When it comes to customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, venture capital firms have specific requirements versus your run of the mill middle-management company. These requirements include the ability to track and manage a vast number of incoming deal flow, as well as the ability to stay up to date with founders, networking with other VCs, and fundraising for their own funds. I have had the opportunity to use a variety of CRM systems during my years of experience in the venture capital realm, and I have found the following five CRM solutions to be the ideal choices for venture capital investors:
Salesforce: For good reason, Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM systems on the market. It is very customizable and makes it simple to track and manage future investments, as well as add-in other useful third-party applications when the standard platform falls short, such as additional data analytics tracking, investment management, financial projections, and more. The majority of large organizations are using Salesforce currently.
Pipedrive: Pipedrive is a CRM tool designed specifically for venture capital firms with a high number of possible investments to manage (deal flow). The platform facilitates pipeline management and contains tools that make it simple to collaborate with co-workers, such as shared deal boards and team calendars. Pipedrive's visual interface has been a terrific tool for me to track and move investments through the funnel. It is much more 'aesthetic' out of the box compared to other tools, and much more intuitive.
Copper: Copper is a CRM system that is tailored to small and medium-sized businesses, making it ideal for early stage and first-time fund venture capital teams. The G-suite integration caught my interest first due to most organizations starting with G-suite for email and data storage, so it makes a quick tool to get set-up and start moving with speed and action (which is all too important as a first-time fund). The platform also contains tools and widgets for collaborating with other members of the firm, such as shared deal boards and team calendars, however, this is fairly standard across the board, so no additional points given.
HubSpot is a CRM platform that is solid for venture capital firms that rely largely on inbound marketing to create leads (Twitter and LinkedIn are becoming the standard). The platform contains a variety of marketing automation tools with the CRM aspect integrated within that, making it simple to track and manage leads as they progress through the sales funnel, adding in a simple way to automate follow-ups and check-ins with portfolio companies and prospective investments. This CRM has been used by early stage VC firms and has proven to be quite useful for monitoring website interactions and conversion rates, and is seemingly the most popular choice, meaning there are plenty of experts to hire and set up everything in a couple days.
Insightly: Insightly is a CRM system designed for larger venture capital organizations with a high number of contacts to engage with. The platform contains a comprehensive set of contact management tools, as well as the ability to track and manage possible investments (similar to the others). I found Insightly's tagging tool to be useful in grouping and segmenting possible leads, and the use of workflow automation was handy in saving 10-20 minutes each day (however if a CRM doesn't have this feature, a simple Zapier integration will do just fine).
Overall, these five CRM systems are well-suited for venture capital firms, and each one offers a distinct set of functionalities tailored to the venture capital industry's special demands of deal flow, portfolio company management, networking, and marketing funnel management. Whether your company is focused on inbound marketing, pipeline management, or contact management, a CRM system on this list can help you be more efficient and productive in your fund management. When its boiled down, all have similar functionalities, and it will depend on what you and your team find the most aesthetic, intuitive, and capable of adding in new features pertinent to your own firm's processes.