Your tech stack can make or break how your firm does business—and central to that tech stack is your client relationship management software (CRM solution). As a dealmaker, you recognize the importance of your and your team’s relationships. The strength and quality of these relationships can drastically affect your firm’s growth or decline. And the ideal CRM solution will enhance your team’s ability to build those relationships
Many CRMs function purely as a contact database, with functionality that closely resembles an Excel spreadsheet, however, more sophisticated dealmakers need a tool that exceeds the expectations of a simple database. Features such as workflow automation, relationship intelligence, and automated data capture can simplify your data and deal management processes so that you can tend to what’s most important—the actual relationships.
The range of available products to help with contact management is vast. There are industry-specific products such as Kushim, designed specifically for VC audiences and deal flow, or Altvia which focuses on the private equity market and is built on Salesforce. On the other hand, there are AI-supported solutions like 4Degrees and legacy CRM solutions such as Navatar.
Finally, you have choices such as HubSpot CRM or Zendesk Sell, which are both CRM solutions offered by companies that focus on other technology tools. Hubspot is known for its marketing capabilities and Zendesk for its customer service helpdesk solution.
With such a variety of options to choose from, how can your firm identify which CRM solution best matches your business needs? Perhaps the perfect solution is something that’s used by a variety of industries, such as Salesforce, the end-all of enterprise-grade, sales-focused of CRMs. Do you need the capacity to integrate with industry data sources that can assist with due diligence, such as PitchBook, Crunchbase, CB Insights, Dealroom, or SourceScrub?
Needless to say, with so many potential selections—and features—to choose from, it can be a challenge to decide.
This guide will explore key features across three different customer relationship management platforms: Attio, DealCloud, and Affinity. By the end, you should walk away with a better understanding of which key features are most important for your team and how these three solutions stack up against your business needs, from sourcing to closing and everything in between.
To start, let’s compare Attio and DealCloud. London-based Attio rose from the ashes of the Fundstack platform and was originally designed with venture capital and private equity firms in mind. Although Attio is less industry specific than Fundstack was, it still maintains its roots as a platform focused on relationship management and deal management. In fact, they refer to themselves as “the relationship workspace.” Although they are not specific to venture capital anymore, sites such as SourceForge still compare them to other venture capital CRMs such as Zapflow.
Users can customize their workspace, adjust lead pipelines, control permissions settings, and even access a fundraising view that’s ideal for investor presentations. Your sales team can see real-time updates across the entire team, and they can customize their deal management workflow processes.
As a CRM software selection, it’s an ideal solution for startups and also for organizations who want more visibility into collaboration opportunities (and broad activities) across their team.
(To better decide which customer relationship management platform might be best for you, download the Ultimate buyers guide to CRM for VC.)
Customers who migrate from solutions such as Streak or Salesforce will find it easy to transfer data and switch platforms. Attio syncs with outside data sources, however, you will need to continuously migrate data and manually initiate the import. Sales teams will still need to manually enter data to maintain your organization’s CRM—and this can result in inaccurate information due to human error and incomplete data if your team falls behind on data entry. Users also report that the app is clunky and unreliable.
You can explore more of the differences between Attio vs. DealCloud on Attio’s homepage.
You can also explore other Attio alternatives before you make a final decision.
InTapp’s DealCloud CRM is a cloud-based platform that’s well known by capital market dealmakers in industries like venture capital, investment banking, commercial real estate, and private equity.
Over the past decade, DealCloud has expanded their offerings across financial services, and the platform now includes vertical-specific solutions. Because of DealCloud’s focus on capital markets, its features include fundraising, investment management, performance management, business development, and reporting and analytics.
When DealCloud originated, there were fewer industry-specific CRMs for capital market users, and they have built a reputation for excellence and trustworthiness over the years. Today, however, there are many more CRMs for dealmakers to choose from. These more sophisticated solutions integrate technologies such as AI-driven algorithms and automated data capture in order to reduce manual data entry and accelerate dealmaking.
DealCloud can be easily deployed across large organizations, and is incredibly customizable, however, a small business or startup may discover that it’s a larger (and expensive) tool than they may need. For larger teams, DealCloud is a flexible but still cumbersome solution.
Unfortunately, that flexibility accompanies significant development resources and manually entered and managed data—data that can easily succumb to human error and negatively impact your team’s ability to win deals. Incorrect or incomplete data leaves your team members without all of the relevant information they may need for a deal. The time required to catch a mistake could mean the difference between a win and a loss.
DealCloud does sync with Microsoft Outlook, however, there are two drawbacks. First, users must still maintain and input contacts manually. Second, users who want to integrate other software from their tech stack will either need to pay to create an integration using DealCloud’s API, or they’ll have to use Intapp’s Managed Integration Service. This is a separate service and limits your team’s abilities to customize or update in-house as their needs change.
Although some integrations are available through this service, the options are still severely limited. For example, DealCloud does not easily integrate with Crunchbase. DealCloud does have a beta integrations site and it’s possible to use third-party connector Zapier to connect to other apps.
Both Attio and DealCloud were originally designed with capital markets teams in mind. Attio is no longer venture-capital specific, and DealCloud, while still a CRM focused on capital markets, has expanded to include broader financial service industries. When you compare DealCloud and Attio, however, there are some key differences.
Attio offers a much simpler interface and user-friendly workflow processes. Firms that are looking to get started quickly may find that Attio is a better match for their needs. DealCloud can take months to customize and deploy in addition to hours of training for your team to understand how to use it.
Although Attio is quicker to deploy and easier to use, users still report that the interface can be clunky, especially with the mobile app, which can slow down team-wide adoption. If your team wants enriched data, Attio has a small component that pulls data from online sites, while DealCloud has much broader enrichment opportunities that come at a cost.
DealCloud wins out over Attio for teams that don’t mind waiting months for deployment and instead prefer the customization that DealCloud offers. It’s a better match for teams with resources to spend—both time and money—on extensive employee training and development.
Where both client relationship management platforms fall short against Affinity, however, is in their lack of combined automated data capture, relationship insights, and in-depth, real-time reporting. For dealmakers, whose business is their relationships, those features offer precious resources: actionable insights and the time to take the action required to close deals. Teams that want to focus on quality deals and relationships rather than manual data entry, should consider Affinity to better meet those needs.
Affinity is a CRM built on relationship intelligence—these AI-driven insights provide your entire team with a complete history of your firm’s most important relationships. Affinity’s relationship scoring rates the depth and quality of each relationship in your database—and all without your having to manually enter data. Automated data capture ensures that none of your data exhaust—details from calendars, inboxes, notes, and other data sources—is lost. Instead, you can focus on what you do best—building relationships.
Watch the demo below to learn more about how Affinity can help accelerate your deals.
You need your CRM to facilitate relationship building and deal flow, not just one or the other. Affinity’s core foundation is designed to strengthen both of these components.
Although DealCloud offers the ability to sync with Outlook, and Attio boasts some limited data automation, neither can compare to Affinity’s data capture capabilities. With Affinity, your team can enjoy automated contact profile creation, activity tracking from your team’s calendars and inboxes, and data enrichment from leading external data partners all in one place. Complex, long-term deals rely on relationships built over the course of many years—and with the time that’s freed up from manual data entry, your team members can focus on strengthening those relationships.
If your team is interested in reducing data entry and increasing won deals, contact an Affinity sales team member today to learn more about how Affinity CRM can help.
Why our customers love Affinity
“Affinity helps me solve and track all of my activity and prioritize my time. It makes me a better investor.”