Law firms have become competitive than ever before, owing to the increasing demand of customers for an enhanced and personalized service and the changing market trends due to technological innovations. Amidst all this, business sustainability is quite an achievement for law firms, which is followed by business development as by leveraging growth opportunities only, can a law firm gain an edge over its competitors.
Today, business development is not just about having more billable hours; it is all about marketing and branding yourself in the market. So, let’s get started and throw some light on the same!
Challenges Faced by Lawyers with Possible Solutions:
1. Leaving Behind Traditional Marketing Methods
Most of the law firms face the challenge of getting over the traditional marketing mindsets. They are of the view that old marketing tactics can help them achieve success in the present competitive scenario, which is never going to happen. This, in turn, makes them commit common conventional mistakes of investing in brochures and folders, advertisements, along with picking up sponsorships, hampering their business development at large.
They should focus on targeting prospective customers and not every person they can cover with their traditional marketing methods. For this, they should adopt proficient digital marketing methods since digitalization has helped law firms acquire and retain clients like never before.
2. Lack of Time
Lawyers are always falling short of time since they have a number of clients to deal with at the same time, along with taking care of their billable hours and providing over-the-top solutions to them. Their maximum time is spent on activities that support the sustainability of their law firms. This leaves them with hardly any time for focusing on growth and development
All they do is visit seminars, attend conferences, have physical communications wherever possible since this is only what they can do with the time left. They need to devise proper strategies that not only help them acquire more clients but also deal with the current clients in a way that makes them come back again and again, along with working on maintaining the relationships with previous clients to establish your brand as a top name in their minds.
3. Achieving 100% Client Satisfaction
Today, it is all about clients and their demands. In this modernization and digitalization era, clients have become more informed and educated than before and they need personalized solutions from every business of the world, with law firms being no exception.
Law firm owners need to understand this and train their employees in a way that ensures 100% client satisfaction. Physical communication needs time and efforts and one might need to seek external support for the same since employees are already burdened with work chores.
A separate team should be in place to address the grievances of customers efficiently and this team should leave no stone unturned in providing solutions at the earliest, leading to enhanced brand acceptance and recognition.
4. Converting Prospects into Clients
Most of the law firms have realized the fact that they need to have a proper sales team in place that takes their brand to a whole new level owing to the competition from other law firms. This team should focus on getting leads in an authentic way that includes organic and paid leads through regular contributions in the form of blogs, press releases, articles, educational videos, and more.
However, the problem lies in converting these leads into clients since lawyers have little to no time to track, follow, and communicate with the leads to convert them into clients. They need to develop an annual plan that clearly lists the number of lead targets, along with allocating sufficient time and resources to the same by planning things in advance.
If they feel they won’t be able to give that amount of time or are unsure of their availability, they can set up a sales team that can help them get the job done easily.
5. Employing CREs and Requiring KPIs
Now, this challenge is more of a solution to address all the above-mentioned concerns but which comes with its own unique set of challenges. Law firms are looking forward to employing qualified in-house CREs (Client Relationship Executives) with titles like chief growth officer, client executive, account manager, chief client officer, client development executive, director of relations or client services, and relationship manager.
These positions are generally filled by lawyers who are not practicing at the moment or those who have counsel and industry contacts. Some law firms who have adopted this practice include Mintz, Morgan Lewis, Ropes & Gray, Cooley, DLA Piper, Goulston& Storrs, Baker Donelson, Orrick, Ballard Spahr, Womble Bond Dickinson, and more.
The common responsibilities of these CREs include: qualified leads generation, strategic account management, providing lawyers with appropriate sales coaching, forming new relationships, converting qualified leads into clients, assisting or handling the entire follow-up procedure, reporting results to law firm leaders, and more.
The quarterly CREs reports constitute Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are classified and defined by both the CRE contributed value and the lead type.
For instance, leads are often categorized as:
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): Qualified leads from an attendee/client/person through marketing efforts like events, publications, articles, seminars, alerts, etc.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): Individual lead generation by the sales team who have lead information in the form of targets.
Three MQLs and SQLs Tracking Levels:
- Level 1 Lead: Completely new leads generation by CREs’ efforts
- Level 2 Lead: Converting of existing in-house lawyer’s referrals into actual leads
- Level 3 Lead: Lead generation through the assistance of CREs in Level 2 leads and other efforts that lead to new opportunities
Indeed, it has been clearly established that law firms are facing fierce competition from its peers, and this is the biggest hindrance in their business development. However, with proper growth strategies and streamlined in-house operations, law firms can surely eliminate such hurdles and enhance business development at a steady pace.
Now, the problem persists when lawyers do not have sufficient funds to invest in a marketing/sales team or CREs and even if they have funds, they fall short of time to supervise the same. However, there is a definite solution to this.
By outsourcing their non-core legal back-office tasks to a renowned outsourcing firm, they can free themselves and instead focus on investing their time on such business development activities. In case, you are looking for a reputed Legal Process Outsourcing Company, you may get in touch with Legal Support World. It is an old outsourcing firm providing proficient Legal Support Services to law firms worldwide, since 2008. You may assess its potential by starting its free trial!