Thoughts on CRM Systems

Firms typically store their contact data in one of two systems. A Client Relationship Management System (CRM) or commonly their Practice Management System (PMS). Prospective customers, as well as clients, are increasingly tracked.  As well as dealing with the mechanics of a client and matter. However, any data-based face common user adoption issues. Your time and ability to use it for marketing is massively impacted by quality. Doubtless witnessed by your time and data cleansing spreadsheets already.

Mining your valuable information

Client data is your business for professional services firms. However, as you may have experienced yourself it’s often seen as purely an administrative overhead to collect and maintain it. Of course, most data is required for running a legal matter. But to ensure clients return, it is also an essential pillar of any client management strategy.

Outside of legal, CRM systems are used extensively to manage business clients. To track quote pipelines, relationships, sales targets and revenue. Much less so in professional services firms historically for a number of reasons. Not least availability and integration opportunities. However, a corporate approach to managing clients and prospects is now much more mainstream.

A commercial approach

Market competition is increasing.  Clients are more ‘mobile’. Therefore firms need to work harder to retain them. No longer can law firms sit back and wait for the work. Can you afford to view a client in terms of one transaction? Moving onto the next client when the file is closed?

Managing your corporate clients

It is, therefore, becoming crucial to holistically manage a business client. Long term relationships demand it. A business client can no longer represent a series of unrelated legal transactions. Perhaps dealt with by lawyers in different departments who never talk!

Corporate clients are looking for a trusted partner

Clients are looking for trusted partners who understand their business. Savvy firms are taking a more corporate ‘account management’ approach. To support this process good CRM and relationship information is essential. But you are in marketing so you know this already!

How can we help?

Before you can really leverage your data for website, social media and newsletters the data has to exist.

Tools such as Introhive help firms collect and maintain contact data. Mapping relationships helps you really how your client interacts with your firm. Introhive identifies “who knows who” across your firm and client base. Clever tools to help you workaround some of the cultural challenges to achieve more reliable data.