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Benesch – A Business Development Intelligence Success Story



Benesch is a business law firm with offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Chicago, Hackensack, Indianapolis, Shanghai and Wilmington. The firm serves national and international clients that include public and private, middle market and emerging companies as well as private equity funds, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organizations, trusts and estates.

The firm will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2018 and continues to expand geographically and grow steadily. Since the beginning of 2015, the firm has welcomed over 75 new attorneys, increased the number of attorneys firm wide to 191 and opened a new office in Chicago. The strategic addition of these attorneys and offices is another step in executing the firm’s growth plan and goal to continuously enhance the service provided to clients.

Benesch’s core practice areas include Corporate & Securities, Health Care, Innovations, Information Technology & Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Litigation and Real Estate & Environmental. Some of the industries the firm concentrates on include Private Equity, Packaging, Specialty Chemicals, Coatings & Adhesives, Specialty Distribution, Banking, Health Care, Polymers, Transportation & Logistics, Energy & Natural Resources, Construction and Not-for-Profit.


Benesch’s approach to business development and greatest business development challenge
Our firm has grown rapidly over the past two years, which has presented many exciting business development and marketing opportunities. At the same time, it can sometimes be a challenge to identify and manage business development needs and expectations across a growing, evolving team of attorneys. Our biggest challenge when it comes to business development is managing goals, needs and expectations of attorneys across the firm and supporting them, each on an individual level, while still keeping our firm wide goals and initiatives at the forefront.

What were the key concerns/needs that drove the decision to use CLIENTSFirst Client Intelligence services?
We went from having a dozen requests for competitive intelligence in 2008 to averaging 70-80 requests a month by 2012. As our volume of requests grew, we did not want to sacrifice our ability to provide high quality research. We recognized that outsourcing much of our research would help us meet our attorneys’ needs in the most efficient and cost-effective way.


Benesch’s business development challenges and opportunities
The ability to gather competitive intelligence for our attorneys has become a vital part of the marketing and business development function at Benesch. Our attorneys recognize that having a complete picture of their clients’ and prospects’ businesses and industries is an essential part of the attorney-client relationship. The attorneys know to come to our Marketing & Business Development Department and request an intelligence report when they are preparing for a client meeting, having lunch with a classmate from law school, arranging a call with a referral source, attending an industry networking event or even when recruiting a lateral attorney. They want to feel prepared and be able to speak comfortably and knowledgeably to their clients and contacts. Competitive intelligence is a tool that helps them to do just that.

What types of intelligence reports does Benesch find valuable and why?
We find basic, yet thorough, reports on companies to be our most requested type of report. A general snapshot report that includes company size, financials, locations, corporate family, executives, news and other relevant information is always helpful to our attorneys and saves them valuable time since they do not have to dig up any of this information themselves.


How CLIENTSFirst intelligence reports contributed to Benesch’s business development success
Very frequently, our attorneys provide us with feedback as to how much they appreciate access to competitive intelligence reports. Being able to rely on CLIENTSFirst for assistance and knowing that we can always count on accurate, high quality reports contributes directly to our Marketing & Business Development Department’s ability to help our attorneys with their business development efforts. Reports prepared for us by CLIENTSFirst are often utilized by attorneys who are preparing for pitches or responding to proposals. As part of the pitch preparation process, intelligence reports are a crucial component of turning opportunities into successes.

What Benesch says about CLIENTSFirst Consulting 

CLIENTSFirst has become a true partner to our marketing/business development. Not only do they provide excellent work product, but they give additional counsel and direction when we have a challenging request for information – not our ordinary intelligence reports. Responsiveness and dedication to our team is outstanding. But it goes beyond the marketing department. Our Managing Partner, key practice group leaders and firm management have all come to know and respect CLIENTSFirst and truly appreciate their services to Benesch.   

-Jeanne Hammerstrom, Chief Marketing Officer, Benesch


Our partnership with CLIENTSFirst is essential to us giving the best service possible to our attorneys. CLIENTSFirst assists us with fulfilling competitive intelligence requests as well as with managing our CRM data quality. Our point people at CLIENTSFirst are extremely responsive, accessible and dependable. They never miss a beat and working with them is truly a pleasure.

-Liz Boehm, Director of Business Development, Benesch


For more than a decade, CLIENTSFirst Consulting has been providing technology, consulting and intelligence solutions to help professional services firms enhance their marketing and business development efforts. We offer a complete portfolio of services including CRM and eMarketing Consulting, Data Quality Solutions and Client Intelligence to help our Clients grow and succeed.

Our team of almost 100 consultants and professionals share one common goal: to provide our Clients with unparalleled services and service. For us, putting Clients first is not a philosophy… It’s who we are!


Download a PDF of the case study here.


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