How leveraging relationship intelligence can help M&A teams win deals 

In the accounting industry, relationships are the starting point for nearly every successful business deal. The connections your firm’s deal professionals build with clients and prospects are key to winning new clients and fostering the growth of existing business. But managing and optimizing a vast web of intricate relationships also poses challenges. Even business software once considered the best CRM software for accounting firms falls short in providing deep relationship intelligence.

Generic CRMs were originally designed for transactional businesses to manage linear customer relationships and sales funnels. But professional relationships intertwine and overlap in far more complex ways. Unlike traditional CRMs, deal teams need purpose-built relationship intelligence capabilities. Relationship intelligence involves quantifying and measuring the relationships your firm’s professionals have with clients, acquaintances, and former colleagues at other companies. This intelligence includes metrics like relationship scores, the most recent touchpoints between connections, and which of your firm’s professionals own which critical relationships.

Here are three ways purpose-built relationship intelligence solutions, like Intapp DealCloud, can power your connections into new business.  

  1. The power of mapping relationships

A relationship score assesses the strength and quality of relationships. With DealCloud, relationship scores are calculated based on information from Microsoft Exchange, proprietary client history data, and third-party market data.

Microsoft Exchange integration enables automated capture of current data from your firm professionals’ emails and calendar to populate DealCloud with key data about client touchpoints, powering DealCloud Relationship Intelligence. The automated signature scraping also helps your firm maintain accurate contact data without manual entry.

With the dedicated relationship intelligence capabilities that DealCloud delivers, accounting firms will be able uncover answers to important questions like:

  • Who at my firm can provide a warm introduction to help land new business with this prospect organization?  
  • What relationships do my colleagues and I need to cultivate with specific individuals to improve deal outcomes? 
  • How have my most valuable relationships and their associated revenue trended over time?  
  • Which connections should I double down on to drive growth? 
  • Who within my professional network knows specific service providers, advisors, or influencers that could be strategically leveraged to win new clients? 

By leveraging relationship intelligence, professionals understand who knows whom, enabling warmer introductions that may lead to a successful deal. This is far more effective for winning new business than cold outreach and improves sales deal velocity at accounting firms.

  1. The power of automations

DealCloud enables AI-powered signals to relationship owners on key accounts, reminding them to check in with their connections to keep them warm. Based on factors like time since last touchpoint and relationship trends, DealCloud prompts professionals with suggested actions, such as reaching out to set up a check-in call or notifying a contact about a sell-side opportunity.

These notifications help keep relationships active and moving forward even as priorities shift day to day. These nudges can also provide relevant talking points or conversation prompts to make outreach more personalized and meaningful.

DealCloud also leverages automation to keep relationship data based on previous engagements — making it easy to keep track of prospect companies. With access to that data, you can quickly understand who has expertise in which types of deals, tracking them by sector, geography, and deal size.

By tracking all client work and market activity in DealCloud, your deal team professionals will benefit from automatically updated bio profiles that accurately capture their current expertise and preferences. For example, if your firm advises a private equity fund on a health care deal, DealCloud automations could add “health care” to the list of investment sectors for that PE firm’s company profile. This saves your fee earners from having to manually go in and update their profiles repeatedly to reflect new deals — freeing up their time to focus on fee-earning tasks.

  1. The power of third-party data

DealCloud partners with several external data providers that bring additional context into relationship intelligence to help your firm manage client relationships in accounting.

People data from partners like Equilar help firms identify connections their professionals have with new prospects based on past shared employers or roles — helping to uncover new companies, contacts, deals, and relationships that internal firm data may be missing.

Equilar specializes in detailed people data, with up-to-date information on job histories, board memberships, and company affiliations. Through DealCloud, these partners also keep existing contact and company profiles up to date, allowing relationship maps to stay current.

Two additional DealCloud partners, Orbis and FactSet, provide data on rumored or upcoming deals that aren’t public yet. This surfaces early intel that your firm can act on. This knowledge also provides your professionals with additional background on potential new prospects.

With this type of information, a partner can walk into a meeting equipped with valuable knowledge about a client’s recent business deals. And they will also be better able to identify upsell opportunities based on relationships with shared advisors.

Beyond surfacing new prospects, third-party data also enhances existing profiles with additional information that can shed light on potential deals, like changes to number of employees, corporate hierarchies, and earnings.

The sophisticated relationship intelligence capabilities in DealCloud empower accounting firm professionals to fully harness their networks, improving deal velocity in accounting and driving revenue growth. By mapping and measuring relationships, professionals turn connections into new business deals, outmaneuvering the competition.

Find out how to apply the power of your firm’s connections to win new business.