For capital market firms, relationships are everything. Yet while building, growing, and maintaining relationships is the key to dealmaking, it can be a challenge. The sales cycle is long and complex. Managing relationships over years takes more than a good memory and a spreadsheet. Capital market workflows are typically also more involved and multifaceted than in other industries. Finally, compliance and security are more critical for capital markets firms.
While a standard customer relationship management (CRM) platform works for many industries—especially those with short, transactional sales cycles—capital markets firms need a CRM geared toward meeting their unique needs.
What’s the difference between a capital markets CRM and a standard CRM? In this article, we’ll explore three key distinctions and why they matter for capital markets salespeople, analysts, investors, bankers, and traders.
1. Automate and streamline unique workflows
Traditional workflows simply don’t apply to the daily worklife of capital markets professionals. Data and metrics come in from every angle, and from multiple systems and channels. Deal teams must work together closely—and quickly—to move research reports, activity data, filings, and messages through the deal process if they are to realize profitability.
This level of collaboration is liable to break down if information and activity is siloed. For example, if everyone works from their own spreadsheets, scraps of paper, and email inboxes.
Capital markets professionals need a CRM that centralizes workflows and aggregates information. This helps to maximize business and operational efficiency across the board. When the whole team is working from one platform, collaboration is more effective and deal flow can accelerate.
Customization and ease of use are also crucial in a capital markets CRM. The static workflows found in most basic CRMs are too inflexible for capital markets firms, where customization is essential to move deals forward with speed and accuracy.
A CRM built for capital markets firms should offer advantages through automation. With automated contact management, CRM data can be updated and enriched in real time with insights from proprietary algorithms, user-generated data, and external data partners like Clearbit and Pitchbook.
Deal teams that use Affinity save, on average, 226 hours per year on manual data entry. The platform gives capital markets professionals deep data-driven insights at their fingertips, and they have more time to spend on activities that drive deals forward.
With information and workflows centralized and streamlined, capital markets teams can quickly identify and act on opportunities. Affinity automates this process, too. A patented AI-driven algorithm calculates relationship strength across each firm’s network to surface the best path for an introduction. Smart triggers and reminders ensure no opportunity slips through the cracks.
2. Facilitate real-time sharing and collaboration across teams
Real-time information sharing makes a difference in customer satisfaction—and could be the difference between closing a deal or losing it. Standard CRM software suits simple team structures but in capital markets, multi-coverage teams are more the norm. To drive revenue, these teams need secure access to critical data. Employees across teams and departments must have a complete picture of the client’s journey and be able to trust that the information is always complete and accurate.
With data centralized in one place and updates happening automatically, capital markets firms can understand the depth and breadth of the relationships across their entire team. This enables better, faster collaboration. It also enables teams to synchronize activities and communications so they can act in a more coordinated way with clients.
In today’s world, real-time information sharing and collaboration are impossible without reliable, easy to use integrations and mobile access. Team members should be able to act with confidence even when they’re away from their desks. More sophisticated CRMs also offer integrations with popular software in the venture capital tech stack like Microsoft Outlook, Google Workspace, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Mailchimp email marketing.
For capital markets firms, solution functionality is everything. Capabilities like marketing automation, project management tools, and follow-up communications features can go a long way to improving team performance across the entire lifecycle of a project. Ensure that the platform you choose has excellent customer support and pay close attention to what support is available in the pricing tier you’re considering.
3. Maintain compliance and security
Compared to other industries, capital markets are highly regulated and require tight security and compliance. Whether your firm is in venture capital, private equity, investment banking, or commercial real estate, your CRM must actively prevent breaches of private and public information—all while providing transparency across your company. It’s also important to look closely at the security features of the CRMs you’re considering to ensure they meet the relevant industry requirements.
For most capital markets firms, enterprise-grade security with SOC 2 and GDPR compliance is a must-have—and standard CRMs can fall short. Affinity is one CRM that meets stringent global standards and regularly works with independent experts to verify the controls in place.
Compliance and security requirements for capital markets firms are not to be considered lightly. Security, compliance, and data governance must cover contact information, investor reporting, communications with stakeholders, tracked deals, and fundraising activity. Only a CRM designed for capital markets can deliver on these needs.
Focus on relationships—not managing financial services software
Basic spreadsheets, traditional customer relationship management and sales software, and small business CRM tools can’t support the sophisticated deal flow required by capital markets firms.
A modern CRM platform purpose-built for the business processes of capital markets can help your firm boost performance across departments and teams—from sales to research to operations. It lets you focus on client relationships and making deals instead of manually inputting customer data and chasing down information.
Your firm moves quickly—but that shouldn’t prevent you from keeping your contact relationship data clean, organized, accessible, and actionable. Close deals faster with Affinity’s automated data entry, flexible workflows, and end-to-end visibility of the entire history of your team’s network relationships.