Mergers and acquisitions are intricate and involve many moving parts, and corporate development teams are often managing more than one deal at a time. It is challenging to keep track of where deals are in their lifecycle, know which deals are coming up, and spot areas of concern early on.
An M&A deal pipeline is a visual layout of M&A transactions, usually multiple at a time. Pipelines give M&A professionals, such as corporate development teams or investment bankers, a way to manage their transactions.
Now, let's take a look at the meaning of deal pipeline software and how it applies to M&A.
What is M&A Deal Pipeline Software?
M&A deal pipeline software is any tool used to oversee and direct future sales in various stages. Apply this to M&A, and pipeline management software provides teams with a way to track and manage multiple M&A transactions.
Pipeline management allows teams to build their ideal M&A pipeline dashboard, customized for their specific workflows and processes.
A Closer Look at Reasons to Use Pipeline Software in Corporate Development M&A
Convenient Overviews. With one quick glance, corporate development teams can see how many deals they have in each stage, recent updates, open requests, and more.
Centralized Location. Every deal can be managed on one software platform, preventing teams from having to constantly learn new software or switch back and forth between platforms.
Customizable Platform. Pipeline software gives teams the ability to customize an M&A pipeline that fits in with their processes.
How to Create a Simplified Process with M&A Pipeline Management
To start, pipeline management typically displays deals in a dashboard view. A dashboard view provides teams with a user-friendly way to access important deal information and overviews. The dashboard also enables users to switch back and forth between deals and stages quickly.
The dashboard is where deals can be grouped together by their stages and each deal is displayed as a card in their designated stages. For example, a dashboard can display all the deals that are in discovery, due diligence, closing, integration, and live stages. With one click, a user can access all the deals that are in the integration stage. And most pipeline management software allows users to completely customize what stages they have.
Next, teams can decide on what specific deal metadata will be displayed on the deal cards.
Some pipeline management software, like DealRoom, also work simultaneously with a virtual data room and project management features. For example, with DealRoom, teams can run the entire diligence process through the M&A platform. Because of this, corporate development teams can add diligence requests metadata to their deal pipeline dashboard. With a quick glance, a user can see how many open, closed, high priority, medium priority etc. diligence requests are associated with each deal.
With pipeline management software, users can quickly access project details. This is typically a section within the dashboard where users can view project phase, description, location, employee count, and more, for each deal. The specific line items can be adjusted at any time.
Another feature of pipeline management software is a table view. Instead of viewing a dashboard, the table view is a secondary option for viewing the pipeline. The table view includes all the same metadata, just in column and tab form.
Here are additional benefits of pipeline management software
Quickly View Priorities. Users can see how many medium and high priority requests need to be fulfilled.
Accessible User Information. Users can search for other users, and see their information, role, and rooms that they are a part of.
Brand Incorporation. Teams can change the dashboard’s background color to match their brand and upload their logo.
Available Deal Overviews. Teams can quickly see the information about a deal such as the number of requests open, last date it was updated, and location.
Add New Rooms. New rooms can be spun up from the dashboard. Users can also export entire rooms from the pipeline.
How to Choose an M&A Deal Pipeline Software
The benefits that pipeline management can have on a corporate development team’s process and workflow are numerous, but in order for a pipeline to be effective, it needs to be set up properly.
Once a team chooses a pipeline management software provider, they should all take a training course. Teams should also have an internal meeting to decide how they want to set up their room, starting with how they want to group their deal stages. Teams should also plan to meet at least quarterly to review their current pipeline and make any necessary adjustments based on user feedback.
75% of deal teams waste valuable time going back and forth between platforms to manage multiple deals.
Pipeline management software that also includes M&A project management and a M&A virtual data room is the best way to ensure all deal information is in one centralized spot.
Everything, from diligence requests, internal communication, deal analytics, post-close integration planning, and more, can be quickly accessed.
Every file and document used during diligence can be used again for integration planning.
Communication from six months prior can be relooked at. Admins can have access to who downloaded what on specific days.
Teams also don’t have to learn a new software every time they take on a new deal.
The benefits are endless...
Another crucial advantage of using an all-encompassing pipeline management software is pricing. Instead of having to collect separate quotes for pipeline management, project management, virtual data rooms for each deal, etc. everything is combined into one price. For example, software like DealRoom, simply charges a flat monthly rate that includes unlimited projects, which allows teams to spin up a new room whenever they have a new deal.
The concept and use of pipeline management software isn’t new and is used by many different industries to track sales, however, applying pipeline management software specifically to M&A is fairly recent.
The most popular deal pipeline software providers are DealRoom, Midaxo, Intralinks. Every provider varies in what they provide, but the goal is the same, to help corporate development teams better manage their M&A transactions.
M&A deal pipeline software can be a strategic engine for growth when used correctly. Every year, more and more corporate development teams are turning to software to help them revamp their internal and external M&A workflows. And at the end of the day, a streamlined process helps teams close deals faster.