logo

Basic Investment Banking Platform Training & Overview

To view the demo in video format, please visit our Investment Banking Platform Video Tutorials page. 

Like most deal makers, regardless of whether you stand on the buy or sell-side of a transaction, you likely run a stringent and tightly-controlled process on everything from origination to due diligence and eventually complete integration. As any good dealmaker knows, processes are different from company to company and even from deal to deal. A projects can quickly take on a life of its own as you progress toward a capital transaction.

The intent with this brief introduction of our platform is to give you a basic overview of what is possible, and then give you the tools that will enable you to be more successful in sourcing, courting and closing more mandates. Our uniquely-structured platform includes over 400 gadget applications that sit on top of the platform, used for everything from research to process automation. This presentation is by no means a catch-all of all the details of each feature, but rather intends to provide you with a broad overview of how the platform can be used in nearly every stage of the deal process lifecycle.

For the purposes of this demonstration, we will focus on the main features: the Deal CRM, Marketing & Marketing Automation, Project Management, Activities & Process Automation, Virtual Data Room, Digital Signatures and DealMatcher. While viewing this demo, it is important to keep in mind that there may be some differences in the User Interface as your instance may include variations in role permissions.

Basic Overview

The advanced intermediary role includes the following key features:

Deal Matching, Syndication & Search. Advanced deal matching functionality provides more than just “search” capabilities for specific deals, but expands your outreach potential by matching specific deal characteristics like location, industry, revenue, EBITDA and transaction type among buyers, investors, issuers and intermediaries alike.

Deal Specific CRM. The deal CRM is built to include information on specific contacts and provide a tool for managing deal-specific data for individual and company stakeholders.

Compliant Archiving. Compliant archiving means everything from live chat to data room and CRM information is archived with third-party vendors for SRO oversight.

Data & Analytics. Advanced data tools allow for tracking of emails, clicks, digital signatures, logins, leads and nearly any action taken in or associated with the platform. It often means more than just raw data, users are able to view and showcase visually-appealing graphs and charts.

Activity, Note and Calendar & Project Management Tools. Project and activity tools allows you schedule and manage collaboration within your instance rather than through email threads. It also keeps you on task with reminders as well as gives you chat and collaboration tools with a team of dealmakers and stakeholders.

Marketing & Marketing Automation Software . The marketing tools allows for direct outreach to specific or lists of contacts as well as automated initial and recurring outreach through sequences or drip campaigns. Such campaigns can be sequenced automatically or based on targeted trigger events like email opens, subscriptions or NDA executions.

File Data Room. Like most cloud-based data storage solutions our file data room features allows for uploading files and folders for specific deals or contacts and provides means and mechanisms for sharing those files both internally and externally with ease.

SmartForms. SmartForms are like digital signatures on steroids. With the SmartForm tool you can create anything from customized NDAs to 506(c) and Reg A+ Form 1-A offering circulars. All SmartForms include digital signature, WORM compliant and advanced data room archiving and tracking capabilities.

The deal-specific CRM provides the tools for managing and hosting large amounts of client and investor data in an easy-to-use interface. We will show you how to best use your CRM for sourcing, syncing, filtering, automating and analyzing your contacts. We will also show you how the CRM ties directly to the dealmatcher, project management tools, and marketing automation suite for deal marketing.

CRM for Mergers and Acquisitions

Adding items to the CRM (individual, company and bulk import)

Individual. The individual button is the default selection. Feel free to fill out any and all information relevant to your contact. Multiple individual contacts may be tied to a single company. If the company is already in the database, it will automatically appear as you search to add the contact to that specific company. We will discuss a number of the more advanced items here later.

Company. It is sometimes helpful to add individuals after the company information has been added because then it becomes easier to tie each individual to a given company.

Bulk Import. Click on the “bulk import” button and you will be shepherded through the bulk import process, including the download of a specific CSV template.

One important aspect to note in this process of importing is how one designates the difference between an individual and a company. To do so, simply add the company name, but exclude the individual first, middle and last names from the record like so. For all individuals who may be a part of that company, simply keep the company name the same. This ensures the right individuals are associated with the right company and that the company maintains its own individual contact record within the CRM.

