Why IT and business development collaboration is crucial when selecting a CRM system
Business development is vital for every law and accountancy firm. With client loyalty decreasing and competition increasing, firms are having to take a more sophisticated approach to growing their revenues.
Once it was a case of focusing on marketing communications and events. But now, even though these can still be a potent part of the business development mix, firms are realising that client retention and growth is just as important, if not more important, than client acquisition.
With this realisation comes the need to provide everyone in the organisation with tools for interacting with clients and managing relationships more effectively. Business development is no longer the responsibility of one department, but everyone in the organisation.
To help them many firms are turning to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and they have huge potential to help organisations grow their business. But there is a caveat – only if they support their business development strategy.
Why do I say this? Because very often I see the selection of a CRM system left to the IT department. Now don’t get me wrong, IT departments have a crucial role to play. They are the experts in compatibility, infrastructure, system management and upgrades, all of which should be taken into consideration. But they are not necessarily experts in the best way for fee earners to approach business development.
To manage relationships most effectively and grow the business, fee earners need information from a whole range of sources – practice management systems, company web sites, blogs, Microsoft Outlook, news sites, telephone systems, LinkedIn and more – all presented in an environment they are comfortable with and at a time when they need it. With the best will in the world IT departments cannot know all of this.
That’s why it’s absolutely crucial for business development and IT to collaborate closely in the selection of a CRM system. By doing so they will make sure it fits the firm’s business development strategy, allowing fee earners to effectively focus their efforts on growing the business while ensuring the system fits into the firm’s IT environment. Put simply, IT/Business Development collaboration will deliver higher value and greater success.