31 January, 2023
Karina collis

How to Choose The Best CRM For Private Equity [+Top 7 Picks]

When it comes to private equity, having the right CRM software is essential for success. However, with so many CRMs to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is the best for your needs. In this article, we'll explore the key features to look for in a PE CRM, as well as our top seven picks for the best CRM for private equity on the market in 2023.

The world of private equity has grown exponentially in recent years, with more and more institutional investors looking to allocate their capital to this asset class. 2019, 2020 and 2021 saw a record number of new PE funds launched. In 2023, finding or exiting private equity is more challenging than ever, given the high competition for scarce good deals, with dim macro prospects making exits harder.

To continue winning the best deals on the market and exiting investments with a strong return, private equity funds need to develop a unique advantage. Management of internal knowledge and external relationships within the ecosystem are critical factors for success.

To nurture your network and your knowledge of market development and companies, you need an effective private equity CRM platform that tracks the history of your team's relationships in one place is essential.
Pro Tip

Dialllog is the right private equity software that can help you overcome the industry's biggest challenges by providing a centralized all-in-one relationship interactive database.

What is Private Equity & How Does it Work?

Private equity is a type of investing in which investors acquire partial ownership of a company or business. The investor provides capital to the business, usually in exchange for an ownership stake and potential return on investment. Private equity investments are often used as a way to finance the growth and development of small businesses.

The process typically follows three steps:

  1. An investor provides capital to a business in exchange for equity, usually in the form of shares or other securities.
  2. The company then uses the funds from the investor to grow and expand its operations.
  3. Once the company reaches profitability, investors can realize returns by selling their shares or other securities back to the company or to other investors.

Private equity investments can be used for a variety of purposes, such as providing capital for mergers and acquisitions, launching new products and services, expanding into new markets, and more. By investing in private equity, investors have access to more opportunities than they would with traditional investments in public stocks.

Benefits of Using a Dedicated CRM For Private Equity

The right private equity CRM can automate many processes that would otherwise require manual effort, freeing up time for other tasks. It can also be used to track KPI's and monitor performance, helping to pinpoint areas where improvement is needed. However, the key advantage is that it helps to grow relationships with the financial ecosystem and eventually win the best deals by leveraging insights from the developed network.

Using a private equity CRM also provides many more benefits that make it an invaluable tool for a firm's success, some of which are:

1. Streamlined operations: A private equity CRM simplifies the management of large volumes of data and information, allowing for a more efficient workflow.

2. Increased transparency: By using a private equity CRM, teams can leverage each other's relationships because a CRM brings transparency into who talks to whom. Another possible advantage is that firms can easily track investments and monitor their performance. This allows them to make decisions quickly and effectively without relying on third-party services.

3. Automated processes: Private equity CRM systems allow firms to automate much of their everyday tasks, such as client onboarding, investment tracking and reporting. This makes the entire process more efficient and cost-effective.

4. Improved collaboration: A private equity CRM facilitates communication between teams, external advisors and investors, allowing for better cooperation and decision-making.

5. Enhanced investor experience: With a private equity CRM, firms can deliver an improved investor experience by providing more personalized services and tailored insights that cater to their investors' needs.

6. Better insights: The data collected by the CRM system can be used to gain valuable insights into the private equity market and make better investment decisions.

7. Improved security: Private equity CRM systems provide a secure, centralized platform for storing sensitive data, allowing firms to comply with industry regulations and protect their information. Advanced privacy settings and access rights allow for managing who sees what allows to keep sensitive information among the relevant stakeholders.

8. Increased scalability: Private equity CRMs can be easily scaled up or down depending on the needs of the firm, allowing them to expand their operations without having to invest in additional software or personnel.

9. Comprehensive reporting: Private equity CRMs provide comprehensive reports that allow firms to gain valuable insights into their investments and measure performance over time.

10. Cost efficiency: By automating many of the manual tasks associated with private equity operations, firms can save time and money. The cost savings associated with using a private equity CRM can be substantial over time.

With the right CRM system in place, private equity firms can gain powerful insights into their clients, investments, and markets to make better-informed decisions. Thus, choosing the best private equity CRM is key for any firm looking to maximize their success in this highly competitive industry.

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best CRM For Private Equity

On average, it has been observed an impressive 10x return on investment with the utilization of PE CRMs
With their remarkable ability to simplify operations, reduce mundane tasks, and build stronger relationships with clients, the best Private Equity CRMs are invaluable investments. On average, Dynamic Consultants Group has observed an impressive 10x return on investment with the utilization of these applications - a truly exceptional statistic! Nevertheless, not all software is of the same quality or caliber - be sure to invest in only those platforms that suit your particular requirements.