Once we complete all the relevant information, including adding tags separated by commas (we will discuss more on the importance of tags later), we are ready to import.

Keep in mind, many users who may be migrating from another system such as Salesforce may require the import of much more information than what is included in this simple import. When this is the case, our independent, non-conflicted, third-party data partner will work with you to write and test the right import script to bulk upload all your contacts their associated information so no data is lost.

Using the “Contact Operations” dropdown. Keep in mind, there are differences between “Contact Operations” dropdown options between an individual contact and when you are viewing contacts in a Group or List setting.  

      • Organization
        • Process flows
        • Add to projects
        • Create tasks associated with a specific contact or group of selected contacts. This task can then be added directly
        • Create company
        • List co-workers
      • Communication
        • Template form fill
        • Send letter
      • Accounting
        • Generate Electronic Funds Transfer (ETF) + ties to nearly any escrow API for ETF
      • Output
        • Copy link to clipboard
        • Export contact

Show/Hide Columns. The “show/hide columns” selection in the top right of the CRM contacts search table provides flexibility on the specific contact data you can see and in what order. Simply select or deselect items, depending on your preference. You can then use the sort filters to determine the order of the items in your particular search. “Date Modified” is typically the most used when filtering searches.

Effectively using Tags and search features. The more you know about a given contact, the more tags are likely to be included there as they can help you find the contact later for a specific opportunity. Tags are also effective in creating groups within the CRM. Such group clusters can later be used in sell and buy-side outreach for specific deals and follow-ups using the CRM in conjunction with the marketing automation engine.

      • Tags can be added in one of several ways.
        • First, tags can be added manually from the “tags” tab in a given contact. “Smart” tagging will provide a popup notification if a given tag is already in use, helping to avoid redundancy, but also to help in the speed of the process.
        • Second, during a bulk contact upload, tags are added to the tag column in the bulk import template and separated by a simple comma.
        • Third, tags can be added from the CRM main dashboard view by clicking the “Group Contact Operations” dropdown in the upper left and choosing “Tag Contacts”  

Creating and using lists from tags (for all things relative to a specific deal or process)

Once you have begun using the tag functionality, it is time to begin creating lists. Lists are effective for several reasons. For instance, lists can be used when sourcing investors for a specific deal. Let’s say you have had contact with several hundred individual accredited and institutional investors that have interest in multi-family real estate deals. You may wish to create a list that includes tagged contacts with the following tags “multifamily,” “real estate”, “accredited investor” or “institutional investor.”

To create a group, click on the “Contact Groups” tab and simply click “New Group”. At this point, you will want to name the group. If we continue with our previous theme, we might call this particular group, “Multifamily Real Estate Investors Group”.

When building your group, there are nuances that allow granularity in what the type of list you are looking to build. Perhaps you want to source the gambit of investors for multifamily real estate and thus you choose, “ANY”. In this case, the search function looks for contacts that may have one tag OR another, but not both. If we instead choose “ALL” in our search parameters, the search function will look for contacts that have BOTH tags, indicated by the AND. We can add a seemingly unlimited number of contact “Tag” filters and “Match” filters to our queries, making this a powerful tool to someone with detailed knowledge of their database of investors, CEOs and intermediaries. Joining this functionality with our DealMatcher campaign search functionality provides a powerful tool or sourcing private investors, entrepreneurs and the advisors they serve.

When you create a group list, it is only viewable by you with your login to the instance. If you wish to share a group list,  you simply click on the list and then click “share group”. Other selections are available such as edit group or delete group. If you wish to view the group list in the CRM, simply click “list contacts” and the entire list with be opened within the CRM. We will discuss how to best use these group lists later when we get into the marketing and marketing automation engine for targeting these contacts in your deal-specific outreach.

Add contacts and companies directly into the CRM individually or using bulk upload. The contacts within the CRM could include specific target company CEOs, information on Limited Partners or company investors and intermediaries that specialize in verticals which are of interest to you as the buyer. Intermediaries and companies themselves are able to use the system to upload.

