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Automating Your Law Firm Business Development



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Automating Your Law Firm Business Development

  1. 1. Automating Your Business Development State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting Asian Pacific Interest Section June 18, 2015 San Antonio, Texas Stacey Burke Attorney/Owner 415 Westheimer, Suite 209A Houston, Texas 77006 Office (713) 714-8446 Fax (877) 314-9990
  2. 2. Presentation Overview • Define business development and its objectives • Explain how business development varies by law firm and practice area • Discuss CRM tools • Law firms can use a CRM to: – Assist with business development – To maintain appropriate contact with clients to comply with ethics rules – Manage the intake of new leads and cases • Return on Investment: Metrics and Reporting
  3. 3. Business Development
  4. 4. What is Business Development? • Marketing and business development are not interchangeable terms • Marketing designs and produces materials to support business development efforts • Marketing is responsible for items such as: – Market research – Messaging and branding – Developing a strategic marketing plan • Business Development is responsible for items such as: – Attending networking events – Hosting targeted social events – Social engagement with prospects (lunches, happy hours, etc.) • The client is paying for a relationship with his or her lawyer, the person they will trust with their legal matters, meaning that lawyers themselves must engage in Business Development
  5. 5. Business Development Goals and Objectives • Review your budget over the past five years • Look at the breakdown of how you have spent marketing and business development funds • Ensure your accounting structure is set up to appropriately track associated expenditures • Use your budget to allocate funds by quarter, designating portions for: – Maintaining what you have already built – Seeking out and obtaining new business sources
  6. 6. How Do You Track Business Development? • On my calendar • In Outlook • On a notepad • I don’t • Why it matters: – Do you get paid more for the business you bring in or are you required to bring in a certain amount of business? – Your firm’s financial survival in an increasingly competitive industry – Keep track of your time to see if the time you invest and how you invest it are working and worthwhile – AND see which parts you can automate!
  7. 7. How Business Development Varies • The sales cycle for professional services is long, requiring long-term lead nurturing sequences • Business Development Varies By Factors Including: – Law Firm • Size/number of lawyers • Geographic area • Languages spoken – Practice Area • Digital demand generation versus digital brochure • Formal in-person pitches with slide decks – Cross-Promotion
  8. 8. CRM and the Law Firm
  9. 9. What is a CRM? • CRM = a system by which a company manages its prospects, customers, and business partners. A law firm will use a CRM process to manage its interactions with its current, former, and future customers. – Who are the customers of a law firm? • Leads (Potential Future Clients) • Clients (Current and Former) • Other Lawyers
  10. 10. Ethical Issues When Using a CRM • Most jurisdictions require that a law firm use “reasonable care” with regard to confidentiality, security, accessibility, etc. (ABA Model Rule 1.6) – Collecting Customer Data – Storing CRM Data – Using CRM Data – Destroying CRM Data • ABA Model Rule 1.4 Communications (a) a lawyer shall (1) promptly inform the client … (2) reasonably consult with the client … (3) keep the client reasonably informed… • Conflicts checking mechanism (ABA Model Rules 1.7-1.11)
  11. 11. CRM Cycle for Prospects Need Contact Courting Paperwork (Pre-Nup) Marriage?
  12. 12. Law Firm Customers: Prospects • Potential Pitfalls: – You don’t know how to develop your pipeline – Lead entry does not happen in real time – Lack of consistent, formal screening questions by case type – Transmission and tracking of paperwork and communications – Lack of lead nurturing sequence – Failure to convert leads into cases
  13. 13. CRM Cycle for Clients PNC Client Case Processed or Litigation Resolution Post- Matter
  14. 14. Law Firm Customers: Clients • How do we boost client satisfaction? – Personalized communication – Consistent contact person who is knowledgeable about their case – Be responsive – Monthly or quarterly updates – Keep track of feedback
  15. 15. CRM Cycle for Lawyers Contact Courting Joint Venture Resolution Post- Matter
  16. 16. Law Firm Customers: Lawyers • When are lawyers the customers of other lawyers? – Referral Attorneys – Local Counsel – Co-Counsel – Joint Venture Partners – Multidistrict or Mass Litigation Steering Committee – Outside Counsel to General Counsel
  17. 17. Law Firm Customers: Referral Lawyers • Potential Pitfalls: – Lack of consistent screening criteria and/or forms for referral lawyers to use to sign up clients they will send your way – Failing to provide consistent and adequate updates to the joint client and/or to referral counsel – Failing to circulate relevant documents so that all law firms can maintain the requisite files for mutual clients
  18. 18. How Can My Law Firm Use a CRM?
  19. 19. Law Firm Customers: Prospects
  20. 20. Law Firm Customers: Prospects
  21. 21. Law Firm Customers: Prospects
  22. 22. Sample CRM Options • SaaS platforms (pay as you go) – Any software application you run that is not located on your physical premises or on your machines. You generally log into your vendor’s website and run the application “in the cloud.” You have no software to buy, install, maintain, or update. • Zoho ( • BatchBook ( • Salesforce ( • Database (either software or SaaS) – Needles has a CRM tab you can make active ( • Marketing Automation Software (generally SaaS) – InfusionSoft ( and Marketo ( track metrics associated with each contact’s interactions and provide automated all-in-one sales and marketing platforms • Email Service Provider (generally SaaS) – MailChimp
  23. 23. Law Firm CRM Best Practices 1. Training – Train all new employees – Have a manual or intranet videos – Automation of workflow 2. Personalize and customize your system but maintain CONSISTENCY 3. Process everything through the system 4. Run reports to develop success metrics 5. Test, monitor, and communicate so that adjustments can be made
  24. 24. Training is Forever • Periodic training for new and old employees helps standardize procedures.  Training can also produce discussions for improvement of current systems.  Training provides employees with leadership opportunities. • Be open with praise as well as criticism.  Employees want their work to be acknowledged.  Employees that are proud of their work will want to continue producing quality work.
  25. 25. Return on Investment: Metrics and Reporting
  26. 26. Quality Control: Standard Reports • Using software provides DATA and allows for unbiased auditing of staff efforts across a law firm • Open TO-DOs/tasks – How many/staff – How old are they • Blank Fields • Duplicates • Staff Auditing – Lead duration by staff member – Number and type of CRM updates/day
  27. 27. Using Your Data • Using software provides DATA and allows for unbiased auditing of efforts across a law firm • What can this do for me? – Provide real metrics to use when determining things like bonuses, who makes partner, or who is best at business development – Understanding prospects’ triggers – Show lapses in communication and issues in your process
  28. 28. Return on Investment