Over the last five years, customer relationship management software, known as CRM, has made an impressive entrance into many varying industries. CRM technology is used by organizations to manage customer relationships and interactions, with the overall goal of advancing stronger and more effective market communications.
Although CRM tools have been effective in many industries, mergers and acquisitions require very strict and specific functionality to manage costly deals and delicate stakeholder interactions. Traditional CRM platforms simply do not provide key aspects needed to close successful M&A deals efficiently and equitably.
What is M&A CRM?
An M&A CRM is a platform specifically designed for deal management. These CRM’s assist M&A practitioners organize and source new deals, manage active pipelines, and store important information on clients and professional business contacts. Overall, M&A CRMs are optimized to organize and track processes throughout a deal’s life cycle.
Traditional CRM platforms simply do not provide key aspects needed to close successful M&A deals efficiently and equitably. Deal practitioners must begin using tools designed specifically for industry needs and pain points. Fortunately, M&A CRM software is tailored expressly for M&A processes and is being adapted by industry leaders to modernizing traditional approaches.
5 Ways Traditional CRM Platforms Fall Short of Deal CRM Software
1. Functionality to Enable Effective Collaboration
A successful M&A deal requires the effective collaboration between many internal team members and external stakeholders. The due diligence process demands constant communication between the buyer and seller, with an investment bank likely in the middle to add needed structure and analysis. Documents and information must be swiftly sent, received and assessed to advance the needs of the deal and ensure value creation. Traditional CRMs lack the functionality required to manage this delicate collaboration or to track important information and documents.
M&A CRM Software designed specifically for the M&A process is equipped with an interface that enables teams to communicate, collect data and track progress on one, centralized platform. These platforms eliminate the need for one-off emails and Excel trackers. They provide the best CRM for investment bankers, stakeholders and deal success.
2. Permissions Setting
Setting permissions for who can view which documents is an incredibly important security feature that M&A CRMs provide over traditional CRMs. There are many influencers, such as the potential buyers and sellers, contributing to a deal. Each party requires their own set of permissions regarding the files and information they are able to access.
Traditional CRMs do not allow users to restrict certain documents from view, while deal CRM solutions made for M&A do. This enables deal security, enhanced efficiency and peace of mind.
3. Project Management Designed for Deal Intricacies
M&A practitioners ultimately need a platform tailored to the nature of complex, information-dense and high-cost deals. While traditional CRM technology is useful for industries with sales-oriented processes, they lack the functionality required to adequately manage the sensitive and costly needs of M&A.
Using M&A CRM tool designed specifically for deal processes will target and solve industry-wide pain points such as collecting diligence documents, communicating effectively between buyers and sellers and internally managing priorities. They include functions tailored to the industry’s project management needs such as drag-and-drop, document requests, the ability to set priorities and task assignment. Traditional CRMs simply do not have these capabilities as they were developed for customer sales and maintenance.
4. Reliable Security for Highly Sensitive Documents
During M&A transactions, copious amounts of sensitive information and documents are exchanged between key stakeholders. M&A practitioners need a secure data room designed to store vital information for a successful deal and limited risk. A conventional CRM is simply not designed to secure or store such information and deals should be managed on investor CRM software with the appropriate security certifications.
Secure CRMs designed for M&A transactions also include customizable document permissions, watermarking and view-only access. These necessary security functions reduce any legal risks and deal complications.
5. Analytics for More Efficient Deals and Post-Close Success
Many platforms designed to manage M&A provide deal analytics that enable direction and important insight throughout the deal’s lifecycle. Deal CRMs develop analytics such as; which prospective buyers are most active, which tasks are most important and need to be completed, and which documents are viewed most. Not only do these analytics prevent bottleneck during the deal, they can greatly inform direction and facilitate a successful integration.
What is a Deal CRM Created to Solve?
M&A professionals and stakeholders deserve a platform designed for their needs and specific pain points. While traditional CRM software can be useful to other industries, the high-pressure, complex and ever-changing nature of the M&A industry calls for something more advanced and targeted.
Deal CRM platforms give dealmakers the ability to better manage M&A transactions throughout their entire life cycle. Deal CRMs are designed explicitly for deal stakeholders, corporate development professionals, investment bankers, and private equity practitioners. With a broad-range of functionality, these targeted M&A CRM platforms create collaborative, secure, efficient, and successful deals.
Unlike traditional CRMs, M&A platforms like DealRoom include the following features expressly tailored for M&A processes:
Drag-and-Drop File Upload: This feature allows users to effortlessly bulk upload documents and folders during the due diligence process. Those files are then organized and indexed within the platform accordingly.
Simple Permissions: Deal CRMs offer permission settings so that deal administrators can restrict information or document access from certain external stakeholders. This ensures deal security and provides peace of mind.
Requests Tab: This feature may be the most important feature a deal platform should provide. The feature imports diligence document request lists into one-centralized platform and gives users the ability to organize and request the information needed directly from the tool. This streamlines deal collaboration by eliminating the need for Excel trackers, emails and version-control issues.
Full Text Search: The full text search feature often found in M&A CRMs allows dealmakers to quickly find the information or document needed by searching keywords or phrases. This greatly saves time and lets teams focus on more value-add activities.
Smart Analytics: Deal CRMs, like DealRoom, provide clear analytics of every deal aspect and enable simple reporting. Analytics like diligence progress, document activity and buyer engagement allow deal practitioners direct their efforts more wisely and prevent bottlenecks.
Investment Banking CRM Platforms
CRM platforms also greatly benefit investment bankers. A CRM software specifically designed for M&A enable investment bankers to more easily maintain and organize information about business contacts, store market research, track pending pitches, and stay up-to-date on current deals.
A bankers main priority is to provide the best service for their clients, sourcing and closing the most advantageous deals. In order to do so, investment bankers must employ considerable knowledge management. CRMs facilitate bankers in the role and allow them to remain competitive in an unpredictable and complex market.
How to Choose the Best CRM for M&A?
Selecting the best M&A CRM for your team can be difficult, as there are many products on the market with different areas of focus and expertise.
1. When selecting a CRM software to help manage your M&A transactions, look for platforms that are specifically tailored for the industry. M&A platforms will already include the important functionality that practitioners need and will require less customization. The platform should functionality you know your team will need as well as functionality that can improve your current processes and create increased efficiency.
2. Viewing a demo of the product is also incredibly important. When receiving a demo, it is helpful to think about how intuitive the platform seems. How attractive does the tool look and how easy will it be to implement within your team? Platforms that have too many functions may be too difficult to learn, decreasing the overall value it will bring to your process.
3. Also look for customer testimonials from your specific industries. Well established and viable platforms will boost many reviews and enable you to make a more informed decision based on the functionality you find most important. Review sites that consistently provide accurate information and in-depth testimonies are Capterra and Software Advice.
4. Lastly, consider price. Due to the profitability to the M&A industry, software companies that cater to M&A tend to be incredibly expensive. However, because of advancements and innovations in the software space, more equitably priced options are available. When selecting a new tool, make sure to gain multiple quotes before coming to a decision.