Back to Basics: A Single Source of Truth

In our Back to Basics series, we’re doing just that – going back to basics to understand the fundamentals of CRM and why it matters to your firm. In this post we’re looking at CRM as a single source of truth and what that means.

As we wrote in our last post, the main job of any CRM is to store and organize your firm’s contacts – all the details, any communication or touch points you’ve had with them – in one place (i.e. a single source of truth). CRM helps your firm’s professionals stay connected to your clients and can help improve profitability and internal processes (see ROI: Boost Revenue with CRM).

So yes, at its most basic, CRM provides you with a single source of truth for your firm’s important clients and contacts. With so many data stores available at most firms, it can be difficult to know what to trust. A CRM provides you with a single, reliable source of truth where your clients, contacts and opportunities exist. This is also why integrations are so important.

An essential feature of any CRM should be the ability to integrate with other systems (see Bridge Building with CRM). When you integrate CRM with your firm’s existing systems, data from your technology stack can be captured across platforms and you can rely on your CRM as, yes, you guessed it, a single source of truth. At ContactEase, we know that we make a great CRM. We don’t want to do it all. That’s why we partner with other popular applications that your firm already knows and uses.

In recent years we’ve introduced integrations with marketing automation systems like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and Vuture and time and billing systems like Aderant, Juris and Elite. We are constantly evaluating the market and speaking with our clients to connect with the systems they are using. If your systems don’t talk to one another, you run the risk of having information that is outdated, incomplete and just plain wrong. When you make CRM and data integrity a priority, your firm will be better equipped to understand where your communications with your clients and prospects stand.

Talking Points: Does My Firm Need CRM?

If there’s no single source for information at your firm, you run the risk of duplicating outreach, having outdated information, and leaving key contacts off of important mailings. CRM can provide a single view of every client’s contact information and firm outreach, without which, you may not be able to fully implement strategic marketing and business development initiatives.

Back to Basics: What is CRM?

Back to the Basics: What is CRM?

In this series, we’re going back to the basics. We’ll look at CRM as a tool and as a strategy to empower your firm’s business development and marketing initiatives and strengthen your relationships.

If we’re going back to the basics, we may as well start with an obvious question: What is CRM (and why do you need one)? We could write a novel on this subject, but for now we’ll keep it simple.

CRM is a Contact (or Client) Relationship Management platform. Outside of the professional services sector, CRM may also be referred to as Customer Relationship Management.

A Single Source of Truth

The main job of a CRM platform is to store and organize your firm’s contacts – all their details and any communication or touch points you’ve had with them – in a single place. In other words, a CRM is a single source of truth for your firm’s contact data. It helps firms stay connected to their clients and can even improve profitability (see: ROI: Boost Revenue with CRM).

Capture Touchpoints and Coordinate Business Development Efforts

CRM allows you to focus your firm’s business development and marketing strategy by understanding who at the firm knows whom and is in touch with your clients and contacts. You can track every touchpoint, record activities, and allow your professionals to collaborate seamlessly and stay organized. CRM can inform your firm’s business development and marketing strategy by providing a 360 degree view of your clients and contacts. It can even tell you when they’re opening your emails, how often they’re attending your events, or if they’re not engaging with you at all.

Integrate with Tools You Know and Use

CRM can integrate with the tools your firm already knows and uses. With a time and billing integration, for example, you’ll have a complete picture of the client journey. Integrations with email campaign tools like Vuture, Mailchimp and Constant Contact allow you to easily capture important analytics and know who is engaging with your firm’s communications. Integrations also allow you to automate certain processes so you can boost productivity and save time (see: Benefits of CRM Bridge Building).

In our upcoming post, we’ll dig in a little deeper. Do you have questions about CRM or how it can help your firm? With an industry high adoption rate, ContactEase is the CRM of choice for more than 250 professional services firms worldwide. Contact us at sales@contactease.com or visit www.contactease.com to learn more.

ContactEase Recommended Reading: How Law Firms are Handling the Most Interesting Budgeting Season in Years

“What the pandemic has proved is that those law firms that have spent significant dollars on technology investment were better prepared than those that didn’t.” 

October is a busy time for many marketers and it’s also typically the time of year we start to hear from firms looking to make room in their budgets for CRM for the coming year; however, we all know there is nothing typical about this year.  If you’re struggling to figure out how to approach “the most interesting budgeting season in years,” you’re not alone.  In a recent article from The American Lawyer, law firm leaders shared their insight on how they’re approaching their budgets for 2021 (registration may be required). 

With a decrease in traditional business development activities and an uptick in communications, it’s never been more important to stay in touch with your firm’s important clients. According to Michael Heller, executive chair and CEO at Cozen O’Conner, “What the pandemic has proved is that those law firms that have spent significant dollars on technology investment were better prepared than those that didn’t.” We’ve heard this from ContactEase clients as well.

