Leading for Success: How to Differentiate in the Private Equity Crowd – Part I
How can Private Equity firms differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market? To explore the process by which fund managers and institutional investors can achieve differentiation on the “path to the top,” I interviewed Jill Montera, VP of Customer Success at Altvia. The discussion is being presented in a series of blog posts to capture the breadth and depth of this timely topic. Since 2015, Altvia has been deepening its customer success focus – can you share what the primary goal is for Private Equity customers? For customer success, our primary goal is delivering value for clients’ Private Equity software solution. And delivering value is not a one-time event; it’s iterative over the customer’s journey. Making sure your system is evolving as your business grows so that it’s fresh and relevant. Providing new solutions to increase productivity and further integrate data into a holistic picture. Our focus is to ensure that the system really works for our customers’ people and processes. Now, let’s segue to the customer journey towards “differentiation” – how do you typically approach this journey? We start with systems and processes that engage. Two key words: systems and processes. You’ve bought the Private Equity software system. Now it’s about understanding and creating the business processes and then aligning the system to those processes. Sometimes there is a tendency to jump to the “end game” of your desired outcomes – and while we can appreciate the anticipation, our job is to help lay the foundation on which to build for the future so that the system and processes are continuously advanced for alignment with the customer’s goals. How does your methodology work (as a SaaS-based company)? First, systems don’t define processes. Processes should define systems. The processes include:
- What do we do – i.e., how are we capturing data
- Who does what for these processes
- Are we all aligned to that vision
- Are we all following these processes
- First, we will work to understand the key stakeholders during the buying and onboarding process. Without buy-in from all levels of the organization, onboarding will not go as well as possible.
- Second, we will work to understand your objectives. This can often be the translation between the systems and the processes. If we better understand objectives, we can help drive accountability and value.
- Third, we will focus on training and adoption. Good systems and processes are only as good as the people who use them.
- Lastly, coming out of the onboarding, we will identify next steps and objectives for focus.
- Get alignment and excitement across the organization. Answer ‘why’ for all roles so they know why it’s so important. Gain shared commitment.
- Start with your processes and make sure they are defined, understood and followed across the organization
- Once the processes are defined, work with Altvia on customizing your system. Include stakeholders at all levels that can help drive engagement with their peers.
- Once the system is live, commit to making the system great. The key to these systems getting off the ground is 110% commitment to populating the data, making it complete, making it accurate, and using the system regularly. Capture as much as you are able and don’t be as concerned with all that you will get out of the system (analytics and discoveries). Those days are coming…it’s about getting started and bringing the Private Equity software solution to life.