CRM software could be an invaluable tool for lawyers and law firms. Not only can it help you better manage your client relationships and your caseload but it can also help you improve team collaboration within your firm.
What is a CRM?
A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns, all in one central location — and make information about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it.
Why do Lawyers need a CRM?
Have you ever had to look for a file and try to dig through documents you’ve piled up over the years? How about calling a referral source to ask for new client referrals when you need them?
These are the kind of administrative tasks that can be much easier to accomplish — and organized much more effectively — when using a modern, cloud-based CRM system.
A Software CRM can be customized for your business and is available anywhere that you can get on a computer or on your phone. Mobile apps are plentiful, so you can make calls, send emails, or run a search from any device.
CRM software becomes a powerful tool for any business with a repeatable, predictable sales process.
If you offer a predictable product or service, you have predictable sales and customer interaction patterns. These typical patterns are found in many fields, but especially in the service businesses of professional practices like law firms, medical offices, and financial brokerages.
In service fields, the sales process consists of selling new clients (also called cold calling or prospecting) and managing customer service issues – which are often called upsells.
Efficient sales and customer service become critical to business success.
An effective CRM system is designed to help a business reach its sales goals and manage its customer service.
When Is A CRM Necessary For A Law Firm?
Managing a law firm is a challenge. You are essentially managing many operations and employing a team of people.
On the team side, you are managing attorneys, bookkeepers, legal assistants, and other support staff. On the operations side, you are managing contracts, client billing, practice management, cash flow, and prospecting.
At the end of the day, you want to know what issues need your attention, what issues you can delegate, and when you should be following up with other team members on specific tasks.
CRM tools can help you stay organized and address your firm’s most urgent needs.
CRM systems can manage and streamline work for not only you but also your team as well.
CRM Features for Law Firms
CRM systems have many impressive features and types of tools available that can address the needs of a legal practice.
But, not all CRM systems are created equal. So, let’s take a look at some of the best CRM features for a law firm
To succeed at a law firm, you need to grow your business. It doesn’t matter what area of law you practice, but you need to get business.
A good CRM will include client-management tools and effective ways to manage the needs of your existing clients.
Lead Capture and Lead Management
A good CRM will have a lead-capture and lead-management feature. You need to be able to smoothly capture contact information and keep track of who you need to follow up with and who you need to refer to other members of your team or to other partners in your firm.
You should be able to include information about specific roles at the time of lead capture.
CRM software provides the foundation for a sales process. You should be able to easily create leads, track your calls, emails, and submissions to build a sales pipeline. You should be able to record Who is saying “yes” to your offer, when, and how often.
You need to be able to easily track and manage your follow up with prospects and your team members and partners.
Using automation and reminders, you should be able to collect information and automatically generate follow-up tasks for your team.
It is important to accept and follow up with leads and phone calls.
This ensures that every possible client who has reached out to your firm has not been lost. You can capture and automate client interactions in a CRM system called lead-scoring, which assigns numeric scores to leads based on your past experience.
It helps you increase a lead’s score through your actions and efforts, like phone calls and emails you send to someone who contacted you and getting them to take some tangible action like filling out a survey or reading a white paper.
If we take a closer look, we can say that CRM is still in its latest phase. Big companies have been using it for ages, and software developers are still trying to come up with new ways to make it even better.
CRM systems have been very effective in helping businesses work more efficiently.
The addition of “smart” inbox features to CRM tools will further improve the user experience, by organizing emails and documents, automatically creating task lists, and recording all interactions with your leads and customers in a central location.
Smart Inbox features sometimes even offer a “near me” function, which, when clicked, brings up a map that shows the user exactly where the person with whom she is trying to communicate is located.
Smart CRM software can be a powerful tool that streamlines your practice so you can spend more time focusing on your clients and get more done.
It is a software that some companies use in order to manage and automate most of the daily tasks of the work place. But, what if you don’t have one in your firm?
Well, then, you will probably want to have one.
Benefits of using a CRM for lawyers
Manage and Maintain your Clients
Managing your clients is not an easy task especially when you have a lot of them. The process is more stressful when it comes to the paperwork.
With a good CRM, you can maintain and keep a list of all your clients complete with their contact details. You can keep them informed about any case updates, solicit business from them, and send information and other materials to the clients.
This process is much simpler when you have a CRM at your disposal. You can use it to keep your clients well informed at all times.
Some CRMs have templates and forms that you can use in order to easily maintain relationship with your clients. You can easily schedule meetings and appointments with them. You will know the time of sessions, how much they have paid, booked sessions, and even recorded discussions.
A good CRM connects with your email server. You can send out email communications with ease. This will save you tons of time.
Track Your Sales Process
A good CRM software for lawyers enables you to track your sales process. By so doing, you will have a good grip on your team’s overall performance.
You can easily build and manage a sales pipeline. The software can help you identify your potential clients and potential threats to your sales.
CRMs provide you with the information you need about your customers and ensure that all your team members are updated with the information. In case a staff member needs some information from a client, the CRM allows the staff member to reach the client directly.
CRM software helps keep everyone regularly informed about their clients’ profile. The customer profile is made available to everyone in the firm.
All you need is to give each staff member an email address and the CRM will ensure that they are notified about the profile changes.
