A buyer's guide for deal sourcing software platforms

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Of all the steps and stages of capital markets deal flow—from business development and corporate development to fundraising and due diligence—deal sourcing is the engine of your dealmaking and the lifeblood of your firm. The more you can simplify and streamline your deal sourcing efforts, the more effectively you can find the right buyers and sellers, and the faster you can close.

As the marketplace continues to heat up and competition becomes fiercer from public and private companies alike, your deal team can no longer rely on siloed spreadsheets and cards in the LPs’ Rolodexes. You need a deal sourcing software solution designed to support the entire deal lifecycle and accelerate complex, long-term deals.


In this deal sourcing software platform buyer’s guide, you’ll learn how the right technology solution keeps your firm ahead of the competition, how it can simplify and streamline the deal process, and what to look for in a new software platform.

How the right deal sourcing software platform gives your deal team a leg up

Like in many industries, including financial services like investment banking, venture capital, and private equity and professional services like real estate, deal sourcing is often the most challenging part of a deal team’s job. The right deal sourcing software can make all the difference when dealmakers need to support sophisticated, long-term, relationship-driven deals.

An effective deal sourcing software platform can help your team source better deals, giving your firm a competitive advantage. With more features, capabilities, and automation than a spreadsheet, deal sourcing software enables your team to identify and act on opportunities much faster.

With the data analytics functionality included in many platforms, your firm can turn deal signals into deal sources. Modern deal sourcing software also improves deal flow by helping you identify potential buyers faster. And if your software includes AI-driven relationship intelligence with enhanced data sets, you can instantly spot the warmest path to an introduction.

Let’s look at three specific markets, and more ways deal sourcing software can help these firms win.

Benefits of deal sourcing software for investment banking and M&A

Investment banking teams can improve productivity and maximize resources when they choose a deal sourcing or M&A software platform that includes robust, modern CRM features. Deal teams experience more seamless workflows and boosted collaboration capabilities including deal management, too.

A key feature that investment banking and M&A deal teams should look for is automated data capture. This one feature alone will save deal teams hundreds of hours a year on manual data entry, and free up organizational resources for more impactful activities.

Does your deal team already use Salesforce? Find out more about augmenting Salesforce with the relationship intelligence and automation capabilities offered by Affinity.


Benefits of deal sourcing software for venture capital

VC firms can easily use their networks and boost their brand awareness with a strong deal sourcing software platform. Unlike a spreadsheet, a platform enables deal team members to share recent successes with their network, ensure visibility of key portfolio company information and investment criteria, and expand their networks.

The right software solution can also be a brand differentiator in this highly competitive marketplace. With a dedicated deal sourcing software platform, venture capital firms can bridge new connections based on existing network connections and gain access to new potential deals.


Benefits of deal sourcing software for private equity

Deal sourcing software is a core part of the private equity tech stack and enables private equity deal teams to more target their outreach activities more precisely. Most modern software platforms allow PE teams to create deal alerts that flag opportunities based on acquisition preferences and broadcast buy-side mandates. Modern deal sourcing platforms can also help PE dealmakers enrich contact and company data, and research key stakeholders and portfolio companies so they can gain an edge when it comes time to identify quality opportunities.

What to look for in a deal sourcing software platform

Software features and benefits may matter to capital markets firms more than most. Capital markets deals are complex, and the relationships that drive those deals take time and energy to build, nurture, and maintain. It can feel like a huge effort for a deal team to get acclimated to a new software solution—or a new way of managing their workflows. Make it easier on your entire organization and get buy-in faster by looking for a platform that will help your team do the following:

Use relationship intelligence to build and close deals

Look for software that helps your deal team assess and analyze their individual relationships and the relationships across their team members’ networks. This will help team members find warm introductions to buyers and sellers and empower them to prospect and market deals more effectively.

Relationship intelligence can also help your team track and manage the contacts they’ve pitched a deal to. And with automation, relationship intelligence unifies your organization’s relationship network with no manual effort.


Manage your deal pipeline more easily

Look for a deal sourcing software platform that includes intuitive pipeline management tools with flexible workflows. Software designed for private equity, venture capital, and investment banking firms often include pipeline management features that simplify deal management from signal to close. Your team should know the status of every deal, have progress metrics at hand, and be able to capture every interaction and activity—without leaving your deal sourcing software.

Automate contact and activity data entry

Your deal team’s time is best spent building relationships and shepherding deals—not doing manual data entry. But in a typical year, capital markets firm employees spend hundreds of hours doing just that. Look for automated data capture features that enter and enrich data without manual effort, and provide actionable insights that can accelerate dealmaking.

Why you should choose Affinity over other deal sourcing software platforms

For capital markets firms, the deal origination process is complex, the sales cycle is long, and relationships make all the difference.

Affinity is a relationship intelligence CRM purpose-built for venture capital companies, private equity firms, investment banks, and commercial real estate offices. For managing deal sourcing and deal flow, Affinity provides:

  • Affinity Smart Lists. Your team can create custom lists to track people, organizations, and opportunities, then seamlessly add individuals and companies to those lists straight from their inbox.
  • Real-time, automated data enrichment. Your team’s contacts and deal activity data are automatically enriched with third-party data sources (including Pitchbook and Clearbit), proprietary Affinity algorithms, and user-generated data.
  • Warm introduction paths. Affinity analyzes your team’s network and all the data points within it to surface the warmest introduction paths.
  • Pathfinder Chrome extension. With Affinity’s Pathfinder Chrome extension, your team members can pull insights from their network to augment contact details from sites like LinkedIn and Salesforce. Pathfinder then alerts them to the person in their network who has the best relationship for an introduction or referral.
  • Tech stack integrations and mobile apps. Affinity connects with the most popular capital markets software tools including Salesforce, Slack, Google Drive, and Mailchimp, and Microsoft Outlook. And your deal team can get instant insight from anywhere with Affinity’s mobile app for iPhone and Android.
  • Industry Insights. Affinity company profiles feature AI-driven information about competing and related companies, which cuts down on deal sourcing and due diligence workflows.
  • Employee Growth Insights. Your team can cut down on back-and-forth with founders by easily accessing data on prospect company headcount growth and churn in Affinity company profiles.

Your deal sourcing software can be a differentiator

For private capital firms, deal sourcing is the most foundational element of success. Choose a software solution that gives your deal team more than a database. Talk to a member of the Affinity sales team to find out how the Affinity CRM or Affinity for Salesforce can give your firm a competitive edge.


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