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Business Owners

The Do’s and Don’ts of Deal Sourcing


Deal sourcing isn’t what it used to be. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you work to optimize your funnel and bring your team the best opportunities.

Do: Use a CRM

CRM (client relationship management) software makes tracking deals and their sources easy for you and your team. CRMs are designed to capture any and all data points relevant to your relationship with a professional contact, from where her office is headquartered to what you both discussed on your last call together. What’s more, most CRMs are cloud-based, meaning their users have access to client information both at the office and on the road.

Salesforce is one of the best-known examples of CRM software. “We rely on Salesforce to log deals and take detailed notes of conversations. It’s not perfect, but it works. We have a large network of brokers that we talk to regularly, and we’ll review over a hundred deals per quarter. In some cases, we’ll track deals for years before they actually end up coming to market. Managing all of this would be impossible without a CRM.” says Sage Harrison, principal at Evolve Capital.

Don’t: Rely Exclusively on Existing Relationships

Your core group of brokers isn’t going anywhere, but they alone are no match for the networks being built by business development directors nowadays. With competition for the best deals on the rise, sourcing from lesser-known intermediaries is more pivotal than ever.

“In this business, as long as you stay humble, keep in touch with new bankers, and quickly let them know your level of interest with their deals, you’ll always stay on top of their lists,” says Armando Soto, managing director at Isaac Capital Group.

Do: Build Relationships the Old-Fashioned Way

As digital communication becomes more common, displaced modes of personalized outreach like phone calls, in-person meetings, and handwritten notes can make a difference. According to Soto, “it’s all about building rapport with the banker and having the cash on hand to make the deal happen.”

“Email doesn’t foster relationships,” says Harrison. “Just like in your personal life, it takes time, effort and conversation to get to know someone. You have to figure out how you can add value or insight to what an intermediary is working on; this is nearly impossible over email.”

Don’t: Bother with Mass Marketing

Unlike personal calls and notes, mass marketing efforts do little to help you stand out from the crowd. Not only are few mass emails opened and read, but as email providers have been improving their spam filters, fewer yet are being delivered.

“Email is becoming less efficient in general, especially when you’re talking about marketing campaigns,” notes Harrison. “This is forcing firms to be more creative in how they communicate with their constituents.”

Do: Know SEO

In a survey of over 750 CEOs, investors, lenders and intermediaries, close to 90% of intermediaries said that the first action they take upon meeting someone for the first time is to look that person up online. However, only about 10% of buyers and investors stated that their primary online strategy involves using the web to market their companies and services.

With so many intermediaries searching their new contacts online, as a buyer or investor, one of the best ways to get noticed is simply to be found. SEO, or search engine optimization, is marketing designed specifically to make your firm and its website easy to find through a search engine. If your firm is not being discovered, that means others are.

Don’t: Stop Sourcing

As Soto puts it, “You are never too busy to chase a good deal.”

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