Digital White Papers

MBD 17

publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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28 WWW.ILTANET.ORG | ILTA WHITE PAPER MARKETING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Get Smart: The Future of CRM, and the CRM of the Future be involved in the CRM project early and oen. Their ideas and feedback should be solicited, and the system should be configured to meet their needs. Communication: Because of the change management required to successfully implement a CRM system in a law firm, ongoing communication is essential to create a positive atmosphere for adoption. Communication should focus on the system benefits that will accrue to the firm, to users and to clients. Training: For aorneys to value the system, they need to know how to use it. But the real goal of training should be to get aorneys to want to use the system. Training should focus on things they care about, but different people care about different things, so training also must be customized to the needs of individual users. To get optimal results, provide aorneys with brief training sessions in their offices utilizing their own contacts and work scenarios to demonstrate the value of the system. Dealing with Data Quality: Research indicates that up to 30 percent of a firm's CRM data can degrade each year. Companies move and change addresses, open and close locations, go through mergers and acquisitions, and go out of business. Similarly, people move and change addresses, change jobs and roles, get married and divorced, retire, and die. All of this leads to bad data. In addition, many aorneys know the same people, which can create many duplicate records. This poor data quality not only hinders aempts to communicate effectively with clients and prospects, it can also erode user trust in the CRM. If aorneys think the data are bad, they will likewise conclude that the system is bad and will be hesitant to use it. Aention to data quality is essential. Dedication of Resources: When puing together the budget for CRM, firms must consider the soware, professional services expenses and essential resources including time, money and people. These investments must be long term, taking into consideration that CRM is not a project or initiative, but rather a fundamental change — and improvement — in how the firm manages its most important assets: its relationships. CRM of the Future While it may be an interesting exercise to try to predict what the future of law firm CRM will hold, what is ultimately more important is to ensure the future success of your law firm — and you don't need a crystal ball to see that for firms that want to be more effective and successful in marketing and business development, a well- implemented CRM system can certainly help. ILTA CHRIS FRITSCH As a CRM Success Consultant, Chris Fritsch has helped more than 100 law firms choose and implement the right technology solutions to support their business development efforts and maximize their return on investment. She also writes and speaks nationally on legal technology, legal marketing and business development topics. Chris received her law degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, GA and can be contacted at cf@clientsfirstconsulting.com.

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