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/.

Advertisements

Webinar – Practicing Effective CRM Data Management and Stewardship

DataManagementHoldScreen.2JPG
Join us for a webinar on Mar 09, 2016 at 2:00 PM EST.

Register now!
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2980439944696281345

Avoid the chaos, practice good data management to realize your CRM’s full potential.

Join us on Wednesday, March 9th at 2pmEDT to hear from subject matter experts why client relationship data is one of the most important tools in professional services marketing.

  • Jennifer Irvine, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Bowditch & Dewey LLP
  • Caroline Emery, Business Development and Marketing Senior Manager, Sherin and Lodgen
  • John Wood, Founder and Principal, Data Health Associates

The job of keeping your client relationship management data clean and up-to-date can be a daunting task if you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to the process. Inconsistent, inaccurate, duplicate, and incomplete data can cause chaos even after a successful implementation. The more effective CRM implementations have made a focused effort on data integrity. Some firms use a partial marketing role, some use a data steward who assumes the primary responsibility for managing the accuracy and reliability of a firm’s data and others outsource the role for data grooming assistance on an as needed basis.

Why is clean data important? With good clean data the firm is able to capture and segment data for delivering relevant important communication to the right clients at the right time. Let’s face it, your competitors are doing it. If you can’t get the right information to the right clients, you run the risk of potentially losing clients. Ultimately CRM impacts everything you do in your role as a marketing or business development professional: Email marketing, Business Intelligence and Reporting, Business Development, Cross-Selling and Referral Programs. The entire value of your firm’s CRM system is predicated on having clean, duplicate-free, reliable data!

Topics covered will include:

    • Why is clean data important?
    • How have the more effective CRM implementations focused ongoing effort on data integrity?
    • Can success be accomplished using someone in a partial marketing role, a full-time data steward or an outsourced data steward?
    • What benefits can be maximized with good clean data?
    • What is the impact if you can’t get the right information to the right clients?

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 Implementation Best Practices Whitepaper

What 3 Leading Firms Did to Achieve Success – To discover what goes into a successful CRM implementation we convened a panel of marketing directors from two law firms and an accounting firm to share best practices learned in the process of identifying needs, getting buy-in, implementing a system and maximizing ROI. http://colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

co-logo-new

Reflecting on the 2014 ILTA Annual Conference

Last month our entire ContactEase team had the opportunity to attend the 2014 ILTA Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee themed Imagine. The four-day conference had over 200 peer-developed educational sessions, numerous networking opportunities, and provided our team with the insights and inspirations to better partner with our clients and prospects.

Having our entire team at the conference also allowed us to come together afterwards and discuss the sessions we attended. These sessions varied from creating marketing and business development ROI to implementation and deployment best practices. With so many sessions and an overwhelming amount of content, we have decided launch a new blog series “ILTA Reflections.” Once a week until the end of October we will be reflecting on one of the sessions a team member has attended. Next week the series will kick off with the blog post “ILTA Reflections: Using Big Data To Measure Marketing and Business Development ROI.”

If you also attended the conference and are interested in sharing your take on a session we would love to share it here. Just send an email to marketing@colevalley.com with your session recap and we will post it here with you as our guest author!

Hello to a New Year and a New You!

As everyone is settling back into the office after the holidays, this is a great time to take a fresh look at your plans and objectives for 2014. Reflect on your initiatives from 2013 and identify what was successful and where improvements could be made. When creating your plan for this year, consider the following:

Make Your Plan Sizeable and Scalable
It is important to make a plan that is achievable. There is always a multitude of projects that are urgent and at the top of the list. Evaluate each of them carefully and understand which ones are actually achievable. Someone once gave me great advice which is to always under promise and over deliver. If it is unrealistic due to approvals, budget, buy-in, etc. that a project will get accomplished add it to the wish list but don’t promise to deliver on it.

Add Process Documentation as a Part of the Plan
This is going to be another year of a lot of change as the market is starting to pick up again. As personnel change they take along their knowledge of the firm culture, systems, styles, etc. It is key to document and set expectations of processes in your department. For example event planning is an area where a specific process can be created and documented so that as new members join the team the process is not being re-created from scratch with every event. This frees up time to work on other initiatives and tackle some of those wish list items.

