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3 Benefits of an Institutional Investor Database

By: Rob Robertson, Chief Revenue Officer

Imagine you’re a salesperson, facing the pressure that comes with finding the right industry contacts to call on. Whether you’re working to meet a quota or raise a certain amount in assets, one thing is true: you need as many solid leads as possible so that you can set meetings and meet your goals. 

It all starts with knowing who to call on, and if you don’t know who that is, you probably feel like you’re falling short. 

For many of us, the answer is an institutional investor database: a set of accounts and contacts so that we always know who to call on, right? 

Ideally, yes. However, we know that it can be extremely hard to convince the broader team that a database is the way to go. We’ve been there. 

The Dakota Investments team has raised over $30B since 2006, so we know how valuable your time is, and how much of it can get eaten up through researching and trying to find the right people to meet with you. 

We believe salespeople should be spending their time asking for calls or meetings with qualified buyers, because every minute you spend doing something else is hurting not just your own chance at success, but the company’s revenue growth as a whole.

This belief is why we established Dakota Marketplace, an institutional investor and RIA database created and maintained by the fundraising team at Dakota Investments. Designed by salespeople, for salespeople, Marketplace was created to make your day easier by providing the qualified leads you need to meet your sales goals. 

If you're struggling to prove the value of an institutional investor database to your team, you’re not alone. In this post, we’ll break down three of the primary benefits of an institutional investor database, so that your sales team saves valuable time and effort, and can focus on making calls and setting meetings. 

1. An interface designed with investment salespeople in mind 

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We mentioned before that everyone is under pressure to meet certain goals and deadlines, and occasionally rely on industry databases to assist with meeting them. However, while many databases are often full of contacts, the information within it is often either out of date, incomplete, or incomprehensible.

This has led to a belief that databases are a waste of time and money, and it prevents many sales leaders from seeing the inner workings of a system like Dakota Marketplace. 

“Database” itself has become a dirty word in the investment industry, because so many of us have been burned before, and are reluctant to part with more budget dollars to pay for another one. 

However, where a lot of salespeople have seen success overcoming the database question is by showing their broader team the interface available inside Marketplace. After all, you wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it, right? 

Getting a look inside the platform before you invest, either through a demo or a free trial, helps illustrate right off the bat that you’re not looking for just another spreadsheet full of accounts and contacts, but a platform designed by salespeople for salespeople.

The interface within Marketplace is correct, up to date, and relevant to you. From there, it becomes easier to suggest ending or replacing a current database subscription with a more robust solution, one that is updated daily by people within the industry who have their finger on the pulse of it. 

2. Organization that saves salespeople administrative time and effort

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Many sales leaders are predisposed to believe that their salespeople should already know who to call on. After all, isn’t that why they hired you? We know it’s not that simple, and that this belief does not set a sales team up to be as successful as they can be. 

The most important thing for any sales person or manager is to ensure that their salespeople are always operating at maximum efficiency. This means maximizing the time that they spend asking qualified buyers for meetings. The more time salespeople spend reaching out and asking for a meeting or a call, the more effective they’re going to be. 

Every minute that they’re doing something aside from selling and setting meetings, whether it’s researching or spending time doing administrative tasks, is taking them away from asking and doing. There’s a real cost to research in the form of sales time misspent. 

While we know that no one can spend 100% of the time setting meetings, it is possible to eliminate the amount of time spent researching those buyers to ask for meetings. Reducing this misspent time to zero can only strengthen the sales team. With an institutional investor database that can be filtered and narrowed down by metro area, AUM, and other details, it makes it incredibly easy for the team to know exactly who would be willing to speak with and meet with them.

It comes down to the fact that the sales leaders believe that placing 100% of the responsibility in the hands of the sales team is the way to go, but we believe that if you can give the sales people a list of qualified leads, you can exponentially grow their productivity. And at the end of the day, that’s what you want to do: increase the productivity of your sales people. 

3. Databases let salespeople sell, and marketers market

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The word marketing means a lot of things to a lot of different people. From logo design to content creation, marketing encompasses a great deal of things. However, the truest definition of marketing is determining the market and finding the right people to sell to. 

No one understands better than the CEO the desire to expect the sales team to come up with 100% of their qualified leads on their own. It can be a component, but it’s extremely difficult to expect the salesperson to be both, a world-class marketer and a world-class salesperson. 

Forcing a salesperson to also become a world-class marketing person is an unrealistic expectation. If you can separate the two and pay for the qualified leads to give to the salespeople, they are going to be much more productive, and the ROI from the salespeople is going to be much higher.

Making a salesperson also a world-class marketer is an unrealistic expectation. 

The sales manager benefits because they can expect more meetings and productivity from their sales team. You win through ROI on the sales people, a high expectation of productivity, and because in the law of large meetings, with a bigger TOFU, you have a better chance at growing that client base. Making the salespeople as productive as possible helps all the way up the food chain. 

At the end of the day, marketing is figuring out who to call on. Where do we point and shoot? It's up to marketing, or in this case, a database, to figure out. Once that’s been determined, the salespeople can come in and fire away. We believe the goal is to separate marketing and sales. Marketing finds the leads, Sales takes them and uses them. 

Crowdsourcing your marketing efforts to a database like Marketplace. We’re going to deliver you the qualified leads so that you can spend your time setting up meetings. 

Putting the benefits into practice

The first step to making an investment in a new product like a database is getting everyone on the same page. A new database is an investment, and there may be some initial obstacles in your path to success. If you can determine what some of the common roadblocks are within your institution, and identify the key benefits of a database like Marketplace, it will allow everyone to get on the same page, from the bottom up, and allow for unilateral, focused success across the board. 

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