January 3, 2023
WHITEPAPER

7 Best Practices for a Successful Deal Management Implementation

Implementing a deal management solution is a comprehensive process of including the right people, and asking the right questions at the right time. 

From forming a structured data management approach to establishing company-wide buy-in, investment team leaders are in an influential position. They’re responsible for setting practices in place to ensure that internal adoption is high and remains consistent. Early-on, the team must be educated on the platform's full capabilities in order to recognize its value. Only then is the stage set for a highly communicative and collaborative process of bringing forth the tooling needed to help investment firms’ acquisition teams close more quality deals, with speed and confidence.

As a result of our years of experience in implementing projects for commercial real estate firms, we've accumulated a set of best practices.

In this article we’ve identified seven ways, the world’s top investment firms go about implementing tech solutions to ensure high internal adoption:

1. Know your internal team of champions: In the implementation process, it’s vital to name your champions and understand the role that these team members will have in relation to the software. 

  • Identify key users. Key users are the front-line workers that steward the data coming into the system. They most directly feel the strain of the investment process using manual spreadsheets and to-do-lists to manage their pipelines and processes. These daily users are able to articulate the requirements of the software straightaway. Their titles are often acquisitions analysts or managers or directors.
  • The voice of leadership. From the executive team, either the head of acquisitions, chief information officer (CIO) or chief technology officer (CTO) may play the role of executive sponsor. This individual will have their say in the purchase of the software as well as lead implementation of the product. They have the influence to drive meaningful change from the top-down, in a way that is credible and compelling.

This team of champions at your firm should be present throughout the selection process of choosing a deal management software, up until its full implementation. In deciding the future of your investment journey, it's critical to have the right people in the room. Participating in the demos and discovery process can lead to a sense of accountability and ownership for the success of the new platform. By being involved in the evaluation process, individuals will have a vested interest in ensuring the platform's success.  

2. Align across your organization: Teams using the software should align on needs and product expectations. 

  • Have a depth of understanding in how the diverse roles on a team work together to accomplish tasks along the investment process. What are these specific responsibilities and use cases?
  • How are they being done currently and what are the challenges and complications that appear along the way? In the gaps that exist, what are the ways that deal management software may streamline, unify or automate these processes? 

Articulating expectations and communicating them widely ensures that no misunderstandings or assumptions are taking place. 

3. Determine measures of success: After establishing the challenges that exist in the investment process as an organization, next, it’s vital to express your expectations of the business outcomes you wish you achieve. What is the measure of success? What are your ultimate goals? How much of the features of the product will help you achieve those goals? What sorts of configuration of the product will help you amplify your success? 

Some investment firms measure success as: 

  • Higher deal volume; i.e., closing more deals in a shorter period of time
  • Better quality of deals, closing better deals with more substantial return on investment
  • Savings in time and resourcing, i.e., spending less time on screening, underwriting or manually creating reports for comparative analyses to instead allocate more time pursue the best deals possible
  • Increased use of data to power decision-making, higher utilization of historical deal data and context, to ensure deals are of the best quality and caliber.
  • Higher win rates, because of greater confidence in the quality of data and alleviating the risk of misinformation

Your metrics of success may be qualitatively different, depending on deal volume, sector, or specialty, but what’s key is having a shared understanding of what outcomes are being sought out.

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4. Start simple and expand: Roll-out the software to solve for the biggest challenges first, as the “must-have” functionalities, test, experiment, learn to work out the kinks, and then move onto implementing additional use cases and features.

Often firms require pipeline management tooling as a necessary element, and then they may choose to add data management features as needed. 

Remember, keeping it simple is key. Over-complicating the solution may discourage internal adoption.

5. Compile your data for an easy migration: Structure your data by aligning on what is most meaningful to your team. Come together on the definitions of terms and the nuances in reporting. This helps to streamline fields and aggregate data in a responsible and sustainable manner. Limiting custom fields and standardization helps to improve data quality, to ensure that whatever information is being loaded into the system is clean and never out of context. 

6. Create a phased implementation plan: Once your software team has replicated your pipeline, models or process as-is into the new deal management platform, there are a number of ways to build an iterative roll-out.

  • Train early and often, use a data dictionary or set up office hours for a comprehensive training period. 
  • Undergo a thorough user testing phase. Think in terms of a multitude of use-cases and scenarios.
  • Make a clean break from your previous deal management system. Managing your deal pipeline in two places is repetitive and arduous. 
  • Produce internal protocols, checklists, or playbooks specific to your team’s flow of work.

7. Leverage your customer success team. Reach out to your Project Manager and Implementation Lead to ask as many questions as possible! The team is ready and available to help find solutions, identify configurations and help you create internal playbooks to support your investment processes. 

All in all, making the switch to a deal management software to enhance your investment process should not be a daunting task. Investment team leaders are in an important position and must establish practices to ensure that internal adoption of the software is high and consistent. This will allow the software to deliver the value that was promised and ensure that every team member is on board. 

By having a plan and carefully listening to what the various stakeholders on your team will get out of leveraging a software like Origin by Altrio, you can begin sourcing the correct set of solutions that suit your firm. 

Interested in learning more about how Altrio can help? Request a demo from our team. 

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