How to maximize your dealmaking with data

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We asked hundreds of top financial services professionals about their upcoming business priorities in our 2023 Investment Predictions report.

From those responses, two things stood out the most:

  • 39% of dealmakers said that new deal prospecting will be their top priority 
  • 76% of firms rely on at least four data sources when evaluating a deal—a process that takes 34 hours of research before a deal is even added to their deal flow

Overall, firms are being more cautious about the deals they pursue today; taking safer bets on opportunities that are geared toward steady returns, and eschewing those that are high-risk, high-reward.  

As firms focus on a smaller pool of deals that fit a narrower criteria, competition can be fierce—too fierce to be spending 34 hours on research. Deal sourcing and management efficiency is key for firms that want to act on promising deals before their competitors do. 

However, before a deal team can take action, they need to source and qualify potential deals using data. This requires dealmakers to sift through numerous sources to find the right information to move a deal forward—a process that can slow deal velocity. 

Siloed data is a particularly challenging problem for financial services firms. It increases the possibility of dealmakers working through the prospecting process with wrong, missing, or potentially inaccurate information. When relationship data is hidden or siloed within private inboxes or spreadsheets, it runs the risk of rendering that information useless. 

Teams cannot afford to miss out on high-value, high-quality deals in an increasingly competitive market. Instead, firms need to be able to source, qualify, and close deals not just quickly, but in alignment with their firm’s strategies. Read on to learn how data can elevate the deal process. 

The downside of data silos

Knowing where, when, and how to use data in dealmaking is essential. Traditionally, dealmakers would turn to their CRM as their north star in order to gain valuable insights about their prospects and clients. 

Unfortunately, CRMs typically offer a highly manual experience of contact and company record creation, and interruptive data entry. A dealmaker’s day is already filled with researching, sourcing, qualifying, and reaching out to prospects. Creating and maintaining individual CRM records is low on their priority list—a reality that also drives down usage of this critical source of truth for the organization.

CRM deployment and usage, however, is only the beginning when it comes to optimizing a deal team’s workflow and processes. 

A CRM is only as effective as the quality of the data it houses—and when data isn’t updated deal visibility and transparency are diminished. Because of that, dealmakers aren’t fully empowered to understand and use the full scope of the firm’s network of relationships. 

The reality is that relationship data around prospects and opportunities is scattered across multiple areas outside of a team’s CRM. Engagement insights are hidden—trapped in inboxes, calendars, notes, and more. Company and people data is confined to data sites, news sources, or owned channels. 

When a dealmaker has to stitch together all of this fragmented information, they run the risk of missing interaction history and opportunities for a warm introduction to a possible deal. And in a year like 2023, missing out on a high-quality deal is the fear of every team. 

The answer, therefore, isn’t necessarily just a CRM, but one that is built to handle the complexity of deals in relationship-driven industries like financial services. 

Dealmakers need a solution that proactively draws valuable relationship and deal insights from their team’s inboxes, calendars, and third party sources as they prospect and from within the tools they use everyday. It should offer automated processes and data enrichment features that enable visibility into changes in the company’s network, and the creation of more complete prospect profiles. This is relationship intelligence. 

Enriching CRM data with industry and relationship intelligence

When relationship intelligence is layered on a CRM, deal teams can utilize their firm’s collective network to its fullest potential. Dealmakers receive up-to-date intelligence about their entire firm’s relationships without having to worry about the silos or inaccuracies associated with traditional CRMs. Mapping these connections also reveals potential warm introduction paths—which have been shown to accelerate deal closing by 25%

Because it’s embedded across a dealmaker’s workflow, relationship intelligence seamlessly pulls information from browsers and inboxes, further enriching a firm’s CRM with relationship and market insights that are accessible to all team members. These insights help deal teams quickly source and qualify deals with confidence. 

For financial services firms that already use Salesforce, Affinity for Salesforce enables dealmakers to drive deals using up-to-date and enriched intelligence about all contacts in their CRM. The solution provides deal teams with: 

  • Automated network mapping: Understand an entire organization’s network and the strength of each relationship, as well as the insights needed to close more deals. 
  • Warm introductions paths: Generate or advance a deal by identifying the strongest contact to make an introduction to company leaders and executives. 
  • Relationship history and context: Stay aligned with teammates and access context on all relationships without needing to dig for the most accurate information. 

Most importantly, Affinity automates the creation, updating, and augmentation of Salesforce records. This saves time and gives dealmakers a complete understanding of their network and relationships. 

Affinity connects directly to the firm’s email inboxes, calendars, and existing data sources to automate the creation of new contacts, and the enrichment of existing ones with new insights and contact records. This ensures that all information about new and existing contacts is captured, providing a complete picture of the entire network, without the need for manual research and updates. 

These insights are made available to dealmakers through custom fields, reports, dashboards, and automated triggers. In turn, dealmakers can always find up-to-date and relevant information about key prospects and customers, without having to sift through various platforms and documents. 

Interested in learning more about Affinity for Salesforce, or ready to take it for a test drive? Request your demo today.


Camille Nguyễn
Senior Content Marketing Strategist
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