Most of the PE-centric CRMs out there only focus on one aspect of private equity, e.g., deal flow. When you become too focused on one task, it can lead to inefficient workflows and an abundance of human errors due to the need for managing multiple spreadsheets, lists, and systems. That's why Dialllog focuses on features that are actually practical and can cover your complete investment lifecycle.

Here are six of the most important:

1. Private equity metric tracking

Tracking different metrics gives your firm a snapshot of its performance and the performance of individual companies within your deal flow as well as portfolio portfolios.

You should be able to easily upload KPIs to the CRM or send a request to a startup to pre-fill KPIs on their end.

Using this information, you can choose the next best steps for your firm.

Besides traditional metrics, it's become increasingly important to track environmental, social, and governance impacts for both, potential investment targets and portfolio companies. Consumers and governments are placing greater value on socially-friendly companies, meaning investors will need to do as well.

Some ESG metrics to consider tracking include:

- Energy use.
- Greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.
- Involvement in social programs.
- Regulatory issues.
- Waste creation and sustainability.

Having a clear picture of key metrics will help you better analyze risks and growth opportunities for your firm.

In Dialllog you can find templates to track ESG metrics.

2. Relationship databases

Networking is the lifeblood of PE, it's how you land deals and bring in investors, as well as keep yourself up-to-date with industry news. Developing relationships can be a powerful asset.

When looking for the ultimate CRM, it's crucial to choose software that enables you to efficiently monitor your relationships with industry experts, private equity firms for syndicate deals, and advisors. Leverage relationship projects offered by reliable CRMs so that you can access relevant contacts whenever necessary. These programs offer an organized way of tracking all interactions within your professional network.

3. PE Due Diligence

To guard your firm and its investors from the hefty financial repercussions of inadequate due diligence, it is crucial to have a well-organized system in place. Setting up an uncomplicated yet dependable private equity due diligence flow can save you millions of dollars as well as innumerable hours. Investing in this process should be at the top of your priorities list!

Your workflow should include the procedures of each division, such as finance, legal and human resources. From your center point, you can check on any task's status and who is handling it. Visualizing the progress through Gantt charts will also be beneficial because they provide a better perspective of due dates and objectives being met.

Due Diligence project in Dialllog allows you to keep an eye on every task and on who's in charge.

Your due diligence flow should:

  • Be a single page where you can track progress, manage tasks, and collaborate with stakeholders.
  • Show your progress at any time so you can identify bottlenecks.
  • Give you access to information like recent dialogs, shared files, and emails related to the company.

4. Deal pipeline management

When it comes to Private Equity firms, pinpointing the perfect businesses to invest in is of utmost importance. This is why having an influx of deals is indispensable. A good private equity deal flow management pipeline will provide you with a comprehensive examination of the businesses on which you are currently conducting research and making investments. With the capability to customize your deal flow processes, you can easily and conveniently organize them for a seamless user experience.

As a benchmark, the European B2B tech deal flow outlined below is composed of only six simple steps.

With this setup, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Keep track of a startup's growth at all times.
  • Effortlessly click, drag and drop the icon across your website's workflow as you progress.
  • Unlock the depths of a company's performance with one simple click.
Some other crucial deal pipeline management features include:

  • Ranking every opportunity on a scale will help you prioritize the most lucrative companies. Whether it be their business model, team members, or financials - rating each factor can guide your decision-making process and ensure that you are investing in only the best.

  • Showcasing essential information for each firm, including the primary contact person, investment details, and last interaction records.

  • Customized deal flows capture in-depth conversations, activities, and other valuable data to give you a better understanding of your company.

5. Private Equity investment management

When your deal flow process culminates in an investment, you will require a dashboard to coordinate communication with your portfolio companies. This dashboard allows for the collection of all board meeting documents if you secure a seat on the board, and is also beneficial when working on special projects with those same companies. It's also advantageous as it enables tracking conversations related to fundraising and exits strategies.

Here, you have the power to monitor all important dealings with your portfolio firm, partners in investment, advisors and other key individuals. Additionally, you can create separate sections for future discussions – like the next round of investments.

You should have easy access to essential company metrics, such as in your portfolio overview. And you can personalize your dashboard even further by including any information that is essential for you. As an example, here you can find threads connected with different topics like board meetings and product launches. Moreover, the dashboard contains valuable contacts and milestones too associated with this investment.

6. Overview investment dashboards

To gain a comprehensive perspective of your investments, it's necessary to build two indispensable dashboards: one that gives you an overview of your portfolio (similar to the sample shown above) and another for company-specific analyses.

To get the most out of your PE portfolio, it should:

  • Carefully monitor pertinent metrics to evaluate the strength of an investment.
  • Grant your Limited Partners full access to their investments' performance metrics.
  • Create visually stimulating representations to compare the companies in your portfolio and make better-informed decisions.

