Categories are frequently used to break your CRM database into more manageable groups or classifications or to target or segment your contacts. There are many reasons – and variety of ways – to categorize your CRM contacts:
They Love Me
One of the most frequently used categories is ‘clients’. These are often ripe targets for cross selling and other business development efforts. The idea is that, since they already are writing you checks, presumably they like you – and might want to do even more work with you. They are also the ones you want to make sure you keep in contact with and communicate with regularly.
Human nature dictates that we all tend to do things that are in our best interest. This is especially true in the context of technology adoption in a law firm. For attorneys, time is money, literally, so they are not going to waste any of their precious and limited time doing things that they don’t consider important. This means that to drive CRM adoption in the law firm, first you have to make them care.
CRM With a Purpose
Why should lawyers care about CRM adoption? Well, first it’s important to communicate why the firm cares.
Whether you are rolling out a new CRM system or trying to enhance the adoption or participation with your current system, effective CRM communications is key. At most firms, you’ve really got to talk it up. In some firms, you may have to shout it from the rooftop.
CRM communications must be both effective and ongoing because CRM is not simply a rollout, initiative or a project. Rather, it’s a fundamental change – and improvement – in how the firm manages the most important assets it has: its relationships. Firms that think of CRM this way are always more successful.
Drip… drip… drip… That little drop of water trickling down the sink drain often seems pretty insignificant. But over time, those small drips add up. In fact, one drip per second is actually 86,400 drips in a day. In a year, a few little drips here and there can add up to between 500 and 2,000 gallons of wasted water. Now that seems a little more significant – especially if you’re the one paying the water bill.
Little Efforts Can Produce Big Results
It’s the same with business development. Little things can mean a lot. You don’t have to try to do lots of big things.
Outsourcing is defined as the contracting out of an internal business process to a third party organization and, as such, it has been a common and accepted business practice for a very long time.
By that definition, could it also be suggested that law firms themselves are in the outsourcing business? If you think about it, many companies have plenty of in-house attorneys and/or legal departments that can adequately serve most of their corporate legal needs. But in many cases, it makes more sense for them to hire outside firms or attorneys because they have deep knowledge or specialized experience in niche areas or because they can do some types of work more efficiently.
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 the ledge in your office.
Come down off that ledge. It’ll be ok. Realistically, CRM success doesn’t have to evoke feelings of pain or frustration. Instead the thought of CRM success can actually bring you a sense of inner calm and peace – even feeling of achievement or accomplishment. How is this possible,
Everyone has heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. OK, now I know some of you are wondering what the heck that has to do with CRM success.
Sometimes it is the little things you do each day that really contribute to CRM success: taking a half hour to train new users at their desks, working with an assistant on formatting a letter, attending a practice group meeting to better understand how CRM could help the attorneys achieve their business development goals, communicating small wins to the entire firm. These little things really do add up.
The goals of outsourcing include improving efficiency, reducing costs and gaining a competitive advantage. As a result, it shouldn’t be too surprising that law firms have been experimenting with outsourcing for decades, according to some sources, as early as the 1960s. The most common legal services that law firms have attempted to outsource have been agency work, document review, legal research and writing, drafting of pleadings and briefs and patent services. Firms have been even more open to outsourcing their non-legal work such as IT support, finance and accounting and helpdesk operations.
A recent article in the ABA Journal proclaimed, “Boom years for law firms were an aberration.” The article quotes information from a 2013 Client Advisory report from Hildebrandt Consulting and Citi Private Bank which predicts that the double-digit rate increases that occurred from 2001 to 2007 are over.
As proof, the article summarized information in the report confirming that “productivity is down among income and equity partners, expenses are up, clients are demanding and getting discounts.” As a result, future law firm success will likely be measured by “profit growth in the single digits.”
To succeed going forward,