Many experts say that September is the other January, a great time to start fresh, set goals and make changes. Is it because we’re sending the kids back to school or is it the pumpkin spice? No matter the reason, there is definitely something about September that makes some us want to focus and tackle new challenges. If you’re looking to improve business development at your firm, tracking activities in your CRM is an effective place to start.
Tracking activities in your CRM allows you to maintain a centralized location of all the firm’s business development and marketing activities and touchpoints. Why is this important? Your lawyers are busy. Tracking their activities moves important business development information out of spreadsheets or their inboxes and provides you with the ability to measure and report on your firm’s active opportunities. Here are just a sampling of the benefits firms can realize when they track activities:
Coordinating pitch efforts (know who is talking to potential clients)
Identifying cross-selling opportunities
Creating reminders for lawyers so they can keep opportunities moving forward
Easily reporting on firmwide BD efforts, including activity opportunities and win rates
Eliminating the need to follow up with multiple contacts across the firm to get information
Providing lawyers with clear priorities and a focused list of targets to pursue
Sharing regular reports with practice groups and firm stakeholders
Identifying firmwide and industry trends
Reporting on progress toward yearly goals
If you’re ready to start moving your firm’s business development forward, tracking is a great place to start. A successful initiative starts with buy-in from your firm’s key stakeholders and it continues with consistent, correct data entry. Think about what you need to know to help your firm’s lawyers achieve their goals.
Do you remember learning the 5 Ws (and H) of storytelling in school? Think about tracking as the story of your firm’s relationships:
Who are your lawyers talking to?
Where did they meet them? How?
What did they do or talk about?
Why are they talking to them?
When should they follow up?
If you want to know more about how to start a tracking initiative at your firm, contact the CRM experts at ContactEase. We work with firms of all sizes that are using CRM tracking to move projects forward, improve internal processes and win more business.
Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular downloads on the ContactEase website is a case study on boosting revenue with CRM. One of the easiest ways to determine the success of a platform is to look at a firm’s return on investment (or ROI), but what may be considered a huge success for one firm may seem insignificant to another. This is why it’s important to go into any implementation with a clear strategy. What may seem like obvious metrics in the beginning may not be as important a few years in. Taking time to revisit what ROI looks like for your firm is a good way to keep your CRM strategy fresh and moving forward.
Many firms begin looking for a new solution because an existing one has failed to meet expectations. And while ContactEase features an industry-leading adoption rate, we’ll be the first to tell you that the platform is second to a firm’s people and processes. Without an emphasis on either of these areas, your CRM strategy will fall flat.
CRM is for Everyone
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to CRM is overcoming some lawyers’ insistence that the system is simply a marketing tool Of course it is, but it can be so much more. Often lawyers won’t make CRM a priority until it affects them directly. For example, one firm came to us after a client received an important notification in their personal email after the relationship partner was asked not to send anything to that address. One tersely worded email from the client was all it took to get the lawyer on board.
Your Firm’s Needs
Before one mid-size firm implemented CRM, they had several contact “databases” (mostly spreadsheets) and thousands of paper cards (in a Rolodex — the original CRM?). As you might imagine, this caused a lot of problems (and a lot of work) for the marketing team. Not only were contacts receiving multiple mailings some weren’t receiving them at all. Hence one of the goals for this implementation was a centralized location for all firm marketing contacts. To some firms this might seem like a simple goal, but for many firms this is everything.
Automate and Increase Efficiencies
An effective CRM also allows firms to streamline communications. Before CRM, many firms spend days if not weeks preparing to send communications. With CRM and integrations with marketing automation tools like Constant Contact, HubSpot, and Vuture firms know they have the most recent contact information available. No, CRM can’t help your lawyers write faster, but it can help ensure you get your client alerts to the right people at the right time.
A successful CRM implementation can pay for itself many times over, but it’s important to to look at more than the bottom line.
With most conferences moving to virtual experiences for time time being, it’s likely you’ve already attended one if not several. For many, moving in person events to an online platform made them more accessible and more affordable.
It’s no secret that many of us are experiencing virtual meeting fatigue. However, virtual conferences continue to provide a great opportunity for engagement and education from the comfort of offices (wherever those may be located these days). In 2020, many conference organizers held successful virtual events and even managed to capture some of the networking magic we thought could only happen in person. The LMA Annual Conference hosted a talent show where members performed and at ILTACON volunteers hosted walks around their towns, virtual tastings, and even some stand up comedy.
If you’re attending LMA Tech West this week, consider some of the following to make the most of your conference experience:
Log on early to familiarize yourself with the conference platform. The LMA Tech West Conference is utilizing Pheedloop which is an all-in-one platform to provide opportunities to participate in sessions and networking, too. Visit the exhibit hall, talk to vendors and other attendees and get the lay of the virtual land.
Block off the time on your calendar. If your firm allows it, think about adding an out of office message to let your colleagues know you’ll be attending and that your responses may be delayed.
Review the agenda to identify the can’t-miss sessions. Many virtual conferences provide attendees with access to post-conference recordings and LMA Tech West is no different. One of the unique features of an online conference is the opportunity to engage with session through chat – something you can’t take advantage of in a recording. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend every session, think about flagging those you’re really interested in and make a point to attend to ask questions during the live session.
Engage! If you’re active on Twitter or other social media, use the conference hashtags to share your thoughts and engage with other attendees and the speakers. Think about sharing your favorite takeaways.
Network! Most conferences have built-in chat capabilities. As a vendor, we love it when people stop by to say hello. It’s okay if you’re not in the market for CRM. Stop by and ask questions. Let us know how the conference is going for you.
Talk to the speakers. At LMA events, most of these speakers are your legal marketing peers. They’ve put a lot of effort into their presentations. Let them know what you’ve learned and your key takeaways. This is a great opportunity to ask follow-up questions if you didn’t get a chance during the session, too.
Don’t keep what you’ve learned to yourself! Think about sharing your thoughts on LinkedIn or in an LMA blog. Make sure that your firm knows the value you found in the conference and how you plan to use what you’ve learned.