• Accounting
  • Intapp DealCloud

The need for speed: Help your transaction advisory teams stay competitive in today’s fast-paced market (and discover why even the best CRM software for accounting isn’t enough)

  • Joe Pensa

    Practice Group Leader for DealCloud, Accounting and Consulting

As dealmakers navigate today’s challenging environment, financial due diligence has become more important than ever. At critical stages of a deal, potential buyers rely heavily on transaction advisory services (TAS) teams to perform this important work. But TAS teams often lack the proper technology to scale and efficiently support a growing number of potential clients and market transactions.

Many TAS teams still rely on bespoke processes and applications to manage client relationships in accounting — manually tracking deals and client relationships via spreadsheets , PowerPoint decks, or their email inboxes — which can slow down dealmaking during critical moments. Even the best CRM software for accounting firms usually fails to properly manage the firm’s complex network of relationships, as these tools traditionally only track linear, one-to-one relationships between a firm’s partners and a client or prospect.

To stay competitive, firms that provide transaction advisory services will need to invest in best-in-class deal and relationship management technology that is purpose-built to help firms gain the speed and agility required to keep up with fast-paced deal cycles.

Here are three ways that DealCloud can empower your TAS professionals to improve sales deal velocity and fuel your firm’s success.

1. Speed up deal origination to grow your firm’s business

To improve sales deal velocity, TAS teams need to utilize the right technology to manage client relationships and keep pace with their accounting firm’s growth and goals.

If your firm continues to store relationship and experience data in spreadsheets or email attachments, it will be challenging to access and surface the information fast enough to win the client. You also run the risk of accessing the wrong spreadsheet or email and pulling inaccurate, out-of-date data.

CRM software can help your TAS team find some relationship data faster, but these systems are arduous to keep updated and can’t track multidirectional relationships. As a result, even the best CRM software for accounting firms fails to provide all the information TAS teams need to increase sales deal velocity. For example, your CRM may not be able to surface insights into who at your firm already has personal connections at your private equity client organizations or their portfolio companies. As a result, you could miss out on new business opportunities.

DealCloud is purpose-built to manage all your firm’s client relationships, no matter how complex, by keeping track of which team members have existing relationships with whom. When your TAS team has full visibility into the firm’s network across the deal ecosystem, deal origination will go much faster.

For example, say you want to find out if any of your firm’s present or past clients might be a good fit for a potential sale. Instead of sifting through your email inbox or pinging colleagues to gather prospects, you can use DealCloud’s Advanced Search feature to comb through the entire database in a matter of seconds. You can search by vertical and company descriptions, and you can use the Microsoft Outlook plug-in to search by subjects and bodies of emails — all of which will save you time and effort in finding the best clients to pitch.

If your Advanced Search turns up a list of dozens of prospects, you can use DealCloud to easily work with other members of your team to divvy up the contacts that need to be made. And because you’ll be working in the cloud, you’ll be able to keep track of what’s happening at every stage of the deal’s lifecycle.

2. Leverage firm intelligence to expand transaction advisory deals

Many accounting firms struggle with siloed data and disconnected processes that prevent them from expanding TAS deals into other service lines and, consequentially, improving sales deal velocity. If your firm is solely tracking deals in spreadsheets or a traditional CRM, you’re effectively blocking pipeline management.

Establishing a single source of truth is a crucial first step toward successfully managing client relationships and leveraging those connections. Visibility into your firm’s many interconnected relationships creates an opportunity for a TAS team that’s already working on one service line (such as financial due diligence) to rapidly identify white space for other due diligence services (such as tax or commercial due diligence) in the same market transaction.

Because a cloud-based platform such as DealCloud centrally tracks and manages all workflows, activities, and files related to deal pursuits in one place, your TAS team will be able to more easily turn firm intelligence into actionable next steps.

3. Optimize the efforts of your firm’s professionals

During busy periods, TAS teams need to be able to quickly realign priorities and tasks to keep up with the deal lifecycle. It can hamper progress when a manager is unable to view team member experience, workload, and progress on current engagements.

In addition to managing client relationships, an organization needs to optimize staffing . A software solution like DealCloud gives managers visibility into the capacity of their TAS team members. Instead of waiting for professionals to manually provide updates on various tasks, you can view their progress and prioritize tasks in real time. Operational improvements like this make it easier for organizations to scale.

You can also use this same functionality to build a pipeline of experienced hires to help your firm grow in a smart, thoughtful way. Once the new hires are in place, training them on DealCloud can help improve sales deal velocity, thanks to the ability to view previous due diligence work with similar characteristics. Because you can easily streamline and tailor existing workflows and deliverables to a new deal, you can more quickly bring that new hire up to speed.

With DealCloud, your firm will be able to multiply transaction advisory opportunities while accelerating service delivery. Learn more  about how DealCloud can help TAS teams discover more business opportunities.