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Addressing the dangers of your invisible or unstructured professional network

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Rethinking how you manage your network

You worked for months to secure an introduction to a new opportunity. All that work paid off. Your call is over. It went well. It sounds like the owner is considering a sale in the next year, and you’ll be near the top of their shortlist when the time comes. You even ended a little early, so you have 10 minutes before your next one. Do you use that time to make sure you’re prepared for the next call, or are you logging your contact with the last client into a CRM or an Excel spreadsheet? Maybe you jot some bullets down on a Post-It note or set yourself a reminder to do it later.

But later never comes. You have relationships to manage. People to meet. Mandates to win. Then, in six months time, when you—or worse yet, another member of your team—have to follow up with your contact, you’re left hoping that you remember the details of that call, scrambling to find a six-month-old spreadsheet, or digging through your pile of Post-Its. Valuable details get lost quickly, and when competition across firms is more intense than ever before, your most important prospects get poached faster still.

turning your CRM data into relationship intelligence - download our guide

This system simply isn’t sophisticated enough to match the value of the mandates that teams entrust to it. In what can be a years-long, competitive business development cycle, a dinner meeting tonight may be the start of a deal that closes next year, and managing that process effectively from beginning to end separates industry leaders from investment bankers who aren’t able to adapt to changing requirements or develop a clear competitive differentiator.

So what are the biggest dangers of these traditional tracking systems, and how are successful investment bankers addressing them? Technologies and process changes that support your clients’ experience of your firm, encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing among your team members, and provide greater context for your business relationships can make all the difference.


Damaging your brand reputation because of disconnected, siloed data

Information silos—however unintentionally they’re created—segment your investment team’s access to your firm’s collective institutional knowledge. When a hastily written note goes missing or data goes unentered into your legacy CRM, key information can’t be exchanged among team members, and this lack of visibility directly impacts your team’s ability to collaborate and deliver a consistent client experience.

But let’s assume you find the information you need when you need it. If it’s stored in disparate, disconnected data sources, it’s likely the information itself was tracked in ways that match the owner’s preferences rather than in a structured, consistent workflow that the entire team is familiar with. Confusion ensues: Which record is the source of truth? Which teammate could potentially act on out-of-date information? To build confidence in your data, you need technology that improves your ability to find and share the information you need, when you need it. 

Automated, intelligent CRM platforms can give your team confidence in the accuracy of your records by directly capturing information from your email inboxes and calendars to ensure everyone is sharing the same information. And with the right platform, increasing visibility doesn’t have to mean removing privilege-based privacy settings that ensure proprietary information remains available only to those who should have access to it. 

Lost information, wasted time, and actions taken without knowing about other, parallel efforts ultimately create a poor client experience and put your firm’s brand at risk, and so does missing out on key introductions.


Missing opportunities by not sharing connections

When relationship data remains unseen and untracked it’s easy to miss out on key introductions or handoffs to important connections. The potentially months- or years-long business development cycles that drive mandates in investment banking have to start somewhere. Unfortunately, for decades, that “somewhere” has been the personal files and folders of each individual within a team, and interconnectivity across teams has been limited to explicitly sharing information if and when that information becomes immediately relevant.

turning your CRM data into relationship intelligence - download our guide

This applies to both supporting ongoing relationships as well as sourcing from otherwise overlooked—or undiscovered—shared connections. Information sharing has to move more quickly than “let me ask if anyone knows someone at this company,” which is why the best CRM technology is designed to accelerate new client acquisition by opening access to introductions and making those connections available across your investment team. 

At a glance, individual team members can see who on their team knows whom in addition to how well they know them based on a numerical relationship scoring system. By removing from the equation the guessing game of sourcing an introduction path, your team can be the first on the scene—and on its way to your next big mandate. 


Losing out on crucial information without relationship intelligence

Missing internal information is not the only knowledge tax that your team pays by managing data manually. An unseen, untracked professional network also contributes to missing data outside of your own network. Best-in-class financial and professional services data partners like Pitchbook and Crunchbase are table stakes for investors—especially in a predominantly remote workplace where you are not gathering additional details from mingling at events and conferences. 

When you integrate these external data sources with your internal databases, you can immediately draw on subject matter expertise and up-to-date industry knowledge that lies outside of your team’s network. Without consolidating your own data in an intelligent CRM, this vendor data and your own data live worlds apart, and your team has to spend time locating data concerning the company as well as validating that data against any of your data partners’ sources.

Keeping all of your team’s data securely in a CRM means that you can integrate with your data partners. This enriches your existing datasets by merging your proprietary data with expertly managed global data fields that extend far beyond your team’s network. Combining these in a single intelligent CRM platform allows you to contextualize your relationship and opportunity data—and make use of relationship intelligence.

Learn why investment banking firms are banking on relationship intelligence for prospect and client management. Watch the webinar now.


Using intelligent tools for sophisticated workflows

Intelligent CRM platforms are systems driven by relationship intelligence—the insight into your team’s network, business relationships, and customer interactions that help you find, manage, and close mandates. It is derived from the complete records generated by both your own data and these data partners.

Kicking off your next bakeoff without a complete, context-rich overview of your team’s collective network puts your team at a disadvantage. Building an easy-to-access, well-structured, and easy-to-share relationship and mandate management system will ensure that you have technology as sophisticated as your firm that helps you close your most important mandates.

accelerate business development and close more mandates faster with relationship intelligence