Whittier to Speak on Future of CRM at LMA Northeast 2016 Conference

Jennifer Whittier, Chief Operating Officer for Cole Valley Software, will be among the panelists at next week’s LMA Northeast 2016 Conference in Boston.  Her session: “The Future of CRM – and the CRM of the Future” will provide attendees insight into features of CRM that can provide firms with real value, including:

  • Signature scraping
  • Relationship scoring
  • Opportunity pipelines
  • Activity and referral tracking
  • Business card scanning
  • Company data enhancements

Panelists will also discuss best practices to address common issues such as:

  • Adoption issues
  • Attorney buy-in
  • Effective communication
  • Data integrity
  • ROI

Jennifer has extensive customer relations experience and is responsible for the successful implementation of numerous ContactEase CRM installations.  A former ContactEase client for over five years, she joined Cole Valley Software in 2009. She is a frequent speaker on best practices of CRM implementation, including the integration of technology and marketing. Using her in-house experience as a former Director of Marketing and Client Relations, she understands the need for successful team work and collaboration. Jennifer enjoys visiting law firms across the country to share her knowledge of CRM best practices. Her clients rely on her for sound advice, extensive knowledge and most of all, her ability to bridge the gap between marketing and information technology.

For more information on “The Future of CRM – and the CRM of the Future,” or to register for the conference, please visit https://lmaneconference.com/.

Getting Buy-In For CRM, A Step-by-Step Guide

handshake of businessmen.You’ve done your research: you know that CRM can maximize efficiency, help your department dramatically shrink the time it takes to organize mailing lists, and get targeted communications out the door and into the right hands. But first you have to convince management it is worth the investment.
Download our step-by-step guide to help you define the cost of not having a CRM…

http://www.colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

Webinar: Getting Partner Buy-In for CRM!

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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET

Register to attend – https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/711881380025152769

Need CRM, but worried about getting buy-in?

Learn how to build consensus and understand the needs within your firm. Hear how others have obtained buy-in from management and most importantly, hear from management directly.

Firms realize the need to be more efficient, replacing existing systems like spreadsheets and obsolete products, but what does it take to move forward? Our panelists will teach you how, why and when to ask for CRM in your firm.

Our panelists will discuss:

  • How they won approval for CRM in their firms
  • What problems prompted the why CRM discussion within their firms
  • What was the process for identifying the internal champions
  • When did each of them make a business case for CRM and ultimately get it approved

Meet Our Panelists:

  • Paul Morton, Chief Operating Officer at Burns & Levinson, a Boston-based firm with more than 125 attorneys and offices in Providence and New York.  He is responsible for facilities, finance, human capital, marketing and business development, operations, strategic planning, and technology within the firm.  He has managed law firms for more than 30 years.
  • Paul J. (PJ) Sawchuk joined in 2006 Franklin & Prokopik, a mid-Atlantic law firm with about 65 attorneys focused on insurance defense.  In his role as Director of IT, he develops and implements strategic initiatives to align technology with business process. These responsibilities also include direct oversight of end user support operations, facilities and systems management, and leading interdepartmental projects.
  • Jaclyn Braga has worked in marketing for service industries for over 12 years. As the Marketing Manager at Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC, she led all marketing initiatives for the firm of 40 attorneys, including website management, social media development, advertising, and CRM roll-out and integration. Jaclyn recently moved to the accounting industry and now holds the position of Director of Marketing at Tonneson + Co.

For more information about ContactEase CRM Made Easy for Professional Services Firms, please contact us: 1-800-447-1712 ext.2 or sales@colevalley.com.

CRM Data Management Best Practices Whitepaper

Data ManagementMaximizing Business Development and ROI

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 excellent, how would you rate the data in your client relationship management (CRM) system? It will never be perfect, but if it’s not close to 10, you’re not realizing the full potential of CRM. Misspelled names, incorrect addresses, incomplete information and duplicate records can limit the effectiveness of even the most powerful software. In short, the quality of your data is a key determinant of the success of your system.

