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CRM planning – make it official

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As 2020 closes, and what a year it has been, it is important to embark on disciplined planning for key processes and technology of the firm. Objective setting and investment is key to continual innovation and growth for any business and doing this for your CRM processes and enterprise software should be no different.

This year has been particularly challenging, as longer-term planning has been replaced with short term decision making to adapt to the changing environment, available resources and business direction. And whilst it is important to build flexibility into your planning to quickly move when things change, it is also important to have a clear vision for what needs to be achieved by the end of 2021

Take stock

First and foremost, it is important to establish the current status of your technology and how/why it is adopted. Collate all version numbers. What tools and functionality currently available to you is being used and more importantly, what is not? Describe the current state of your data health and compliance, user adoption and management of business development processes. And finally, think about what goals you would set for CRM in 2021, and where you are (honestly) in relations to those goals.

Set high level objectives

From here, engage your team. And by team, I mean those in your BD and Marketing function and the legal community, as well as your LexisNexis InterAction team. Ask them what CRM goals are pivotal for them to achieve their goals for 2021. How does InterAction play into their objectives and how well do they relate to your goals? Review these objectives with your Client Advisor and/or Account Manager to ensure they are achievable, realistic and in line with what the software platform can deliver.

Some examples could be:

  • Review current configuration to ensure it is aligned to goals and objectives of the client relationship management team
  • Develop a data management strategy to ensure data is maintained to a level that it can be strategically used
  • Ensure all available functionality of InterAction is utilised where appropriate – Mobility, PowerBI model, Data Minder
  • Review new technologies and how they fit into the firm’s client management and technology strategies
  • Introduce automated data capture and management through IQ and system integration to bring more value to fee earners
  • Introduce automated relationship mapping through IQ to surface relationships, and expose risk in key clients of the firm

Once you have set your high-level objectives, they need to be broken down into a year-long programme of work. Working through step by step what tangible tasks need to be achieved at what times and by who, to keep momentum and accountability through to achieving your objectives.

Review against budgets

Once you understand what work needs to be completed, you can begin costing this work. This could mean technology costs (for example new servers or software), it could be consulting costs (both internal and external) as well as ongoing maintenance/support and licensing. Once this exercise is completed, you can adjust your programme of work accordingly based on budget constraints (if they exist), to ensure you prioritise the right tasks, and achieve the maximum results from your planning process.

Use the resources available to you

By and large this means your Client Advisors and your Account Managers. At the end of the day, they are your client success team, working with you and whatever resource constraints you have to achieve the best possible outcomes for your CRM. Accountability to each other is key to continually innovate and maintain momentum. Please use our resources and get in touch to work through this exercise so we can ensure 2021 progresses your firms CRM agenda and discipline.

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:


Tennille has worked in business development and marketing for professional service organisations for over 12 years in various roles. These include event management, digital communications and business development operations. For five years, she focused specifically on InterAction, working with business development executives to align the database to business planning, key account programmes and marketing strategies.

Tennille also specialises in repositioning misunderstood (or failed) systems with business development teams and partnerships. At Lexis Nexis, she works with business development teams to adopt marketing and client relationship management techniques managed centrally through InterAction, to support the growth of professional service firms from domestic, office centric environments to connected global organisations. By aligning systems to firm goals, she helps firm increase user adoption within the fee earner community, ensuring the system speaks specifically to each lawyers needs and objectives. Her aim is to help streamline your processes and successfully report client growth, value add and return on investment back to the business.

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