Best practices for driving firmwide adoption of new technologies

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The challenges of digital adoption are familiar to most venture capitalists. When faced with a reluctance to change or legacy culture thinking within a team, it can take time to change mindsets and make meaningful progress. 

But breaking down those barriers to tech adoption is essential if you want to give your investment team superpowers, according to Keshvi Radia, Head of Product at Balderton Capital.

We sat down and spoke to Radia about Balderton Capital’s tech stack and how they’ve created a culture that embraces and actively uses new technologies. Watch the entire conversation here, or keep reading to get some of her tips, including time stamps to get even more out of each highlight.

Create embedded behaviors through standard workflows

Starts at 5:08

Building standard workflows helps Balderton Capital ingrain behavior patterns into their team to make collecting data frictionless. By creating workflows that are used across the firm, Balderton Capital has created a culture where adopting the latest tech is the only way to be an effective team member.

Prompting information entry and embedding that process into people’s day-to-day is key, explained Radia. This way, team members can’t move through workflows without completing specific fields. These fields provide more information, and therefore more value throughout the deal pipeline. 

Because of these “blockers,” the behaviors required to move forward quickly become second nature. “We’re able to use Affinity to push people into [inputting data] so that we ultimately have better data coverage and use that information to enrich our team.”

Not only do standardized workflows help to increase firmwide tech adoption, they also help to save time. It reduces thinking time, said Radia: “Rather than a team member sitting there saying okay I’ve just moved a status now what do I need to fill out, you’re doing that thinking for them and saving them that little bit of thinking time for something else.” 

Expand firmwide adoption beyond your investment and deals teams

Starts at 7:07

Radia noted that the investment and deals teams at Balderton Capital use the Affinity CRM on a daily basis to record information and create opportunities for richer client interactions. But, she continued, expanding usage to their operations and portfolio services teams has yielded some big wins.

Radia outlined three significant instances when firmwide technology usage had a positive impact on Balderton Capital:

  • Annual Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) survey: By collecting data points throughout their deal flow, they can collect and manage the needed data quickly and easily. Radia explained that because their data collection is so detailed, “the reporting on the other side can be as granular as possible.”

  • Enriching event marketing: The team creates a better event experience by using an out-of-the-box Eventbrite integration—people sign up as they usually do, but that information is automatically imported into Affinity. The Balderton team is then able to manage the event and pull information from their CRM, keeping everything in one place.

  • Founder wellbeing survey: When Balderton Capital launched its Founder Wellbeing and Performance Program, they were able to tap into the decades of founders they’ve met to get feedback on the program. Having access to historical information quickly and easily made the project less work-intensive for the Balderton Capital team. 

Driving usage across the entire firm not only creates new opportunities, it also produces a more unified approach to data collection. By ensuring everyone enters data in the same way, firmwide adoption keeps your data clean.

Drive firmwide tech adoption by getting the basics right 

Starts at 15:59

If Radia could advise other firms trying to improve their tech adoption, it would be to keep it simple. You have to get the basics right to get everyone on board, she explained. Adopting a new technology has to be a simple process with no obstacles to ensure it is easy and intuitive to use. Down to the login process, having all the issues ironed out beforehand means usage is going to be much better across the firm. 

Radia knows the stresses teams are facing. Team members, “are so time poor that they’re just going to give up and go and do something else,” she said. It’s important to do everything you can to give them back some of their time, including making it easy to use the technology designed to streamline processes and reduce the time they spend on data entry. 

Radia also recognizes that CRMs aren’t just for online interactions—so covering the basics on the mobile app is essential. Most senior team members and partners aren’t sitting at their desks all day. Instead, they’re at events, having meetings, and networking. Ensuring the app is installed correctly and that team members know how to use it for their purposes effectively has significantly increased usage at Balderton Capital.

For Radia, it always comes back to the bigger picture: “I think it’s one of these myths that product is just the technology. For me, it’s ultimately everything around the technology—so the people, the processes, the culture.” Building a culture that understands the benefits of a CRM like Affinity and is willing to share as much information as possible to maximize its value is key.

To learn more about driving firmwide adoption, watch the full webinar here. You’ll leave with an understanding of:

  • How to innovate your tech stack in unique ways across your firm with example use cases
  • How to improve the adoption of new technologies through transparency and simplicity
  • Best practices for driving firmwide adoption of new technologies and the Affinity CRM
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