Once contacts are added, the CRM combined with the marketing automation software provide a great means of initial outreach and long-term follow-ups in a very efficient manner.

Tabbed browsing makes it easy to view and toggle between multiple contact companies and contacts at the same time. Additional resources including notes, history and activities provide disciplined tools for maintaining contact with the hottest capital opportunities. Tags and group listings provide you with an easy way to combine and track potential investors and clients associated with a specific deal.

Tie the CRM database to specific contact forms on your firm’s website, ensuring no leads are lost and the most fresh opportunities are immediately populated and tagged for further follow-up.

Individual Contact Options (it is important to keep in mind that there may be some differences in the User Interface as your instance may include variations in role permissions. )

Accounting. The accounting tab allows for invoice creation and automatic uploading. In addition, if the contact is either a subscriber and/or investor, the accounting section will provide details on payment information as well as data pulled from external accounting software solutions such as Quickbooks. This is more applicable to white-label instance subscribers.

Activities. The activities section is a calendaring tool that allows for keeping tabs on your hottest prospects in a very streamlined way. We will go into further detail on Activities in a later tutorial.

Additional (custom data field builds). The additional section includes any custom database information you may wish to include. For our purposes, we typically reserve this area for deal profile information on anything from Revenue and EBITDA to expected engagement type. This data becomes searchable for future use as well.

The Central Index Key or CIK is a 10-digit number used on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s computer systems to identify corporations and individuals who have filed disclosure with the SEC.As of June 2015, in order to join the new financial market for growth funding for your business, you need to get a CIK ID number. You can request a CIK# for this particular contact registry or input an existing CIK# in this section.

Files (simple VDR). The files section acts as a simple virtual data room for your individual contact. This areas is perfect for collecting preliminary items like Non Disclosure Agreements and preliminary financial statement information. As a deal progresses further, the file system in the virtual data room will likely be more appropriate.

History. The history tab section includes all notes, files and changes made to this particular contact. It allows for a 30,000 foot view as to the conversation and processes that have taken place relative to this record. It is helpful for review by Managing Directors who may wish to understand the progress on a particular deal from a quick view.

Notes. The notes section provides a quick and simple note that could be based on a conversation or activity that may be relevant to this contact.

Processes (project management). The processes section includes advanced project management software tools for running a detailed sales, marketing or transaction with a particular client or prospect. Using the full gambit of the Process section will be covered in future, more advanced tutorial trainings.

Social Media.The social media tab allows you to tie a Twitter or other social media account so you can get a quick view of the recent public discussion incurred by this contact.

Tags. Tags provide a more advanced source of data for searching and finding contacts within the CRM. We have previously discussed the relevance of tags in a previous tutorial.

Test the Waters (TTW). Similar to the “files” section the Test the Waters section provides a simple Virtual Data Room for tracking and running a successful Test the Waters outbound campaign for raising capital through Regulation A+. The details and process of Test the Waters will be discussed in a later tutorial.

Workspaces. The workspace area provides information for user-role access to a given contact. Managing Directors may wish to bifurcate access to specific contacts or groups of contacts within the CRM. Workspaces can split access to specific contacts and contact groups based on user access.  Essentially it provides greater control over who can see and access contacts within the system. Contact your administrator to set up advanced workspace functionality for your contacts.

Certificates. The certificates tab provides additional information specific to the subscription level of a contact to specific items in your instance.

Marketing Engine + Automation

The marketing automation suite, includes advanced tools for deal outreach, analytics and smart campaign tracking. With the marketing engine, you can do direct, mail-merged outreach directly to the “first names” of specific contacts or targeted groups of contacts. Automated marketing campaigns can also be sent using Automatic Drive. Automatic Drive allows dealmakers to create pre-crafted sequences for systematized email drip campaigns or customized sequence campaigns based on the specific trigger events that are significant to your campaign. Here, we will discuss both the simple and complex options of outbound email marketing campaigns. It is important to remember that as you create your email campaigns that SPAM laws apply to any outbound send you may perform.

