Managing deal flow has always been the backbone of any investment firm. However, doing it manually can be a nightmare. Thanks to technology, CRM tools have made it easier for investment firms to improve their deal flow management processes. In this post, we will be reviewing the best CRM tools for deal flow management, showcasing their pros and cons, and how they can help elevate your deal flow game. The candidates that will be discussed extensively in this post are Streak, Airtable, Affinity, and folk.
What is VC deal flow and why does it matter?
High deal flow can determine a successful Venture Capital Company's success. Typically less than one percent of deals originating result in a deal are closed, the number of deals is therefore extremely high. Often, a VC will interact with hundreds of potential investment opportunities every year.
Deal flow management is a consistent process that should include recording all deals and keeping a record of all interactions with prospects across the team.
Also, it should let investors track co-leads/co-investors, help view the deal flow pipeline, take notes on founders, set up reminders to follow up at the right time, and reach out to founders or operators for any event with mail merge.
All these features can help firms keep their data organized, collaborate with other firms, and stay on top of the game.
Objective #1: Centralize inbound deal flow
Typically a company with a strong history will receive many inbound investment opportunities. It's sometimes hard when there's an overwhelming quantity of incoming mail to get information out.
Objective #2: Track all your deals in one place
Give yourself quick insights in your pipeline, knowing which companies are currently being met, what's the stage of the process and which person of the team is in charge.
Objective #3: Supporting Deal Teams Throughout the Deal Lifecycle
A deal flow CRM would be expected to be very collaborative so the team can collaborate on deals with mentions, sharing notes, sharing emails, setting reminders and more.
Objective #4: Recording all the data the team will need overtime
One of the biggest asset an investment team can build overtime is its intelligence over many many deals that create a history for previous companies. It's like a relationship knowledge base.
Main CRM overview
folk.app is a CRM platform that helps manage deal flow in an easy way. The CRM system includes multiple features on top of the chrome extension to help building relationships
Bring contacts from other platforms such as Gmail, Outlook, Twitter, with direct integration or with the extension in a single click
Categorize these contacts into groups with all the information you might need with custom fields
Send them customized email campaigns
Build custom pipelines
More specifically, it also offers a chrome extension that works on LinkedIn and Twitter to add potential founders from these tools on folk in one click.
Once on folk, you can use tags, views and filters to leverage contact lists created from LinkedIn with your team.
Quickly find contact information for people on LinkedIn
Also works with multiple other tools such as Gmail, Outlook, Twitter, Sales Navigator, and other
Search by name or company name, or any other fields
Easily setup pipeline management views
Combine with enrichment on folk to access to email addresses, phone numbers, job titles and more
The free version is limited to 100 contacts
Streak is a CRM embedded directly into Gmail.
Streak allows you to create multiple pipelines within your deal flow that are visible to any team member. It also provides easy sorting options for tracking deal stages and updates. Additionally, you can set reminders for follow-ups at the right time as well as automate email outreach with mail merge using its templates feature. Finally, its integration capabilities allow it to sync up with Gmail, Google Calendar and other email platforms.
Easy to use and setup
Works well for mail merge
Free version is limited
Doesn't work outside gmail, so no web app or app
Clutters gmail interface
Next is Airtable—a powerful database tool. It comes with plently of templates depending on your usecase.
Airtable enables users to customize fields according to their needs, store contacts, organize tasks and track deals. Its pipeline view feature helps users visualize the progress of each deal and make informed decisions quickly. It also provides integration with third-party services like Slack, Google Calendar, etc., to keep business processes running smoothly.
Can be used for other usecases
Not really built to be a CRM
Not well integrated with contacts tools
Mail merge doesn't work
Affinity is a cloud-based CRM platform built for venture capital firms and private equity groups. Affinity offers an intuitive dashboard that allows users to set up filters for contact data enrichment, categorize deals according to status or size, and have meaningful conversations with prospects through its auto-responding feature. Additionally, it has a real-time reporting system so you can stay updated on your current deal flow status in the blink of an eye.
Built for VCs specifically
Hard to setup
CRM deal flow process review
All the tools mentioned above are designed to help improve deal flow management and investors relations. Each tool has its own unique features and strengths and weaknesses for deal flow. Depending on the user's specific needs, it is important to assess all the options before making a decision for the right deal flow management.
Ultimately, the right CRM tool can make a major impact on an investment firm's success and the way they manage their deal flow. By ensuring that they have areas of their processes automated and improved efficiently, firms will be able to focus more energy on other aspects of their business - like finding new leads, closing deals faster, managing deal flow, and more.
The right CRM tool is a powerful business asset for any investment firm looking to maximize efficiency and drive success - for VCs as much as in private equity. By having access to features such as mail merge, data entry automation, and website notifications, investment firms can unlock a new level of productivity while saving time on tedious tasks. Moreover, with increased visibility into progress metrics through reports and analytics, firms can be more agile with their decision-making process and take steps towards achieving their desired outcomes.
Investment in CRM tools for deal-flow management is a must-have if you want to enhance your investment firm's overall strategy and streamline deal origination. Streak, Airtable, Affinity, and folk are great options. However, each tool has its own set of unique features and limitations. In the end, it depends on the investor's preference, budget, and most importantly, needs. Regardless of your final choice, any of these CRM tools will help take your deal flow game to the next level.