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Three signs you need a CRM system

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Have you ever been wrong-footed by a customer knowing things about your firm you don’t?

Have you ever been embarrassed because you don’t have a clear picture of your sales pipeline?

Have you ever been frustrated that you can’t target marketing communications more accurately?

Strong relationships are key to growing existing clients and creating new ones – which is why every successful firm is engaged in relationship management.

But as a firm grows and the web of relationships becomes more complex, it takes more and more time and effort to keep track of them. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system like Lexis InterAction can help you simplify that complexity, but how do you know when it’s the right time to start looking for one? Here are three key signs.

1. You can't see the bigger picture

As the number of partners and associates increases, communications with customers grow exponentially. Keeping track of them becomes impossible. In turn, that leads to misunderstandings, partners feeling foolish in front of clients because they are unaware of previous communications, missed opportunities and poor client service. In the worst case, it leads to lost clients.

A CRM system provides systematic processes for capturing communications and developing a 360-degree view of the client that everyone has access to. So a client can never wrong foot you again.

2. Growing the business is becoming difficult

In today’s competitive legal environment, you need a planned approach to growing your business. Business development associates, fee earners and partners must work closely together to execute a defined strategy for moving prospects from targets to fee paying customers.

However, doing that manually can take a huge amount of time and effort. A CRM system not only helps to systemise business development processes and provide accurate reporting, it can also provide information that would be virtually impossible to get otherwise. For example, it can help you discover previous and current relationships or areas of expertise that you weren’t aware of, identify the most successful pitch strategies and put together the most effective client teams. See our previous blog ‘Becoming a sales-savvy law firm’ too.

3. Marketing communications are less effective

To be effective, marketing communication must be targeted. We all know that. And it’s easy when you are only pursuing a few new clients. But as the number of targets grows it’s all too easy to start adopting a scattergun approach because the time and effort of doing anything else is prohibitive.

A CRM system helps you maintain a highly targeted approach by allowing you to quickly and easily slice and dice information to create highly focused lists, while also allowing you to develop and execute marketing campaigns fast. And there’s another benefit too – a CRM system will help you comply with data protection regulations, which can be extremely difficult to accomplish manually.

If any of these three signs apply to your firm, perhaps it’s time you started looking at how a CRM system can help you?

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:

Fiona Jackson has spent over 15 years implementing and working with InterAction in professional services firms, including legal and accountancy. In these in-house roles, supported by InterAction, she managed marketing communications, devised and implemented business development strategies as well as trained and mentored fee earners. She worked closely with internal clients to understand their business processes end-to end and guided them in utilising the 'intelligence' gathered via InterAction to help them be successful at customer relationship management.

Fiona was previously a Client Advisor for five years at LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions; and was often described as "an extension to our business" by her clients. She has now returned to the company to drive an InterAction ‘repositioning’ project for a large London law firm. Fiona is also working with other firms to help them align CRM to wider business development strategies. She specialises in strategic and tactical CRM best practice, and as an expert in devising user adoption strategies, her experience in rolling out and repositioning InterAction as a business tool is proving invaluable to clients.

Fiona is mother to two teenagers, who keep her firmly on her toes. Living in Hertfordshire, she loves walking, is often found obsessing over the latest box set and enjoys all that country pubs have to offer. She also has a spectacular Gin collection of her own. Recently, Fiona has discovered a love for cooking – the varying degrees of success hasn’t stopped her from continuing to giving it a go!

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