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Audit of 50 Law Firms Finds New CRM Best Practices

Audit of 50 Law Firms Finds New CRM Best Practices

Some law firms experience greater success with CRM implementations than others.  A recent audit of 50 law firms, many among the Am Law 100 or 200, provides insight as to how.

The audit found a combination of strategy and tactical techniques makes a remarkable difference, according to Matt Thompson.  Writing for LawMarketing.com10 Best Practices to Implement CRM Effectively in Your Law Firm – he says the most successful firms align CRM implementations with strategic priorities:

“For example, a firm may have a strategy to grow revenue for a particular practice area by 15% along with a business development plan centered on client teams to foster the cross-selling. The firm would then define CRM objectives that align with this goal – for example creating a client profile report to be used at all client team kickoff meetings.”

Tactical techniques include focusing on data quality, which has long been the Achilles heel of CRM implementations in law firms.  Based on the audit, Mr. Thompson says while firms often invest heavily in processes to “clean up duplicate or erroneous information,” the difference among successful firms is focus:

“The best-performing firms segmented their CRM database to make sure these data quality investments were primarily focused on the most important contacts. They did not treat all contacts the same. A firm’s top clients warrant more data quality oversight than longshot prospect contacts that are unlikely to ever buy services from the firm.”

Another perennial challenge in law firm CRM is facilitating attorney adoption – how to get attorneys to use it. The audit found successful CRM implementations in law firms “tie expense reimbursement to entering activities” and conducted “process oriented training” to overcome adversity to spending non-billable time in CRM 101 classes:

“The firms with the best lawyer adoption embedded the CRM training into education oriented to broader business topics. For example: offering a lunch-and-learn on how to conduct client interviews that includes education on using the CRM to prep for an interview meeting with a client.”

What strategies or techniques would you add to the list to help law firms derive more value from CRM programs?

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
InterAction Adds Passive Data Management to Law Firm CRM

Photo credit:  Flickr, Mark A Coleman, Owl (CC BY-SA 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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