Building and maintaining a clean and complete database can be a real challenge for a number of reasons, including:

  • Inconsistencies may exist between different databases utilized for different purposes (e.g. billing and mailing)
  • Professionals can be reluctant to share information about key contacts
  • Having no clear goals, no data management plan, and little or no training
  • Responsibility for maintaining the data is unclear
  • Data management is not a priority and falls to the bottom of to-do lists

Having clean, accurate, complete and up-to-date data is essential to CRM success.To find out what firms are doing to meet the data management challenge, ContactEase CRM convened a panel of professionals with extensive CRM experience and created a whitepaper to help you achieve success.  For the full whitepaper visit our website – http://colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

For more on data management and other aspects of CRM, please call ContactEase at 1-800-447-1212 ext 2 or visit colevalley.com.

ROI: How CRM Can Boost Revenue, Case Study by Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC – Part 2, Planning

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For our last post, we shared  ROI:  How CRM Can Boost Revenue, a Case Study by Foster Swift PC, Part 1, Need.  The five-part series will continue to focus on:  1) Need, 2) Planning, 3) Launch, 4) Benefits and 5) More Benefits.

Planning

Because Kim has a market research background, she started by asking the stakeholders what had gone wrong with the previous attempts to implement CRM and what they wanted the new system to do. In addition to surveying the attorneys, she held focus groups with support staff and brought in Chris Fritsch, who is also an attorney, to talk with key leadership about their expectations and the realities of CRM.

Doing all that helped to identify fears, pain points and needs, such as the ability to keep private any personal information put into the system (a separate notes field allows that), as well as to see who made changes to a record (an audit trail makes this possible). It also showed that about 60% of the attorneys were using Outlook to manage their contacts, which meant they were likely to use a system like ContactEase that integrates with Outlook.

Plus, involving the attorneys and support staff in the planning process helped them see how CRM could make things better, and that helped get their buy-in. With the help of several attorneys who championed the cause, Kim convinced the firm’s leaders to go with ContactEase CRM.

What’s up next  – Part 3 is the Launch…ROI:  How CRM Can Boost Revenue, a Case Study by Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC. For the full whitepaper visit our website – http://colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

To be continued….

CRM – Not in Your Budget for 2016? It could be and here’s how…

Making everything possibleRecently, a firm didn’t have CRM in their 2016 budget and they were able to buy this year taking advantage of a leasing option.  ContactEase has a leasing partner that can help make your investment more affordable.  With today’s low-interest rates, a lease program will allow you to preserve your cash and spread project costs over a 3-year period for a low fixed rate monthly payment. Additionally, they offer the following value added services for ContactEase clients:

  • 90 Day Deferral – you have the option to defer the start of your rental payments for up to 90 days from the project start date.
  • Quarterly or Monthly Payments – you have the option to choose monthly or quarterly rental payments.
  • Progress Payments – First American can make any deposits or milestone payments to Cole Valley on your behalf prior to project completion.

No fees – your program has no fees of any kind.

Please contact Brenda Sleeper at bsleeper@colevalley.com or 800-447-1712 ext. 805 for more information.

ContactEase CRM helps firms acquire and retain clients by ensuring that the right people get the right communication at the right time. Greater than 90% adoption results from seamless Outlook integration, easy-to-use tools, and a highly experienced support team. ContactEase is used by over 250 law and accounting firms, with 16,000+ users worldwide.

ROI: How CRM Can Boost Revenue, Case Study by Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC

Customer Relationship Management - puzzle 3d render illustration

Part 1 of our five-part series on ROI:  How CRM Can Boost Revenue, a Case Study by Foster Swift PC

 
Wouldn’t you like to see numbers like these at your firm?

  • $53,463 in annual savings on newsletter costs
  • 200% increase in the number of newsletters
    sent out annually
  • 700% reduction in time spent on data entry
  • $15,600 in annual savings on list management costs
  • $121,973 in fees from three new Ag Law clients
  • 149% ROI on your CRM investment

Those are just some of the benefits that Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC, a 95-attorney law firm based in Lansing, Michigan, has realized from implementing ContactEase CRM — and that your firm can enjoy, too. Others include a more accurate and easier-to-update database of 42,000 records, the ability to readily track and manage business development activities by type, and the ability to manage client compliance with employee benefits laws and maintain related forms and correspondence.