Create a list. A key element to effective campaigns is creating the proper list for your outbound messages. For more information on creating targeted groups, please refer to the previous Group List video outlining advanced group creation tools. You can create your recipient list in one of three ways: Contact Groups, Contact Search Results or from a General List of Favorites. Once we choose our list, the system will automatically remove email duplicates, previous unsubscribed users as well as any emails that are either bad or non-existent.

Once we have our list, we can either create a new email or choose one from a previously created template. Creating an email from scratch is done by clicking “Add New Template” and creating your email details in the new template section. You can choose the title of the email campaign, the subject of the message and of course the “send from” and “reply to” email addresses you would like to use. Emails can be created in plain text or visually appealing HTML.

Once you have created your template, you will need to move it to “drafts” in order to have it prepared for sending. If you wish to use the Autodrive feature, you will want to create multiple drafts for use in your chains and even multiple chains, depending on your automated trigger decision sequence.

The Drafts section is where you preview, send tests and complete the outbound send of your draft email to your recipient list. It is always advised that before you send a mass email through the Campaign Creator that you send yourself a test email to ensure your design works appropriately and to check last minute items like spelling.

Once you have sent your email, you can retrieve email send results and statistics from the Sent tab. This data includes tallies on sent, opened, unopened, clicks and bounces. It also provides lists for the direct contacts for each by simply clicking on the fields in the table. Additional granular detail, including graphs and exportable reports is further available in the Charts menu. Charts and reports can especially effective when providing campaign results to a particular client. We will review Charts and Reporting in a separate video.

Automatic drive. Automatic drive is a more advanced email outbound function. To activate Automatic Drive, you will need to choose your appropriate workspace, then click “Add New Template.” Creating your Automatic Drive requires you to build a separate recipient list. Automatic Drive allows for dynamic additions and exclusions from your campaigns based on Tags or Processes. Multiple Tags and Processes can be added and/or deleted from the sequence. When creating multiple messages for your sequence, simply add previously-created templates by typing the template name in the “Template Name” field. Created templates will automatically appear and you will be able to choose the appropriate template of your choice. Add multiple emails to the sequence by clicking the + sign.  The “recipients” field allows you to determine if your entire group will receive subsequent messages or if you would like to filter them based on opens, bounces,  clicks or lack of clicks. The “when” field allows you to determine the timing of your specific message’s delivery. You can choose a date or a number of other triggers or action items including everything from sends, opens, clicks and bounces. The possibilities and options for automating your outbound marketing here is virtually limitless. Again, it is helpful to test the functions and edit your messages fully before running automatic drive on large lists of opt-in contact.

Social Spaces. The social spaces tab allows you to add social media gadgets from external websites. Doing this allows you to manage multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard. If you’re marketing a deal, you can push your email sends and hit your Twitter and Linkedin followers without having to navigate away from your Dashboard.

Social media manager. Similar to the social spaces tab, the social media manager ties to the API of your favorite social accounts and allows for direct publishing of your tweets.

As always all outbound emails, tweets and other messages sent from the system are logged with SRO compliant WORM archiving.

Using Activities & Calendars

Using Activities means that you don’t get bogged down receiving dozens of emails a day because it allows you schedule and manage collaboration within your instance rather than through email threads

Setting up Activities is the way to organize your ongoing tasks, such as meetings, appointments, follow-ups, and so on. Using the Activity Editor you can create private or shared Activities

Activities are a reminder of what you need to handle during the displayed timeframe. Activities sync with Outlook and your handheld device to give you both a view of your day/week/month, and also reminders sent to your device. An Activity allows you to enter a detailed, formatted description of the work required and store any relevant files, and allows you to engage in discussions and chats with other stakeholders and dealmakers. When you create an activity, it will automatically appear in your personal calendar, alternatively it can appear in a shared calendar which other team members can access

You can invite users and non-users of to your instance to collaborate in Activities. After being added to the Activity in the Activity Editor, attendees are automatically emailed an Outlook appointment as well as a link directing them to the Activity Space for that activity. If the attendee is already a user, the Activity will also appear in the home dashboard as an Activity and in their Calendar.


Note: Calendar sync works in one direction only, from the InvestmentBank.com Calendar to Outlook.

