Your firm’s CRM is one of its most critical pieces of business software. In today’s post-pandemic world, interactions happen quickly and deals close faster than ever. The right customer relationship management tool can give your team the edge it needs to outpace the competition.
4Degrees is a CRM that boasts artificial intelligence overlaid onto a standard CRM. There are many other CRMs on the market, however, and in order to best assess which tool might be best for your business needs, we’ll explore the functionality and benefits of several CRM alternatives.
Although there is a wide array of CRMs to choose from, including Zoho, Pipedrive, Zendesk and more, in this guide, we’ll focus on seven of the best 4Degrees alternatives for the financial services industry.
- Microsoft Dynamics
What is 4Degrees?
The 4Degrees CRM is one of the newer customer relationship management platforms on the market and their website, 4degrees.ai, highlights the CRM’s use of artificial intelligence to provide insights into connections that could most easily lead to investors or buyers. 4Degrees offers several integrations, however, they all rely on Zapier to function.
If your firm or team already relies on a suite of other software tools to seamlessly integrate, another CRM with more direct integration options might be a better choice. Although 4Degrees has some auto-generated reports, users who want more advanced team insights and pipeline reports should consider an alternative CRM with more robust, native reporting and analytics solutions.
Let’s dive into some of the best 4Degrees alternatives.
Whether your business is venture capital, private equity, investment banking, or another sector of the professional or financial services industries, the caliber and strength of your relationships are what wins deals. The right tool enables you to more easily manage and nurture long-term relationships. Your and your team’s relationships form the backbone of your deals, and they require more than a static Excel spreadsheet or contact database—they need a tool designed to support non-linear, complex deals with long-lasting relationships
Affinity is a relationship intelligence CRM designed with long-term dealmakers in mind. Legacy CRMs and spreadsheets rely on manually entered data to keep records up-to-date, but this work can cost teams hundreds of hours per year. Affinity automates this process by capturing your team’s “data exhaust”—key details gathered from emails, meetings, and contacts—so your team can focus on what they do best: building and maintaining relationships.
The data captured from these interactions are combined with Affinity’s proprietary datasets and industry-leading third-party data integrations provide greater context for every client follow-up. Additionally, Affinity’s CRM analyzes and assesses the network of relationships across the team, ensuring that you can find the best connection for a warm introduction. Rather than duplicating efforts or crossing wires, your team can rely on a single source of truth that’s easy to use for deal flow, lead management, pipeline management, and other critical tasks.
Lastly, by aggregating these details about your deal pipeline and relationships network in one place, your team can use Affinity’s built-in reporting and analytics function to easily create data visualizations based on your most important KPIs and goals. Make clearer data-based decisions, collaborate with confidence, and close more deals with Affinity.
Of all the CRM software on the market, Salesforce (SFDC) may be the one that’s best-known. Across the world, businesses of all sizes and types use it as their customer relationship management platform. Salesforce CRM offers an array of powerful features and resources for sales teams and organizations.
Salesforce's available marketing automation features include lead management and email marketing; their automation features span pipeline management, account management, and a slew of desktop integrations; and they offer teams reporting and forecasting features as well.
If your organization relies heavily on a range of other software tools , Salesforce also has countless options for integrations. The strength of this software solution, however, is also its weakness. With such a vast number of options and configurations, teams—especially smaller or non-sales-focused teams— may find that they are not using the software to its full capacity or they don’t need all of the bells and whistles provided. Deployment and onboarding can also take many months of development and training before your team is able to derive the value they need from the platform.
Even after the platform is ready to use effectively, your team will need to manually input contact and activity data just as they would with every other legacy CRM solution. In order to focus on nurturing relationships and closing deals, financial and professional services organizations might prefer a CRM that offers more insight into relationships and connections across the company’s collective network.
HubSpot has made its name as one of the leaders in marketing automation solutions. They’re so well-known for it, in fact, that some people might not realize they also offer a contact relationship management platform.. If your firm wants to combine its marketing management system and its CRM, then HubSpot might be ideal for your needs. Your team can easily post to social media and access SEO analytics using HubSpot. At the same time, the CRM can help align your customer success teams and marketing teams so that they are working in unison. Their CRM offers deal flow management and a holistic approach to a full customer lifecycle management process.
However, dealmakers might not need all of the features the HubSpot platform offers. While access to SEO data and social media management might be useful, most dealmakers don’t focus their time writing and scheduling social media campaigns or tweaking web copy for optimization. HubSpot CRM lacks features essential for dealmaking such as relationship intelligence, enriched deal pipeline analytics, and automated data entry.
