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  • December 07, 2017 9:20 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Legal Sales and Service Organization Announces Call for Entries for 2018 Sales & Service Awards

    February 15 Deadline in Three Competition Categories

                

    Boston, MA – The Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) and Berbay Marketing & PR invite sales, business development and marketing professionals in the legal industry to submit entries for the 2018 Sales & Service Awards. The awards salute the efforts and results of individuals and teams who have spearheaded initiatives contributing to law firm revenue growth. Winners will be announced at LSSO’s 15th Annual RainDance Conference June 6-7, 2018 in Chicago, IL.

    Nominations must be submitted on or before February 15, 2018 in one or more of the following categories:

    • Sales & Service Executive of the Year: This award goes to a leader who played a crucial role in retaining clients and/or growing firm revenues in 2017. Nominate an Executive of the Year

    More information on categories and submission guidelines can be found at http://www.legalsales.org/LSSO-Awards or by contacting Beth Miller at 850.294.8464 or beth@berbay.com. Follow conference and award updates on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSSO_RainDance and hashtag: #LSSO2018

    ### 

    About LSSO

    Launched in 2003, LSSO delivers the education and resources that lawyers and those who work with them need to improve their sales and client service skills with exclusive research, and tools and information for members only. LSSO supplies the legal marketplace with innovative, groundbreaking events and resources, including the annual RainDance Conference and LSSO's Process Improvement Certification Programs. Follow LSSO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

    About Berbay Marketing & PR

    Founded in 1995, Berbay Marketing & PR is a marketing and public relations firm specializing in fueling law firms’ revenue growth.  Follow Berbay on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

     

  • November 20, 2017 1:06 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    The most effective and influential leaders are those who inspire people to feel empowered and align their thoughts, creativity and actions to the expressed goals and objectives of the firm.

    There is a lot of supporting research on the power and ‘how to’ of empowerment. Here are my top three things great leaders do to empower people and drive exponential change and value in a firm:

    • Contextualize the firm’s vision.  People need to understand why they are doing things and how their activities are going to contribute to the overall accomplishment of the vision. Sure you can order people around, but not everything is always known. When people know the ultimate goal, they can improvise and make their own decisions by being able to screen them against desired outcomes.
    • Give people the tools and training they need. Supporting people with the right tools, onboarding, training, coaching and mentorship to develop themselves and their teams is an investment that pays off by increasing: skills, loyalty and engaged productivity. There are few life-long jobs anymore and so a firm’s competitive advantage is the retention of their top talent. If leaders and managers don’t provide a learning, career-friendly workplace, good people will leave for firms that do.
    • Create a supportive, positive and rewarding workplace. People respond to a leader that listens, has their back and creates a workspace that values taking calculated risks. Our world is changing so quickly, leaders need to trust their people to take action. Calculated risks that result in unanticipated results need to be considered learning instead of failures. Recognizing firm-aligned work effort is essential.

    Leaders in legal need to spend more time on empowering people. It is especially difficult as most firms do not have deep human resources support nor value this aspect of running a business. It takes a lot of time to lead people and manage their progress. But the investment will outweigh the effort over time.

    About the Author

    Simone Hughes is the Chief Marketing Officer at Field Law and a member of LSSO's Editorial Board. She leads the integrated marketing, business development, brand and public relations functions to support the firm's strategic priorities of professional excellence and client service.  

  • November 20, 2017 12:55 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    History offers an abundant number of illustrations of leaders who used crisis or failure as an opportunity for positive change and growth. Consider just three examples:

