Notes on CRM Systems
Often this is the core Client Relationship Management System (CRM) or sometimes the Practice Management System (PMS). It is used to track prospective customers as well as deal with the mechanics of a client and matter. There are common user adoption issues facing any data-based systems. The quality of your data will impact massively on your time and ability to use it.
Mining the data for professional services firms
For professional services firms, client data is your business. It is hugely valuable, but sadly often seen as a purely administrative task and overhead to collect and maintain. Required for running a legal matter, good client and prospect data is actually is the lifeblood of a firm’s ability to help keep clients returning.
In commercial sectors, CRM systems are used extensively to track quote pipelines, relationships, sales targets and revenue. Much less so in professional services firms historically. However, a corporate approach to managing clients and prospects is becoming much more mainstream.
A commercial approach
As competition increases and clients are more ‘mobile’ firms need to work harder to retain clients. No longer can law firms sit back and wait for the work. Or even to view a client in terms of one transaction, moving onto the next when the file is closed.
Managing corporate clients
It is becoming crucial to holistically manage a business client. Repeat business and long term relationships demand it. A commercial client can no longer represent a series of unrelated legal transactions dealt with by a myriad of lawyers who never meet!
Corporate clients are looking for a trusted partner
Clients are looking for trusted partners who understand their business. We will be seeing, and already are with savvy firms, a more corporate account management approach. Good CRM and relationship information is essential to this process.