A customer relationship management platform is foundational to your investment banking team’s deal management process. At the heart of every deal is relationship-building, and selecting a CRM for your firm can either enhance your ability to leverage your team’s relationships or slow your dealmaking to a crawl.
The MadeMarket CRM platform offers custom solutions designed to integrate contact management with transaction management. Although MadeMarket software has become popular with investment banks, there are several other contenders that may be better suited to meeting your organization’s unique needs. The MadeMarket alternatives here may better support a strategic approach to relationship management, provide additional sales automation capabilities, and improve reporting and analytics.
To help with your decision-making, in this article we’ll explore seven CRM alternatives to MadeMarket that might better meet your business needs.
- Zendesk Sell
What is MadeMarket CRM?
MadeMarket CRM is a SaaS CRM system based out of Santa Monica, California. This powerful platform is said to work well to meet the unique needs of investment bankers, private equity investors, lenders, and other financial companies. MadeMarket’s popular features include workflow management and customization options for business development and transaction execution, secure workspaces for all transactions, and a milestone chart that enables your team to easily set and visualize sales goals. It has an Outlook plugin that can simplify email outreach and engagement.
Buyer feedback indicates that it is significantly more work to get the same results from MadeMarket as it is with Affinity in areas such as automated data capture and data enrichment from third party partners. Affinity also gets better reviews than MadeMarket for user interface and ease of use.
Let’s take a look at some MadeMarket alternatives for investment banking teams.
Your relationships and your team’s relationships shape your business—and you need more than a contact database to build and maintain those relationships. Typically when your firm lands a new client, a cascade of actions must follow in order to close the deal, including manually logging relevant information and following up routinely as the deal progresses.
Often the greater challenge, however, is managing a complex and regimented deal process that has multiple dependencies, and then quickly and accurately communicating updates to the client. Forward-thinking investment banking firms are turning to purpose-built deal management platforms to stay more informed and up to date on key accounts. When contacts, interactions, deal activity, and more all live in the same platform, it’s much easier for managing directors to access real-time insights into all of their most important metrics and KPIs.
Affinity’s CRM provides automated relationship intelligence—additional insights into your team's network, relationships, and interactions that help sophisticated deal teams find and close more deals—for investment banking teams that streamlines and strengthens the dealmaking process.
The algorithms that underscore the platform can calculate and quantify relationship strength to help teams identify who on the team knows whom, so you can uncover potential warm introductions. By automatically capturing your organization’s data exhaust—details extracted from email communications, meetings, and contact information such as names, roles, industry, and source of introduction—Affinity CRM can help you understand a fully contextualized relationship network that gives you deep insight into your team’s dealmaking.
In addition to adding and updating new contacts automatically, Affinity’s third-party data integrations and proprietary datasets enrich your existing CRM datasets, enhancing contacts with industry data and up-to-date company information. All of this is possible without a single keystroke of manual data entry. Your team saves hundreds of hours of time—time that they can then use to focus on nurturing relationships.
With more than 20 years in the field, Salesforce (SFDC) is perhaps the best-known, and largest, CRM software platform on the market. Organizations and companies around the world rely on Salesforce for a variety of business processes, from email marketing campaigns to contact management and retention.
Salesforce is the industry standard when it comes to contact relationship management for transactional sales teams—teams that rely on short-term, funnel-driven sales—and as a result, it’s possible to integrate nearly any of your existing tech stack with a Salesforce instance. Common integrations include Mailchimp, Google Cloud, Slack, DocuSign, and Dropbox, to name just a few. And their open API offers a wealth of options for teams that want to take advantage of it (or rather those that have the resources to do so).
Although Salesforce does not focus on financial services alone, their customized solutions span industries, from banking to government, from media to wealth and investment management and beyond. Salespeople can access their accounts and customer information from Salesforce whether they’re at their desktop or on their mobile devices: apps are available for both iOS and Android.
Because of the broad scope of this all-in-one solution, one of the biggest downsides to Salesforce is that its complexity and robustness make it a less-than-ideal solution for small businesses, startups, or new businesses. The array of options and integrations may be too much for an organization that requires a more streamlined and less complex software solution.
Additionally, Salesforce is a powerful database—more powerful than Excel, by far. However, investment banking, venture capital, startups, real estate, and other financial services industries rely on referrals, partnerships, and long-term, unstructured, and highly collaborative deals. More tailored CRM solutions support these processes by examining the relationships between the data, using algorithms supported by artificial intelligence.
