In this day and age we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing CRM software. Gone are the days of the rolodex and excel spreadsheets, they’ve been replaced by increasingly robust relationship management tools designed to manage customers and sales leads. But when it comes to CRMs for investor relations, many people are confused about what they need.
Many IROs turn to the same CRMs their customer-facing teams use, only to find themselves bogged down by irrelevant widgets and limited industry-specific functionality. What they need instead is a CRM that’s specifically designed with the investor relations workflow in mind. The main benefits of having a dedicated investor relations CRM software include increased access to critical data, improved business continuity, time savings, and regulatory compliance.
The main benefit of using a CRM built specifically for investor relations and capital markets is that it should include unique data that provides impactful insight from Day 1 of use. The data should inform decisions around investor targeting and outreach, and should be automatically tailored to your company’s unique characteristics. It should also provide you with insight into the health and trends of your shareholder base and that of your competitors and industry.
Unlike a standard, non-industry specific CRM, an investor relations CRM should be furnished with data across organizations, contacts, transactions and holdings. For example, Irwin's investor database contains over 1 terabyte of data that is used by our users to derive insight on contact information, holdings information, coverage information, styles and types of investors as well as quantum of capital managed. Irwin’s suggestive analytics make finding the right contacts and organizations for you as easy as a couple clicks. Without the constant flow of new data and insight, standard CRM users waste time and resources trying to find relevant information and are therefore less empowered to be proactive in managing the capital markets function to success.
In addition to information on viable new investors, investor CRM software also allows you to easily generate reports on the effectiveness of your investor relations. Unlike a sales CRM which can instantly produce reports on customer acquisition activity, an investor relations CRM will produce reports that are directly related to your investor activity. For example, IR exclusive reports include share price movements, holdings movements, and investor activity. These reports allow you to track the ROI of conferences and roadshows while also demonstrating which marketing channels are effective. This level of reporting simply isn’t available in commercial CRMs.
One of the main benefits of any CRM is that it makes it far easier to collaborate as a team. Not only can different teams more easily see who's speaking to whom, you can also monitor relationships over a long period of time and refer back to previous interactions. This can be incredibly useful regardless of the size of your IR team because it streamlines communication between IROs and C-Level executives. The increased transparency is especially helpful when working with external consultants or managing turnover, as an investor CRM makes it far easier to collaborate or hand off a relationship smoothly.
Another key benefit of using a CRM for investor relations is that it helps keep your tasks organized. Without a quality CRM, you’re on your own when it comes to taking notes, scheduling and documenting meetings, recording calls, and creating follow up tasks. Your investor CRM software should allow you to do all those things from a single page. For example, Irwin customer Mike McAllister from Sierra Metals uses our investor CRM to take notes while he conducts virtual meetings. Not only does this let him take better notes while he works, it ensures details don't get lost or forgotten when conducting follow up meetings.
"Before implementing Irwin, our entire database existed in an excel spreadsheet - so we didn't have any effective way of tracking or analyzing who we had been meeting with. It consisted of a lot of manual work.It reached a point where we needed Irwin to help track our marketing efforts, shareholder data, and the effectiveness of our overall IR program."
Vice President of Investor Relations, Mike McAllister, Sierra Metals
Another advantage of using an investor relations CRM is that it’s much easier to use than a sales CRM, an excel sheet, an Outlook inbox, or a physical address book. You’re busy, you don’t have time to poke around fields designed for sales teams and disrupting your workflow scavenging through a tool that isn’t designed for you. Similarly, copying information from spreadsheets is not a valuable use of your time. A good CRM should already be integrated with your investor database to save you time when reaching out to new contacts.
It should be very easy to track and update your communications with investors in your CRM as well. Being able to take notes in an investor’s file while you’re on the phone is an invaluable time-saving technique.
Additionally, investor relations CRMs also help you plan and execute roadshows. For example, Irwin’s comprehensive database of investors helps you instantly compile tear sheets. By spending less time searching for information, you have more time to spend impressing investors. We asked Najim Mostamand, Director of Investor Relations at KushCo Holdings how he uses Irwin to manage roadshows:
"When planning a roadshow, the first thing I want to know is which of KushCo's current investors or contacts are located in our destination. To pull this, I can easily reference all of our data in Irwin's IRM. Next, I like to use Irwin's Investor Targeting function to pull a very targeted list of qualified investors who would be a good fit to invest in KushCo. From there, I can organize which ones I want to try and schedule meetings with."
Director of Investor Relations, Najim Mostamand, KushCo Holdings
Lastly, you want to make sure that your investor relations activities are appropriately organized for privacy and compliance. Not only do you want to ensure that your investor contact data isn’t getting mixed in with your customer data, you also want to ensure that any confidential information is kept secure. This ensures that not only is your customer and investor data as accurate as possible, but also your aggregate data isn’t affected by keeping both groups in the same system.
Furthermore, you also want it to be as easy as possible to log all interactions and meeting notes with investors for regulatory compliance. Being able to send and track emails directly from your investor CRM allows you to maintain a historical account of all engagements.
If you’re still using your inbox, an Excel spreadsheet, or a clunky ”empty house” CRM, stop. Using an appropriate investor relationship management tool will make it easier to collaborate on your IR strategy, prevent data loss, save you time, generate ROI reports, and help you maintain regulatory compliance. It’s easier than ever to make the switch to a proper investor CRM.