While many firms have increased the frequency of their communications (in fact, one firm reported they’d seen an increase of over 400%), our clients said it was the processes and technology they implemented before the pandemic that allowed them to quickly and efficiently pivot during this time to keep their clients and contacts informed and engaged.

One marketing director said, “Getting lawyers to provide content has often been a struggle for us, but not this year. Like a lot of firms, we developed a COVID resource center early on. We used List Manager to provide lawyers with a summary of their contacts and used the Constant Contact integration to send our mailings and track the success of our campaigns.”

If you’re looking to make room in your budget for CRM, be sure to visit our website to learn how CRM can pay for itself many times over by saving you time and money. Download “ROI: Boost Revenue with CRM” to learn how one firm was able to boost its revenue and realize an ROI of over 100% with ContactEase.

Celebrating National Lawyer Well-Being Week

Over the past several weeks, we’ve introduced you to firms who are committed to staying connected with their clients and each other during the #covid19 crisis (and using ContactEase to do it). In this post, we’re turning our attention to the inaugural National Lawyer Well-Being Week. The aim of Well-Being Week is to raise awareness and encourage action across the legal profession to improve well-being for lawyers and their support teams.

Each day of Lawyer Well-Being Week focuses on a dimension of holistic well-being:

  • Monday: Stay Strong (physical well-being)
  • Tuesday: Align (spiritual well-being)
  • Wednesday: Engage & Grow (intellectual and occupational well-being)
  • Thursday: Connect (social well-being)
  • Friday: Feel Well (emotional well-being)

And while each of these areas is equally important, it’s Thursday’s theme of connection and social well-being that really resonates with us at ContactEase. While some may view CRM as just a software platform, it’s about connection — growing relationships and staying in touch. We look forward to sharing our favorite tips for developing and maintaining your professional relationships in the coming weeks. In the meantime, consider taking a look at some of these recommended resources from the Lawyer Well-Being website:

Spotlight on: McNees

Our spotlight series continues this week with McNees, a full-service law firm based in central Pennsylvania with more than 130 attorneys representing corporations, associations, institutions, and individuals. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Harrisburg, Lancaster, State College and Scranton, PA; Columbus, OH; Frederick, MD; and Washington, DC. McNees is also a member of the ALFA International Global Legal Network.

Through its COVID-19 Articles & Resource Center, McNees provides businesses and individuals with content and analysis to navigate the issues impacting them during this time. The firm’s professionals closely monitor the latest advisories from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as federal, state, and local authorities to ensure they are providing visitors with the most recent and up-to-date content.

McNees has always been a huge supporter of the communities it serves and in response to COVID-19 has expanded its pro bono efforts to help small businesses survive this crisis. The firm is doing as much as it can to help small businesses and individuals survive this crisis by helping them to understand new legislation, understand the resources available to them and navigate the challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19.

Staying connected with clients is the firm’s top priority. And during this difficult time of separation, McNees has also placed a special emphasis on staying connected with each other. The firm’s chair, Brian Jackson, holds regular firmwide meetings to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The firm also has fun theme days (like fancy socks Friday) which instill a sense of togetherness and keep morale high while working apart.

Iris Jones, the firm’s Chief Business Development & Marketing Officer, recently appeared on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk where she discussed the firm’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and shared insight on how law firm marketers can show value during this time.

To learn more, visit McNeeslaw.com.

Spotlight on: Pryor Cashman

Our latest client spotlight is putting us in a New York state of mind. Meet Pryor Cashman, a premier, mid-sized law firm with 180 attorneys in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami. Pryor Cashman’s attorneys are known for getting the job done right, and doing it with integrity, efficiency, and élan from every office.

Pryor Cashman’s attorneys are providing ongoing analysis and insight to clients through the firm’s COVID-19 Resource Library. The firm adds resources and updates existing guidance regularly to help clients and their businesses during these difficult times. During a recent appearance on Legal Marketing Coffee Talk with Stefanie Marrone and Rob Kates, Mike Mellor, the firm’s Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, stressed the importance of providing analysis and adding a layer of value to information that is readily available. “We don’t want to be another news source,” he said. The firm’s attorneys are pulling together to provide content and analysis in areas such as:

  • Banking, Finance and Loans
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights
  • Corporate (including Filings and Deals)
  • Financial Institutions
  • Hotel and Hospitality
  • Immigration and Global Mobility
  • Insurance and Coverage
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor and Employment
  • Private Client and Family Matters
  • Real Estate
  • Tax Considerations
  • Industry-specific considerations for visual art, medical, and music

The firm encourages interested parties to visit its Resource Library which is being updated on a regular basis. For more information, visit PryorCashman.com or contact Mike Mellor who is happy to facilitate an introduction to the right person.

Spotlight on: Bradley

The ContactEase client spotlight series continues this week with an introduction to Bradley, a national law firm with a reputation for skilled legal work, exceptional client service, and impeccable integrity. The firm provides business clients around the world with a full suite of legal services in dozens of industries and practice areas. Founded in 1870 in Elyton, Alabama, the firm has retained the tradition of Southern hospitality even as it has grown into a global force.

