There is one metric that will tell you if an organization ‘has a CRM’ or actually uses the software to drive business, and that’s revenue growth.
As the adage goes; “What gets measured gets managed.”
While most organizations have a subscription for a CRM, few leverage its full feature set. An understandable trend is much like the software many of our clients sell… there are so many tools and options it’s hard to know where to begin.
After decades of implementing CRM solutions for startups, enterprise sales teams and our own organization, I’ll share a few of the most impactful customizations for sales and marketing success within the legal vertical.
Proper Tracking Code
First and foremost, if you aren’t paying attention to the actions of your prospects time will be wasted chasing leads that still need time to warm up. By installing tracking code on your website and integrating your email client you will know every time a lead so much as breathes in your organization’s general direction. Data that will also help you craft more effective marketing messages, segmentation lists and follow up campaigns.
Lead Lifecycle Stages
How do you attract and retain high-performing sales staff? Know the quality of your leads, and provide salespeople with the tools they need to focus on the most viable opportunities first. ‘Lifecycle Stages’ are created and if setup properly automatically changed when a lead’s engagement activity reaches a certain threshold. For example, most organizations use these stages;
Lead – Cold Prospects
Marketing Qualified Lead – Engaged Prospects
Sales Qualified Lead – Sales Ready Prospects
Opportunity – Sales Owned Prospects
Not a Fit – Disqualified Prospects
It is then the responsibility of marketing to ‘nurture’ leads from Stage 1 to Stage 3, at which point sales takes over and is responsible for converting that lead to the point of closure or disqualification/loss. Sales can also change a status back from Sales Qualified Lead to Marketing Qualified Lead if they feel the prospect needs more time in the nurture stage. A system that creates an open and active dialog between sales and marketing that eliminates the “these leads are horrible” excuse.
Law Firm Specific Field Data
To successfully market to law firms, you must understand how they practice. Habits and processes vary greatly between practice areas. In every CRM Contact or Company record, information about practice size, areas of service and projected annual revenue should be listed. If possible, list the number of attorneys, staff and related contacts such as the firm’s technology consulting partner or office administrator who could very well be an influencer when decision time comes.
Time in Deal Stage
Great leads are metrics driven. The ability to know where deals are getting hung up gives you the power to close a gap in the sales process or adjust your marketing efforts to better handle a specific objection. Without this information, creating accurate revenue forecasts is increasingly difficult.
Activities by Rep Reporting
One of my favorite training tips for sales managers is to convey to their team that “If an activity is not in the CRM it did not happen”.
This is not because a Rep is untrustworthy or we like to be in control. The insight you will gain from a successful rep’s activity patterns can be applied to the other members of the team. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could clone your rock star salespeople?
A thought that isn’t that far from the truth if you are able to build a follow-up method that mimics the actions of your most successful rep. And, with that same approach, focus your coaching efforts on the team members that seem to spin their wheels at certain stages of the sales process.
Marketing and Sales Management is already hard enough, without proper tracking, reports and data you or your team will burn through potentially great leads plus a tremendous amount of time. High turnover and client churn are also the byproducts of a lack of quality CRM data. Use the functionality of your CRM to laser focus your efforts, identify hyper-responsive prospects and be vigilant about recording activities. The results will show up in the best place possible… your bottom line.