Over the last five years, customer relationship management software, known as CRM, has made an impressive entrance into many varying industries.
CRM technology with built-in lead tracking software is used by organizations to manage customer relationships and interactions, with the overall goal of advancing stronger and more effective market communications.
For example, CRM tools like HubSpot and lead tracking system like Phonexa are very effective in many industries and help companies grow while keeping everything organized.
But what about M&A?
Is there any similar software that helps from deal sourcing and tracking to post-merger integration?
We at DealRoom work with dozens of companies helping them organize their M&A process and in this article, we’ll try to answer this question.
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 modernize 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 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 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 an 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 assignments.
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 enables 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 bottlenecks during the deal, but they can also greatly inform direction and facilitate a successful integration.
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 to direct their efforts more wisely and prevent bottlenecks.
Investment Banking CRM Platforms
CRM platforms also greatly benefit investment bankers.
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 banker’s 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 their 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 CRM software to help manage your M&A transactions, look for platforms that are specifically tailored to the industry.
M&A platforms will already include the important functionality that practitioners need and will require less customization.
The platform should have the functionality you know your team will need as well as functionality that can improve your current processes and create increased efficiency.
We recommend using DealRoom.
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 they 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 the price.
Due to the profitability of 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.