    1. After the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt pushed for creation of the Securities Exchange Commission and Securities Acts that empowered regulators to clean up stock market fraud and mandate full and timely disclosures to investors. The intense study of the collapse also paved the way for greater understanding of the economic effects of monetary policy, tax policy and government subsidies.
    2. The leaders at IBM have successfully reinvented the company a number of times over the years, dating back to the 19th century, when its primary products were punch cards and time-keeping systems. Each time that leaders of the company charted a new course to maintain IBM’s relevance and its position of industrial leadership, the change was catalyzed by the dwindling utility and profitability of a prior generation of products or services. Thus, IBM has brought us over the years magnetic storage tape, electronic typewriters, digital calculators, data processing machines, hard disk drives, mainframes, super-computers, and now quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
    3. When Teddy Roosevelt lost his mother and wife within a period of 24 hours in 1884, he wrote in his diary that “the light has gone out of my life.” He then went west to the Badlands, became a Dakota cowboy, and eventually led efforts to organize ranchers’ efforts stop overgrazing and other practices that hurt the land they depended upon. His work resulted in the formation of the Little Missouri Stockmen’s Association. He was also compelled to coordinate conservation efforts and was able to form the Boone and Crocket Club, whose primary goal was the conservation of large game animals and their habitats. After a bad winter wiped out his herd of cattle, Roosevelt returned to the East with a renewed vigor and a sense of public purpose that eventually vaulted him to the presidency in 1901.

    It makes sense that governments, commercial enterprises, and individuals take their greatest leaps forward after crisis or failure. That is when we are most receptive to challenging what we have known, when we are most open to learning from others, and most convinced that the old ways and familiar places cannot be relied upon forever. Inertia is the tendency of a body at rest to stay at rest, and forward motion often takes a catalyst which rudely tells us that we’re doing isn’t working.

    For law firms, the last recession and the increasing competition from in-house law departments, contract lawyers, technology providers, accounting firms and non-traditional outsourcing have all provided a rude and disruptive spur to competitive and collaborative innovation.

    For those firms who are taking new approaches and adopting new methods and tools to deliver legal services that are faster, more relevant, and more cost-effective, there is a great story to tell… and a great opportunity for a leap forward. For those who are still pining for the good old days, there’s not much of a future.

    About the Author

    John O. Cunningham is the chair of LSSO's Editorial Board and Freelance Writer, Editor and Marketing/Communications Consultant. You can read more of John's articles on his blog.

  • October 23, 2017 10:37 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Thank you to all the RainDance attendees and LSSO members who responded to the 2017 Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Survey conducted by LexisNexis in conjunction with Catapult Growth partners.


    You may access a copy of the survey results here.

    The survey questioned law firms about increasing pressures in the marketplace and what they were doing to set themselves apart from their competition. During March-June 2017, 160 legal marketing and business development leaders, including 40 Am Law 100 Chief Marketing Officers / Chief Business Development Officers (“C-Levels”) were surveyed about their marketing and business development structures, strategies, tactics, measurements and more.  This year’s results prove that the leading marketing and business development departments are seeing the opportunity to be agents of change and are helping their firms chart new paths to improve strategy execution, differentiate, and thrive.

    Survey Results

  • October 23, 2017 9:59 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Business development: out with the old, in with the new

    For forward-thinking law firms, business development is more important than ever before. Before the economic downturn, lawyers weren’t actively involved in creating business development strategies. They didn’t need to go out and find clients because clients typically came to them. The market was smaller and there wasn’t as much competition.

    Lawyers focused their efforts on doing good work, and that was enough to feed a growing practice. But the modern legal market, post Great Recession, is another ballgame entirely.

    Key challenges driving a change in approach

    Several factors are contributing to the recent decrease in revenue.

    For starters, there are more lawyers, so competition is rife. Changing market conditions also mean that there’s an increasing threat of substitutes. Alternative sources of legal advice are more readily available than ever before, making it tougher for lawyers to attract new clients. And new entrants to the legal landscape have also contributed to the erosion of market share. According to research, over 83% of law firm leaders believe that non-traditional competitors will be a permanent threat for years to come.

    The rise of the internet and digitalization means that customers have access to more information. This information, combined with increased competition, has given clients greater power and more leverage than ever before.

    And the result?

    Clients are easily able to propose alternative fee arrangements and if law firms don’t meet these requirements, buyers will simply move on to firms that do.

    The current state of the market suggests that firms must adapt and adjust or run the risk of being left behind with fewer clients, a smaller market, and continued slow growth.

    Many law firms recognize these challenges and acknowledge that failure to adapt isn’t an option. In fact, the results of a survey of over 400 legal marketers and business development professionals revealed that 85% of respondents believed that strategies to win new business have shifted drastically.

