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How to build a tech stack that helps you make decisions faster

Selecting the right tech stack to support your deal flow is a crucial step in closing quality deals, but it can be hard to know where to start—especially if you’re trying to replace systems that no longer work for your team. 

Tech-forward firms like Seven Seven Six are building their entire approach to investment around technologies that make their team smarter. “Working backward from [how successful word of mouth promotion is for our firm], it becomes very obvious why you should be building software to optimize every part of that relationship.” The right software empowers your team to do what they do best even better.

Here are four ways you can build a tech stack that optimizes your workflows and supports your team’s deals.

1. Out with the manual, in with the automated


Manual processes and systems are inefficient, cost more to maintain, and waste time. They’re also error-prone, so teams end up spending additional time trying to clean up dirty systems on top of the hours wasted entering data. The ideal VC tech stack is one built on a foundation of automation. 

Dealmaking teams often struggle with software adoption rates (and CRM adoption rates in particular) because dealmakers would rather spend time on what they’re best at—building and maintaining relationships—instead of entering data. 

learn how OMERS Ventures built an integrated tech stack: watch now

Automating manual workflows like logging contact data or updating deal stages helps your team move faster. However, people, organization, and deal data aren’t the only pieces of information you’re tracking, and your CRM isn’t the only software you need to run your firm. Integration is also key.

2. Place a strong CRM at the core


While data points like contacts and deal stage information are the foundation of your firm’s success, there are many other pieces of the puzzle. Leading firms are looking business-wide and prioritizing technologies that can be connected and communicate with each other—and building that tech stack on top of their CRM

Software integrations with your existing tools automate existing workflows and ensure the data across your firm is always updated. Some of these workflow tools may include: 

  • Operations tools—from file management for decks and term sheets to onboarding workflows for new portfolio companies
  • Internal communications platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams
  • Form submission software such as Typeform and Google Forms
  • Third-party data-vendors
  • Analytics and reporting software

3. Build a community not a city


Think of your tech stack like a community rather than a city. A sprawling cityscape may have a lot of information and opportunity, but finding the right information can be difficult. A tight-knit community makes it easy to find what you need, when you need it, and can help you get there. 

Consider an intake form tool as an example. Let’s say your firm receives two or three dozen pitch decks per week through a “Contact Us” form on your website or social media accounts. A handful of the startups using that form are unlikely to fit your investment thesis, may not be at a stage you’re ready to invest in, or may accidentally be sent to a spam inbox and lost. 

learn how OMERS Ventures built an integrated tech stack: watch now

By connecting these forms directly to your CRM, you can instantly associate a form submission with a new contact page to ensure the submission is saved. The deck is automatically attached, and you can use form questions to more quickly assess a company’s fit without spending too much time evaluating them. 

Getting your team to these decision points more quickly makes you more efficient and able to reallocate the time to where it is needed to push deals over the line. 

4. Integrations are table stakes


Investing in technology that complements your firm’s workflows (rather than disrupting them) and will scale with your team is a vital part of picking the right tools. One important way to weed out potential choices is to avoid software that doesn’t play well with others. 

By choosing software that integrates with your current (or upcoming) tools, you can build a network of tools that freely communicate with one another and give your team easier access to your firm’s collective knowledge.

Where to start on your software integration project

When building a tech stack from the ground up (or starting over), it can be tempting to attempt to boil the ocean. Rather than picking a new tool for every function in your day-to-day workflows, it’s important to instead start with a clear and actionable result in mind.

Don’t implement tech tools just for the sake of tools. Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with the tool you use and what specific value you want to drive.

And with that, don’t aim for perfection from the start. Focus on the tool’s value, ensure the software you choose actually supports the way your team works, and iterate as you go. Starting with your CRM as an anchor for your tech stack means that no matter how that tech stack grows, your team will always have a dedicated source of truth for their data.

learn how OMERS Ventures built an integrated tech stack: watch now