Measure, Report, and Share
Measuring and reporting are key to identify success and justify initiatives. When measuring success it is important to understand not only what should be reported but how it should be reported out. With so much content, it is hard even to break through internally. Make sure you are reporting on the things that matter the most. Opt to go with a quick synopsis that is easy to scan instead of that lengthy report, PowerPoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet. Many times reports are created and only shared with select recipients; plan a way to periodically share your teams’ successes firm wide.

Unfortunately and all too often, by the middle of the year the marketing plan that was created becomes more of a marketing wish list. That is why planning ahead and having specific goals for the year are key to your team and own personal success.

We would love to hear from you… what are your firms’ goals for the year, as well as your professional personal goals?

Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Part 3

Continuing our series “Which Hat Are You Wearing Today” we literally took it to a new level at the New England Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. Amber Elliott, our ContactEase Director of Implementations, and Chris Fritsch, President and Business Development Consultant, Clients First Consulting presented the session Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Balancing Marketing, Business Development and Client Services.

During the presentation Amber and Chris took turns actually wearing different hats to represent the different functions marketing takes on from a day-to-day basis. Below are the different roles and associated tasks:
Fire Fighter & Builder Traffic Cop & Miner

Stop back as we will cover the technology that can help streamline the tasks and make success a possibility.

Which Hat Are You Wearing Today

We are excited to announce that Amber Elliott, our ContactEase Director of Implementations, will be speaking this week at the LMA-NE Annual Conference. Joining her will be Chris Fritsch, President and Business Development Consultant, Clients First Consulting to present the session Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Balancing Marketing, Business Development and Client Services

HatsManaging the marketing for a firm is not what it used to be. The demand for proactive business development and better client services combined with ever-changing technology makes marketing a juggling act. With innovative relationship management you can move your firm forward. Join Amber and Chris to learn how to apply innovative ideas with the right mix of technology to gain profits, satisfy clients, and successfully market your firm. They will discuss trends, provide a high level overview of what firms are doing today to move their firm forward, and go through case studies to showcase how marketers are successfully wearing multiple hats.

The session is on Friday, November 22nd at 2:45PM. Learn more about the overall event by checking out the LMA NE Conference’s website and make sure to stop back on Friday for a recap and pictures from the session.

There are Only 33 More Days Until December 1st: Holiday Cards Part III

Did you know there are only 33 more days until the first of December? No it is not a trick (and probably not a treat) but with Halloween this week we thought it would be a great time to check-in on your holiday card progress.

If you have not already started it is not too late. To help you get an idea of where you should be at in the process, we have come up with a suggested timeline below.

September: Project Kick-Off

  • Identify your objective: is your card just to send warm wishes or is there another motive such as contributing to a charity, launch a marketing campaign, or to clean-up your contact information in your database
  • Decide what type of card you will do: physical or e-card or a combination of both
  • Determine timing: based on the type of card you do, you will need to think through the delivery date and create your project plan. This will also affect your messaging such as Happy Holidays v. Happy New Year
  • Discuss distribution: who receives the card and who the card should come from
  • Inform employees about the project: ask them to compile their list of recipients, let them know how you will be using the information, and inform them of deadlines. If doing a physical card, let them know how the cards will be distributed for them to sign
  • Select the vendor/designer: choose who will create the card and discuss concepts and copy
  • Prep other staff or departments: you will want to prep departments, such as IT if there is a need to host a video on a server or prep assistants who will help with list generation, and inform them of your timeline

October: Development

  • Determine additional needs: for example if you want recipients to select a charity from a list, you will need to create a survey. If you’re giving a contribution based on the number of new “likes” on Facebook someone will be responsible for tracking the metrics. You will also need to determine how your firm will handle bounce backs or returned mail, as well as how you will track success (open and click-through rates, interaction with the card)
  • Test the different components of the e-card: if there is built-in functionality like “replay” for video or links to other pages you will need to test the functionality to ensure it work properly
  • Merge and clean lists: your lists should be at about 80% completion
  • Approvals: approve your final card concept
  • Identify quantity: the amount of cards and envelopes needed for a physical mailing

November: Execution

  • Completion: your e-card should be completed and if you’re doing printed cards you should have them in-hand
  • Final version of mailing list(s): should be completed within the first week of November
  • Signing process kicked-off: this should happen around the second week of November and signed cards should be obtained by the last week of November (2 week window for signing)
  • Other marketing: at this point you should consider other ways you will promote and distribute your hard work. Some ideas would be to post the card on your website, tweet it, Facebook about it, and submit to holiday card contests
  • Additional needs: your process and expectations should be established

