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How to implement a CRM in small to mid-sized law firms

This is the second in a series of blog articles designed to help law firms make the most of Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). If you haven’t read the first one, you may want to catch up on it first:

Now that you’ve chosen a CRM to support your law firm’s business development efforts, it’s time for implementation. How to implement a CRM in small to mid-sized law firms looks different for each firm as workflows, processes, team distribution, and company culture all need to be considered.

A strategic approach is the best way to have a successful implementation. After all, CRM is an important investment and you want everyone at the firm to be open to using it—even better, be excited about it! Getting proper buy-in from your team ensures better use of the tool and better overall ROI.

Create Your Implementation Plan 

We’ve talked before on this blog about how to form a CRM implementation plan that drives adoption, because the number one key to a successful CRM implementation is finding ways to ensure your people actually use it.

  1. Understand your culture and limitations
  2. Set Measurable Goals for CRM
  3. Create a 6-step CRM Implementation Plan

Without a good plan, odds are your implementation plan will fail just like 70% of all CRM projects fail. Now is the time to look at the steps needed to create that successful implementation plan that will put your law firm on the favorable side of that statistic. 

1. Understand your culture and limitations

Every team works differently, so spend the time understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Identify in advance the places where using CRM would make improvements to how your team operates. This knowledge will help to craft a tailored CRM integration, ensuring it fits in with your firm’s culture and offers benefits for everyone using it.

2. Set Measurable Goals for CRM

There’s no way to measure the success of any technology solution if you don’t first know what your goals are. Identify the results you’re looking for, pain points you’re hoping to solve, and what your idea of success with CRM looks like. (One example of a measurable goal would be to achieve a certain percentage adoption rate.)

3. Create a 6-step CRM Implementation Plan

  1. Get buy-in from key stakeholders
  2. Define what’s important for end-user groups
  3. Configure your CRM
  4. Outline a communication plan
  5. Train CRM end-users
  6. Review data quality
Reasons Lawyers Don't Use CRM Graph
Reasons Lawyers Don’t Use CRM by Ackert – The State of CRM at Law Firms (2019)

Top 3 CRM User Adoption Challenges 

The exact strategy for how to implement a CRM in small to mid-sized law firms may look different from firm to firm, but there are some universal challenges that all strategies need to address. Firms that have failed to meet their desired outcomes most likely feel short in one or more of these areas.

  1. Cleaning Up Dirty Data
  2. Breaking Old Habits
  3. Too Many Features

You’re in a fantastic position to learn from the past experiences of others and find ways to overcome these common adoption challenges before they happen to you.

1. Cleaning Up Dirty Data

Our marketing director Dan Dowling calls data decay the silent killer of the CRM system, and it is a major barrier to CRM adoption. According to Gartner, 30% of data within CRM systems is outdated within 12 months. The simple fact is that you need to take the right steps to ensure that your CRM is only using clean data. Solutions like CRM automation can help solve this prevalent challenge.

2. Breaking Old Habits

As we mentioned above, understanding your team’s culture and workflows is key to the successful implementation of a CRM in small to mid-sized law firms. There are a number of common cultural barriers that can hurt CRM adoption, such as lack of leadership, lack of training, turnover, or no accountability. Each organization has unique cultural barriers that will need to be addressed. Now is the time to identify these barriers and plan for ways to overcome them.

3. Too Many Features

A CRM literally has hundreds of features and capabilities, but no single law firm needs to use them all. Before implementation, figure out what your goals are and what features end-users will employ to meet those goals. By identifying what success looks like and setting measurable goals, this challenge is quite easily overcome—it just takes some strategy.

Choose the right partner

To get around some of the major challenges we’ve covered in this post, involve your end-users in the process, encourage accountability, and consider new technology that can automate time-consuming data entry.

There’s no doubt that CRMs are powerful tools, but even a superstar performs better with the right coach. In order to take full advantage of a CRM you should to go the extra mile and bring in a partner who knows how to implement a CRM in small to mid-sized law firms. This partner should not only provide additional tools that help your CRM deliver the most value, but also help guide your implementation.

If your law firm can create an effective CRM implementation plan, your CRM will fit perfectly into your firm’s company culture and become a critical tool for your sales and business development team. Don’t dump your CRM prematurely!

See it in action

Introhive has shown scores of small to mid-sized law firms how to implement a CRM successfully. With us, your data is automatically added to the CRM and our AI-powered engine works to keep that data clean and updated. As a result, user adoption is high because lawyers are liberated from mundane data entry tasks and free to focus on what matters most: their clients. And perhaps it goes without saying, better client experience leads to longer relationships and growth for the firm.

Request a demo today to learn how Introhive can help you get the most out of your CRM—and watch your user adoption rates climb!

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