CRM Study Reveals Lawyers Are Behind the Curve
Lawyers are among the least proactive users of CRM despite an increasing need to develop business.
Sherman Oaks, CA, July 21, 2015 (Newswire.com) - Ackert Inc.™ released the findings of a market-wide study showing surprising trends in Customer Relationship Management adoption and utilization in law firms—or rather, the lack thereof.
Although attorneys’ primary role is to service their clients’ legal needs, they are also expected to originate new clients for their firms; yet relatively few attorneys use formalized systems to organize their pursuits. The recent study reveals that although 70 percent of North American law firms have implemented a CRM initiative, less than 5 percent of lawyers at most firms use it regularly.
The CRM marketplace is a 23 billion dollar industry with high utilization from sales teams in most verticals. According to the latest surveys, 61-100 percent of sales teams across non-legal markets use CRM at least once per day. This stands in stark contrast to the less-than-5-percent of lawyers who use CRM at least once every 2 weeks.
Since the economic downturn in 2008, lawyers at firms of all sizes have faced new pressure to develop business proactively rather than waiting on new clients to find them. Attorneys today face a more competitive landscape than ever before. The need to proactively develop business is made even more challenging by heightened competition between firms and lawyers – according to the latest figures from the American Bar Association, only 57 percent of law school graduates are working in long-term positions where bar admission is required.
The legal CRM study reports that the two primary reasons for underutilization are a lack of accountability and a general lack of technological proficiency. It is worth noting that these factors are cultural/behavioral issues rather than CRM software shortcomings.
This has given rise to innovative software platforms seeking to address CRM underutilization among lawyers. “We’ve found that coupling technology with coaching is an effective way to increase engagement among lawyers,” said David Ackert, founder of Practice Pipeline. His software is distinctly high-touch, with regular email reminders and monthly coaching sessions that encourage accountability. “Utilization is definitely a significant issue with lawyers. We have focused on seamlessly integrating with Outlook to capture contact information, and we see Practice Pipeline also as a very simple and effective tracking mechanism,” said Jeff Reade, President of Cole Valley Software which owns ContactEase, the second largest provider of CRM to the legal industry.
Lawyers, more than most, need to start adopting the sales behaviors and technologies that stimulate new business opportunities. Those who continue to stubbornly refuse CRM and other pipeline management solutions may find themselves struggling to grow their practices.