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How to Use a CRM for Investors & How to Set it Up Right 👌
How to Use a CRM for Investors & How to Set it Up Right 👌
Shivila G C avatar
Written by Shivila G C
Updated over a week ago

If you are an investment company, you understand that building and nurturing relationships is the cornerstone of your business. However, it can often be challenging to effectively manage and track all communications in a centralized location.

Sagana, a prominent investment firm, gave us a tour of their CRM setup and we are sharing all the details with you here. 🥳

This article explores how an investment company can consolidate and organize crucial information about their relationships, while also gaining valuable insights and fostering better collaboration within their teams.

Discover the journey, challenges, and benefits they've experienced in leveraging a CRM for their investments as well as other business activities.

Investment Company using CRM: Spotlight on Sagana

Established in 2017, Sagana is an impact-focused investment advisory company based in Wollerau, Switzerland. Working with family offices, foundations, development finance institutions, and enterprises, Sagana facilitates investments in ventures and funds dedicated to addressing societal and ecological issues. The company operates within the realms of education, healthcare, and the environment, extending its offerings to encompass capital, consultancy, and talent advisory solutions.

  • Sagana Capital is their investment division that focuses on assisting high-net-worth individuals with impact investments.

  • Sagana Consulting offers consulting services to impact investors and foundations to whom they provide advisory services.

  • Sagana Talent specializes in talent acquisition and setting the right organizational culture for businesses that have received investments.

While there are some overlaps in these three business units, each has a unique set of requirements as well, making a comprehensive CRM solution essential for its success.

Catalysts Behind CRM Adoption

One of the greatest challenges Sagana faced was a lack of unified communication between team members and the absence of centralized information. The organization experienced inconsistent usage of different tools amongst different teams.

"Our information was scattered across different platforms, hindering our ability to have a comprehensive view. As a growing organization with extensive customer communication, it was crucial to have a centralized system containing the complete history of interactions. However, it was quite disjointed." - Malvika, Senior Consulting Manager

So, it became evident that they needed a user-friendly CRM that everybody would easily adopt, and that could provide sales and business intelligence while centralizing their institutional knowledge.

Transitioning to Salesflare

In order to consolidate their communication and safeguard against data loss when a point of contact on their end changes, Sagana implemented Salesflare. This integration allowed them to have all their communication in a single centralized hub.

However, adopting new software can always be a bit of a learning curve - from learning how to use the software to migrating data from different existing tools, be it another CRM or Google Sheets.

Why and How Investors Use a CRM: Benefits and Features

1. Email plug-in for effortless integration:

Sagana uses Microsoft Outlook as their email provider and most of their communication is carried out via email. To effectively manage their CRM contacts straight from Outlook, the team has adopted Salesflare's Outlook sidebar, which brings the CRM straight into their inbox.

This is an example of how the Salesflare sidebar integrates with Outlook

2. Suggested contacts and tags for contact management:

Sagana leverages the suggested contacts feature of Salesflare to quickly get up to speed with adding contacts to the system. In addition to that, they also import their list of investors (leads) with a .csv file and use tags when doing the import. The tags help them keep track of each customer segment, quickly filter on it, and create an audience for newsletters.

Example of how suggested contacts and accounts look on Salesflare

For example, they have a segment of customers that need less interaction and they are tagged accordingly. So, whenever a team member is trying to reach out to them, they can see the tag and strategize their reach-out plan accordingly.

3. Access and permissions for different business units:

Since they are a business with three different verticals, they wanted to limit the access of different users depending on their roles. So, they have created a hierarchical structure for data access wherein the leadership team has the “admin” access, the business team has “manager” access, and other team members not directly involved have “team member” access with restricted permissions.

This is what the access settings for Sagana’s different team members look like ⚙️

4. Multiple pipelines for opportunity management:

Sagana utilizes Salesflare's pipeline feature to visualize and manage their sales processes. Additionally, you can also create multiple pipelines if you have more than one business process. For example, Sagana has set up multiple pipelines tailored to each business-specific need. This visualization enables them to track opportunities from lead generation to proposals, facilitate effective follow-up, and streamline the review process across different businesses.

