Gui Costin, Founder, Dakota
If you’re in the process of researching a CRM for your investment firm, chances are you already have an idea of the value a CRM can bring to your business.
From data integrity to better client service, they can transform the way you do business every day, adding time back into your day and making meetings more productive. At Dakota, we’re big believers in the power of accurate data, which is why one of our Dakota-isms is “accurate data drives revenue.” We could add “well-organized data” to that tagline, too, because a CRM solves a lot of data problems, but only really works if it’s well organized, accurate, and updated regularly.
As a lifelong salesperson and the current CEO of Dakota Investments, I know this first hand, and have come face to face with numerous data and CRM systems over the course of my career. In the last year, Dakota has released a database of our own, Dakota Marketplace, which we update daily with data our team uses themselves every day. Long story short, we know the power and value that truly accurate data can hold.
With that focus on strong data in mind, we’ve compiled a list of high-quality CRM options. While some of these options are general CRM systems, others are built specifically for investment firms. As you will see, some focus on certain asset classes like long-only, private equity, private real estate, or hedge funds, while others can really take your data to the next level by pulling in additional data sources. It all depends on what you want your CRM to do.
Here are 15 of the top CRM systems on the market, what they offer, and how they’re priced, so that when the time comes, your team can find the best data partners for your needs.
With over 150,000 customers around the world and originally built for the investment management industry, Salesforce is one of the most widely-recognized CRM options available. There are countless use cases, customizations, and possibilities for you within their systems, and can accommodate every team in your organization, from sales and marketing to IT and customer service. This makes it a scalable solution, though with that flexibility also comes an expensive price tag, with user licenses ranging anywhere from $75 to hundreds of dollars per month, per user. Depending on your budget and needs, there are likely more affordable solutions available.
While Microsoft Dynamics is a smaller player than Salesforce in terms of size and number of customers, they are a widely used and respected CRM throughout several industries including financial. Because it is often packaged with Microsoft’s Office Suite and Windows’ OS, many firms have adopted Dynamics, and have seen success in increasing efficiencies through the Dynamics system. Again, depending on the number of users and licenses, the price can vary based on business needs. However, given that many companies are already Microsoft customers, the ability to bundle is often taken into consideration.
Altvia is built for alternative investments firms. It’s built on Salesforce, and offers a highly customized solution for all types of alternative investment firms. Since 2006, Altiva has helped to redefine the relationship between GPs, LPs, and Portfolio Managers, allowing them to raise and deploy capital, manage investor relations, deliver business intelligence, and ensure compliance all within the same system. Altiva, while a great choice for alternative investment funds, may be an expensive option, due to its partnership with Salesforce.
Backstop's CRM was one of the first investment-specific CRMs on the market. Founded in 2003, Backstop works to provide hedge funds, funds of funds, pensions, endowments, private equity firms, consultants, and family offices with the foundation needed to manage clients’ and partners’ activities, investment documentation, research materials, and e-mail communications in one central database, in order to run your business as efficiently as possible. With a varied suite of solutions, Backstop’s pricing likely varies based on need and business size.
Clienteer is an intuitive and configurable relationship management platform designed for hedge funds, private equity, and other asset managers to streamline their workflows. It includes a comprehensive suite of features in its powerful user interface, which allows users to manage communications with their investors and prospects while keeping track of investors’ accounts and transactions. With flexible hosting options and subscription choices, Clienteer is a scalable CRM partner for firms of varying sizes and needs.
DealCloud works within a variety of industries to help streamline business. Founded in 2010 with the goal of helping investors modernize their business, they’ve since partnered with over 800 businesses to make that goal a reality. A software that helps manage relationships and pipeline while providing detailed analytics, DealCloud allows you to harness the true power of your team’s people and processes. It also helps build a single source of truth by connecting with other external solutions and third-party data providers.
Sales Page is a CRM that allows asset managers to use data to connect investment products with the clients who will benefit from them the most. SalesPage also helps to provide your firm with the data management and reporting needed to help you stay on track and meet goals, and can integrate with your business’ other existing systems with ease.