Better and Easier Management of your Team
Managing your team of staff is a tough task especially when you want to ensure that they are dedicated to their work task. This is made more difficult when you are dealing with several members. With a CRM software, you can easily manage your team.
You can find out how a team member is performing and how you can boost his performance. You can track team member schedules and schedules of your team meetings. This will make it easy for you to plan your day and improve your team’s productivity. You will achieve better results when you can communicate better with your team members.
CRMs are not limited to big business. Today, you can find CRM software for lawyers that offer all the necessary features for your specific business. These applications are affordable and easy to use.
You can use your CRM software to manage your database, contacts, communications, client records and more.
CRM software will help you increase your sales and improve your efficiency.
How to pick a CRM system?
When it comes to the market competition, there is no other segment that needs such strong marketing presence. That’s the reason why many businesses are looking for a powerful tool for managing their business processes.
One of the most important things you need to consider before you choose a CRM application is what your company needs.
There is CRM for lawyers, for small business, public relations, sales and marketing, and many more. Selecting a CRM software involves a lot of decisions, which have to be made based on your firm’s needs.
Picking the right CRM for your firm is not a simple task. However, it is not impossible too.
When you have a particular goal in mind, it becomes an easy task to identify the solutions that meet your requirements.
Look for all the features that you need
You need to keep in mind that there is a vast variety of CRM solutions out there.
When you are shopping around for a CRM application, you will find many options. Some of the solutions don’t have the features that you need.
Don’t just settle for something that has most of the features.
Take your time to go through the features of the software and make a list of the features that are of high importance to your firm. Ask yourself whether the software offers the same features.
Also, get recommendations from other firms that have already adopted the software. This will help you get a better idea about how the software works and what are its best features.
See if the CRM of your choice can upgrade to meet your changing needs
Long-term CRM use involves employee training and knowing how to use the new features. This is just the beginning.
Your CRM needs to evolve like your firm to fit your everyday operations. Otherwise, your CRM application will fade into oblivion.
The key is to choose a CRM system that offers growth and upgradability. Not only this will prepare your firm for the future of customer management, but it will also save you a lot of money.
CRM software can be very expensive. A software that required a recurring subscription may not be suitable for your firm. If you want a long-term relationship with your CRM, go for an open software that gives you a choice of running the system on your computer or hosted by the vendor.
Ensure your firm is ready to use the new software
Even if you have looked at the features of the software and you are convinced of the benefits, you still need to check if your employees are ready to use the software.
Are your employees ready to use a new CRM application? Do they have the skills to use the software to its full potential?
Do they know the basics of modern customer management?
I understand that you want a new software to take your firm into the next generation, but you need to make sure that your team is ready for the change.
Keep things simple and easy to use
Your CRM solution must be simple and easy to use.
Not only you have to rely on the system, but also your employees and clients.
There are two kinds of users you need to consider:
- The end user
- The IT manager
If you are a small law firm, you don’t have an IT department. However, you may have some staff members who know how to deal with technology. If not, they will need your assistance to get things done. It is a must to make sure that they will be able to use the new CRM solution to its full potential.
I understand that your ideas about customer relationship may not match with the CRM solution. That’s the reason why you have to take your time to understand how the new system integrates with your firm’s vision.
If you don’t have the time, employees, or skills required to operate it, better find a software that is simple to use and offers easy set-up options.
Questions to ask before getting a CRM for lawyers:
- What are the goals of your firm?
- Do you know what direction your firm is moving?
- Are you thinking about diversifying your offer?
- Are you thinking about changing or modifying your business model?
- Are you planning to use technology to boost your revenue?
- Are you looking for ways to reduce your attorney turnover?
- Are you looking for ways to manage your firm’s legal risks?
- Do you want to take care of your firm’s finances aggressively?
- Do you want to increase your firm’s profitability?
- Do you want to save money on office space?
- Do you feel that you need a better CRM system?
- Have you asked your employees about their problems?
- What do you want to achieve? Why do you want to get a CRM for attorneys?
- How can a CRM help your business?
- Do you see a need for a CRM?
- Do you have a vision of your business?
- Do you want to be the best at what you do?
If your firm is growing, getting a CRM is a must. However, don’t make a decision in a hurry.
You should take some time and sit down and think things through. You may have a CRM already, but not the one that you need.
That’s why you need to think about what’s important and what your needs are.
There are a lot of law firms that want to know what is the best CRM for attorneys.
The thing is that picking a CRM application for a law firm differs from picking one for other business. The focus is on the attorney, rather than the clients.
Think about it.
How many times did you say clients when you were listing the stakeholders of your firm? If you said clients, you are not alone. However, you should know that there are more stakeholders than just the clients.
Key stakeholders in your law firm include:
- Support staff
- Legal support staff
If your firm has multiple offices, you should consider including staff in other offices.
These are the stakeholders you must consider when looking for the best CRM software for lawyers. Not only that it helps you understand them, but it also prepares you for the future.
No matter the size of your firm, you need to understand that you are your firm’s CRM system. No matter how much you invest in a good CRM, if you don’t use it, you will be going nowhere.
Do you want your CRM to become your firm’s downfall?
Choose a CRM software that is adaptable, comprehensive, and gives you enough time to keep up with your firm.
If you have any questions, let me know.