Generally, a pipeline for investors consists of the following stages and you can add, edit, or remove stages according to your needs:

Example of different stages in an investor pipeline

In addition to creating stages, some of the other information that you can add in the pipeline for investors are:

  • Opportunity name: You may be working with the same client on different projects so adding opportunity names helps to identify different projects for the same account name. For example, Sagana has repeat clients that work on a project basis. Since they are already in the CRM, they create different opportunities for the same account and move them through the pipeline.

  • Opportunity value: This crucial piece of information involves quantifying the financial aspect of the opportunity. It represents the potential or expected income that the investment company stands to gain from the specific opportunity. Including value data in the pipeline allows investors and the investment company to assess the financial viability and attractiveness of each opportunity.

  • Opportunity owner: Another vital element to include in the pipeline for investors is the "Opportunity owner." The Opportunity owner is the individual or team responsible for managing and nurturing the opportunity throughout its lifecycle. Assigning an Opportunity owner helps streamline communication, accountability, and decision making within the company.

Here is how Sagana has customized stages according to their business requirements for their capital pipeline 🏆

5. Custom fields for opportunities:

Investment firms typically have a distinct set of data within their pipeline. To cater to these requirements, you have the flexibility to create custom fields tailored to your needs. A selection of frequently used custom data and type includes:

A. Funding Round (custom dropdown field)

  • Seed Round

  • Series A

  • Series B

  • Series C, D, and beyond

B. Pre-money valuation (custom number field)

A crucial financial metric used in the investment landscape, the pre-money valuation represents the estimated value of a company prior to any external funding or investments. It is a pivotal factor for investors to assess the potential equity stake they can acquire for their investment. Determined by a variety of factors including company performance, market trends, and competitive landscape, the pre-money valuation lays the foundation for negotiation and decision-making in funding rounds.

For example, Sagana uses custom fields for information that are not standard in Salesflare or many other CRMs. However, having a custom field option makes it convenient to add this information. Some of the custom fields they use are as follows:

C. Asset Type (custom dropdown or tags)

  • Debt

  • Equity

  • Other

D. Instrument (dropdown menu or tags)

  • Direct

  • Fund

  • Other

E. Sector (multi-select dropdown or tags)

  • Health

  • Education

  • IT and others

F. Sub-sector (multi-select dropdown or tags)

Since Sagana is focused on sustainable investment, they have a custom field for each sub-sector such as:

  • Consumer health

  • Biopharma

  • Women’s health

  • Medical device

  • Recycling and so on

6. Workflows for keeping in touch

Investment companies often engage in email marketing to communicate with their clients, potential investors, and other stakeholders. Here are some types of emails commonly sent out by investment firms:

  • Newsletter Updates: Regular emails offering insights into market trends, recent investments, and company news.

  • Investment Opportunity Alerts: Notifications about new investment opportunities, highlighting potential benefits.

  • Performance Reports: Periodic emails detailing investment portfolio performance and market insights.

  • Webinar and Event Invitations: Invitations to webinars, seminars, and networking events covering industry topics.

  • Thought Leadership Content: Emails containing thought-provoking articles, research, and educational material.

Sagana uses the workflow feature in Salesflare to share small-scale email updates. They also use workflow analytics to analyze metrics like number of people that opened the email, how many people opened all the emails, how many unsubscribed, and so on to get an insight on who might be interested in their content and eventually their services.

Fuel your growth with Salesflare 🚀

Whether it's streamlining workflows, fostering investor relationships, managing complex pipelines, or tailoring information for diverse business units, Sagana's experience demonstrates that a CRM isn't just a tool—it's an essential asset that empowers investment companies to thrive in a competitive landscape.

So, as you navigate the world of investments, I hope you can take a leaf out of Sagana's playbook and embrace the power of CRM to fuel your growth 🚀📈

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