Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CRM Success by the Numbers - Part 2: Let Me Count the Ways – and Dollars

So what kind of CRM numbers or metrics might make sense? Ideally, you want to find ones that are particularly relevant to the attorneys and the firm. Often these will be the numbers that are frequently preceded by a dollar sign – ones that relate directly to top line revenue or enhanced growth opportunities, like:
  • Increased opportunities for business development
  • Increases in revenue from key Clients
  • Increases in newly discovered relationships
  • Increases in cross selling opportunities between practices and attorneys
  • Increases in referral business
Then there are metrics related to dollars saved, which also can contribute dollars to the bottom line. Some of these include:
  • Reduction in the amount of attorney and staff time spent on list management  
  • Reduction in the amount of time spent on repetitive or redundant tasks
  • Reduction in the number of disruptive internal e-mail communications
  • Reduction in the amount of time required to input contacts into the firm systems
  • Improved tracking and management of marketing and business development expenses
In addition to all of these numbers, there are additional numbers you can select based on the stage of your CRM lifecycle… 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winning the Business Development Battle Part 14: The Enemy

While it’s easy to portray business development as a battle – with the Clients as targets to be won over and your competition as the enemy standing in the way, this is a simplistic outlook. In reality, sometimes the enemy is us. We let our own issues or shortcomings limit our business development potential.

For instance, we may make excuses for not committing the necessary time to developing business. We tell ourselves we are just too busy. Well guess what: while you are busy being busy, there are plenty of other attorneys out there who will commit the time and do the work instead of making excuses – and they are likely talking to your Clients.

Additionally, some of us may feel uncomfortable in social situations. We would really rather not have to go to that networking event, conference or cocktail party. Frankly, I know very few people who relish this. But sometimes you have to just suck it up and remember that everything you want is just outside your comfort zone. Make the effort to meet new people and you will almost always be rewarded. 

Then there are some of us lawyers who can be overly critical (shocking, I know)… critical of others or even of ourselves or our own abilities. Rather than being open to new things, we reject them out of hand to avoid mistakes or embarrassment. But to be successful at business development, you can't be afraid to try new things and make a few mistakes. In the long run, they will make you a better business developer - and a better person.

Others of us may be perfectionists. While this can be a beneficial trait for practicing law, this tendency can actually get you in trouble in business development. I have seen so many business development plans that are beautifully prepared, bound in fancy notebooks… and gathering dust on the shelf. The goal of business development is not to wait to make a move until you are fully prepared for every contingency – which is impossible anyway. You would be much better served to focus on the execution. Do something. At a minimum, do more than you are doing now. If you don't fight you can't win. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

CRM Success by the Numbers - Part 1: As Easy as 1, 2, 3

When people who are tasked with responsibilities for CRM systems are asked to define success, many words come to mind - words like challenging, demanding, difficult, stressful, time-consuming… painful, impossible, unattainable… changing jobs, retiring, quitting, outa here... It can be enough to have you contemplating the view from you office ledge.

Come down off that ledge. With just a little help, you may find yourself jumping for joy instead. Realistically, CRM success shouldn't evoke feelings of pain or frustration. Instead the thought of CRM success can actually bring you a sense of inner calm and peace – even a feeling of achievement or accomplishment. How is this possible, you ask?

One of the biggest frustrations about CRM success is that often it isn't clearly defined. How can you achieve something that isn't being measured? The best way to define success – and stay off that ledge - often involves utilizing numbers - like goals or metrics. They say what gets measured gets done. Measurements also let you know when you are making progress and doing the right things. But what numbers should you use…?