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May 6, 2022

How to Unlock Performance in Your CRM: Part 1


Strategies for Mid-size Marketers

Written by Sara Coffey for SurePoint Technologies

Does the perfect law firm CRM exist? Jennifer Whittier, VP of CRM, at SurePoint Technologies, is working hard to make sure that it does. Taking a quick break from developing the next generation of CRM for law firms, Whittier shared her thoughts on why CRM is more important than ever during a recent webinar “Why CRM? Why Now? Strategies for Unlocking Performance in Your CRM.” A frequent speaker on CRM for law firms, Whittier shared her insight and expertise with attendees and focused on when law firms should implement CRM, strategies firms can take to unlock performance in their current system, and the best way to show that elusive ROI.

One of the biggest challenges a law firm marketer can face is prioritizing business development. We know that the marketing team is extremely busy and often stretched thin. In order to do more, firms need to utilize the systems they have in place more efficiently; but, in order to do that, the system must align with your firm’s goals and priorities. This is especially important for CRM. So, how do we do that?

Marketing works incredibly hard to get the most value from the data they have, but when the data is bad (i.e. incomplete, outdated, or nonexistent), it can create additional challenges that prevent lawyers from buying into the system and keep marketers from achieving their goals. Often, lawyers can’t see what marketing is doing (and we know you are doing a lot) because the data simply isn’t available. When Whittier asked attendees about their own frustrations, it was clear that many were the result of data silos.

Data Silos and Performance

What is a data silo? Simply put, it is data living in multiple, disconnected places with access limited to certain individuals at the firm. Examples include emails in Outlook that never make it into your firm’s CRM and billing data or other historical data in your firm’s financial system. Data silos leave you with an incomplete client profile and can even affect your ability to get work done (think about the time spent trying to locate this data).

When data is siloed, marketing can’t deliver on what they’re being asked to provide to lawyers (and, again, we know you’re being asked to deliver a lot), and firm management is left wondering what marketing is up to, but this doesn’t just affect marketing. It affects everyone. Finance is being asked to prepare budgets and provide information to management to drive strategic initiatives, profitability, and growth. More often than not, they don’t know what’s happening on the marketing side to drive new business or make the case for a new practice area which makes it very difficult for marketing to show ROI.

Align Your Firm’s CRM Strategy with Your Goals
A gap analysis is one way to ensure that a law firm’s CRM strategy aligns with its goals. It’s a simple exercise that allows firms to articulate where they are and where they want to be. Whittier suggests firms start by taking inventory of the challenges they face and how a CRM would solve them.

For many marketers, the inability to quickly pull together a mailing list is a source of frustration. It’s one that attendees on the webinar shared as well. This became especially apparent at the start of the pandemic. As one attendee said in the chat, “There was so much information to share, but no way for us to share it easily.” Think about where you are now (it takes too long to pull together a mailing list) and where you want to be (proactive list management instead of on deadline).

As you work through the process, ask:

  • What do we need to get done?
  • What other challenges do have?

The gap analysis is part of an overall needs assessment that Whittier and ContactEase account executives use frequently. It’s an effective and efficient process to ensure that the firm’s CRM solution aligns with its strategies. It also provides marketers with talking points to share with key stakeholders and facilitates conversations about how to improve existing CRM strategy or if it’s time for a new solution.

If a system doesn’t align with your firm’s goals it will be a waste of everyone’s efforts. With marketing budgets constantly under review, it is becoming increasingly important to show ROI. Whittier says that with the right data, showing ROI is easy. Stay tuned for our next installment in the “Why CRM?” series to learn how.

Read Part 2: How to Unlock Performance in Your CRM: The Data You Need

Next Steps: Are You Ready to Unlock Performance in Your CRM?

Watch “Why CRM? Why Now? Strategies for Unlocking Performance in Your CRM” on-demand now!

Contact us for a free gap analysis and learn how ContactEase CRM and SurePoint LMS can align with your firm’s goals and help you deliver ROI.

About SurePoint Technologies

SurePoint Technologies is a leading provider of financial and practice management software to law firms nationwide. For more than 40 years, law firms have relied on SurePoint’s tailored enterprise software to drastically improve workflow and maximize financial performance. With a community of nearly 70,000 members, SurePoint continues to transform the legal industry by enabling law firms to unlock higher performance by freeing lawyers of administrative burdens so they can spend far more time focusing on their clients and their practice.