization so that Crosslink can understand the entire organization’s portfolio and which fundraising activities have taken place throughout the organization. Crosslink found it difficult to properly track these activities in a standard Salesforce set up.

This is where implementing a fundraising software built for the industry, powered by Salesforce makes an enormous impact. Altvia is made exclusively for private equity firms and knows the structure that works best for the industry. The software is structured based on our knowledge of what has been successful at other firms, and enables quick setup of a system that supports fundraising.

Watch the video below to get an overview of how Altvia can accelerate fundraising by prioritizing your most engaged LPs, and target new LPs who fit the ideal profile.

Targeting the Right Investors

To thrive in private equity fundraising, firms need to identify the right investors, connect with them, and use data to differentiate themselves.

If firms aren’t identifying the right investors, they won’t win. The wrong investors make it impossible to quickly close and generate favorable returns. The right fundraising software should focus on targeting LPs and investors who fit a specific profile. 

Altvia helps firms find LPs who fit the bill and prioritize the most engaged investors. Within Alvia, the account page contains a wealth of information that can be automatically enriched by third-party data providers, such as Preqin. With this data, firms can find investors searching for specific investment opportunities, and learn their past activity and future plans. You can also use filters to find fundraising prospects that passed on the previous opportunity but requested that you follow up with them during the next fundraise.

Seeking LPs with the right focus and credentials? Altvia allows you to easily view important KPIs and activities from a customized dashboard. These dashboards are interactive, enabling easy drill down on specific information to reveal more detail. 

Altvia also makes it easy to track relationships associated with an investor account. You’ll be able to identify the contact information for employees as well as other industry connections like former employees and placement agents. You can also view previous interactions with this account for firm-wide transparency and the ability to craft more personalized communication. 

Execute and Optimize Communication

Once you know who the right investors are, it’s time to connect with them. 

With the right tools, your Investor Relations team will be liberated from mundane tasks and able to focus on key relationships. Data from all investor touchpoints can be used to deliver thoughtful and contextual interactions and provide the on-demand transparency LPs crave while reducing the burden of one-off requests.

Every step of the investor relations lifecycle can be streamlined and organized with Altvia so you can simplify investor communications using data and leverage tools to send out fund news or critical documents to the right people at the right time—automatically. For example, email campaigns can be sent with a click and engagement with messages is monitored so you can understand how prospective investors respond to your messages and improve future communication. 

Differentiate with Data

Investors have options and it pays to stand out. What is your firm’s “edge” and how do you plan to create a better experience for investors that builds trust? 

Your team can easily pull objective data from Altvia to communicate the firm’s track record, ongoing execution of investment thesis, and key points of differentiation. These metrics can be conveyed through activities like investor nurture campaigns, which can include information about your firm’s niche, market learnings, portfolio company performance, and announcements of upcoming events. 

With Altvia, you can see if a specific contact has opened your emails or had a chance to view a critical document. If it looks like they have, you could give them a call and ask if they have any questions. Notes about your call can be stored and shared with the team. 

A direct integration between Altvia and Gmail or Outlook lets you access all of your CRM data directly from your inbox. This streamlines communication and allows account activity to be tracked without having to switch back and forth between systems. 

Adopting the right fundraising software helps to identify the right investors, improves the investor’s experience during the fundraising process, and ensures continued investment and future funding. If you’re looking for more guidance on fundraising software and ways to improve your use of Salesforce, contact Altvia for a demo.

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.

fundraising software