December: Completion

  • Physical cards mailed: first week of December
  • Complete e-mailing: preferably in early December
  • Last-minute requests for additional cards: take care of last-minute request or provide employees with the tools they need to execute themselves (such as the OFT version of the e-card they can customize and send on their own)
  • Execute other marketing initiatives: promote your card in other channels
  • Track the card: determine success by monitoring bounce backs, returned mail, and click-throughs

This is only a suggested timeline to help guide the thought about what needs to be executed on. Depending on the complexity of the firm it could take more or less time to complete. No matter the length of the process there is one last step that is often overlooked… celebrate!

Celebrate the project completion. It is a large undertaking and requires a lot of coordination. Enjoy the success with your team, thank those who helped with the execution such as the IT department and the assistants, and make sure to share the news with the entire firm. Send out an internal memo with the card and share tracking numbers or feedback that you have received.

Let us know what you think… what other steps does your firm build in and when do you start your holiday card process?

Holiday Cards Part II: E-Cards

With today’s technology more and more firms are straying away from physical holiday cards and opting to go with e-Cards. There are a lot of marketing and business development benefits for choosing to go with an e-card. Below are four considerations and advantages to think through while working on your holiday cards this season:
Bar GraphTracking    
By sending an e-card your firm can identify who has received a card and what action they took. The number of people who opened the card can be tracked identifying if the e-card was successful and worth the time put into the project. Marketing and business development initiatives could be launched and the click-throughs to additional messaging or promotional items can be identified. Those activities could then be added to the database and depending on the call to action there could be very specific follow-up items assigned.
Magnifying Glass Identifying Potential Risks                                                  
Opting to send an e-card helps your firm clean-up the database. If a contact at a client leaves and the firm doesn’t know about it, it could become lost work if the firm doesn’t have any other contacts there. By tracking bounce backs and failed emails someone can look in the database and see what other contacts or relationships the firm has with the client and alert the firm of potential at risk clients.

VcardUpdating Contact Information and Communication Lists

When sending an e-card consider having contacts update their own information and which communications they would prefer to receive. With ContactEase this could be done by using our Online Client Update Form. Ask contacts to take a minute to review their data and make any changes necessary by providing the hyperlink to do so. The data is then cleaned up in the database and your firm has the most up-to-date information for a contact and contacts can opt for the communications that matter the most to them.

PeopleExpanding Your Reach
Within the e-card create a mini campaign of some sort through calls to action. If you have a Facebook Page or Twitter account your firm is trying to expand, create a perk for people to “like” or “follow” you. One firm did this by letting their contacts know that they had decided to use the money previously spent on physical cards and donate it to a local charity. For every follower they received they would donate X amount of money up to a certain dollar amount. They were giving back to the community while expanding their audience reach.

If you are spending the time and money associated with doing a holiday card it is important to identify what your key objective(s) are. If your firm is simply sending a card for warm wishes, think through the above points and how the card could be used more strategically for your business development and marketing initiatives.

A Successful Marriage: Marketing & IT Working Together

Yesterday we had the opportunity to attend the LMA-LA Chapter’s Continuing Marketing Education event where big ideas were brought to life. Our own Jennifer Whittier and Sam Shipley participated in the Cross Collaborations that Work segment of the conference.

Their session A Successful Marriage: Marketing & IT Working Together provided best practices and insights to succeed with technology. By collaborating together marketing and IT departments can identify and prioritize investments that grow into business for a firm. Here are a few best practices for collaboration:

  • Hold quarterly meetings with both departments to discuss projects and road blocks
  • Review the annual marketing budget together before submission so everyone knows what to expect
  • Discuss new large cross department projects at the outset
  • Make sure project plans and timing are discussed and agreed to
  • Communication and documentation are key in a successful partnership
  • Get to know each other personally by having team activities or social gatherings
  • Encourage/invite CIO to participate in committees such as client team meetings
  • Help market each other internally and give recognition and appraisal

The session wrapped up by leaving the audience members in laughter as the differences in the thought process between the two departments were showcased.

Mktg v. IT

For more information on the conference visit their website: http://lmalaconference.la/ or check out the conference tweets #LMACME.