The Many Ways Deal Teams Use AIM Mobile

From the first close to the final close, investment deals have many moving parts. From fundraising to due diligence to portfolio management, deal teams have to stay on top of all of the relevant details in a fast-paced environment.

Data drives the decisions and the Private Equity firm that can share relevant insights quickly is rewarded with a solid reputation in a competitive marketplace.

Any fund manager will tell you, putting together the quarterly reports for Limited Partners takes up far too much time. Thankfully, today’s software can help your deal team streamline the process of collecting, evaluating and sharing the necessary data that can make or break an investment deal.

Below, we outline the three key areas fund managers should focus on to improve the efficiency of producing quarterly reports to help support future business success.

1. Commit to Clean Data

What’s worse than having no data at all? Having bad data makes deal teams look bad. From duplicate data that results in multiple reports sent to investors to inaccurate data that overlooks a key decision-maker, the key to efficiency is using clean information to build your reports.

The first step? House all of your data in a central place where everyone on your team can access, organize, and analyze the information they need, whenever they need it. Next, connect your data repository to trusted, real-time data sources from the cloud, so the information in your quarterly reports is the most accurate and up to date.

With a single source of data to pull insights from, you can customize your platform’s tracking preferences by preferred stage, investment type, and asset class to access the details you need quickly and easily, no matter what stage of the deal you’re in.

How Tech Can Help

AIM, Altvia’s Private Equity CRM solution—integrated with the Salesforce CRM platform—helps your team:

  • Manage every piece of information you have on a potential investment
  • Store detailed notes on calls, meetings, and emails from all stakeholders
  • Ensure compliance with an organized process for auditors and investors

2. Take Advantage of Data Visualization

Today, meaningful data is the name of the game. Whether it’s the details that paint the bigger picture or timely information, backed by reputable market sources–these are what drive new business opportunities.

Gone are the days when LPs would be impressed by a static performance report. Today LPs are looking for information they can absorb easily—and act on quickly. Visual representations of data help decision-makers see and understand the trends, outliers, and patterns from massive amounts of information at a glance.

What’s more, interactive dashboards give your deal team instant access to relevant information, empowering them to understand insights on their own. As a result, the quarterly reporting process becomes more transparent and increases accountability for all of the involved stakeholders.

How Tech Can Help

AIM, Altvia’s Private Equity CRM solution, helps your deal teams:

  • Build customized reports and dynamic dashboards to visualize data
  • Gain unparalleled insight into your deal flow sources and valuation trends
  • Use easy-to-configure dashboards to derive meaningful insights

3. Built-In Secure Sharing for Deal Teams

When investor relationships are strong, fundraising runs more smoothly. One way to maintain those important relationships is by ensuring the process is simple, secure, and transparent.

Today, instead of back-and-forth emails or phone calls, LPs expect to access a virtual data room where they can find the information they need, exactly when they need it. In addition to convenience, LPs expect secure, time-saving portals with the latest protocols in place, such as TLS/SSL & AES-256 data encryption and two-factor password authentication.

How Tech Can Help

Altvia’s ShareSecure LP Portal helps your team:

  • Protect sensitive documents with Enterprise-grade security
  • Customize user permissions to control access to documents by the deadline
  • Request, capture and track digital signatures to complete milestones

Private Equity firms can make their quarterly reporting more efficient by adopting repeatable processes that align key business goals with expected reporting milestones. Software designed just for Private Equity firms can automate these processes and offer time-saving tools that improve data accuracy, quality, and security. With greater operational efficiency, fund managers can focus on maintaining their competitive advantage by establishing a reputation for delivering more powerful insights.

To learn more about how Altvia can improve your quarterly reporting process, view our technology buyers guide.

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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