My blog OriginateMoreDeals.com went live at the beginning of 2017 and I want to thank the small hoard of you that encourage me to continue sharing the lessons I’ve learned working in the private investment industry for the past 15 years.
One of the most popular OMD posts over the past 18 months is I couldn’t function as a deal professional without these 4 software platforms. It was a fun piece for me to write because I realized how much software helps me originate more deals and how disbelievers who deny the promise of good technology will be left behind. And in case you’re wondering how my top 4 are still holding up, you’ll be pleased to know that I use all 4 of them (Podio, Evernote, Copy2Contact, Axial) on an “all-day, everyday” basis.
This year I thought I would focus more specifically on software that specifically improves my productivity. If there is anything this year has taught it is that there are never enough hours in a day. The good news is that there is more software than ever to help you automate mundane tasks. By condensing the time it takes to manage each of our core daily activities, we can cumulatively save ourselves hours over the week and days over the year. That translates into more time spent on the parts of our jobs that we consider the highest and best use of our time.
So until they figure out the whole cloning thing, busy BD professionals should consider leveraging software do their jobs smarter. Below is a catalog of my favorite software/websites for the severely time-constrained.
appear.in: For effortless video collaboration, this software allows you to work with up to 12 people at once via video conference. Presenters can share their screen while keeping video streams active so that meetings can truly take place face-to-face without the expense and time commitment of travel. A great way to speed to team sales calls and conduct due diligence.
Calendly: This user-friendly solution integrates with your email, enabling you to efficiently schedule internal or external meetings without the back-and-forth email chains that can infest inboxes. By sharing a link with your availability, you allow invitees to easily choose a time that works best for everyone, without risking time zone mishaps, delays and frustration. Booked meetings are automatically added to your calendar, and automatically populate your CRM system. Calendly can even be added to sales and marketing campaigns to truly automate business development.
Constant Contact/Mailchimp: If you’re doing any form of email marketing, you need a service to help you manage subscriptions, grow your list and extend your reach. If you’re still sending blast emails from Outlook . . . STOP! These tools make it easy to send professional-looking emails and also integrate with CRM systems to help manage your target lists and campaigns.
Google Analytics: When combined with the software used for email campaigns, this web analytics service tracks and reports website traffic helping business development professionals to know what potential clients are interested in learning more about. It also helps marketing professionals improve their websites, track online campaigns, lead generation and more.
RescueTime: This tool helps you better understand your daily habits so you can become more productive. By running securely in the background on your computer and mobile devices, RescueTime tracks the time you spend on various applications and websites, giving you a clear picture of your days and weeks. Alerts can help you limit your time spent on certain activities and you can even block distracting websites during work hours.
SourceScrub: This tool automates prospecting investment opportunities by building out timely and accurate target lists that incorporate thousands of online sources, including trade show exhibitor lists, industry buyer guides, awards lists, and more. Sourcing data and prospecting tools from SourceScrub are designed to save time and increase deal flow for private equity, venture capital, investment banking and corporate development professionals.
UberConference: For setting up conference calls simply, without the use of pins. UberConference calls you when it’s time to get on the phone. It also addresses other common conference call inconveniences: using UberConference you will always know who is speaking and can easily share your screen, mute calls, record calls, bring in other callers, and other functions that were either unavailable or too mysterious to perform in the past.