Many law firms don’t use any type of customer relationship management or CRM system. There are a couple reasons why this is the case. For one, traditional CRM software is not built for law firms, it’s built for business to business sales teams. Second, law firms typically do not consider themselves to be in “sales.” However, there is still a legal sales process, and law firms can benefit tremendously from utilizing a CRM. Here are 3 key benefits of a CRM for lawyers.
3 Benefits of a CRM for Lawyers
CRMs are widely used by sales teams across every industry to track prospects and potential customers. In fact, CRM software is so powerful that Salesforce has achieved nearly a $50B market cap.
Yet, despite the ubiquity of CRM software, a surprisingly large number of law firms still do not utilize a CRM. For lead tracking, law firms are still relying on case management software to do something it’s not built to do, or worse yet, using Excel.
Here are the 3 major benefits of using a CRM for lawyers:
1) Better relationship management
The purpose of a CRM is customer relationship management. Growing a law firm is all about building strong client relationships, so it’s surprising that more law firms are not actively adopting CRM software.
The problem with all the major CRMs out there is that they’re not exactly designed to meet the needs of a law firm, which has a distinct sales process from other businesses. This is also why we’re working to build the best law firm CRM at Lexicata, which is tailored specifically to a law firm’s needs.
Every CRM includes features to help you manage and nurture relationships with all your prospects and clients. Here are the primary features that we built into Lexicata to help law firms manage their new client pipeline:
- Contact database
- Store all your leads, clients, referrers, colleagues, and any other contacts you’d like to keep track of
- Lead status tracking
- Assign customizable statuses to each contact for easy categorization and to help you focus on your top prospects
- Lead source tracking
- Designate a source for all your leads to learn where your clients are coming from and how effective your marketing channels are
- Matter tracking
- If a prospect or client has a new potential legal matter, you can start tracking the matter separately from the contact
- Add notes about your matters and contacts to keep everyone in the firm up to date as you gather more information during the client retention process
- Schedule tasks for yourself or others in your firm to keep track of important deadlines or to help prevent things from falling through the cracks
- Email sync
- We connect to your email account and pull in all your email conversations with each prospect, so you can view all the correspondence in one place
- Email templates
- Create unlimited customizable email templates to make drafting follow up emails and other communications instantaneous
2) Analytics on key business metrics
The second reason why using a CRM is a good idea for lawyers is the built in analytics and reporting capabilities.
Law firms are notoriously bad at utilizing data and analyzing business metrics that other industries consider to be crucial. Things like client acquisition costs, the lifetime value of a client, client conversion rates, average matter values, ROI on marketing spend, etc. are completely overlooked by many firms.
Part of the reason for this is that law firms have lacked the incentive to innovate, so metrics like these have never mattered. The other reason is that good software is hard to come by in the legal space.
But all of this is starting to change, so law firms will need to start innovating or they may face their own extinction.
A CRM for lawyers, if properly used, has all the necessary tools to start analyzing these important metrics. We built some basic analytics directly into the Lexicata dashboard, and we plan on expanding more upon this area in the near future. Here are a few of the analytics we offer:
- Client conversion rate: i.e. how many of your leads end up becoming clients?
- Pipeline value: i.e. how much revenue could you generate from all the matters in your system?
- Top aggregate lead sources: i.e. where are people discovering your law firm?
- Top lead sources over time: i.e. how are the trends of discovery changing over time?
- Top matter types: i.e. which types of matters are you being hired for most?
The best thing about it is that you don’t have to do anything to visualize and analyze this data, other than use the software. Lexicata will automatically generate charts and reports from which you can gain critical insight about your business.
3) Structured workflow for efficient operations and higher conversions
As clients demand lower prices and higher value from their legal services, law firms are under pressure to adapt. Using a CRM can help law firms bring in more business and improve their operations, both of which will keep them ahead of the competition in today’s highly competitive legal market.
The legal sales cycle is often long and drawn out. Using a CRM helps you nurture your relationships with new clients by adding notes and setting follow up reminders. This ensures that you’re doing everything possible to convert those leads into clients and not letting people slip through the cracks just because they don’t hire you right away.
Because it is designed exclusively for law firms, the Lexicata CRM goes one step further and also includes tools to streamline client intake. This makes every aspect of the legal sales process seamless and easy, which leads to better organization, more conversions, and happier clients.
Here are the features we offer to streamline your workflow during client intake:
- Matter checklists
- Stay organized with a custom checklist of tasks that need to be completed and information you need to collect during intake for each type of matter
- Intake form builder
- Build custom intake forms to collect the information you need, which your clients can fill out online or from their mobile phones or tablets
- Engagement letter drafting
- Save time by storing templates and drafting your engagement letter directly within Lexicata
- No more printing and scanning, your clients can sign the engagement letter online from their computer or smartphone
- Clio integration
- Goodbye data entry – when you’re hired, export all the information seamlessly to Clio so you can start working on the case and billing for it
While the traditional B2B sales CRM like Salesforce may not meet a law firm’s needs, law firms can benefit tremendously from using a CRM, and particularly a CRM that’s designed for lawyers like the one we offer at Lexicata.
The 3 major benefits of a CRM for lawyers are:
- Nurturing relationships with prospects and clients
- Analytics and reports on important business metrics
- Structured workflows and a streamlined client intake process
If you haven’t adopted a CRM at your law firm yet, we’d encourage you to give us a try. Our product is built by lawyers, for lawyers, and it has a wealth of powerful features to help law firms grow their business.