4 CRM enhancements that drive deals and ROI

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In a survey of 4,500 respondents, nearly 50% of financial planning and investment advisory firms listed their CRM as their most valuable software. 

However, simply having a CRM is not enough to keep firms competitive. 

Today’s financial services deal teams need to be able to: 

  • Focus on successfully bringing in deal flow that fits a narrower set of criteria, taking  safer bets on opportunities that are more geared toward steady returns, and shunning those that are high-risk, high-reward.
  • Be efficient in their sourcing processes, while also conducting deeper research and diligence for every deal.
  • Ensure that every deal aligns with their firm's strategy, using data sourced from many platforms and their CRM. 

This may sound like a conflicting set of requirements, but with CRM enhancements, financial services firms can solve four fundamental challenges in using Salesforce CRM as their primary deal platform: 

  1. Stop missing out on deals in competitive markets with full visibility of the firm's shared network, powered by relationship intelligence.
  2. Improve deal sourcing efficiency and save 300+ hours each year in manual data drudgery with automated Salesforce record creation and enrichment.
  3. Deliver deal data directly into the tools dealmakers use everyday to embed relationship intelligence into their CRM.
  4. Increase the ROI of their Salesforce CRM and deal data investments with increased usage, automation, and greater data integration efficiency.

To help deal teams realize these gains, we’ve released the CRM Enhancement Guide. The guide explores how firms can get more value out of their existing Salesforce CRM, specifically to close more deals by using data that already lives in their workflow. Read the full guide here, or keep reading for a preview.

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CRM enhancement #1: Drive deals with relationship insights

In many firms, important data is scattered across multiple areas. Relationship and engagement insights are hidden—trapped in inboxes, calendars, notes, and more. This doesn’t take into account the prospective clients that teams interact with in ad-hoc meetings on a daily basis either. 

When a dealmaker has to stitch together all of this fragmented information, they run the risk of losing out on opportunities. And in an increasingly competitive deal environment, missing out on high-value, high-quality deals is the fear of every team. 

Dealmakers need a solution that proactively draws valuable relationship and deal insights from their team’s inboxes, calendars, and third party sources. This should happen as they prospect and within the tools they use everyday. This is relationship intelligence. 

Affinity research has shown that a CRM with relationship intelligence increases deal flow and pipeline by 25% and supports closing deals 25% faster. 

Affinity for Salesforce delivers relationship intelligence to a firm’s Salesforce CRM by automating the mapping and assessment of every connection in a firm’s collective network, from managing partners to operational associates. Dealmakers with this information know exactly who to contact to keep deals moving forward. 

Get the CRM Enhancement Guide to learn more on how Affinity for Salesforce accelerates deal velocity with relationship intelligence.

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CRM enhancement #2: Increase deal efficiency with automation

A dealmaker’s day is already filled with researching, sourcing, qualifying, and reaching out to prospects. Creating and maintaining individual records within a CRM like Salesforce is low on their priority list—a reality that also drives down usage of this critical source of truth for the organization.

The solution to the problem of manual data entry is automation. 

Affinity for Salesforce eliminates a significant portion of data drudgery by automating the creation, update, and enrichment of CRM records with the everyday interactions between  deal teams and clients, prospects, and key influencers. Each Salesforce record is also automatically enriched with hard to find, deal-relevant data—significantly reducing the time and resource that  operations teams need to spend on data integration and enrichments.

CRM enhancement #3: Improve performance with deal and relationship insights in tools dealmakers use

Deal sourcing and evaluation requires deal teams to spend hours pooling data from websites, LinkedIn pages, Pitchbook, and other valuable third-party data sources. 

Dealmakers could operate more efficiently if they had access to key deal insights without having to jump between platforms, tabs, and their CRM. Extensions can help with this.

Enhancing an organization’s CRM with extensions means teams can access relevant CRM data beyond the platform itself. When a firm adds extensions to a CRM like Salesforce, all of the data a dealmaker needs is right within the tools they work from every day. 

Affinity for Salesforce provides contact, relationship, and deal insights directly in a dealmaker’s email, calendar, browser, and virtual meetings. This is available through specific extensions to Affinity for Salesforce via a Chrome browser and, coming soon, Zoom meetings.

Extensions also make it possible for dealmakers to update Salesforce records as they navigate and visit sites like LinkedIn or company web pages. This ensures that teams can efficiently make their way through the prospect research, qualification, and outreach stages of their deal flow. This same set of data and direct synchronization with Salesforce records is available when working through email and calendar records.

Read the full CRM Enhancement Guide to learn how automation and extensions optimize a team’s deal process to be as efficient as possible.

CRM enhancement #4: Increase ROI from CRM and data investments

In a changing market, platform managers and IT leaders need to make sure that their tech stack is delivering ROI. This is especially true for CRMs like Salesforce, which don’t just cost money to deploy, but sometimes years to implement. 

Team adoption and usage are key indicators for a CRM’s ROI. Fortunately, when a Salesforce CRM is enhanced with features like relationship intelligence, data automation, and extensions, dealmakers are more likely to integrate it into their daily workflows.

Affinity for Salesforce updates Salesforce record fields with data and empowers teams to work more efficiently with: 

  • Automated Salesforce workflows driven by relationship insights: Outreach sequences are automatically generated based on a declining score for a target list of prospects.
  • Activity and performance analysis Salesforce advanced reporting and analytics: Dealmaking team performance is assessed based on reports that show comparative success in developing and taking advantage of the firm’s shared network.

Affinity for Salesforce: The relationship intelligence layer for the world’s #1 CRM

Affinity for Salesforce solves the conflicting requirements that many dealmakers face today: increase deal flow, but do so while efficiently making use of shrinking resources.  

By embedding relationship intelligence into your CRM, Affinity for Salesforce brings your inbox, meetings, and network into Salesforce, so you can execute prospecting research without context switching between tools or wasting time with manual data entry and record updates. The solution empowers financial services deal teams to find warm introduction paths, identify and qualify new opportunities that fit their firm’s strategy, and accelerate deal velocity. 

To see Affinity for Salesforce in action, speak to a relationship intelligence expert.

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