The Salesforce Platform
The Salesforce platform can be an invaluable tool to fund managers seeking to streamline fundraising, more effectively manage their portfolios, and gain a competitive advantage over competing funds. Exactly how fund managers can best leverage the platform, however, can be a complicated decision.
What is the Problem with Using Salesforce Out-of-the-Box for Fund Management?
The most common problem with using Salesforce for fund management is that fund managers often overpay for licenses. The Salesforce Sales Cloud is built for organizations that have traditional sales and customer support workflows such as handling leads, opportunities, and support cases, which were simply not designed with functionality for Private Equity fund managers or Venture Capital fund managers in mind. So although Salesforce is a very flexible platform, using Salesforce out-of- the-box often results in users throwing away sales-and support-related functionality that they are paying for and starting from scratch with custom objects. If a client is committed to implementing Salesforce on their own, the use of platform licenses instead of full Sales Cloud or Support Cloud licenses is an efficient and cost-effective option since platform licenses are less expensive and do not include functionality that Private Equity or Venture Capital fund managers usually discard anyway.
The Salesforce PE / VC Template
Salesforce provides an option for Alternative Asset Managers who want to use Salesforce with functionality geared toward their industry: the Salesforce Private Equity/Venture Capital template. This template is more useful than Salesforce out-of-the-box for fund management but unfortunately, the Private Equity/Venture Capital template is not a product that grows or evolves; Salesforce has not demonstrated commitment to evolving or supporting the product so users of the template are often on their own for enhancements, support, and maintenance. Ultimately, the template serves as a good example of what can be done with customization, but lacks the support from Salesforce to serve fund managers effectively.