In order to get a comprehensive understanding of each fund, a portfolio overview is essential. Additionally, with the right private equity CRMs you can easily access company overviews that feature pertinent information related to your investments.

A comprehensive company overview should include the following:

  • Every conversation and all correspondence between your organization and our company's stakeholders have been documented.
  • Stakeholder contacts.
  • The same figures you observe in your portfolio and investment management segments.
  • Recent economic success.
  • Track of entire trajectory of each project that you have collaborated on with, including deal flow and due diligence.

With its straightforward, comprehensive and versatile dashboard, Dialllog provides a crystal-clear view of all your investments.

Bonus Features To Look For

If you desire to truly optimize your firm's profitability and efficiency, there are a few additional features worth considering beyond the six mentioned previously that will ensure you get an exceptional return on your Private Equity CRM investment:

  • Customization: Each private equity has its own nuances, so it's essential that your dashboard is tailored to suit the information and flows you need. You should also have the power to customize who can access sensitive investor conversations, don't let the CRM dictate how things are done - make sure you're in control.

  • API integrations: Research has revealed that the majority of workers are dedicating a minimum of one to three hours every day simply on data entry. Integrating an API into your CRM will make it much simpler for you to retrieve information from emails, digital forms, calendars, Crunchbase and LinkedIn– saving both time and energy for your team in the long run. With this solution at hand, you'll be able to free up even more resources so that everyone can focus on what really matters: improving productivity and enhancing customer service.

  • Powerful search capabilities: A survey recently revealed that 73% of employees have been dedicating 1-3 hours to locate a specific piece of information. Many times, this process entails searching through emails, spreadsheets, written documents and other disconnected sources for the required data. Nevertheless, with a CRM that has top-notch search technology, you can promptly scour through any local data - such as contacts, notes, emails and even attached documents.

  • Automation: Automation eliminates tedious admin work, giving you more time to concentrate on what truly matters- connecting with people and finding deals. You can easily set up automated messages for rejections or acceptances, report updates, and reminders.

  • Clean UI: With a clean user interface, you'll be able to navigate quickly and easily without the stress of trying to remember where information is stored. This not only reduces overwhelm but increases your productivity as well.

7 Best CRMs For Private Equity

1. Salesforce CRM

Salesforce is known as the industry standard for transactional customer relationship management platforms. In contrast to 4Degrees, teams can choose from a nearly endless selection of integrations found in the Salesforce AppExchange. Integrations include all the most common tools in the PE tech stack, including Zoom, Dropbox, Slack, and Quickbooks.

Established businesses seeking to advance their sales performance should leverage the incredible capabilities of Salesforce CRM. With its extensive suite of features, including complete customizability and integration options, it provides an optimal solution for large sales teams wishing to maximize efficiency.

Before embracing Salesforce, it's essential to be aware of the costs associated with its usage. Despite being highly customizable for your requirements, most features will come at a price. To compare different CRM solutions and make an educated decision about which one is best suited for you.

Furthermore, being one of the best-known CRMs in the world, it was not built with private equity firms in mind; as an all-in-one solution, PE firms might find that Salesforce is too robust or complex. Team members can find it hard to navigate and you may face resistance getting your team to adopt it. Your digital tools should serve your business, not demand hours of attention to maintain. Instead of spending your time on training or manual data entry, your team could be focusing on what they do best—building relationships.
Thanks to its robust feature set and scalability Salesforce CRM is a popular choice for private equity firms. However, it can be expensive, and some users need clarification on the interface.

• Robust features
• Scalable

• Expensive
• Confusing interface

Price: Starts at $25 per user per month

2. HubSpot CRM

If you want free Customer Relationship Management software, HubSpot is your go-to choice. Not only does this amazing CRM work with marketing, sales, and customer service teams simultaneously but it also allows businesses to build strong relationships with their customers. We have done all of the research for you - both pros and cons - so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not HubSpot fits your needs perfectly.

They boast a remarkably simple setup and onboarding process, with an intuitive interface that guides you through each segment of the platform while simultaneously teaching you how to use it.

You don't need to break the bank just to experience premium features. With us, you'll enjoy top-notch benefits right away without having to pay a single dime.

Following a thorough assessment of many CRMs, HubSpot remains the best cost-free choice. Even though there are paid CRM programs that provide better results, it is still worth exploring.
• Free version available
• It's ideal for small teams

• Limited features in the free version
• Difficult interface

Price: Free for up to 3 users, then starts at $50 per month per user.