DealCloud’s CRM offers a highly customizable SaaS CRM built for capital market dealmakers. DealCloud’s platform offers its users features such as data management, pipeline management, relationship management, lead management, and limited marketing automation.
DealCloud has limited integrations—it currently syncs with Microsoft Outlook, which can save teams a small amount of manual data entry, but the native integration is limited to this one email provider. To update and maintain the CRM, however, team members will need to manually enter information.
While DealCloud is highly customizable, a downside to these custom configurations is that it can take organizations up to six months to deploy them. In the fast-moving, competitive world of private capital dealmaking, that time can cost your team deals. You may want to consider a more rapidly deployed software solution.
Interested in learning more about DealCloud and similar platforms? Check out these DealCloud alternatives.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft suite products but is not truly a CRM. The suite offers a range of applications across sales, marketing, finance, operations, HR, commerce, and service. The Dynamics 365 Sales provides sales teams with customers’ preferred communication channels, AI-powered next action recommendations, real-time visibility, and planning and forecasting.
Despite offering this variety of features, Dynamics 365 does not work well outside the Microsoft ecosystem. Integrations are critical for teams who want to build the best tech stack for their organization and Dynamics 365 does not deliver. It’s difficult even to sync programs as ubiquitous as Gmail.
Cupertino-based SugarCRM was founded in 2004 and was one of the world’s largest open-source CRMs with comprehensive APIs and a Community Edition Project. Today, however, SugarCRM offers several SaaS software solutions for its customers: Sugar Sell, Serve, Market, and Professional.
Customers who desire an on-premises solution can look to Sugar Enterprise. Teams who desire workflow automation, omnichannel communications, and a time-aware customer data platform may find that it’s a good solution for their needs. Sugar also offers several add-on platform solutions for email and calendar integration, sales intelligence, and analytics.
User reviews suggest that one downside to Sugar is its complexity, which impacts several layers of use. The user interface and dashboards are reportedly difficult to learn and not user-friendly. Although the company does offer training through Sugar University, most users don’t have time to read through extensive technical documents in order to use their CRM.
Finally, although they do offer an app for Android and iOS, the interface is different from desktop access and reportedly slow and buggy. Businesses with a dedicated tech team may be able to leverage the multitude of features and navigate the difficult UI dashboards, however for organizations who want rapid teamwide adoption, another CRM might be a better option.
Navatar is a traditional CRM built on Salesforce and created with an eye to financial services. It offers users streamlined pipeline and deal management and integrates with a variety of software tools including Google Drive, Excel, Outlook, LinkedIn, and more. Navatar also offers asset management and portfolio management.
Sectors such as investment banking, venture capital and commercial real estate have relied on Navatar for nearly 20 years, and it is a well-respected solution. Although it began with a focus on small businesses, today Navatar is used globally by a range of businesses.
Unfortunately, like many other traditional CRMs, Navatar isn’t equipped to provide the AI-powered insights that the modern dealmaker requires. The platform may be purpose-built for financial services, but other industry-focused platforms provide an improved, user-oriented experience in addition to expanded sets of data that Navatar does not.
Learn more about other Navatar alternatives for investment teams.
What makes Affinity the best alternative to 4Degrees for dealmakers?
For long-term dealmakers, relationship building is foundational; strong networks translate into more closed deals. To leverage these valuable relationships, your company needs more than a contact database to track all of your team’s network. Siloed databases where teams cobble together their own internal solutions add unnecessary complexity, slow your team down, and aren’t scalable.
Financial and professional services teams need a single source of truth that they can confidently rely on to quickly access deal activities, contacts, interactions, and all the other information they might need, regardless of which team member last interacted with the client. Affinity also is able to help you surface new opportunities and connections by providing extensive data enrichment aggregated from leading industry data vendors and proprietary, internal datasets to provide greater context for every relationship in your network.
4Degrees’s artificial intelligence offers some insights into team connections, however the limited extensions and integrations available severely hinder its functionality. Its LinkedIn extension doesn’t adequately capture enough data on your team’s connections, and integrations rely on third-party software (Zapier).
Additionally, although the architecture works well for contacts, it can be difficult to track organizations efficiently and effectively. When you’re tracking contacts, you want to make certain that your CRM integrates with your other tools and captures the data and relationships you need.
Affinity CRM’s automated relationship intelligence provides dealmakers with real-time insights. By capturing all of your team’s data exhaust, it can save you hundreds of hours per person each year that would otherwise be spent on manual data entry.
Contact management doesn’t have to require so much time—and your database should be free from human errors! Try Affinity, and empower your team to pay attention to what matters most: developing, sustaining, and nurturing long-term relationships.