Satuit CRM is an asset management solution for wealth management, hedge funds, private equity, and institutional asset management companies. The solutions allow your firm to track both clients and prospects alongside their interactions and activities, and perhaps most importantly, it helps track data sources and the ever-changing compliance regulations that accompany them. Finally, Satuit offers an array of products and solutions, giving your firm the ability to decide on the best fit for you.
ProTrak has been used and trusted by investment managers around the world for over 25 years now, and touts themselves as a company that truly understands the investment business. ProTrak promises a fully “out of the box” solution, and has the ability to help your business with everything from investor and account relationship management, sales and marketing needs, to managing business risks.
Dynamo Software provides industry-specific investment fundraising software that optimizes the speed, quality, transparency, and compliance of global capital-raising efforts. With over 1,000 clients worldwide, including institutional investors, hedge funds, funds of funds, fund administrators, prime brokerages, family offices, Dynamo features personalized tools for mass communications, and allows integration with third-party data providers to help your firm run efficiently.
Affinity helps analyze billions of data points to help you surface clear paths of introduction to the people and companies that matter most to you. This CRM solution allows you to monitor your team’s relationships and interactions past and present, which helps keep communication flowing. You can also create a virtual, 360-degree Rolodex of full relationship context, thus eliminating communication silos and saving hours of time once spent on data entry and cleanup.
While the solutions listed above were designed with financial and investment services professionals in mind, the solutions below are more generalized CRMs, and work effectively with industries of all types. Many are all in one CRM and marketing automation platforms that allow for even more streamlined operations.
With over 86,000 customers, Hubspot is a well-recognized CRM and inbound marketing solution. Hubspot offers a free option, which allows companies to get a sense of the product and what it can do, as well as more advanced, paid solutions. The software can help all aspects of your business to run more effectively, with platforms that help with everything from marketing and sales to customer service.
SugarCRM helps give companies a 360-degree view of their customer by adding in a component many CRMs often neglect: time. This allows your business to have insight into the past and present in order to make data-driven decisions about the future. A four-time winner of PCMag’s Business Choice Awards for satisfaction, reliability, and tech support, SugarCRM promises to bring a new level of ease to firms of all sizes.
Zoho CRM has partnered with over 150,000 businesses in 180 countries to convert more leads, engage with customers, and grow their revenue, which has allowed them to quickly become a popular CRM software choice. Like Hubspot, Zoho offers a free version of their solution for those just starting out and trying to get a sense of what the product is capable of, as well as more advanced, paid options depending on business size and need.
In 2010, Pipedrive set out to build a customer relationship management tool that helps users visualize their sales processes and get much more done. They created a CRM around activity-based selling, an approach that’s all about scheduling, completing, and tracking activities. The platform also allows for a range of users, from the “essential” option of $12.50 per user per month, to the “enterprise” level at $99.00 per user per month, meaning there is something for firms of every size.
You’ve reached the end of a pretty long list, so you might be wondering: what’s next? When it comes down to it, a CRM is only as good as the data within it. So, the question becomes, which kind of CRM will best allow your firm to manage your data?
If you’re an investment firm, you might have more budget available, and tons of data to manage. You also have things like compliance and time to worry about, and want the best, most reliable option for your sales team.
If you’re a smaller business that isn’t necessarily in the investment space, you might be looking for a smaller, more generalized CRM, like Hubspot or Zoho, that will let you get your arms around data and contact management, while saving time in your day to focus on your customers. It’s possible that you’re working with a smaller overall budget, and the free options of those solutions, at least at the outset, is a great answer for your needs right now, while you plan for what’s coming in the next quarter or next year.
Finally, if you’re an investment company looking for a solution that feels more like a shared database, then you might need something that’s a little bit more than a typical CRM. Dakota Marketplace is Dakota’s answer to the countless hours spent cleaning up and managing data. It’s a shared source of accounts and contacts, housed in a database that we ourselves use day in and day out. We can attest to the fact that it is constantly updated and refreshed, because we’re the ones doing it.