Recently traditional ways of communicating have gone through a radical transformation, and the importance of connecting and sharing information is more vital than ever. With the lack of physical interaction, we need to find new ways to adapt and connect with our clients and wider networks. Every venture firm should be using a CRM system and an email system capable of compiling lead score, to really enable them to build a successful communications strategy, which is effective and efficient. A key starting point is looking towards how a powerful online presence can supercharge your interaction.
Here are 10 less obvious reasons why this is important.
1. Raising capital is a numbers game, the more people you touch the greater chance you have in raising capital. Building audience is critical. The only way to accomplish this is to get more names into your CRM system – categorized correctly. If a prospective LP doesn't know you exist, they will never allocate capital into your fund. A relationship has to start somewhere.
2. LPs very rarely put up their hands and tell you they are interested. If you don't know if a given LP is moving through your website, it is a lost opportunity.
3. If you are adept enough, and your systems are robust enough, there are massive marketing synergies if you are able to communicate across your portfolio. Sure, this takes strong categorization, however, most venture or private equity portfolios have contact cross-over. Very few firms actually take advantage of this. Think about having all the contacts across all of your portfolio systems in one system. The possibilities here are endless.
4. Lead score allows you to sort your audience and contacts via their level of engagement. Is your team spending an inordinate amount of time trying to talk to people that have no interest in who you are, or what you do? Why? It is always best to talk to people that are legitimately engaged in your story.
5. Marketing is no longer a manual process. You can no longer have enough one on one conversations to move the needle. Again, let the machine (your CRM system and email system) do the heavy lifting. The standard cold call is dead.
6. If we are being real, very few firms in this business have the budget to do anything else but email market. It just is what is. You can't do this well if you are not running a solid CRM system and email system.
7. Pretty much every portfolio company you invest in should be effectively managing contacts via a CRM system and have the ability to communicate en-masse. It really is the core foundation of being able to "market" effectively. Having the internal expertise to help a portfolio company implement these tools is an enormous value add. (I will also refer you back to point #3.)
8. If you are effectively managing a CRM system, you can keep track of all those people that told you to look them up when you are raising your next fund. Losing track of this list is a nightmare for any IR or marketing team.
9. Knowing which of your current LPs is not engaging in your content could be the difference in them re-upping or not. Those planning on investing in your next fund are typically paying pretty close attention to anything you send them.
10. The fastest way to get in trouble from the email gods is to send people emails without the ability to unsubscribe. Almost all email systems will manage this list on your behalf. This sounds trivial, but it's not. Apart from being good manners, GDPR and other legislation mean that if you don't play by the rules, you can pay a heavy price.
These issues are not isolated to just venture capital firms, but also to their portfolio companies. MJ Hudson offers a communication and analytic services are we know if you want to grow and build those relationships with investors, companies and generally your entire ecosystem, you need to have the right brand awareness, technology and content. Successful companies have solid marketing and communications, and those that do, are typically the real winners in VC.
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