According to Kimberly P. Hafley, Director of Marketing & Recruitment for Foster Swift, here’s why the firm chose ContactEase and what it did to realize those benefits and facilitate business development.

Need

When Kim joined Foster Swift in 2009, the firm had seven databases, including 7,000 records that were only on old-fashioned paper Rolodex cards. Entering data and maintaining records was a nightmare. As a result, many people were getting multiple copies of mailings, or mailings were returned as undeliverable. The costs were huge. For example, for one estate planning mailing that required an oversized envelope, the unit cost was $2.50. Of the 4,000 mailed, 500 came back — a waste of $1,250.

The firm had tried but failed twice to implement CRM. One reason was that CRM was totally Marketing’s responsibility, but Marketing did not have access to all information, and there was no system for getting database changes to Marketing. So if Marketing was not given a new name or address, the database was not updated. Another reason was that the CRM system was proprietary, so it didn’t interface with anything else and was the equivalent of adding yet another database. “The partners thought that all you had to do was buy a CRM program, plug it in, press a few keys and everything would magically work,” says Kim. “Of course, it didn’t.”

The catalyst for trying CRM a third time was a mailing that went to the home of an important client who had given strict instructions that nothing was to be sent to his residence.  This event resulted in a prominent senior shareholder sharing his displeasure with both Kim and the firm’s Executive Committee, resulting in approval to research CRM options.  So Kim asked a consultant that had helped her successfully update Foster Swift’s website to recommend a solution.

View More: http://benjamindavidphotography.pass.us/foster-headshots
“I was very gung-ho and thought we would be able to go all-out with CRM right from the start. But Jennifer and Chris noted that our firm had already had two failures and suggested that we slow down and take baby steps.  — Kim Hafley, Director of Marketing, Foster Swift

Kim was referred to Chris Fritsch, who consults with law firms on CRM.  Chris suggested that they look at three CRM providers, including ContactEase CRM from Cole Valley Software. Kim talked about ContactEase with several firms that use it, including Ulmer & Berne in Columbus, Ohio, Sherin & Lodgen LLP in Boston, and UHY LLP in Chicago. She was impressed by what she heard, as well as by the helpfulness of Cole Valley CEO Jeff Reade and Chief Brand Officer Jennifer Whittier in identifying what she needed to do to successfully implement CRM.

“I was very gung-ho and thought we would be able to go all-out with CRM right from the start,” Kim says. “But Jennifer and Chris noted that our firm had already had two failures and suggested that we slow down and take baby steps. We had to get clear about what we needed and get buy-in from the attorneys before we launched a new system.”

What’s up next week  – Part 2 is Planning…ROI:  How CRM Can Boost Revenue, a Case Study by Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC. For the full whitepaper visit our website – http://colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

 

Key takeaways for CRM Implementation

CRM - Customer Relationship ManagementHow you go about implementing a CRM system matters. To help you avoid mistakes and maximize success, we’ve put together the following list of takeaways from a peer panel discussion, key questions to ask yourself, and best practices to follow for achieving and maximizing CRM success. For more tips on CRM Implementation Best Practices and what 3 leading firms did to achieve success, download our whitepaper  – http://www.colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

Key takeaways for CRM Implementation:

  • Audit the data – where is the data, inventory the partners and lawyers Outlook contacts
  • Develop a flowchart of your communication – how many steps does it take get targeted relevant communication out the door before CRM
  • Create a Focus Group, CRM team and/or survey team members
  • Find a champion on the management team to help drive the process
  • Consider an RFP for vendor selection – look for a partner to support you through the process
  • Use a Phased-In approach to reach your goals and prioritize your objectives
  • Apply CRM to help the firm with all of your processes
  • Consider a one on one approach to training and solicit feedback for improvement
  • Celebrate victories – keep a file of your wins and share the results
  • Add a little sugar – all good decisions are backed with cupcakes and cookies.

For more on these and other aspects of CRM, please call ContactEase at 1-800-447-1212 ext 2 or visit colevalley.com.