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Back in 2005, I was convinced that a good Customer Management System (CRM) could dramatically improve my productivity as a Business Broker and M&A Advisor but I didn't know how these systems work and how to select a good one.

After 2 years of procrastination, I realized that a new version of Microsoft Office I had just bought had a free Business Contact Management System called (BCM). I had activated it, had spent tremendous time customizing it to the Business Brokerage profession and started using it.

While my productivity did increase after a long learning curve, the system was merely a contact management and didn't have real CRM functionalities. I was not able to link buyers and sellers to listings and track all customer interactions. Moreover, with more and more information saved into the system, it became very slow until it completely crashed 3 years later and I lost all my information. This was devastating for me to the point where I decided to go back to my old Microsft Outlook system and forget about CRM for all and ever.

A few more years into MS Outlook just made me realize that constantly searching for information, documents, emails, attachments was consuming most of my time to the point that I had very little time left to practice my profession, which should be more focused on real interaction with Buyers and Sellers.

After more research into the CRM solutions for business brokers, I signed up with Power Broker Software, a solution built on top of the Salesforce platform. The solution required a monthly payment of $78/month/user, which was affordable at the time. 

After spending hundred of hours uploading my data and further customizing the solution to my needs, I received an email from Salesforce threatening to cancel my subscription if I did not proceed with a one payment of the whole annual subscription($130 x 12 month) on the top of the $78/user/month I was already paying PowerBroker who stopped returning my phone calls and emails. My only choice at the time was to go directly to Salesforce and pay the hefty annualized $135 all at once.

To my surprise, Salesforce was a general purpose CRM solution targeted at large corporations selling products. I had to spend multiple months learning the programming language used by salesforce in order to customize the solution to the business brokerage profession and to my own needs.

Two more years using Salesforce, I managed to get a CRM solution that fulfilled some of my needs but it was still not woking as expected. The main problem was that it took too much time filling out the multiple forms with information been entered and re-entered multiple times for the same purpose. It took as much as 5  to 6 clicks and multiple minutes to accomplish simple tasks like creating a contact or a listing.

At that point, I made the decision to develop my own CRM solution, DealRelations. After 3 years into development, DealRelations became the perfect CRM for us. We also strongly believe it will work for most business brokers and Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors.  It not only performs the basic CRM functions in a quick user-friendly manner, but t also automates our business purchase and sale process, saving us tremendous time, which we could now use to interact with our clients.