Whilst new business is a top priority for law firms, they do not track efforts well.
The survey reports 85 per cent of firms are not tracking ROI on pitches or RFP responses, yet the majority of the firms said winning new business is their top growth priority, with cross-selling to existing clients and pursuing potential new clients also providing growth opportunities. It is one of the many issues which will be discussed at this year's Law Firm Marketing Summit as competition increases and marketing as many law firms struggle to compete.
People, process & data
According to the 2018lLaw firm growth enablement survey, conducted by business applications firm Intapp in partnership with Calibrate Legal, 76 per cent of new business generated comes via additional business from existing clients, while 10 per cent comes from referrals from those existing clients. Other sources of new business, such as referrals from business partners like accounting or venture capital firms, new business from new clients, leads generated from within the firm, and inquiries generated by outbound marketing, all scored less than 10 per cent in terms of new business effectiveness. The most critical areas where law firms must focus to drive new business are people, process and data. For people, this includes the need for greater collaboration, and training of lawyers in business methods. In process terms, 49 per cent of firms don’t have a formal sales methodology, and 33 per cent have difficulty identifying prospects and/or the right opportunities to pursue. Regarding data, 32 per cent of firms cite leveraging internal and external data to answer client and lawyer needs as a concern, and more than 25 per cent do not use client feedback data in their client retention and business development efforts. For a majority, pursuing new business is hampered by mostly being reactive, and marketing department accountabilities, programs and budgets are poorly aligned to strategy.
‘Struggling to modernise’
Overall, firms are beginning to track and use data in support of marketing and business development, with more than 90 percent using data for pitches and cross-selling, website bios, panel participation, and directory submission. ‘Our data shows that the business development landscape is extremely competitive and that many law firms are struggling to modernise,’ observed Jennifer Scalzi, founder and ceo of Calibrate Legal. ‘firms must evolve rapidly to integrate people, process and data to differentiate themselves, showcase specific and relevant expertise, better advocate for clients, and to ultimately grow profitable revenue.’ According to Ms Scalzi, addressing people, process and data issues revolves around a deeper understanding of the client lifecycle, as well as integration of today’s data-driven marketing and business development efforts with legacy operational models and ways of doing business.Today’s leading firms are tasking the CMO with growth strategy and ensuring marketing and business development professionals have a seat at the management table, giving them the power to make strategic impact. The survey can be accessed here.