How Impact Delta manages relationships and deal pipelines with Affinity
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Impact Delta is an advisory firm founded to accelerate the adoption of a more responsible capitalism. The team advises investors on the firm-wide environmental and social impact of their activities, and develops dedicated impact investing and ESG-focused businesses.
As the firm began to scale, the founding partners needed a way to democratize access to information on their relationships across new hires and manage deal pipelines. However, all that information lived in siloed systems like emails, calendars, meeting notes and excel spreadsheets. They had no way to easily share information across the organization. Impact Delta turned to Affinity to provide the backbone for their deal pipeline management and relationship intelligence.
When Charles De Segundo founded Impact Delta in 2020, he was used to his previous firm’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, which had been difficult to learn, required manual data entry, and provided little information beyond the information that was entered. Because it was hard to use and brought little value, adoption among his colleagues was minimal, which further diminished the CRM’s usefulness: information remained siloed among each colleague rather than centralized somewhere they could all access.
So he chose to forgo a CRM altogether when he launched his own firm. But that caused a different kind of problem.
“I had plenty of business relationships, but no way of keeping track of them,” de Segundo recalls. “Information about clients and potential clients was everywhere—my email inbox, my calendar, and various Word and Excel files—that is, if I remembered to record it.”
He knew that as he added partners to his firm, this problem would only worsen, creating the same information silos he’d left behind at his previous company. So he began looking for a solution that met the budget and scalability needs of a growing firm.
“I spent three or four months looking for a CRM that would best fit our needs,” he remembers. Salesforce was the biggest player in the market, but its functionality seemed overly broad and it provided a slow, cumbersome experience and required a lengthy onboarding process that his fast-growing firm didn’t have time for. De Segundo wanted something easy-to-integrate and easy-to-use so that his team would be willing and able to adopt it.
He was then referred to Affinity by a colleague and current Affinity client.
De Segundo was impressed by Affinity’s industry-specific feature set. “Putting together consulting deals is not a linear process. Projects I sign today may have started with a conversation last year with someone only tangentially related to the actual project,” he notes. “Affinity is structured specifically for a relationship-driven industry like consulting.”
But the critical deciding factor for him was Affinity’s intuitive user interface and its automation features, which capture information directly from platform users’ emails and calendars, obviating manual data entry and tracking not only who spoke to whom and when, but what they spoke about.
The Affinity platform has given Impact Delta an organized approach to staying on top of the firm’s engagements and pipeline. “The data in Affinity updates instantly and automatically after every contact with a client or prospect, so we no longer waste time on manual data upkeep—and we no longer waste prospects’ time covering old ground.”
Affinity’s automated notifications also help the Impact Delta team rekindle conversations that might otherwise have gone cold. Its clean, well-thought-out user interface is intuitive, resulting in a high adoption rate among its staff.
“And if we do have any questions, Affinity’s customer success team is accessible and knowledgeable, and brings a human touch to the CRM’s offering,” he notes. “Affinity is delivering on what a solid CRM for consulting firms should do,” says de Segundo. “It’s a pleasure to use.”