Like many firms during the COVID-19 crisis, Bradley has given prominence to its coronavirus response by creating a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage, as well as a COVID-19 webinar series. Something that really sets the firm’s response apart is its empathy. Bradley has focused on the client’s point of view by positioning itself as a partner to “walk through these uncertain times” together. Bradley asks questions on behalf of its clients (“If I have employees…?” or “Is my business essential?”) and provides visitors with an analysis and understanding of how these complex issues are affecting their businesses.

The collaboration between Bradley’s attorneys and marketing team has allowed the firm to provide clients with comfort and counsel in these unprecedented circumstances. Kelly Schrupp, the firm’s Director of Marketing said, “Bradley attorneys are working around the clock to help clients navigate the challenges presented during these uncertain times. Things are changing rapidly, so being there for our clients with current and accurate information is critical. Without the ability to manage our contacts, we could not communicate as effectively and efficiently with our clients during this time. We truly look forward to connecting with all of our clients and friends in person when this is behind us.”

Learn more at bradley.com

Spotlight on: ORBA

You know that ContactEase works with law firms, but did you know we also work with accounting and other professional services firms? In this post, we’re stepping outside of legal and introducing you to Chicago’s ORBA (ORBA-Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd.). ORBA helps privately-held companies and high-achieving individuals make and implement smart, confident, future-focused decisions. ORBA is an independent member of BKR International, a leading global association of independent accounting and business advisory firms representing the expertise of more than 160 firms with more than 500 offices in 80 countries around the world.

ORBA has been producing content at record pace to ensure that the firms clients are aware of and understand the implications of COVID-19 on their businesses. The firm has put out over a dozen COVID-19 related blogs and client alerts and continues to provide content and analysis to its clients and contacts. Recent communications include:

Visit ORBA.com for more information and to subscribe to the firm’s client alerts.

Spotlight on: Morse

As part of our ongoing client spotlight series, we’re looking at how firms are working collaboratively to provide their clients with targeted content and analysis during the COVID-19 crisis. In this post, we’re introducing you to Morse, a Boston-area law firm representing companies that range in size from small technology startups to Fortune 1000 companies in industries such as software, medical devices, professional services, financial services, construction, manufacturing, retail, non-profit and healthcare.

Unlike many firms, the transition to a work from home environment was an easy one for Morse. “Thanks to the visionary leadership and technology savvy of our management team, Morse has been uniquely prepared for these circumstances. We were able to shift to work from home conditions immediately, providing every single employee with a laptop,” said Jaclyn Braga, the firm’s Director of Marketing. During this time the firm is maintaining departmental meetings and all-inclusive firm meetings virtually, but they’re also connecting socially. At the end of the first week of Massachusetts’ stay-at-home advisory, Morse hosted a firm-wide happy hour (virtually, of course) and recently hosted a game of virtual musical bingo.

The firm is using this time to share knowledge with clients and contacts as well. Of the firm’s COVID-19 response, Braga said, “If information is power, our COVID-19 Legal Response Team, drawn from multiple practice areas, has ably demonstrated that keeping clients and other readers armed with the critical facts and cogent explanations is the most empowering service we could possibly deliver. With that goal in mind, our COVID-19 Resource Collection was created and is updated regularly.” In addition to the firm’s resource collection, Morse maintains two blogs: Good Company and the Massachusetts Employment Law Blog to provide excellent analysis on how COVID-19 is impacting businesses and industries represented by the firm.

Learn more at morse.law.

Spotlight on: Warner Norcross + Judd

Our latest client spotlight features Warner Norcross + Judd.

Client service and teamwork are the founding principles of Warner Norcross + Judd and they apply these principles at every level of their organization. With eight Michigan offices and over 230 attorneys working in 14 industry groups and 27 specialized practice areas, Warner meets the legal needs of clients operating throughout Michigan and around the globe.

In this unprecedented time, Warner has risen to the COVID-19 call by maintaining a COVID-19 Resource Center on its website where new content is posted daily, featuring a “Question of the Day” and various other eAlert notices and webinar invitations and recordings. Warner is fully committed to providing clients with insight regarding new COVID-19 legal developments and continues to do so, as the crisis unfolds.

ContactEase has been an integral part of the process – enabling the firm to build its largest email list to date, using narrowed criteria to send COVID-19 related eAlert and webinar notices to clients, potential clients and client referral sources. As a result, Warner’s three recent COVID-19 webinars drew over 2,600 unique registrants – a huge jump in attendees for the firm. From these registrants, Warner gained numerous new contacts for the firm’s email list using ContactEase.

Additionally, Warner has developed a COVID-19 subscriber list through ContactEase and the list keeps growing. We’re excited to see one of our partner firms utilizing our tools to help them inform clients on important legal changes during the COVID-19 crisis.

Learn more at wnj.com.

We’d like to give a special thanks to the firm’s Business Development & Marketing team for their collaboration on this post.