Experience More than Pitches and Awards – Part One
Who knows whom at this company? What work have we done in this industry? What are the total number of deals with done in this region? Who has experience going before that court? Can we list out our top matters for year? You’ve heard, or even made, these requests before when preparing a proposal or pulling together a directory submission. Why else does the firm put any time and effort in CRMS or Experience Management Systems?
Here’s a not-so-secret secret your colleagues managing these systems and process want you to know - the information collected and stored in these tools goes beyond basic marketing needs. Not only can you mine these tools for more advanced marketing purposes, there are tons of data gems for other departments to utilize in advancing the firm’s strategy.
You mean I can pull more than just a phone number from my CRM?
CRMs are so much more advanced in the type of information collected beyond basic contact information, simple client activity and mailing lists. Let’s be trendy – integrate your website platform with your CRM. You can start simply by using web forms that sync with your CRM to capture contact information on potential attendees to firm events or purveyors of your client alerts and blogs. Now that you have identified this prospect, kick it up a notch for more precise lead generation. Within your CRM, you can capture the user’s journey throughout the website and add these specifics as an activity for this new contact. To your lawyers, that sounds very sales-pitchy, but in essence, it can assist in focusing on the true legal needs of potential contacts. You can now generate a more dynamic and intelligent prospective report from your CRM to share with your lawyers. More so, with your new contact synced, you can continually capture the user’s website habits in your CRM each time they visit your site.
If that is a little too high-tech for your firm (or cost prohibitive), try simpler solutions through internal information collection. Most CRMs allow for easy field creation. By adding additional fields at the contact or company level, you can capture and report on a variety of data points. For instance, firms of every size focus on certain practice and regional specialties. It is not uncommon for a lawyer to refer a firm client to another entity for a legal need that the firm cannot easily fulfill – that’s just good client relationship management. By developing specific fields to capture this information, you can house a more detailed history of interactions with the client. Further, you can see how often and for what other firms or entities you are generating business. Vice versa, you can also capture whether these other firms are referring work back to you. Analyzing this information allows firm management to regulate how to expand or minimize the referral pool. Better yet, practice management can use this data to determine the focus of practice growth.
For ideas on how to use your experience form more than pitches check out part two of this article.