    Shifting strategies

    Savvy business development necessitates a proactive approach to acquiring clients. There’s a need for law firms to better understand their clients’ needs and what value they offer clients. Firms must develop strategies to differentiate themselves from the competition. Modern approaches to business development place an emphasis on the tools, processes and systems that are put in place to attract new clients; something many law firms are incorporating into their business development strategies. For example, most firms are already using Client Relationship Management (CRM) platforms in an effort to drive business growth.

    According to a study by Ackert Advisory on the state of CRM, of the 3000 firms featured in the study, 70% were using some form of CRM. And, in another study, CRM was one of the top five activities that law firms were investing in for growth, with 51% wanting to invest in CRM in the future.

    But making a significant change in a firm’s operating basis requires more than just implementing new systems. To create business development strategies that work, firms must start with changing their culture.

    Modulating firm culture

    Change can be frightening in any business environment; especially because employees are used to doing things in a certain way. Firms that wish to change their culture need to overhaul traditional ways of thinking. This isn’t always an easy task.

    It’s all very well for marketers to introduce new software and technologies as part of an evolving business development strategy, but if lawyers aren’t interested or held accountable, these efforts are often fruitless. Lawyers cannot be left to their own devices when it comes to “optional” activities like CRM use and business development - they need to be trained, monitored and asked for feedback so that engagement is at its highest.

    Consider the study mentioned earlier. One of the key findings details that despite the majority of firms having a CRM system in place, utilization rates remain low. The primary reasons cited were problems with the culture of the firm - issues such as a lack of accountability and a lack of technological skill, were some of the stumbling blocks. This makes it ever more important for law firms to keep a close eye on progress long after implementation.

    Given the challenges facing the industry - a shift in strategies toward new tools, systems, and resources, coupled with the need to address and transform firm culture - how should a firm craft a business development strategy that actually works?

    Crafting a Business Development Strategy: A How-To Guide

    There are a number of things law firms can do to get their business development strategy right. Here are a few of our top tips:

    Align marketing and business development

    While marketing and business development are different functions, they go hand-in-hand. And they should be aligned towards the common goal of generating new business.  For example, while the end of a presentation may signal the end of the marketing process, it should kickstart the business development process, where lawyers exchange business cards and start a conversation.

    Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the marketing team to facilitate business development processes and provide the business development team with real leads. This is where a marketing system that populates leads into a CRM system becomes important. Firms can populate leads from online contact forms, email newsletters, and pop-ups.

    Once leads have been identified, firms must single out those with the highest sales potential (the greatest opportunities). Once again, it’s critical to work with the marketing department to rank these leads correctly so that lawyers and business development executives know who to call first.

    Track follow-ups with opportunities/prospects

    Having identified a “short list” of key prospects to pursue, it’s crucial that lawyers maintain persistent follow-up with their relationships. While businesses in other industries usually track opportunities using CRM, this approach has proven ineffective in law firms. According to a 2015 study, CRM utilization rates by lawyers are often as low as 5%.

    Why don’t lawyers use CRM? The most popular reasons were that lawyers aren’t held accountable, they aren’t technologically proficient, CRM requires too much data entry, and platform interfaces are too complicated.

    While firms need CRM to perform a wide range of marketing activities, simpler business development platforms like like Practice Pipeline are more suited to lawyer business development. The data entry required is minimal, the interface is simple and user-friendly, and its utilization rate among lawyers is 75%.

    Build prospect profiles and gain intelligence

    Business developers should then start building prospect profiles by adding company names and indicating the course of action needed to land each client. CRM systems allow firms to generate reports in real-time, detailing how users interact with the system, and identifying the dollar value of the current prospect.

    Find reasons to have a substantive dialogue with each prospect

    Reaching out to prospects at the right time - i.e. when they’re in the market to buy - improves your chances of making a sale. But this is easier said than done. According to CSO Insights, about 45% of business originators need help identifying potential buying signals. 

    So what should firms do?

    By collaborating with marketers, lawyers can identify a list of buyer activities that signal when is the best time to reach out. For example, if a law firm creates a white paper focused on addressing a client challenge, it’s advisable to set up a real-time alert that notifies the sales team when a potential client downloads the asset. Setting up business intelligence alerts through Manzama, Monitor Suite or other listening platforms can notify you of industry-specific news so that you can to remain in tune with potential industry trends and specific client needs.

