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November 22, 2023

Contacts to Clients: Getting Buy-in for Your Law Firm CRM Project

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Get buy-in for your law firm CRM project for better ROI

A recent industry report found that while most law firms have a CRM solution, few firms report receiving a return on their investment (ROI). ROI can be difficult to prove when the system doesn’t align with the firm’s strategic goals and objectives. CRM is a firmwide initiative, but it often starts with marketing. For law firm marketing teams, the right CRM solution can act as an extension of the team, improving operational efficiencies and ROI. For lawyers, the right CRM will provide insight to strengthen relationships and find new business.

Once you’ve identified the need for a CRM solution and completed your research to narrow the field of solutions, you’ll need to obtain buy-in from the firm’s stakeholders. Most lawyers are familiar with the concept of CRM but often don’t understand its full value. The right provider will work with you to articulate your pain points and how CRM can help solve them.

When speaking to your firm’s lawyers, they must understand how CRM will benefit them. While a goal like “improving operational efficiencies in marketing” will help the firm, it is unlikely to encourage buy-in from the lawyers. It is important to position CRM relative to the needs of its users. Here are six steps to encourage buy-in when considering a new CRM solution.

Start with your lawyers’ problems to solve your own

When considering new technology, it can be easy to focus on the features. Instead, you should define the challenges and identify solutions from the lawyers’ perspective. Consider how CRM can help lawyers save time, strengthen relationships, and improve profitability.

Early in her legal marketing career, Sara Pauley Coffey, Director of Marketing at SurePoint, managed marketing lists and events with Excel spreadsheets, lots of emails, and even a homegrown system. It was an entirely manual process, and as a department of one, it left room for errors. After a particularly frustrating event, she knew something needed to change. “The first time I approached it all wrong by focusing on my frustrations and not how the lawyers were affected. I failed to make the case that time, but once I talked to attorneys and explained how CRM could help them, it was a big win for me.”

The cost of doing nothing

Your firm’s lawyers are busy and may be reluctant to take time away from billable work or other duties to focus on information about a solution they don’t fully understand. Once your lawyers understand and recognize the potential risks of not having a systematic approach to managing their business relationships, getting buy-in will be much easier.

Once you have outlined the issues CRM can resolve and considered the cost of doing nothing, you can find your firm’s CRM champions. With champions on your side and knowing the costs associated with communication missteps, achieving buy-in for CRM will be even easier.

Identify the problems your lawyers care about

Consider previous marketing efforts, your last big mailing, or event. Did anything go wrong? Was an important client left off a mailing about a firm event, or were their communications preferences ignored? Did it take hours to review a contact list to determine who should receive an invitation or be added to a new mailing list? When inefficient processes impact your lawyers’ relationships with clients, you will hear about it. Think about how you can prevent these things from happening in the future.

Some of the reasons we hear from law firms looking for a new CRM solution are:

  • Lack of coordinated outreach – multiple professionals are reaching out to the same contacts, creating the impression that the firm is not strategic in its business development efforts.
  • It takes too long to create a mailing list if we can create one at all
  • Contact information is out of date, resulting in bouncebacks and undeliverable emails.
  • Contacts are not receiving relevant and timely thought leadership from the firm’s lawyers.
  • Due to inefficient processes, the firm is limited in the number of alerts and mailings it can send.

Identify your champions, the people who care about your issues

Think about the lawyers and other firm professionals who care about the issues you are experiencing without an effective CRM. These are your champions. They care about the problems you are experiencing and know they affect more than your firm’s marketing. When building your list of champions, consider the following:

  • Respected firm leaders
  • Marketing Partner
  • Managing Partner
  • Lawyers who understand the value of business development (your rainmakers)
  • The thought leaders who are producing content and speaking at industry events
  • Tech-savvy professionals who will be your early adopters

Build the case for CRM adoption at your law firm

Once you have found your champions, it’s time to talk to them. Use the problems you’ve identified as a starting point, focusing on what matters to them most. For lawyers, this might be their reputation or losing business to a competitor.

Discuss the problems you have identified as relevant to them. Get them to think about the potential cost to the firm. You can reframe the conversation once your champions understand that these issues might cause clients and prospects to question the firm’s competence. Encourage them to think about the negative impact of doing nothing. If clients think the firm doesn’t have its act together with marketing communications, they might question if that extends to other areas.

With your champions supporting your mission, you will be well on your way to improving operational efficiencies, increasing marketing ROI, and elevating your firm’s professionals through CRM.

Connect with one of our experts to learn more about the issues a CRM solution can solve and how to make the case for CRM at your firm.

SurePoint CRM Series: Build Your 2024 CRM Strategy

Build your 2024 CRM with SurePoint’s law firm marketing experts. Join us on Tuesday, December 5 at 2 pm ET as three former law firm marketing professionals share how they transformed their CRM strategies to improve marketing ROI and win new business. Register now

Why Law Firms Choose SurePoint for CRM

Law firms of all sizes use SurePoint’s CRM solution, ContactEase, to share important business development information and understand the activities that lead to new business. With an industry-leading adoption rate and seamless Outlook integration, lawyers love ContactEase because it’s easy to use. Law firm marketing teams love it because it’s easy to show results. Connect with a SurePoint CRM expert and learn how to start transforming your CRM strategy so you can maximize your marketing ROI.

About SurePoint Technologies

SurePoint® Technologies is the leading provider of award-winning enterprise software that improves workflow and maximizes financial performance and profitability for law firms nationwide. Its distinctive cloud platform integrates client management, practice management, and financial management for powerful relationship-building and knowledge-sharing capability. With a community of over 100,000 members, SurePoint is transforming the legal industry by enabling law firms to unlock higher performance and free lawyers of administrative burdens to spend more time focusing on their clients and their practices. Learn more at