Moving Beyond the Spreadsheet: A Primer for Investment Bankers

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Millions of people use spreadsheets—from students to small back-office teams to financial analysts. Even investment bankers use them—not for bookkeeping or calculating run rates, but as a decades-old, go-to solution for contact and deal management. But as your network grows larger, your company’s portfolio broadens, and your deals become more complex, spreadsheets become ineffective, and losing key information becomes inevitable.

Fortunately, new software and SaaS platforms have evolved to replace the spreadsheet and modernize the dealmaking process. These relationship intelligence platforms, designed with people and connections at their core, are giving teams the data they need to focus on the relationships that support their business. Unfortunately, many investment banks have yet to adopt them.

What we’ve learned from leading investment banks

From working with investment banking firms of all sizes and learning how they use spreadsheets, we’ve discovered that the most tech-savvy bankers are turning away from outdated solutions and toward a new generation of relationship-oriented CRMs that borrow from spreadsheets only those features that investment bankers need.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why spreadsheets are the wrong tool for managing investment banking relationships 
  • How new, purpose-built SaaS platforms are improving on the spreadsheet model
  • What features a dealmaking platform can provide
  • How a dealmaking platform can manage your pipeline and contacts and help you close more mandates

Excel’s rows and columns are powerful calculation tools, but they were born before the World Wide Web; now, data can be extracted and exchanged instantly—and automatically—yielding a volume of connections unimaginable in the pre-internet age. Spreadsheets can no longer keep up with deal teams managing previously unfathomable amounts of information: business networks in the tens of thousands, industry news, company hiring trends—data whose natural habitat is not a spreadsheet.

Spreadsheets may be a familiar, global standard, but closing mandates requires mandate-closing tools, and investment bankers are finding cracks in their spreadsheets’ facades. Explore how relationship management platforms ensure your team’s insights needn’t end where your network does.

“In most cases, Excel is not up to the demands put on it—but that doesn’t stop us,” notes the founder of a platform that supports software development. “There are other tools out there that might be more appropriate, but we don’t use them.” 

Learn how and why Excel veterans are making the switch to a relationship intelligence CRM designed for dealmaking.


Dyllan Thweatt
Content Marketing Manager
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