Arguably, the most important thing a CRM system can help a law firm with is business development – attracting and retaining top Clients. This is the reason a lot of firms invest in CRM systems in the first place. Actually, this is the reason a lot of firms do a lot of the things they do.
The problem is that, after the fact, those same firms often complain that their CRM systems are not providing a return on their investments. The reason has less to do with the CRM technology and more to do with the fact that the system either isn't being used properly – or at all – or that the firm hasn’t found a way to adequately measure ROI.
Here are a few measurable things that CRM systems can do to enhance the firm’s business development efforts:
- Communications can be targeted to key Clients and prospects to provide opportunities to generate business related to changes or developments in laws or regulations.
- Invitations to events can be distributed to key prospects to provide opportunities to get face-to-face to discuss key issues and strategies for addressing them.
- Client team meetings can be planned and scheduled to identify cross selling opportunities.
- Information from Client surveys can be communicated to improve Client service and retention.
- Reminders can be set to enhance follow-up after events.
- Pipelines can be created to track business development progress with Clients and prospects.
- Financial information can be shared to help determine who the firm’s top Clients are so that the firm can serve them better and try to grow them – and to help identify who the firm’s at risk Clients may be so that the firm can serve them better and try to retain them.
One other thing to remember when it comes to ROI on CRM investments: CRM is about people, process and technology – and when it fails to deliver ROI, it’s more often an issue caused by the people, not the technology. All the technology in the world isn't going to get business in the door if the attorneys aren’t willing to walk out that door and go get face-to-face with Clients.