As everyone in Private Equity understands, a deal isn’t an event that happens when an agreement is signed. It’s a process that evolves over time and culminates in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Deal flow management gives visibility to track information your firm has on a potential investment—deal information, fund details, and due diligence. Information can include everything from one-pagers and financial reports to multimedia presentations and emails, and using the insights gained to make critical decisions.
The efficient management of deal flow is one of the biggest factors in a firm winning or losing deals. Consequently, it’s not something that can be left to chance.
A Purpose-Built Private Equity CRM Is Essential
In order to be successful, deal teams have to be able to find any resource they need quickly. That means storing and maintaining data in one easily accessible customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Long gone are the days when a PE firm could win deals using a random collection of Excel spreadsheets and documents that “lived” in digital and printed form in countless locations. Today, the firms that thrive are those that leverage highly coordinated and orchestrated activities among team members to find targets, perform due diligence, and close deals.
Ensuring that those activities can take place efficiently is especially challenging in the wake of COVID-19. Many firms are choosing to maintain the remote-working model that they were forced into by the pandemic, which means they need tools for effective data sharing now more than ever.
Technology That Supports the Due Diligence Process
While all aspects of deal flow management are important, the due diligence process is crucial to reaching the right conclusions and making profitable decisions. A single source of action helps deal teams assess three vital aspects of a company: strategy, operations, and marketing/sales capabilities.
What is an organization’s position in its market? Are they the leader? The fast-rising newcomer? A solid, middle-of-the-pack performer? How optimized are their operations? Are there ways to reduce the amount of working capital needed, get more value from existing assets, and better manage costs? And, how well does the company market itself, pursue new business, and close sales?
With make-or-break decisions riding on so many questions, a centralized source of clean, current data is an absolutely vital tool for deal teams. Our AIM CRM platform provides that specialized data repository. It allows teams to standardize the deal funnel with recognized stage milestones, ensure there is clarity on next steps, and customize due diligence requirements. Plus, the fact that data can be added to AIM not only from a desktop computer but also from a mobile device helps ensure that data is clean, fresh, and available in a timely manner.
As Deal Volume and Velocity Increase, Firms Must Keep Pace
The term “digital transformation” is widely used in business today. Nowhere is this concept more relevant than Private Equity. With many thousands of PE firms worldwide and many thousands of deals closed annually, competition is fierce. Aggregate deal value in the U.S. alone has reached nearly half a trillion dollars in recent years.
As a result, deal teams are having to work faster and smarter if they want to stay competitive and continue delivering good risk-adjusted returns. They’re finding that the right technology can help them collect, transform, search, assess, and perform predictive analytics on data in order to gain an advantage over firms that are still relying on outdated, manual processes. Plus, a cutting-edge system allows them to see how much is left in a fundraise process so they can plan accordingly.
Considering a Technology Upgrade? Information Gathering Is Key
If your firm has been using the same deal flow management processes for many years, it can be difficult to envision how they could be improved. The best way to understand the potential for improvement is to learn more about the advanced systems that are available today. Gathering “intel” on them—even if your deal team isn’t ready to make a change yet—positions you to leverage these systems when the time is right for your organization.
Learn more about how Private Equity deal teams can benefit from a technology stack with our free guide, Winning Deals in a Hyper-Competitive Market.