As firms grow, both in numbers of attorneys and dispersed offices, the ability to identify and leverage connections becomes increasingly important – and more difficult. In addition, now more than ever, firms are being compelled to respond to a deluge of RFPs and are more often proactively pitching for new business.
Because finding these core relationships can enhance the success of these business development efforts, the relationship intelligence or ‘who knows who’ functionality of CRM is often considered essential. Additionally, as the complexity of the RFPs has intensified, crafting a winning response often requires firms to tap into the depth of and breadth of their cumulative experience and expertise. CRM systems can provide a convenient repository and access point for this type of information.
However, as with many great ideas, the challenge in utilizing CRM - or any technology - to accomplish a strategy like this involves understanding and overcoming the inherent people and process issues. This type of detailed information typically isn't well organized in a single convenient location in a law firm. It resides on the computers and in the brains of a lot of lawyers and staff who are sometimes in a variety of remote offices or locations. To execute this strategy requires motivating and mobilizing the people and convincing or compelling them to share the information. A project like this can take significant time and effort, but ultimately the results can be well worth the investment.