As states across the country consider lifting restrictions and allowing business and other activities to resume, many businesses are anticipating what operations will look like in the weeks, months and even years to come. What does #TheNewNormal mean for your own team and your clients? Here is what we are hearing from our clients, along with a few predictions of our own.
It’s Not Business as Usual
Firms of all sizes are instituting cost-cutting measures in the form of salary reductions, layoffs and furloughs. Some partners are also being asked to defer distributions and forego bonuses and even contribute capital. Almost every firm has imposed a hiring freeze. Many summer associate programs have been canceled or suspended and others will be conducted remotely.
Staffing has changed significantly, and it likely will continue to change. We can expect to see roles and responsibilities continue to shift and evolve as working from home continues for many, at least on a partial or rotating basis. Going forward, many firms are rethinking when, how (or even if) they will return to their offices.
Firms are also re-evaluating business development priorities in light of the dramatic changes in many of their clients’ circumstances. Targeted, relationship- and data-driven business development efforts will take center stage. But since in-person entertainment, meetings and pitches continue to be deferred for the foreseeable future, firms will need to learn to adapt their business development strategies.
The Importance of Technology
Only firms that embrace technology will be able to successfully adapt to the new targeted business development model that is needed. To coordinate outreach, enhance communication, identify and leverage relationships and improve business development, firms will need the right tools such as:
- CRM – Client Relationship Management systems will allow the firm to maintain information on clients, prospects, referral sources and other key contacts. This is essential for the firm to be able to communicate and develop business with these contacts. Additionally, CRM systems will allow the firm and attorneys log interactions with those contacts so they can coordinate outreach and business development activities.
- ERM – Enterprise Relationship Management systems allow the firm create contact records from the signature blocks of emails with minimal attorney effort. Additionally, these systems can identify who knows who relationships and assess the strength of the relationships with contacts or companies based on the recency and frequency of communication.
- eMarketing – Email Marketing platforms help to create, automate and distribute the firm’s electronic communications and invitations and allow related activities to be created in the CRM. System analytics provide relevant information on who is engaging with messages. Online subscription forms allow contacts to complete registrations for webinars and other events and select the firm alerts and announcements they want to receive.
- Experience and Proposals – These systems help to collect, document and search relevant firm and attorney experience that can then be used to create pitches and proposals and successfully respond to RFPs.
- Pipelines – These tools, which frequently are included as a part of the CRM system or may be purchased separately, allow the firm and attorneys to track business development opportunities and activities and predict and measure successes and results. But acquiring and deploying the right technology is only the first step…
– For more than a decade, the team at CLIENTSFirst Consulting has been helping professional services firms and other organizations successfully select and implement CRM and eMarketing systems to maximize value, adoption and return on investment. If you need help achieving CRM, Data Quality or eMarketing success, please contact us at 404-249-9914 or Info@CLIENTSFirstConsulting.com.