Investor Relations 101: "That" Simple CRM

Set up your CRM as nothing screams "I'm on top of things!" quite like a streamlined fundraising process.

It’s “that” easy

If you find yourself on the hunt for the "perfect investor CRM" or asking "how important is an investor CRM?", you can expect The Great Wave off Kanagawa coming from software providers who will persuade you that it’s the product doing the main work here, but sorry mate - it’s you.

Certainly, having a system to communicate with and build relationships with your stakeholders can be a game-changer when it comes to raising capital. And, while it might not seem vital at the fundraising stage, believe me, it's an investment that yields serious returns down the line. Remember, investors are people too, and they value good relationships and consistent communication - that's where your CRM swoops in to save the day.

So, what are the key benefits of a solid CRM system?

  1. It provides clear visibility of existing relationships and future prospects

  2. It nurtures existing relationships

  3. It tracks the progress of your fundraising round

Mix it with easiness to use, and the ability to do group activities (so more than one person would be able to work with it) and you got what you need to do your work.

But here’s the thing - fundraising CRMs don't have to be as complicated as understanding quantum physics or explaining blockchain to your grandma. In fact, the simpler, the better. You'd be surprised how a humble spreadsheet (Google Sheets or Airtable) can work wonders (and save you $$$).

Providing visibility into relations you made and want to make & Supporting existing relationship management

In another way - helping you remember who, where, why, and when you need to go on the next lunch with them. From my perspective, those are the most important things you should know when it comes to your investors:

  • Name, Website: Kind of a no-brainer. Who's the firm, and where can you snoop about them online?

  • Location: Is your investor sunbathing in Silicon Valley or freezing in Sweden? Keep track, 'cause investors from different geographies behave differently (just like your in-laws at Christmas dinner!)

  • Target Partner: You're not just eyeing firms; you need the perfect partner in each one (the person who actually is taking the decision). Consider this your investor match-making homework (and prospecting the investors before reaching out is another game you need to play, but we will cover it next time).

  • Similar Investments: Know thy competition. If they've invested in your market segment (infra, consumer-facing apps…), you've got a foot in the door for your outreach emails and talking points.

  • Competitive Investments: Pitching to an investor with a competitive investment (who is investing in direct competitors) is a no-go (unless that company has already packed up and left). Make a list, and check it twice.

  • Investment Stage: Understanding their favorite investment stages can give you insights into their motivations and potential value-add.

  • Typical Check Size: Fill this in post-meeting (great ice-breaker, by the way!) to help you gauge potential investors for your round.

  • Assets Under Management (AUM) / Fund Size: A firm's financial power can dictate its behavior and future investments (will they be able to invest in the next round as well, do they invest in tens of companies or hundreds?).

  • Tier / Preference: How badly do you want this investor? Tiering helps plan your outreach strategy.

  • Prior Relationship: Had a coffee chat or attended a conference with someone from the firm? Jot it down, it could come in handy (if it’s good or on a path towards that, help it! Stay in touch with investors and grab a coffee with them from time to time when possible).

  • Who Can/Will Make the Intro? List out your network heroes who can introduce you to the firm. Then, pick your top gunslinger for the job.

  • Pipeline Stage: Keep tabs on where you are with each investor. This is like the Candyland board of your fundraising journey!

  • Notes: Jot down anything else that doesn't fit above. This can be your free-for-all column!

Track the progress of your fundraising round

That’s the pipeline stage - is it backlog (warm intro one or cold intro one?), had you met them already once, or twice? Is the firm doing the DD or you are about to finalize the deal? It’s up to you how you play it, but good to keep it simple.

And there you have it - a snappy guide to CRM for your investor relations. Get out there and fundraise like you mean it! And remember, in the wild west of fundraising, your CRM is your trusty steed. Happy riding!


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