One of the most important operational decisions your firm will make is deciding on the best customer relationship management platform for your business needs. In a competitive, fast-paced market, dealmakers who want to gain an edge should consider a CRM that does more than simply mimic basic Excel capabilities. A static contact database may have been the standard, but complex, relationship-driven deal teams in a digital-first economy need a more robust solution. This is especially true for sophisticated financial and professional services industries such as venture capital, private equity, investment banking, or commercial real estate.
Features such as automation, data capture, and relationship intelligence can make all the difference in your CRM’s functionality, and subsequently in the amount (and value) of won deals.
Because of this, there are many questions to consider before selecting a CRM. When you’re considering a SaaS customer relationship management solution, do you know which features matter the most for your business? How important is pricing and what is your budget? Do you want a dedicated CRM, or a software that includes other functionality, such as HubSpot, which is known for its marketing solution?
Although there are many options for you to pick your CRM system from, like Zoho CRM, Freshsales (by Freshworks) or Salesforce, this guide will focus on comparing features from three of the most popular software solutions on the market: 4Degrees, Pipedrive, and Affinity. By the time you are done reading, you should have a better sense of which of these CRM tools may be right for your firm.
4Degrees is a CRM software platform ideal for deal sourcing—it was founded by two individuals with a venture capital background. At first glance, for someone who wants to compare 4Degrees and Pipedrive, an easy differentiator is 4Degree’s artificial intelligence that identifies insights into connections that can illuminate new, potential introductions; insights gathered from emails, contacts, and other data sources.
(Download the Ultimate Buyers Guide to CRM for VC to discover more features you should be considering for your firm’s CRM.)
4Degrees offers some reporting functionality for dealmakers, as well as relationship tracking, marketing automation, and lead management. Although there is a reporting feature, users may find that the auto-generated reports are too simple and do not contain the more detailed analytics that sophisticated deals count on. If your team needs to use third-party software, such as any Microsoft or Google Workspace solutions, there aren’t any native integrations. Instead, you’ll have to rely on a third-party solution such as Zapier or Automate.io.
Although Zapier and Automate.io can extend a CRM system’s functionality, it’s less than ideal for it to be the only way to integrate other components of your tech stack. Teams looking for easy solutions may find themselves spending additional time in 4Degrees’s knowledge base attempting to customize the platform to meet their needs.
If you’d like to explore more distinctions between 4Degrees vs Pipedrive, take a look at 4Degree’s homepage.
4Degrees is not alone in the financial and professional services CRM world either. Here are some other popular 4Degrees alternatives.
A good place to begin if you are going to compare Pipedrive and 4Degrees is on Pipedrive’s website. One thing that sets them apart from many other tech solutions is that they are renowned for their 24/7 customer support, available both as phone support and online. If speaking with a live representative appeals to you, this might be a point heavily in their favor.
When it comes specifically to its CRM capabilities, Pipedrive is ideal for small teams with linear sales processes. You can easily access simple sales reports for quick insights into your sales funnel and overviews of your pipeline and team performance. It has easily visualized, activity-based workflows and is built for ease of use. Teams that focus on transactional sales can easily adapt the platform's funnels, pipelines, and team workflows to meet their needs.
As you can imagine from its name, Pipedrive offers customization for pipelines, however, if your team needs more complex features, your firm may do better with a CRM that offers more sophisticated functionality.
Pipedrive provides some native integrations, and it also has an API for users who want to create public or private apps to facilitate integrating other tools from their tech stack. This includes social media platforms like LinkedIn, webinar tools like Zoom, and email marketing solutions like Mailchimp.
Firms that work on relationship-driven deals will most likely find that Pipedrive does not offer the more complex features they need. As a platform, Pipedrive does not include automated data capture for contact management, relationship intelligence, or effective workflow automation for non-linear, long-term deals—all features that modern dealmakers can leverage to accelerate finding, managing, and closing their deals.
Although you may be unsure about whether Pipedrive vs 4Degrees is better for you, we’re going to now consider them together. If you still aren’t sure if either is right for you, you can also explore other Pipedrive alternatives.
4Degrees and Pipedrive are both solid CRM choices for specific users. Pipedrive offers more native integrations, so you can easily connect your CRM to your existing technology stack, and this in addition to its simple, visual style makes Pipedrive ideal for small linear-based sales teams.
4Degrees, however, comes across as a better solution for teams that want to take advantage of artificial intelligence. 4Degrees has limited integrations and may require more support from the 4Degrees team to get the platform set up exactly how you want it.
Both 4Degrees and Pipedrive fall into what is a common challenge for CRMs—manual data entry. Although 4Degrees offers a small amount of automated data entry, it’s not as reliable or seamless as Affinity CRM.
Transactional sales teams in industries like retail, SaaS, and hospitality may still require up-to-date, accurate data for managing their deals, but for sophisticated dealmakers in the professional and financial services industries, accurate data is table stakes. Inaccuracies or gaps can mean the difference between supporting or losing a valuable relationship, but taking the time to manually manage that data is costly.
Teams lose hundreds of hours per person every year to manual data entry. Plus, that manual data entry is susceptible to human error or can easily be forgotten as you focus on the people involved in those relationships rather than the data points. If your team members enter incorrect information, forget to log an interaction, or even just become overwhelmed and behind on data entry, you’re working with bad information. And for deals that rest on relationships—accurate and complete information is critical.
Affinity CRM’s data enrichment and automation features enable your team to escape the drudgery of manual data entry. By pairing the freed-up time with Affinity’s industry-leading relationship intelligence, your team can ensure it’s always leveraging its time by using the best team member for any interaction with a customer or potential contact.
To learn more about how Affinity can free up your team, watch the demo below.
Your CRM should be more than a contact database or a sales pipeline management tool. Affinity’s relationship intelligence CRM helps you leverage the right people, in the right moment, with the right information.
Imagine if your CRM could help you instantly surface relationship details from old meetings that you had three, four, or ten years ago—as far back as your inbox goes. Imagine how those details could help you win deals. And, finally, imagine how much focus your team could put into nurturing and strengthening the relationships that matter.
Contact an Affinity sales team member in order to find out more about whether or not Affinity is a good fit for your firm.
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