Post by Gareth Hodges |
In the highly commercial legal sector, constructively engaging with customers is important. Perhaps that is why we are seeing a renewed drive in law firms (by fee earners) to adopt Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
By far, the best functionality that a CRM system can offer fee-earners is access via Microsoft Outlook. Now I realise that the role of a sales executive is very different to that of a fee earner, but given that both have new business goals to meet, I’m drawing on my own experience of using this functionality to illustrate how InterAction via Outlook can potentially help fee earners achieve their business development targets. May be the idea is not as improbable! Let’s take a look:
- I can work how I want to work. I work almost entirely in Outlook and via my phone. Any change related to contacts that I make in Outlook automatically synchronises with InterAction, so I don’t need to log into InterAction separately to input or draw out information. It works in exactly the same way for my colleagues. Consequently, InterAction is updated in real-time and I’m always confident that any information I access from the system at any point in time is the most current.
- Meeting preparation is easy. Before a meeting, I quickly go into InterAction to get up to speed on all activities and communications related to the contact I’m going to meet. I can even see who else in my organisation has most recently interacted with my contact and for what purpose. This reflects well on me and my organisation equally. Better still, when I’m ‘on the road’, which I often am – through InterAction Mobility I can access all the information I need on the ‘hoof’, completely eliminating the need to request colleagues in the office to provide the information. It saves time!
- I get real relationship intelligence. This is the most valuable. InterAction assimilates data and offers true relationship intelligence. Every correspondence – be it via email, phone call, marketing campaigns or other is logged against contacts. It makes me look very ‘switched on’ in front of customers and prospects. Also, I get a holistic picture of my clients and their business environment – so I’m often in a good position to suggest services or approaches to help overcome their business challenges that they may not have thought of themselves.
In essence, by using InterAction for Outlook, I’ve fully embraced CRM without needing to make it a deliberate, conscious activity. There is business value in fee earners adopting it too.