    Add value with communication

    Business developers should view communication as a way to add value. Buyers are less interested in how many lawyers work for your firm. They want to know what’s in it for them. Why should they choose your firm over another? Supplying potential clients with reams and reams of standardized marketing material is just a waste of time. Client pitches need to be targeted.

    One way to add value is to highlight lawyers’ competencies. This entails explaining how their skills can benefit different clients and highlighting their credentials to prove what the firm can deliver. Law firms should also showcase how they’ve helped similar clients in the past.

    Follow-up

    When engaging with a contact for the first time, it’s important to follow-up at a later date. This is particularly important if the potential client doesn't respond after the initial contact. The reality is that people are busy and sometimes they forget to reply. Often a gentle reminder is all that’s needed to get the ball rolling again. When following up with someone, make sure you always emphasize how your firm can add value.

    Keep an eye on things

    While any business development strategy should ideally include some type of technology system - a CRM system, for example - the success of the strategy depends on utilization rates. It doesn’t matter how clever the strategy is or how good the system may be, if lawyers don’t use it, it's rather pointless.

    If you’re considering a CRM system for the first time or you already have a system in place, here are a few things recommendations you should consider doing to increase utilization rates.

    1. Inform everyone in the organization of the plan to install a CRM system and explain the benefits. This is extremely important. Most lawyers aren’t interested in features - they just want to know how the system will make their lives easier.
    2. Provide initial training so everyone understands how things work.
    3. Additional training should be offered regularly to gauge user proficiency. Firms can schedule this training based on current utilization rates - for example, if utilization rates are low among specific lawyers, targeted training can be provided to them.
    4. If your lawyers simply can’t or won’t make time for CRM, consider engaging a simpler platform like Practice Pipeline that has higher utilization rates and is more time-efficient and user-friendly than traditional CRM.
    5. Regular meetings between lawyers and the firm’s marketing or business development staff must be scheduled to assist with accountability. Ideally these occur on at least a monthly basis.

    Final Thoughts

    Increased competition, the threat of substitutes, new entrants to the legal landscape, and an increase in client power - all these factors make it essential for law firms to adopt a different approach to business development. This approach should incorporate the right tools, resources, and systems to help firms to actively seek out clients. Gone are the days when law firms would wait for clients to find them. The firms of today must communicate value at all times.

    While many firms recognize the challenges and acknowledge the need to adapt and adjust, many stumble when it comes to implementation. This is particularly true when putting new technology systems in place.

    Once new systems are up and running, law firms must keep an eye on things to ensure that everyone buys into these new processes and that everyone is using the system effectively. By embracing this approach, law firms will be able to outdo their competitors and weather the storm during periods of slow growth.

    About the Author

    Olivia C. Watson is the Marketing and Business Development Manager at Ackert Inc. She leads the marketing efforts at Ackert Inc. and contributes significantly to the company’s business development. She has experience in diverse industry settings including environmental non-profits, financial services, fashion and SaaS. She is a versatile, creative marketer and B2B business developer with a talent for developing original content and initiatives that drive business growth. Her written work has been featured in various publications including Strategies Magazine, JD Supra, PM Magazine, and the American Bar Association. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Environmental Science. She also studied Advanced Spanish at Middlebury College and Graphic Design through California Institute of the Arts. She can be reached at Olivia@ackertinc.com.

     

  • October 09, 2017 12:31 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Cairncross & Hempelmann, a 40-attorney law firm located in downtown Seattle, is seeking an experienced Director of Client Service to strengthen the firm’s business development culture and oversee strategy and execution of the firm’s marketing efforts.

    Read the full job description and apply here.

  • October 09, 2017 12:26 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Ballard Spahr has a terrific opportunity for a talented marketing professional to support their national, market-leading Consumer Financial Services (CFS) Group.  The CFS attorneys advise on regulatory matters, assist in the design and documentation of credit products, and represent clients in class actions, regulatory enforcement proceedings, and other lawsuits nationwide.

    See the full job description and apply.