3. Zoho CRM

For several years, Zoho CRM has been the frontrunner in customer relationship management (CRM) comparisons. It's a renowned platform for small to mid-sized businesses and its feature set rivals that of sophisticated enterprise-grade CRMs - except for those monster platforms like Salesforce Lightning.

Last year, Zoho significantly improved its analytics capabilities with the introduction of Zia - a powerful AI-driven analytics tool for tracking sales anomalies and trends. Now in 2023, they have outdone themselves yet again. Canvas is an all-new drag-and-drop interface editor that allows you to modify your CRM system without any coding or consulting experience.

Even though Zoho is a comprehensive Financial CRM platform, it isn't immediately associated with private equity - yet it can also be used for this purpose. While it may not be the best choice, this solution is still viable and worth considering.
• Affordable
• Easy to setup


• Unable to upload bulk attachments
• Generic functionality that doesn't fit what PE funds do

: Starts at $14-$40 monthly

4. Dynamo

With Dynamo software, teams can keep track of important information regarding private equity investments. The platform includes all the necessary features to successfully manage a fundraising venture, including deal management and tracking, investor relationship management tools and due diligence processes as well as automated workflow capabilities.

Team members who want to access Dynamo from the road will need an iPhone or iPad—there is no Android app. Dynamo does integrate with several common SaaS tools, such as DocuSign, Office, and Pitchbook, but your options are limited. Data entry, like many other first-generation CRMs, is manual, and customers report challenges with transfers of interest.

Dynamo's private equity software is their most prominent offering, making them ideal for PE firms, however, it can be overly expensive.
• Easy-to-use interface
• Good integration options

• Limited data entry options
• No Android app available

Price: Varies a lot depending on needs

5. Dealcloud

For the last decade, DealCloud CRM has been providing capital market dealmakers like private equity firms and their limited partners with a superior, customizable software as a service (SaaS) solution. The platform is suitable for managing single-source deals, relationships between parties involved in the transaction process, and firm management. DealCloud enables users to streamline their entire pipeline from start to finish - starting at origination all the way through execution.

If you are intrigued by DealCloud but have yet to decide, then we encourage you to explore these DealCloud alternatives.

DealCloud's traditional CRM framework necessitates users to manually input data and keep their deals updated. Furthermore, its customization can take up to six months for onboarding and deployment - a much longer timeline than some other available CRMs. Therefore, if you are searching for quicker deployment with more comprehensive features and an easier-to-use interface, another CRM might be the better choice for your team.
• Highly customizable
• Scalable

• Expensive
• Old-fashion interface

Price: Varies. In the top range of the most expensive CRMs

6. Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a top-tier CRM for private equity firms. Being part of the Microsoft family has its rewards, as it becomes seamlessly integrated with MS Office programs like no other.

Boasting a sophisticated UI with a neat and clean design, this software is not only pleasing to the eye but easy to operate as well.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 also offers plenty of customization options, allowing users to customize their processes in order to meet their specific needs. This CRM solution is ideal for teams with more advanced requirements, as it enables them to scale up both their business processes and customer relationships. In addition, the platform comes with a range of features such as an automated workflow engine, customer segmentation capabilities and predictive analytics.

Although Microsoft products are usually reliable and require minimal customization, occasionally, errors arise that can be difficult to resolve. If the idea of having to wait for a live agent is off-putting, it can be particularly discouraging to not have other alternatives. Regrettably, we weren't able to make this our top priority as soon as possible.

One of the most frustrating aspects of software is that some features can be difficult to customize.
• Free trial available
• Excellent customer service and support

• It can be complex to use initially
• Bugs and slowness

Price: $30 - $180 per user per month

7. Dialllog CRM

Dialllog is specifically designed for ecosystem relationship management.

Dialllog is the only CRM for the financial industry that focuses on relationships and workflows in a simple, integrated way. It shows not only Who knows whom but highlights Who has done or does What with Whom. This enables better teamwork, more coordination and faster action.

Dialllog integrates with any mailbox and brings on a single timeline your team's internal notes, activity notes, calendar events and emails. It allows to mass mail your investors, send out newsletters or any other mass emails and enriches contacts and companies with data from Dealroom.
• Highly customisable
• Email integration, insights on relationships, mass mailing, data enrichment from Dealroom

• New player

Price: £75 per user per month
Pro Tip

Based on these pros and cons, Dialllog is an effective CRM option if desired benefits such as email marketing automation, lead tracking, and strong lead management capabilities are key for your business. Book a demo 1:1 call to see Dialllog in action.

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What is Dialllog?

Dialllog is the first ecosystem relationship CRM software designed specifically for PE, VC and M&A funds to manage the full investment cycle.
No more endless Excel spreadsheets, docs, notes and emails. Dialllog brings all the sporadic information into one PE software to create data-driven workflows.