Exactly one week ago at the Legal Marketing Association Conference in Las Vegas I sat in on a brilliant session that included some fantastic minds in the Legal industry. The panel, consisting of Morgan Horvitz, Pamela Tobias, Kris Satkunas, Duane Eddy and Anthony Pearl discussed the current trends in how corporate legal departments measure and assess law firm performance.
Duane and Pamela put a few questions out to the entire panel for them to answer and converse over the point that each came up with.
Here are some of my key takeaways:
- Morgan who very recently completed a firm-wide roll-out of a new CRM stated that what is crucial is to make the CRM do a lot of the work for you. You must work out the best way to use the tools you have efficiently. That way it will smooth out the process of managing and growing the client base. She particularly uses her new CRM to measure client touch points and run reports that make sense to all her stakeholders. It allows for better pipeline management and tracking of proposals.
- Kris' advised that it was important to remember "your firm should not be trying to find any client but rather focus on finding the right client". Kris expanded on this by saying that the use of a scorecard within your CRM which has columns specific to the client and may be specific to the work required can be extremely useful. This is used more and more with the emphasis on DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion). Kris even went as far as to say that not a day goes by where counsel doesn't inquire about the DEI initiatives of a firm. Your CRM can help.
- Anthony had a slightly different view as he is General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & Chief Compliance Officer at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (the hotel next door to where the LMA was). When he is looking for legal advice he bases his decision of who to choose on the subject matter expertise, specific to his interests and challenges - real estate, tax, gaming, employment etc. The words 'Trusted Advisor' came up a few times, not just by Anthony but it's very relevant to finding a team with that subject matter expertise. In addition to that main point, Anthony said that his team also analyze the cohesion of the team pitching and the preparation they have done to try to win the business. They also seek references from peers to get feedback on the team. If you are a law firm this is all the information you need to be storing in your CRM. You must 'Know your Client'. If only one person in your firm has this information then you are going to fail at looking after that client and you are going to miss other opportunities to serve them.
What struck me is that if a firm properly uses its CRM then it can retain the information and intelligence needed to be a true Trusted Advisor across the needs of the client.