  • September 22, 2017 5:32 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    According to the Lexis Nexis 2017 Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Survey, the responding firms are currently spending 15% of their 2-5% total marketing budget on technology. And, answering the question, “How will your firm’s investment in [all] categories change in 2017 compared to prior years,” more than 80% (!!!) of the respondents said they would make a greater investment in technology. Digital marketing was the next highest, which is arguably also technology-related.


    There are top-tier, top-priority tech tools that can help firms drive more business, such as a terrific website, proposal automation, experience management and CRM. This is the quadrifecta. And there are many other tools that fall into more supportive roles.  Focus first on the systems – because you are building them with best practices in mind – that improve your people’s abilities and capabilities, and your processes.

    There is one of the four tools that rises to the top, and it plays intimately well with all three others – the experience management database. Managing experience continues to be one of the most paralyzing undertakings in law firms of any size, yet it gets more mission-critical year after year. It is where the future cash lives in your firm.

    Getting started and continuing to grow the relevancy of your database are not easy, but they aren’t nearly as paralyzing as you think. Reframe your thinking about how to go about data gathering/management - don't start with the lawyers and their many and assorted lists of deals and cases; start with the clients - the buyers of legal services. What do they want and need to make buying decisions in your various practice and industry areas?  When your planning starts with the end in mind, it ensures that your focus, and consequently, your action is always relevant.

    About the Author

    Deborah McMurray is the founder, CEO and Strategy Architect of Content Pilot LLC. She may be reached at mcmurray@contentpilot.net.

  • September 22, 2017 5:03 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    By Jennifer Roberts & Mark Medice, Intapp

    In his August 20, 2011 Wall Street Journal article entitled, Software is Eating the World, Marc Andreesen famously pronounced that software and the corresponding data it processed was rapidly spreading across all industries disrupting businesses, creating quick winners of the innovators, and losers of the incumbents. He cited many industries and businesses as examples, including telecommunications (Skype), movies and entertainment (Netflix), recruiting (LinkedIn), retail (Amazon) and financial services among others. 

    With all the discussion about innovation and change within the legal industry, does Mr. Andreesen’s premise have application to law firms?  Perhaps the answer lies in how law firms use data to serve their clients today and what might be available?

    The use of data for client service is not a brand new idea, and today data is requisite towards a client service design strategy.  There are many labels for this client-centric thinking, for example “outside in” design.[1]  Outside in design implies redesigning services with the client at the center of the universe, anticipating their feelings and steps through their journey of identifying problems and finding their solutions.  In other words, design by walking in the client’s shoes. This design method better shines light on client needs that enable a stronger more intimate, trusted client relationship. Common examples include the use of net promoter scores,[2] understanding buying trends to develop product bundles and offer recommendations as well as factoring customer reviews to develop product quality scores..  

    As pervasive as leveraging data in client service has become across many industries, we are only at the beginning in legal. The space is wide open and with learnings from other industries, it is clear that there are many opportunities. The inquiry must take into account priority and impact. Where can we make the biggest impact for our clients? Questions that may arise in this analysis may include the following:

    ·       Are we trusted preferred provider with this client?

    ·       Are we getting the work that matches our strengths and strategy?

    ·       Do clients like our work?

    ·       How do we know if things are going off track during a matter?

    ·       Are we providing value to the client and how would we know?

    ·       Are the interests of the client and firm aligned?

    ·       Are their signals we should be on the lookout for problems?

    ·       What resources should we bring to bear to develop strong client relationships?

     

    A common approach towards assessing firm standing with clients is through client interviews, undertaken by a number of approaches, such as through third-party consultants, business development professionals, and executive management. Feedback comes in the form of unstructured qualitative data and is typically only done every few years for only a subset of key clients. This is a fantastic means to get in-depth client data that can add a lot of color to varying situations. However, this approach is labor intensive, requires significant follow-up, while invaluable, it doesn’t scale to critical cross-sections of the client portfolio (e.g., key growth clients). 

    Can Data Help and what is Already Available?

    There is a plethora of data already at the firm that can easily be repurposed to help inform the client’s sentiment about the firm. It can be processed to support many critical initiatives that if done well could provide client distinction through the understanding of client sentiment in the data and creating a collaborative intelligence experience management process for business development.

