Here are five of today’s best DealCloud alternatives:
What is DealCloud?
DealCloud is a cloud-based software providing a platform for single-source deal, relationship, and firm management supporting teams deal-making process. They have over 10 years of experience working with capital markets firms, and in that time they have expanded their feature set to assist a broad range of financial services. Because DealCloud is built for scale and breadth, however, teams that want to move quickly can get caught up in long and costly deployment periods and slowed down by manual work.
The platform can be customized to meet different requirements, but that customization depends on DealCloud’s team, not your own. This can lead to deployment periods lasting six months or longer. Once the system is set up, any further customization or changes need to be managed by the DealCloud team as well.
With traditional, manual CRM systems, you’ll also need to have resources dedicated to keeping your data clean and organized and to make sure your team is using the platform. Even the most diligent DealCloud users are limited by their own network connections. More modern CRM platforms are supported by relationship intelligence (RI) algorithms that encourage collaboration and open doors for new opportunities across your organization.
Without time and effort dedicated to system maintenance and sourcing, DealCloud’s broad feature set fails to deliver. The platform’s one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t actually fit everyone, especially teams that are focused on managing and closing deals quickly. Let’s explore some of today’s DealCloud competitors.
Affinity is a CRM driven by automation and relationship intelligence that provides a centralized platform for all of your team’s deal pipeline and relationship management. Traditional CRM software, like the DealCloud platform, rely heavily on manually-managed data to remain useful. Affinity is a deal management platform designed to enable teams to be more effective, prospect smarter, and close more deals faster.
Automated activity tracking saves your team hundreds of hours that would otherwise be spent on manual data entry. It also ensures adoption across your team without having to force your team to enter contact and deal information themselves. Real-time analytics and business intelligence also provide deeper insights to help understand your captured data.
This already rich source of automatically captured data is further supported by relationship intelligence technology. RI algorithms elevate your CRM from individually-managed contact records to a shared, collective network. Your team can leverage this data—further enriched by Affinity’s proprietary data set—to surface warm introductions and show up smarter to their next meeting.
The deal-making process moves quickly, so having a CRM that you can deploy and begin using in days rather than months is the best way to stay competitive. This rapid deployment comes hand in hand with the ability to customize your CRM in-house. Affinity is flexible and is easily customized by your team without needing to wait for a customer support team to make changes for you. If your team is ready for a CRM built specifically for modern investment teams, try Affinity.
Salesforce (SFDC) is the world’s largest CRM platform, and its near-infinite list of integrations, add-ons, and partners makes it a strong contender for any investment team in need of a CRM. SFDC supports a global network of businesses of all sizes, across countless industries, and you integrate almost any of your existing systems and data sources using their API. They also offer extensive training options so that your team can become SFDC experts who can create a completely customized CRM.
Unfortunately, for many deal teams, Salesforce’s greatest assets are also its greatest flaws. Organizations that make the most of everything SFDC has to offer also have dedicated teams committed to managing, customizing, and organizing their CRM. For most capital markets firms where CRM adoption is already a primary challenge, dedicating additional resources to create a team of CRM experts can detract from the platform’s primary role at an investment firm: enabling the team to move quickly on rapidly accelerating deals.
With the right resources dedicated to making Salesforce successful on your team, it can be a powerful asset for tracking deal flow metrics, but smaller organizations may struggle to use it to its full potential. Also, much like DealCloud, SFDC is dependent on manual data entry, and even with dedicated support, it can quickly become outdated if your team is focused on deal-making rather than data entry.
Copper is a CRM built to be simple and accessible and that allows your team to focus on cultivating relationships with clients. A native Google Workspace integration gives Copper a familiar look and feel to anyone that already relies on the G-Suite of products. It provides some degree of data automation, pulling from Gmail and Google Calendar instances, and teams can be up and running quickly.
The G-Suite-driven nature of the platform makes it easy for teams to get started quickly, but it can also be a limiting factor. Sales teams that rely on tools outside of the Google ecosystem, like Microsoft Outlook, are limited to either making a switch to Google products or spending time setting up clunky integrations.
The platform’s Google focus also limits Copper users’ access to outside data. Since Copper is not built specifically for investment teams, they lack common data integrations with platforms like Crunchbase and Pitchbook that other industry-specific tools offer. Copper also lacks the relationship intelligence technology of alternative investment CRM platforms which means that your team’s knowledge remains limited only to the data you gather directly.
If your team needs a lightweight CRM software solution that integrates directly with Google tools, Copper is a fast, easy way to get started. Teams that are looking for a CRM that goes beyond a simple place to store data and that need a platform designed for investment workflows, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
Pipedrive is a CRM built to support traditional sales processes. Their activity-driven approach to selling is reflected in their interface which is focused primarily on deal management. This emphasis on selling is further pressed by features like their Activity Scheduler that support a high volume of customer interactions and prospective deals.
As the name would suggest, Pipedrive is an excellent pipeline management tool. The transactional style of customer relationship management it supports differs from the complex, relationship-driven deal-making process in the investment world. The platform lacks automated contact entry, and when your relationships are your most valuable asset, a lack of automated contact management can put you at a disadvantage.
Pipedrive also lacks the relationship intelligence technologies that can help support a complete ecosystem of relationship management. Much like Copper, a lack of relationship intelligence technology means that Pipedrive serves as a simple solution for storing and tracking deals, but it doesn’t provide meaningful, actionable support for building better relationships with your connections.
Smaller teams interested in a pipeline management tool will be able to successfully lean on Pipedrive to stay on top of their deal flow, but CRM platforms built for investment teams can support your team as they manage long-term investment deals and even longer-term investor relations.
Airtable is a cloud-based app development platform that combines the functionality of a database with spreadsheet-like interfaces. If your team isn’t quite ready for a full-blown CRM solution, Airtable provides a stepping stone between static spreadsheets and deploying a CRM. Small businesses that are looking for a simple, no-to-low cost app where every team member can log information on deals and contacts can make an Airtable account, launch their Sales CRM template, and start importing their data instantly.
That all said, Airtable is not a CRM platform. A template may help smooth the launch process, but in order to build an effective, scalable solution, your team will still have to work to develop and maintain the platform. This maintenance will only get more complex as your network and deal pipeline grow.
Other simple processes—like linking records together or getting task updates sent to your inbox—provide some improvements over non-cloud-based spreadsheets. Airtable provides a flexible option for small teams on a tight budget, but as your team scales, you’ll need to migrate to an investment-focused CRM sooner than later.
Which CRM should you choose?
Whether you’re a massive, several-hundred-person strong investment banking team, a mid-sized family office, a single investor building a new venture capital firm, or anything in between, your deal team needs a CRM built for investment.
DealCloud may have built a strong reputation in the last generation of CRM technology solutions for investors, but the future of capital markets customer relationship management software lies with automation and relationship intelligence. It’s important to choose a CRM that meets your team’s unique needs and will not only support your deal and relationship management but improve it.