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Legal Firms: Choosing a CRM

In early 2020, when the challenges surrounding the pandemic began, many legal firms found themselves without the ability to answer the question: “Who should we communicate with at our clients?”

With a clean, updated contact database full of recent activity and notes, remote professionals could quickly check one system and know exactly who at each client should receive a personal phone call or check-in in times of a crisis. Unfortunately, most firms were not set up with such a database last March.

Small and mid-sized firms are pursuing customer relationship management (CRM) software now more than ever. Looking to leverage contacts and grow business development strategies, these firms recognize the benefits that large organizations in the legal field have earned from implementing CRM. 

According to The State of CRM at Law Firms report for 2019, an impressive 95 per cent of law firms with over 701 lawyers used CRM, while 72 per cent of firms with 31 to 200 lawyers used CRM. These statistics show that large firms have already dialled into the value of data and automation from CRM. So, how do small and medium firms choose the right CRM? And how does it all fit in with the new remote workforce for legal firms?

Relationships are the foundation for law firms to grow—but how do small firms choose a CRM in the sea of their existing tech stack that includes marketing, time and billing systems, etc? When choosing a CRM, firms need to look at which platforms can best help reach their goals by fostering relationships, automating manual tasks, and leveraging data. 

Here are key factors to consider:

  1. Data Cleansing – Will the CRM help your firm clean up the inaccurate and unusable data that’s already being collected by the accounts or billing department? Tapping into this data is one of the first steps toward pursuing warm leads and growing the business.
  1. Data Collection & Usability – Will the CRM be able to efficiently use the data your firm collects in order to increase revenue? Does it have lead capture and lead management features? Does it offer sales automation? Does it analyze bounce-back rates, which impact marketing campaign effectiveness?
  1. Integration – It’s critical that any CRM a firm chooses can integrate with most, or all, of its existing tech stack. Request a full product demo from any CRM you’re considering and ask about integrations right away.
  1. User Adoption & Ease of Use – It’s important to keep usability and user adoption in mind when reviewing the features and processes of a CRM. The State of CRM at Law Firms 2019 report showed that while 78% of law firms surveyed were using CRM “50% of firms reported that only 0-5% of their lawyers regularly use CRM.”

Important questions to ask here are:

  • Will users be able to create contacts with ease by only asking for relevant information to effectively manage client relationships? 
  • Is your firm comfortable with automating contacts and activity syncing, rather than putting that burden on attorneys or their proxies? 

Many firms are realizing that providing rich business insights is the key driver to getting attorneys to pay attention to CRM.

  1. In-House versus Hosted – hosted CRM systems are convenient for firms with multiple offices or remote workers. With no infrastructure needed, these cloud-based solutions are relatively easy to set up and seem to make the most sense for small and medium firms.

CRM and the Remote Workforce

There’s no doubt that the shift to remote workplaces has driven small and medium-sized legal firms to look at CRM solutions. No longer having the option to simply pop into a colleague’s office and ask for an introduction or referral, CRM is playing an even bigger role in lead generation. Another concern for legal firms is being able to effectively communicate with their clients from their remote workstations.

How Introhive Can Help

Introhive can help firms keep client experiences positive by: 

Mapping out key client relationships: These kinds of insights shed important light on individual and B2B relationships.

Improving data quality: CRM ensures an accurate list of every client with whom you have a current relationship, plus complete contact records—helping firms to keep in touch with the right people.

Ensuring clients are being engaged effectively: Having open communication with colleagues ensures that clients are not being overly contacted—or ignored—through information sharing between departments at your firm.

Communicate directly with clients: Enables you to reach out to see how you can help, or just to say hello–fostering valuable relationships remains a top priority. (Keep in mind your closest network is going to be the most powerful.)

To learn more about how professional services like legal firms, accounting firms, and consulting firms can get the most out of their investment in CRM, read our CRM Adoption Guide

To continue along your CRM adoption journey, check out the next in this series of articles where we learn about how to implement a CRM in small to-mid sized law firms.

eBook design_CRM Adoption EGuide

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