    Client Relationship Health Scores and Early Warnings

    Think about it, a client doesn’t fire a law firm (or lawyer for that matter) but more commonly, billings decline overtime until they drift away. As the work slowly dwindles, there is a chance that the client may no longer have that work, although it may be something more malignant. Too frequently, the client has lost faith, and may be bringing that work elsewhere. But waiting until work has dwindled is too late. Firms need to review performance measures that may provide a warning about diminishing relationships as to learn and act timely and effectively. Examples of commonly available data that might signal declining health:

    • The Number of Services/Practices Engaged. If a client has three or more practices engaged aka “the rule of 3”, there is a higher likelihood the client is happy and even better, is willing to bring in more work. The rule of 3 also brings a stickiness factor with it as it is harder to move work, the more work you have… there is an inherent loyalty.
    • Number of Partners Materially Involved. Understanding the partners, practices and offices working with a client can help identify complex connections on the matter and client level where the stickiness factor only increases and highlight those where connections with the firm are weak.
    • Declining Realization especially post invoice. A client who is willing to pay less per dollar billed doesn’t see the value of the work being done.

    These are just a few examples of spinning existing firm data on its head to benefit the understanding of client relationships and aid in business developments pursuit of client success. Extra flavor is added through voice of the client programs that allow for depth (whereas data analysis gives you breadth). This looks like client interviews, team 360s, after-action reviews and snap shot surveys. While some of these are time intensive, the snapshot survey is one that isn’t so exhaustive, as it can be automated while simultaneously providing structured information that gives depth by only asking one question: would you recommend us to a colleague? One caution however. The simplicity and brevity of the question should not imply a casual or indelicate context for its use. Also it should not be treated with lessor significance compared to other gathered data, since you are asking the client for one of the most significant gifts, that of a referral.

    Automated Client Feedback Methods

    According to the 2017 Intapp Experience Management survey, 52% of firms reap the benefits of feedback. Voice of the client programs pair nicely with strategic account programs so the outreach happens to a targeted group. For firms without key account programs, a firm can easily slice their portfolio by looking at all the clients in the past year and applying the 80/20 rule (group the 20% of clients that make up 80% of revenue) and the data is easily parsed into top contributors and not. It is equally as important to reach out to those on top as those that are not to gain an understanding of what a top client looks like and one that is not as satisfied as well. These type of measures help a firm understand the levers in place to leverage when solidifying strong relationships and building on weak ones.   

    A data-driven client success program is not just about the ability to solidify loyalty but also expand the work the firm does with said client as well as delight them with that work. To this end, the same data discussed above can be used to unearth buying patterns, anticipate client needs and aid in pricing and monitoring matters. Although, according to the survey this is only being utilized by a very small and innovative proportion of firms.

    Data Integration

    Now that the value of this data is beginning to shine through the next piece of the puzzle is how to interface with it. Currently, if this data is being used for a client success program, it is collected manually from the various data silos around the firm. Often business development professionals are running around with clip boards or sending (often ignored) emails to gather input. Once collected the data is typically kept in a spreadsheet or on a SharePoint site for easier access by many. Technology is quickly entering the market in this space to help make the gathering and use of this data more palpable. Specifically, systems that automate data capture by integrating disparate systems but also support capture through automated workflows at pertinent points in the matter life cycle are ideal for these efforts so that business development has both qualitative and quantitative data. Top that with search capabilities to answer obscure experience questions which not only provides the power to business development to understand the client through data-driven success factors as well as illuminate potential opportunities but also enable them to quickly respond to RFPs, pitches, directory submissions and proposals. This is just the beginning for technology in this space, the doors are then open to the application of machine learning from predictive analytics to aid in cross-selling to natural language processing to auto classify qualitative information.

    Intelligence Experience Management Systems

    Experience Management for law firms seems to be the place to start in terms of interfacing with this data. It makes sense given how data-intensive the process is for collecting this information across the firm and how difficult it can be to put it to use. As Katherine Miletich, Director of Marketing at Vedder Price commented:

    “[b]eing able to quickly assess the accumulated experience of a firm is critical in today’s business environment.  You can try to pre-package all your credentials, and clients will always find a way of looking for a set of parameters that you did not consider before.  Being able to drive into your source data – the actual hours worked on actual matters for specific clients – provides the detail that client want and gives confidence to a proposal team.”