Salesforce’s cost may also be prohibitive for some teams. Their highest monthly pricing is higher than most other options on the market, but may be worth the investment for larger companies with dozens or hundreds of users. Organizations and companies, therefore, will want to ensure that they are optimizing their use of the software. If your team doesn’t need all of the features for the highest tier, an alternative CRM might be a better option.
If Salesforce is known for its robust CRM, HubSpot is similarly well-known for its marketing automation solutions. Its cloud-based CRM, however, is a solid alternative to MadeMarket CRM. HubSpot’s holistic approach offers both deal flow management and marketing sales teams hoping to create close alignment between their workflows and customer success teams and marketing teams by creating a full customer lifecycle management process.
Additionally, teams who are already using GSuite will find that integration with their Google suite is easy, allowing for access to calendar events, presentations, and more, all within the CRM. HubSpot CRM also offers built-in call capabilities and accessible email workflows and templates.
However, HubSpot relies heavily on its roots as a marketing platform, and while its marketing capabilities are a strength, there is less emphasis on the CRM components necessary for robust reporting, analytics, and business intelligence. Sales teams that rely on insights to drive their long-term, relationship-driven deals may find that they do not have access to the data they need.
As a marketing solution, HubSpot shines. But for investment bankers who want to track, understand, and leverage key relationships, a CRM that allows you to effectively and efficiently stay up to date with key relationships over the course of several years may be a better fit.
While some investment banking teams may benefit from a marketing management system on the same platform as their CRM, for others, HubSpot’s marketing tools can be difficult to take full advantage of. Social media posting, marketing analytics, and SEO analytics are useful tools, but dealmakers will rarely spend their time optimizing their web copy or planning social media promotion campaigns.
Another factor that impacts your team’s time is the fact that, similar to other transactional CRMs, the manual data entry required for entering and updating contacts can take up hundreds of hours per team member per year.
DealCloud’s cloud-based CRM was built with capital market dealmakers front of mind, and subsequently, their available features reflect this. Their platform includes marketing, reporting and analytics, data management, pipeline management, and relationship management. Throughout their ten-year history, DealCloud has honed their offerings and now can support a range of financial services and organizations.
The DealCloud platform is highly customizable and customers can request the exact specifications they desire, but this customization comes with a downside. Instead of a quick and simple deployment, it can take up to six months on top of hours of training in order for your team to use the software effectively. In fact, DealCloud is so complex that platforms managers have to become certified. More agile, user-oriented CRM software solutions may be a better fit if you want to be able to encourage team-wide adoption of the platform.
Similar to other legacy leaders in the CRM field, DealCloud requires manual CRM data entry and management—which leaves your team vulnerable to human error. Accurate and complete information is critical to nurturing the relationships that form the foundation of your lead management and deal management strategies and help your team close deals. Not only does manual data entry leave you at risk of inaccurate information, but it also requires significant resources (and countless hours) to organize, clean, and maintain the data.
DealCloud prices vary depending on your organization’s needs, but typically the cost is monthly per user. There are additional fees for several features. Your organization will pay a one-time implementation and deployment cost that varies based on the size and quantity of data that needs to be transferred. Also, there are extra fees for ongoing workflow customizations as well as an extra cost for integrated tools such as integrated marketing.
Part of the Freshworks platform, Freshsales offers its customers AI-powered insights from the point a lead is generated to the moment the deal is closed. Their dynamic forecasting improves revenue predictability, and their comprehensive reporting functionalities offer salespeople a 360-degree view of customers’ engagement history with their team.
Consequently, this CRM allows companies to view and leverage more connections across their data than the average industry CRM. Their forecasting abilities also offer intelligent data metrics to inform your team’s organization and activity. Freshsales offers 115 available integrations, including Slack, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Microsoft 365, Gmail, and QuickBooks. They can even integrate with some project management tools, such as Basecamp.
Unfortunately, Freshsales offers limited pipeline customization and struggles to accommodate automation for marketing or client follow-ups. Customers have also noted that while importing data to Freshsales can save time, it comes with a challenge: files sometimes show up with errors, so your team has to spend even more time troubleshooting. Although Freshsales has a mobile app, customers have found it to be clunky and less useful than desktop access in a world where mobile facility is a requirement.
There are several pricing options for Freshsales to meet a variety of use cases, with three options that all offer per user per month pricing. Freshsales also offers a free option that supports contact and account management, access to customers from within the CRM via chat, email, and phone, and use of their mobile app. In order to utilize any pipeline or sales features, however, the paid version is a must.
Explore more alternatives to DealCloud here.
