Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CRM Success by the Numbers - Part 7: Too Many Numbers – or Balls – in the Air

The CRM success goals you set should be measurable, achievable and agreed upon by the firm’s key CRM stakeholders. They should also be relevant. In a law firm, that means saving time, solving problems or, best of all, increasing revenue. Most importantly they should be limited in number. If you try to keep too many CRM success balls in the air, you will often end up dropping them all.

Here are some relevant goals that I’ve seen firms set – and achieve:
  • Clean up just one list for an upcoming mailing or event – and then another – and another
  • Categorize a group of contacts such as competitors or vendors so that we don't inadvertently invite them to our next event
  • Get one BD-focused Practice Group to enter their reimbursable business development activities with prospects
  • Print reports of marketing activities with top Clients to provide at the monthly client team meeting
  • Input industry information or codes for the firm’s top 100 (or 200 or 500) Clients so that lists can be generated for industry-focused publications or events
  • Build an expert witness database for the litigation group
  • Create some specialized fields for firm personnel records to track languages, education or expertise for pitches
  • Here’s a particularly (or not) relevant goal for quite a few firms: this year, let’s fix the holiday card list.

 Fixing that one may just pay for the CRM system. Better get started in August though…

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CRM Success by the Numbers – Part 6: Stretch Goals

To really achieve results and ROI with CRM, you have to put metrics in place to enhance and track success. It's a fact that what gets measured gets done. As an added benefit, achieving goals can give everyone involved a feeling of accomplishment so they appreciate that the project is progressing and the time and money hasn’t been wasted.

But the worst thing you can do is to set unrealistic goals or metrics - what some people call “stretch goals.” In my experience, people who like to combine those two words are often the same ones who make unrealistic demands to get a challenging project accomplished in an impractical amount of time with insufficient resources.

Here are some of the “stretch goals” that are often set during CRM rollouts:
  • We want 100% data quality
  • We have to clean up ALL of lists right away
  • Let's put EVERYONE through an hour of classroom training
  • We should enter EVERY business development activity
  • We are planning to roll out the system to the WHOLE FIRM ALL AT ONCE so we can get immediate results
And, my personal favorite: 
  • We have to get ALL of the attorneys to use it – without making ANY additional work for them – and without irritating ANYONE.

Good luck with that one. 

Instead of achieving enhanced results, in most cases, setting these types of “stretch goals” actually ends up being counterproductive. I mean, who is willing to bend over backwards to try to accomplish goals that they don't believe are even achievable…