    In the same experience management survey referenced above, one of the most dramatic changes in how law firms are perceiving the need for experience management relates to the use of data in their processes. So-called first generation experience systems are very focused on one-dimensional work streams towards pitching, whereas modern thinking adds much richer functionality tapping more diverse data into the mix to illuminate client needs, develop sophisticated scoring to do predictive cross-selling analysis, build and intersect with alternative pricing models, support and promote collaboration, and provide a platform for metrics that indicate the overall client relationship health. Specifically, these tools are beginning to get the legal industry to a client-centric, outside-in model being leveraged by many innovative companies driving towards success outside of legal.

    The benefits of such a system can be framed on a number of dimensions including improving efficiency, while simultaneously building a platform for strategic effectiveness driving client success. Ultimately this system leads to substantial, deep client relationships that drive business.

    Dirty Data

    At this point the conversation frequently turns to the issues of data quality as well as firm culture that would stand in the way. For firms who are paving the way in this area, there are key learnings to get started. To begin, don’t let the idea of dirty data tie you down. The exception is not the rule in these scenarios. Data can be cleaned (it is 80% of the battle) and with proper momentum as the project picks up, the incentives to input correct data increase which strengthen the cause. That aside, start small. Choose a practice or industry to begin. Ideally the selection will not just be based on need and data but also a group of lawyers who want to play ball and are data driven. This leads to another important key in gaining momentum…get buy-in. Lawyers who are willing to collaborate and work with business development efforts to this end will aid in quick application and help gain momentum as the value is seen and articulated across the firm.

    Putting the Data in Motion – Getting Started

    Delivering superb client service is vital in this market in order to differentiate your firm from the rest. No matter whether one buys into the “software eating legal” idea, the fact remains data is here, along with the computing power to put it to productive use. Understanding the barriers business development faces at the firm, starting small and gaining buy-in can be the keys to a successful beginning.

    Furthermore, there is a lot to be gained from data that already resides at the firm in order to give these types of efforts motion. In an increasingly client sophisticated world, clients are demanding this kind of proactive service from their providers. The ultimate question rests on how each firm puts it to work for their clients’ gain. 

    About the Authors

    Jennifer Roberts is responsible for the data science and research component that supports thought leadership and new initiatives at Intapp. With a passion to deliver actionable analytics she leverages her skills to advocate, evangelize and build data-fueled products and insight that informs strategic decisions and solves organizational needs. Jennifer can be reached at Jennifer.roberts@intapp.com.

    Mark Medice leads new initiatives and consulting services related driving law firm performance in their service with their clients.  His work is focused on analytics, benchmarking, financial performance, strategic intake, service design, using technology to develop client relationships. Mark can be reached at mark.medice@intapp.com.   


    [1] See Outside In, Manning Bodine, 2012

    [2] NPS ask a basic question about whether the client would refer us to another.

  • June 29, 2017 4:30 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Become a Master Coach with our Certification Program 

    Coaching is becoming a profession within the legal profession.  Learning to become a business development coach or to refine your coaching skills to help lawyers reach their full potential for developing business is a great career opportunity. Through Legal Sales and Service Organization's (LSSO) partnership with LawVision, we bring our attendees and members unparalleled opportunity for advancing their careers as business development coaches. Further, our coaching certification will provide you with the training, tools, and credentials to coach lawyers at all skill levels. 

    LSSO's Coaching Certification program is delivered through classroom instruction by sales and coaching experts, accompanied by in house coaches who will provide case studies and examples of the day-to-day challenges and opportunities they face and discuss the methods for meeting those challenges and leveraging opportunities. Onsite programming, a live coaching session and one class follow-on webinar will complete your certification.

    Register Here - Early Bird Discount Now Available

    Facilitators:

    Silvia L. Coulter, LSSO Co-Founder and Principal, LawVision Group

    Jim Cranston, Principal, LawVision Group

    Location: Goulston Storrs Conference Center, 400 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 

    Dates: October 10 & 11, 2017

    Registration: Early Rates Available - click here

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