Data & Metrics

Charts. Charts provide a graphically-pleasing way of visualizing the data relevant to your system. Charts can be tied to nearly any action in the system and are customizable to what you and your clients would be most interested in seeing. Chart data can include:

  • Data from email and automatic drive campaigns
  • Direct funds transfer investments into a specific deal–and the associated investor information– if you’re using the escrow and ETF functions.
  • New contacts, leads and opportunities over time.
  • Contacts or opportunities by lead, rank, process or workspace type.
  • Form fills, new activations or registered rep contact information
  • Meeting and activity data including daily task tallying and attendance rates for things like investor presentation webinars.

Reporting. Similar to charts, reporting includes most of the raw data that is used to create your charts. There is generally always more raw data than there are charts. You can explore the reporting section to get information that may be useful in providing client accountability and feedback reports for campaigns, but also get an understanding of how your campaigns are performing and how you might improve your next deal marketing campaign.

Analysis. Like the charts tab, the analysis tab is geared specifically toward understanding of investors, registered reps and commission tracking for completed deals using the platform. It is effective for internal reporting, but if you are running a private label instance, it can be a great “bragging” tool for boasting things like “funds raised.”

Virtual Data Room Software

Our virtual data room provides an easy to use file management system for preliminary deal assessment and due diligence tracking and sharing. It also includes advanced sharing and versioning tools.

  • Add files and folders directly from the virtual data room interface by clicking “Add Folder” or “Add file.”
  • Once you have added a file, you can create a direct link to the file that is sharable externally by non-registered users.
  • The data room also allows detailed internal sharing controls based on workspaces and user roles, giving you complete control over who sees the data that is added to your instance.
  • You can also tag your files for easy subsequent search and provide version control and version tracking based on changes to specific files in the deal room.
  • Easily link multiple contacts to a specific file.

Smartforms & Smartsheets

Smartforms combined with our digital signature software allow for automated deal processes. Smartforms allow users to create a customized form which can combine legal contract information with appropriate blank fields. The smartform data can be ported to the individual contract as structured data available for later search and the smartform itself can be used in conjunction with a digital signature. This allows you to automatically create contracts for even the most complex securities forms including:

  • Form 1-A for your Regulation A+ Offering Cicular
  • Term sheets and PPMs for 506b and 506c Reg D Private Offerings
  • Automated NDAs/Confidentiality/NonCircumvent
  • Asset Purchase Agreements
  • Stock Purchase Agreements
  • And many others.

Signed agreements are automatically converted to PDF and attached to the CRM contact record of the appropriate contact as well as the data room.

DealMatcher & Deal Syndication

Investors and companies seeking target acquisitions can make use of the platform for internal efforts using the CRM and the marketing automation software, but will also find the DealMatcher and Deal Syndication engine as a way to secure additional potential targets.

  • Add multiple deal profiles and multiple deal types (including buy-side, sell-side and capital raise) accessible by other platform-registered investors, intermediaries and companies.
  • Simple SmartForm functionality allows any stakeholder to easily upload and manage public deal profiles to the proprietary portal.
  • Once approved, profiles are both searchable and automatically matchable to transaction counterparties via parameters such as deal size and/or value, revenue, EBITDA and region or location.
  • Deal profiles are publicly available only to the registered members of investmentbank.com
  • Deal syndication engine provides a deal-specific instance set-up, allowing investors and syndicate intermediaries to have access to the files and information that matters for ensuring deal putaway and syndication success. Each syndication instance requires a customized setup. Contact us to learn more.
Nate Nead on LinkedinNate Nead on Twitter
Nate Nead
Nate Nead is a licensed investment banker and Principal at Deal Capital Partners, LLC which includes InvestmentBank.com and Crowdfund.co. Nate works works with middle-market corporate clients looking to acquire, sell, divest or raise growth capital from qualified buyers and institutional investors. He is the chief evangelist of the company's growing digital investment banking platform. Reliance Worldwide Investments, LLC a member of FINRA and SIPC and registered with the SEC and MSRB. Nate resides in Seattle, Washington.