Zendesk Sell, formerly known as Base CRM, is a sales automation tool that connects your sales team and your support team, creating an end-to-end customer experience platform. Zendesk acquired Base CRM in 2018, and its most powerful feature may be the integration of Zendesk’s customer service offerings with the CRM features of Base (which Zendesk renamed Sell).
Zendesk Sell gives support agents access to context around sales conversations and notifies sales of opportunities that arise during a support interaction. This built-in functionality encourages the collaboration that many companies strive to encourage internally. The ability to see all past support tickets allows sales teams to better understand the full context of their lead, particularly for upsell opportunities.
Although Zendesk Sell offers easy tracking of emails sent, calls made, and meetings scheduled, it does not offer some basic features such as communication tracking. When relationships drive your business, it’s critical to identify whether or not a contact has opened your email and engaged with your team.
Additionally, some customers find that the automation tools lack the robustness expected from truly automated CRM platforms. If you want your technology to drive data automation and insights so that your investment banking team can spend time on relationship-building and closing deals, Zendesk Sell might not be the best choice.
Billed annually, Zendesk Sell Team pricing starts fairly low, however, it only offers one custom sales pipeline and a maximum of three paid users. The next level, Sell Professional, expands the features to include tools such as email templates, personalized bulk emails, and sales goals and forecasting. If you want more than one custom sales pipeline, however, your only option is Sell Enterprise, which offers two customized sales pipelines. As a result, most businesses will need more than the base option.
Worldwide, businesses use Zoho CRM as their customer relationship management platform of choice. As part of the Zoho suite of products, Zoho CRM offers easy integration for companies who are already making use of Zoho’s other tools, such as Zoho Finance Plus, Workplace, or Zoho Marketing Plus. One feature that’s especially beneficial is the Zoho Reports architecture, which allows users to blend data from a variety of sources, enabling you to compile a host of different reports.
Zoho CRM does offer an AI component, Zia AI. Zia leverages artificial intelligence to analyze sales patterns and identify cross-sell customers, recommend when to contact clients based on past behaviors, and suggest workflows and macros to automate routine processes. While this feature may seem enticing, know that Zia is not offered with all Zoho CRM plans.
Teams that rely on their CRMs for more long-term, relationship-driven sales might find that Zoho CRM is not the ideal match for their needs. The platform was built for traditional, transactional sales functions, and several features remain, such as preset fields with “leads” or “accounts”. Users have also noted that the setup process can be intense and require immense amounts of time and energy. When you’re considering which CRM to adopt, do you want one that will be up and running quickly, or one that can take up to 90 days to get started?
Pricing for Zoho CRM is comparable to several of the other MadeMarket CRM alternatives explored throughout this article. The current base plan (above their free, feature-light option) allows you to access multiple customized pipelines, workflows, and mass email capabilities, among other things. For the full capabilities of Zoho CRM, companies must choose the highest tier: this includes features such as Zia AI, mobile MDM, advanced customization, and Zoho Analytics.
What makes Affinity the best alternative to MadeMarket for investment bankers?
As a banker, your team’s top priority is closing deals, and the most direct route to your next deal is quickly finding buyers and sellers whose goals align. The reality, however, is that in order to achieve that goal there has to be a significant amount of relationship building. MadeMarket can fall short for firms that are truly focused on building lasting, sustainable, and recurring business relationships.
Without the ability to track everything seamlessly—and collaboratively across the team—it’s easy for relationships to fall through the cracks. Investment professionals require a solution that can help build and maintain a nonlinear deal pipeline, track interactions with founders (who are considering how to best sell something they’ve built from the ground up), and break down silos of information so that relationships can be nurtured by the best point of contact.
A CRM is more than just another tool in your technology toolbox: it’s the foundation for every deal your firm pursues. The right CRM solution helps investment bankers manage and nurture long-term relationships—and if your chosen CRM isn’t doing this for you, it might be best to consider an alternative.
At its core, Affinity is a relationship intelligence CRM built for long-term dealmakers. Building, sustaining, and tracking long-term relationships relies on impeccable memory—or the right software. Spreadsheets and legacy CRMs require too much manual data entry. Why waste hundreds of hours entering data into a database or risk the chance of human error? With Affinity, your entire team can be up and running quickly—sometimes in just 72 hours, with—no manual data entry required.
Finally, although MadeMarket offers team-based opportunities lists, their reporting function is not robust enough for investment banking teams. Accessing the right information at the right time can mean the difference between closing a deal…or losing it. Talk to an Affinity sales representative today for a live demo.