As a venture capital firm, the CRM system that you select has the power to accelerate your dealmaking process—but you have to choose the best one for your needs. A CRM is only one piece of a venture capital tech stack, but it is a vital one. Why? Because like other long-term relationship-driven dealmaking markets, venture capital deals are built from a team’s network and relationships.
Dealmakers who want to remain competitive need a CRM that does more than a contact database or Excel spreadsheet. Functionality that minimizes manual data entry via automation and identifies opportunities using relationship intelligence can help team members find and win quality deals faster than the competition.
Additionally, you want to ensure that you don’t settle for a sales CRM with extra (and unnecessary) features that your team won’t use. VC firms don’t need to track unit pricing or inventory, for example. Instead, you want to select a CRM that offers VC-specific features.
Dealmakers need a CRM platform that allows you to collaborate on deals with different stakeholders—from internal team members on your deal team to communicating with VPs, directors, or even LPs—and tools that help save you time—like automated contact data entry. A single source of truth can facilitate quick and easy reporting to your investors and make sure that you’re not duplicating work that another team member has already taken care of.
Due diligence isn’t just part of your dealmaking process—it’s an invaluable step in the software selection process as well. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll examine seven of the best VC customer relationship management platforms so that you can better navigate the selection process. When you’ve finished reading, you should better understand which features are critical for your team, and which features might be overkill. You’ll also have an awareness of how to leverage key features to amplify your firm’s reach and win rate.
Common CRM considerations
As you explore venture capital CRM solutions for your team, here are some concerns you might want to keep in mind:
- Pricing: Are you able to access the features you need for a cost that’s within your budget?
- Integrations: Does the software integrate with other programs that you already use throughout your office?
- Ease of use: How quickly can your team be onboarded? If the software is too complex for people to access what they need, team members won’t use it.
- Functionality: Do you know which features are mission-critical for your firm? Are the features that your deal team needs available?
Top venture capital customer relationship management platforms
Affinity CRM is purpose-built for dealmakers whose businesses rely on the strength and quality of their relationships. The AI-powered platform offers relationship intelligence—insights into their team’s networks, business relationships, and client interactions that help find, manage, and close deals—that turns CRM from a simple contact database into a source of information teams can take action on.
By processing and analyzing all of the data about and from your team’s network, Affinity CRM can quickly uncover the fastest path and warmest contact for an introduction. Team members can act decisively and confidently, trusting that their data is accurate and that the right person on the team is taking action on a specific opportunity.
- An intuitive, familiar, spreadsheet-like interface
- A lightweight but sophisticated platform that is quick to implement
- Data captured accurately and automatically from your email and calendar
- Customizable deal management views for visualizing your deal pipeline your way
- AI-driven relationship scoring that leads to warmer introductions by measuring the volume and type of connections between your team and your contacts
- Improved transparency and shared annotation that makes communicating easy
- Easy-to-access, in-depth reporting and analytics
- Automated custom reminders that ensure you never lose track of a connection in your network
- Compliance with the highest-level data security protocols, including SOC2 Type II, GDPR, and CCPA
Integrations: Fully custom integration options, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Typeform, Salesforce, Box, Slack, and more
Pipedrive, as its name implies, is a pipeline management software CRM focused on sales management. Pipedrive’s Activity Schedule allows users to track simple tasks but is not as robust as independent project management software might be. One of Pipedrive’s highlights is its highly visual UX interface which makes workflow management simple. While these workflows can be customized, Pipedrive does not feature workflow automation or automated data entry. Teams who want significant customization will most likely need to upgrade their plan in order to access the flexibility that they need and want.
- Marketing automation
- Customizable reporting
- Activity scheduling
Integrations: Zapier, Google Apps, Trello, Quickbooks
Both founders of 4Degrees have experience in venture capital, which gives this CRM solution an edge over some traditional, sales-focused CRM solutions. 4Degrees provides users with relationship insights that can help uncover new opportunities, from the office or on the go with the mobile app. Finally, 4Degrees does offer some automated reporting functionality and some automated deal data enrichment. The platform’s artificial intelligence is a step up from more sales-focused tools, but the lack of automated data capture and customizable, built-in reporting and analytics mean that it might not be the perfect fit for fast-moving deal teams.
- Limited artificial intelligence into business connections
- Lead management
- Relationship management
Integrations: Integrates with other software using Zapier
Salesforce is perhaps the most-recognized CRM on the market. It’s one of the oldest CRM solutions, and the company’s customer base—from real estate to government to healthcare to SaaS startups—demonstrates their high customizability. Sales teams with linear, standard funnel-driven, short-term sales can rely on this industry standard as a database for tracking customer information.
Dealmaking teams around the globe rely on Salesforce for their contact management, and it is a powerful, large-scale solution. The platform’s highly customizable options, broad feature set, lack of automated contact data entry, and inaccessible support teams can make it challenging to onboard new team members though. This can slow down the already complex, relationship-driven deals at the heart of venture capital teams, so it is important to consider how many of the features your team will use and who will be using them.
- Lead management
- Email marketing
- Contact and account management
Integrations: Mailchimp, Dropbox, Slack, Google Cloud, LinkedIn, and many more
MadeMarket is a SaaS CRM tool designed by former finance professionals. Subsequently, the software offers features tailored to the needs of venture capitalists, private equity professionals, and other financial companies. They offer a range of customization options, including customizable transaction execution and business development features. The company is small, however, and this can impact customer support and response time, according to customer reviews.
- Workflow management
- Secure workspaces for all transactions
- Milestone chart option to track sales goals
Integrations: Microsoft Office 265, Zapier, Exchange 2016
Navatar is a traditional CRM built on top of Salesforce, and professionals in the financial services industries have relied on it for nearly 20 years. It was one of the first CRMs built specifically for investment banking, venture capital, private equity, commercial real estate, and other capital markets firms. As a CRM, Navatar is best known for its deal and pipeline management tools, but it has not evolved to keep up with the industries it serves. Like more sales-focused CRMs, Navatar does not offer any automated relationship mapping or any options for automated data entry.
- Streamlined deal and pipeline management workflows
- Asset management
- Portfolio management
Integrations: HubSpot, Zoom, Marketo, Excel, Google Drive
DealCloud is a cloud-based CRM built specifically with capital market dealmakers in mind. This SaaS solution is highly customizable and includes many features built specifically for dealmaking, including relationship management, pipeline management, and lead management features.
Find out more about how DealCloud compares to Affinity.
While these native features make DealCloud a strong competitor, their integrations have to managed through their Intapp Managed Integrations Service. A sync option natively connected Microsoft Outlook emails to your CRM which can save teams from some manual data entry, other email providers have to be added with custom work. This customization can add months to deployment and onboarding and can cost your team hundreds of hours per person per year between manual data entry and training—time that they could be using to find, build, and strengthen relationships.
DealCloud may have built a strong reputation in the last generation of CRM technology solutions for investors, but the future of capital markets customer relationship management software lies not only with automation and relationship intelligence but with making those features easy-to-use and accessible to your whole team.
- Data management
- Limited marketing automation
- Highly customized configurations
Integrations: Third-party integrations available through Intapp Managed Integrations Service.
Why are venture capital teams choosing Affinity as the top VC CRM?
Streamlining your dealmaking process by automatically capturing and enriching your contact and deal data in a single source of truth can save your team hundreds of hours of time. That’s time they are able to spend building relationships instead of managing and digging through data.
With Affinity, VC firms can instead place their attention on nurturing relationships and finding the next quality deal. By eliminating manual contact data entry and informing your team with relationship intelligence, Affinity CRM enables you dealmaker to find, manage, and close more deals faster.