Is a Law Firm CRM the Secret to Growth?

Is a Law Firm CRM the Secret to Growth?

The more time I spend around attorneys, the more convinced I am that most don’t remember watching Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings growing up. This has always seemed ironic to me, because most attorneys I know who’ve hung up their own shingle are the epitome of Wile E. Coyote. If you’re a lawyer reading this, you may be able to relate. We all know someone who feverishly chases the idea of owning a thriving practice without ever stopping to consider how to attain their coveted goal, or what it even looks like.

To Wile E. Coyote, Esq., business development simply means getting more clients in the door and inundating yourself with work. But just like gravity was so often the Coyote’s greatest enemy, lack of planning for growth is the lawyer’s.

As great a lawyer you are, if your law firm business development strategy isn’t worth a tinker’s dam then first and foremost, you’re going to be unhappy. But also, you’re never going to catch the Road Runner. You’ll be stuck in a dreadful, repetitive cycle. Most solo attorneys and those in small law firms report having too little time in the day to accomplish their clients’ workload, manage their sales pipeline, and juggle administrative tasks. This problem has been exacerbated in recent years but really came to the forefront in 2020. Many small law firms and solo attorneys are finding it hard to adjust and scale their law practices.

Fortunately, something else has come to the forefront during the last year or so, and that’s this: client relationship management (CRM) tools can free up your time and help you grow your law practice. There are many different CRMs, the key is using them right. 

The Times They Are a Changin’ & So Are Law Firm CRMs

As the legal industry prepares to tackle the challenge of returning to a sort of pseudo-normalcy amidst ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, law firms across the country are learning to adapt or suffer the consequences. According to the Thomson Reuters 2021 Report on the State of the Legal Market, law firms of all sizes and catering to nearly every sector are reevaluating what everyday business operations ought to look like in a post-pandemic world.

That many of my peers have been able to successfully adjust over the last year and a half is a tribute both to the innovation and perseverance of law firms and their leaders. However, whereas the average pre-pandemic law firm generally neglected to take advantage of solutions to the challenges of nurturing a thriving legal practice offered by legal tech, this may not necessarily be the case much longer in the post-pandemic climate of the legal industry as we exit hibernation.  

The marketplace for legal services has already shifted in terms of how clients define and measure value and what they’re willing to do to make sure they receive it. For the innovative law firm and late adopters alike, the business of running—let alone growing—a legal practice now more than ever requires changing dated business development methods and processes to align with modern client expectations.

This is where law firm CRMs come into play. 

What is a CRM for Lawyers?

Any process or strategy used by a firm to efficiently organize and manage client data and daily operations is referred to as customer relationship management. At its core, CRM is a business philosophy that supports internal business processes geared toward communicating with clients to develop and manage their relationship with your brand. Colloquially, the term is used to describe the software tool that businesses (including law firms) use to achieve this end.

If your firm is not using a CRM, then you’re behind the 8 ball. The good news is there is a whole host of CRM software specifically tailored to the legal industry. This is true even if your firm is already using a CRM but maybe not to its full potential. 

Key Features of a CRM for Lawyers

The key features center around automation

  • Automated client intake and outreach procedures to help manage your firm’s sales pipeline; 
  • Automations that help improve your firm’s operational workflow; 
  • Automated document templates; 
  • Automated calendar and appointment scheduling; and
  • More.

The bottom line is that automating your practice via proper CRM use will allow you to see improved business practices and customer relationships, which will ultimately drive revenue. 

Key Benefits of a CRM for Lawyers

To help drive revenue, your firm’s preferred CRM should help you:

  1. Generate processes that enable you to establish strong relationships with your clients to inspire loyalty; 
  2. Cut down on tedious administrative tasks so you can focus on delivering value-added services; and 
  3. Find time to pursue other things like growing your brand (or, God forbid, do something leisurely for once).

You Didn’t Come This Far Only to Come This Far: CRM for Attorneys Can Take You Further

Too many attorneys continue to demonstrate short-sighted resistance to embracing the role of technology in the efficient delivery of legal services to their clients. Now more than ever there is a real opportunity to grow your legal practice. When used properly, CRM’s can be an effective tool in building and sustaining relationships with your clients. Understanding what you want and choosing the right tool for your firm is critical for your law firm’s success. 

So, be the Wile E. Coyote that actually succeeds at getting the Road Runner: choose the right tools to capture your audience and scale your law firm. 

To help you strategize, feel free to contact ONE400 to set up a consultation. The professionals at ONE400 offer marketing and operations support that include CRM and marketing automation, among many other legal marketing tools for lawyers.

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About the author

Landon Glover is the Director of Operations at ONE400. He is a licensed California attorney and a seasoned marketing professional with nearly a decade of experience working in the legal industry.

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