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The “Gamification” of Law Firm Business Development

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One of the most substantial challenges to law firm business development and CRM we hear is getting busy attorneys to use the system. There was a solid CRM session at ILTA that focused precisely on this topic.

This isn’t a new question, but the framework around the question today is evolving: the economics of law are driving change; the business model is being challenged and finally, the tools for connecting and communication – the starting point for relationships are increasingly moving to the web.

The progression is leading the industry – and the tools that support an industry – down an interesting path of “gamification.” Consider the following:

1. Relationships Return on Revenue.  The term “relationship” is used fairly broadly in business development, but as our own James Paterson explains in a video from LMA ’13 nearby, relationships have an impact throughout the customer lifecycle:  a) awareness and generating new demand b) during the sales process and c) to grow that relationship. There’s plenty of statistical evidence drawing a direct correlation between the depth and breadth of a firm’s involvement with a client and a reduction in risk of attrition.


2. Leveraging Relationships as an Organization.  
One of the main benefits of contact sharing is a firm’s ability to develop a cohesive strategy for growing business, which is a marked improvement from simply turning rainmakers loose to pursue one-off prospects. Mike Baldwin, who is on the InterAction product team, helped to point this out in a post titled More Social CRM Companies to Watch:

It draws attention to who in the firm has the strongest links to a particular person or organization.

3. Social Media’s Influence on Law Firm Business Development.  In an article titled, Social CRM and the Legal Industry, again, James Paterson begins to connect the dots among relationships, managing those relationships as an organization, and finally to enhancing those relationships with social media.

By drawing on CRM systems that have been enriched with social media data, almost every member of the firm can take an active role in driving demand for services and uncovering upsell opportunities. This isn’t to say that the unique talents of rainmakers are obsolete—they certainly aren’t—but social media has undoubtedly made rainmaking a team effort. More staffers can contribute to the process of landing new clients and feel more invested in the firm.

4. The gamification of business development in law. Even with social media we’re still at one of the biggest challenges: how to get attorneys to use the systems in place?  Gamification is a novel idea, and while the label itself may not endear itself to the nature of law, the concept is spot on: using the concept of games to drive user engagement and solve problems. Lawyers are highly competitive – and if we as an industry can tap into that competitive nature to drive change – and to the benefit of the entire law firm – then we’ll be in a better place.  In part, this is the thinking behind the alliance between LexisNexis InterAction and PeopleLinx, which is designed to help get the entire firm engaged on the social network: LinkedIn (and there’s a really solid LinkedIn community for InterAction customers).

The PeopleLinx alliance takes that to the next level by helping firms empower their attorneys and business development professionals on LinkedIn.

If you’d be interested in learning more about this alliance, we’re hosting a free webinar next week titled Building Business through LinkedIn: PeopleLinx – a new solution partner of LexisNexis InterAction.

Photo credit:  Flickr via Creative Commons; CC 2.0

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.

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