When it comes to communicating the value of a client relationship management (CRM) solution and sharing best practices for its implementation and usage, customers are a great resource for actionable insights.
More specifically, the individuals who use a CRM system regularly are the ones who tend to give the best assessments of value. While there is not a single approach that works best for all firms, customers tend to cite the implementation of certain best practices that consistently help them achieve CRM success and maximize its value to the firm. That’s why it’s always a good idea to pay close attention to the CRM experiences of similar firms when evaluating these systems.
LEARN FROM A FIRM’S CRM JOURNEY
There’s a lot of competition for new legal business, and having multiple versions of important contact data spread across various sources makes it difficult for a high-growth law firm to track, manage, and report consistent information across the firm.
To help build and maintain client relationships and trust, an Am Law 200 firm decided recently to implement a CRM solution to more reliably manage contact and relationship information. Having the right people, processes, and configuration in place was critical to their successful implementation.
TRAINING AND SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: KEYS TO SUCCESS
The firm’s management understood that providing proper training would be critical to their marketing and business development success when using the CRM. To ensure firmwide adoption and optimize impact, every employee underwent comprehensive training. The emphasis on training enables employees to take advantage of all of the CRM solution’s capabilities so the firm can thrive and grow in a competitive legal environment.
The delivery of clean and consistent CRM data across the entire firm is enhanced through integrations with email marketing, time, billing, external website, news feeds, and other internal and third-party information sources. The CRM provides a wealth of accurate information without a manual administrative burden, freeing employees from having to collate and input data that resides in the firm’s other business systems.
The data integrations helped to ensure the success of the new CRM, leading to a higher level of confidence in the accuracy and value of the information. This enabled employees, from attorneys through the administrative staff, to embrace CRM usage and make the most of its functionality.
For example, in the past, if attorneys wanted to see the billing contact for a matter, they would email the accounting department and wait for a response. But because that information is now completely integrated into their CRM, an authorized user can easily and quickly locate the information without assistance. The invitation process for e-marketing or event planning has also been streamlined. Now it’s easy for attorneys to add contacts to an event list themselves rather than emailing the information to an administrative assistant and requesting that the list be updated.
STANDARD PROCESSES AND DASHBOARDS
Building standard CRM processes for the firm and measuring results were also important for the success of CRM at this Am Law 200 firm. For example, partners must complete an annual business plan that includes having client contact information entered in the CRM. This allows the firm to create tracking reports, which provide the marketing team visibility into who is being targeted, allowing the team to better coordinate the firm’s efforts.
In addition, the firm developed a scorecard that rates each attorney’s contacts on goals, such as whether or not the contacts are included in mailing lists. At the end of the year, these scorecards are included in yearly evaluations to encourage accountability across the firm.
LEARN FROM YOUR PEERS
That’s one firm’s CRM success story. Additional customer perspectives for powering a firm’s marketing and business development success with CRM are available at interaction.com/success-stories. This site provides multiple customer perspectives and stories and is an excellent resource for learning the value of CRM and its best practices.
After all, when it comes to communicating about CRM solutions, customers always provide the best insights.