“Just 7% of firms said their lawyers actively used customer relationship management (CRM) systems and 12% of firms didn’t have a CRM system at all, according to an Ackert, Inc. survey that primarily polled small and mid-sized firms.”
Our founder, David Ackert, was quoted in this article about return to work and the sometimes dissonant messaging that can come from leadership:
“‘I have heard firms use that language,’ Ackert said. ‘It ranges from being a veiled threat, signaling there will be a political cost if you don’t come in, to being used strategically by some leaders knowing that some will follow the meaning and others will ignore it.’”
“Much of the legal news in Q2 of this year predicted a grim future for our industry. Initial declines in revenue, budget cuts, furloughs, and doomsday scenarios signaled a significant downturn in client activity. Firms also anticipated an extended compromise in realization as clients looked for ways to control costs and protect their cashflow. But reports in the news and from the trenches in Q3 tell a different story. At Ackert, which delivers business development coaching, consulting, and technology to law firms globally, we canvassed clients of all sizes to hear their perspectives on the current situation.”
“Customer relationship management platforms are not generally used for pipeline management. Practice Pipeline offers lawyers a combination of simple technology and smart coaching for professionals who find CRM inconvenient to use. ‘The key is the human connection combined with software that tracks lawyer performance and law firm ROI. Only we have that combination, and it’s seamless to use.’”
“Practice Pipeline is making its first appearance on our top legal softwares list, and is quickly establishing itself as one of the best legal practice development tools on the market today. The software is a great alternative for those who find using CRMs to be too complex. Practice Pipeline helps lawyers keep their most important relationships and top referral sources top of mind.”
Practice Pipeline’s Top Features:
- Designed with a simple an easy to use dashboard.
- Provides follow-up reminders, management reports, and calendar updates.
- Offers API integration with the CRM platform of your choice.
“The Market Leaders Podcast has produced over 30 episodes since its launch in March 2017 and is syndicated here on JD Supra. We sat down for a brief interview with David to learn a bit more about this terrific series of conversations and what he’s learned from it over the past year.”
“A healthy practice is already a full-time job. The key is to be as efficient as possible so that you have time left for business development (or whatever else you’ve been neglecting). Here are six steps you can take to increase your efficiency…”
“I recently attended a panel hosted by the Century City (CA) Chamber of Commerce called ‘Pitch Perfect: How to Win More Business.’ It featured four executives who provided the kind of information I find most helpful — namely: hidden in plain sight, never would have thought of it and I can use it today. I also noticed that they asked the panelists to cover -don’ts- first and then -do’s-. That grabbed everyone’s attention, because -don’ts- really rub your face in ineffective actions that you’re doing and immediately recognize as stupid and counterproductive. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m offering you here 12 -don’ts- (three from each of the panelists) before we move into the -do’s.-”
“Professional services firms of all sizes are experiencing growing pains. Firm leadership is placing increasing emphasis on generating business development results, while professionals slowly and reluctantly adopt and adapt, and marketers struggle to unite the expectations of the former with the behaviours of the latter. However, culture shift does not happen in one fell swoop – people need to agree to change, which can be a slow and incremental process. Marketers and business developers should consider implementing one of the most effective business development training formats we’ve seen in the industry: an intensive pilot programme with a select group of service professionals.”
“Everyone can and should play a part in fostering diversity in the workplace. Earlier this week, consulting firms Key Group and The Ackert Advisory, with the support of tax advisory firm KPMG LLP, hosted the Women Leaders Forum (WLF) in Washington, D.C. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to catch up with Kim Stuart, founder of Key Group and co-founder of the Women Leaders Forum. She traveled to and from her home in Northern California to launch this initial summit in D.C. And the trip was well worth it. Stuart is a seasoned veteran of the legal industry, having spent the last decade focusing on comprehensive professional development programs that provide the insights, management principles, and framework essentials for effective law firm leaders.”
“Law firms have much to gain from social media channels if they are properly managed, which is crucial in order to avoid lapses in state ethics rules. The American Bar Association (‘ABA’) echoed this notion, stating in connection with a report of its own, the 2016 Legal Technology Survey Report, ‘Taking control of your online presence is a necessity, and there are few better ways to do so than social media. Used carefully, social media can give your firm a voice, amplify your professional reputation, and help drive new business.’”
“Thanks to the holidays, there are more networking opportunities in December than any other month of the year… if you know where to look. One example: The world’s largest professional network is a fruitful resource all year long. Take advantage of the fact that your office will quiet down toward the end of December. Spend a few minutes searching the LinkedIn connections of your best referral sources, clients, and closest colleagues. Their networks are rife with opportunities for your practice. Once you identify an interesting person in their circle, pick up the phone and let them know that you are interested in knowing more about their relationship and learning if an introduction might be appropriate.”
“Anyone who works with lawyers is well acquainted with the fact that lawyer personalities depart from the norm in some very signature ways. The infamous Altman Weil study profiling over 1,000 lawyers with the Caliper Profile personality test illuminated how most lawyers are impatient, skeptical, unsociable, hightly autonomous and not very resilient compared with the general public. While these traits are ideal for defending arguments and heading off risky business decisions for their clients, they put lawyers at a disadvantage when it comes to business development. Given the increasingly competitive legal landscape and the change-resistant culture that prevails at most firms, marketing departments are being challenged to come up with creative ways to shift laywer mindsets.”
“Consider your law firm’s clients. They can be divided into three tiers based on their relationship to the firm and their likelihood to yield new business. In Tier One are your existing clients. They are currently sending you work, generating revenue, and justifiably dominating your focus. Tier Two includes your former clients. Because of your past work with them, you are familiar with their business, even if some of your information is now outdated. In Tier Three are prospective clients, the ones you hope to secure if your business development efforts are successful.”
“How do you maintain momentum after the coaching engagement?: It’s a challenge, because many times we see clients retreat. Now maybe they take two steps forward and one step back, but there is a retreat that occurs after the coaching engagement. It’s done because that structure has gone away. That’s why we developed our software. Because at least then you will continue to have these reminders, and you’ll have something you can work with. Then you’re not completely on your own.”
“As all of us in the legal marketing community know, the economic downturn exacerbated the need law firms felt to foster a culture of business development — and at warp speed. This was, and continues to be a challenging process, given lawyers’ risk-averse personalities and their general discomfort with change (at any speed). My firm tackled this challenge through an initiative we called ‘DNA,’ which helped to shift our lawyers’ mindset and resulted in significant financial gain. Here, I share the details of this initiative in the hopes that it will help those looking to accomplish a shift in their business development culture.”
“As hard as legal marketers work to create certain programs and provide certain tools, their ultimate success is out of their hands—whether or not lawyers buy-in will determine whether something works or not. In speaking with LXBN TV in advance of the 2014 LMA-LA Continuing Marketing Education Conference, David Ackert of Practice Boomers and Practice Pipeline explains what marketers can do to get lawyers motivated. [VIDEO]”
“Traditional mentoring, new metrics can help identify areas for potential business development, according to authors David Ackert and Gabriel Byberg. In this era of price-sensitive clientele and underwhelming firm profits, law firms struggle for meaningful competitive advantage and increased market share.”
“Your allies are your greatest business development asset, which is why they too require that you choose them wisely and maintain them carefully. Because allies are so critical to a thriving referral pipeline, it is important to manage them just as you would any valuable portfolio. But most advisors don’t take the time to design any Ally Portfolio; a system that identifies Allies quickly and maintains those relationships for a maximum return on investment. As a result, their allies, if they have any, refer inconsistently. And as a result of that, their book of business is wanting.”