CRM Usage and Experience Within Private Equity/Venture Capital Industry

At both the ACG InterGrowth Conference in Las Vegas and the Growth Conference in Boston in 2009, we conducted a survey to gain insight regarding the alternative asset community’s CRM usage and experience. The survey was administered to those who represented a private equity, venture capital, or any alternative asset firm. The survey was comprised of ten questions with multiple parts.

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CRM Software Satisfaction
42 out of the 55 companies (76.4%) questioned about satisfaction with their current CRM software responded that they were dissatisfied.

CRM Satisfaction

CRM Brand Usage
27 of the 61 different companies surveyed (44.3%) use a Microsoft Office application (i.e. Outlook, Excel, Access) in some way as a part of their total CRM experience.

7 (11.5%) use a Microsoft Office application to supplement another brand of CRM.

Of the total 61 companies surveyed:

  • 22 (36.1%) use non-CRM Microsoft applications
  • 10 (16.4%) use Salesforce
  • 9 (14.7%) use ACT
  • 5 (8.2%) use Microsoft Access or Dynamics CRM
  • 4 (6.6%) use SalesLogix
  • 3 (4.9%) did not know or gave no response

The remaining 8 companies (13.1%) use other CRM brands.

CRM Brand Usage

Most Valued Features for CRM Users
Survey participants were also asked to rate CRM features in order of what is most valuable to them.

The options consisted of the following:

  • Ease of Use
  • Web-based
  • Integrates with Outlook
  • Integrates with External Data Base
  • Ability to Get a Clear Snapshot
  • Flexibility and Ease of Customization
  • Schedule Management

The results from the 14 companies that responded to this specific question:

  • 42.9% ranked ‘Ease of Use’ as the most important
  • 21.4% ranked ‘Schedule Management’ as the most important
  • 14.3% ranked ‘Ability to Get a Clear Snapshot’ as the most important
  • 14.3% ranked ‘Integrates with Outlook’ as the most important
  • 7.1% ranked ‘Integrates with External Database’ as the most important

Most Important CRM Feature

They also found that the following CRM features were ranked as second most important:

  • 35.7% Ability to Get a Clear Snapshot
  • 14.3% Web-based
  • 14.3% Flexibility and Ease of Customization
  • 14.3% Ease of Use
  • 14.3% Schedule Management
  • 7.1% Integrates with Outlook

Drawing from this data, it can be concluded that amongst the group surveyed, the top three most important CRM features are ‘Ease of Use,’ ‘Schedule Management,’ and ‘Ability to Get a Clear Snapshot.’

Frequency of Switching CRM Software
30 out of the 57 companies (52.6%) who responded to the question “Have you switched CRM software within the past three years?” responded that they had not.

Switched CRM Software in Past Three Years

Usage of Business Information Services
It was found that 32 out of the 53 companies (60.4%) who responded to their question about using business information services (Capital IQ, Hoover’s, Dow and D&B) do not use them.

Of the 21 companies that said they do use them:

  • 18 (85.7%) said they use Capital IQ.
  • The next most commonly used service was D&B, followed by Hoover’s, Dow, Thomson Reuters, and others such as Manta, Merger Market, Capital Link, etc.

Data Views Used Most Commonly
After asking the companies about what they used most commonly for data views, they found the two most popular responses to be ‘contact information’ and ‘deal tracking.’

Best-Valued Features
After asking the companies what features would be of the greatest value to them that they do not currently have, the two most popular responses were ‘user friendliness’ and ‘integration.’

About Cathie Briggette

Cathie is responsible for planning, development and implementation of all Touch Ahead Software’s marketing strategies, marketing communications and public relations, both internally and externally. She also serves as the Marketing Director for NSK Inc., which she joined as an associate in 1997 and where she worked as a developer on multiple mission-critical projects — including several financial projects. Prior to Touch Ahead and NSK Inc, Cathie was the Marketing Manager for the US Software Division of Objects 9000, a German-based company. And before that she was the Marketing Director for Pelikan Pens.

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