The pandemic has resulted in legal tech buyers pursuing more automation and overcoming their past resistance to change. As a case in point, Gartner has estimated that legal departments will have automated 50% of legal work related to significant corporate transactions.
To adequately adapt, legal tech companies must understand how law firms implement new technologies. There are moving from siloed, purpose-driven apps to organization-wide hubs and ecosystems. Many are even choosing vendors that can integrate legal applications with non-specific platforms like SalesForce, Microsoft, and SAP.
This creates a tremendous opportunity for legal tech providers to realize significant growth through partnerships and integrations. By differentiating their core functions and having the capacity to integrate widely, legal tech applications can stay on track with these transformational shifts in the legal tech space.
How to Develop Great Partnerships
It would be best to ask yourself a few key questions when planning a partnership strategy.
What does each party bring to the table?
First and foremost, understand what you can offer a potential partner. Some great selling points could include exposure to your user base as potential customers, expanding the functionality and value of their solution, and the authority or credibility your brand could lend to their product.
Likewise, consider what you need from a partner. Are you looking for access to different markets, expanding the user-base of your product, or working to build collective intelligence to better address your market's needs?
Effective partnerships allow both parties to benefit in how they complement each other and how each party brings unique value to the table.
How does your partnership create a shared competitive advantage?
You are likely aware of your solution's competitive advantage when internally planning your roadmap and marketing. Likewise, approach your partnership to create an expanded competitive advantage.
The first question answered what each party brings to the table individually. This question helps you focus on what you and your partners are bringing to the table together. What issues are you seeking to address for your customers, and what benefits can you deliver with your partnership initiative?
Each partner should understand both their contribution to the initiative and what they can expect from their partners. This will clarify the initiative's challenges, promote energy and engagement, and create an aligned purpose among partners.
How can we work together?
Once you have a shared purpose and vision for the partnership, you need to outline how you will work together. This involves setting clear, tangible milestones and deliverables, maintaining open communication, and developing a timeline to guide the implementation of integrations and new features. A successful long-term partnership will be apparent in each partner's product roadmap so that neither will lose perspective of their contributions to the shared initiatives.
Similarly, organizations should collaborate on marketing and messaging so that each partner benefits from the other. Each partner should be able to articulate how their marketing creates opportunities for their partner and vice versa.
Following these guidelines can lead to tremendous growth for organizations that pursue partnership strategies. It will ensure they are prepared to succeed in the new legal tech landscape, where they need to be ready to plug into existing ecosystems and platforms to meet customer demand.