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Five steps to delivering valuable CRM intelligence

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Winning fee earners over with CRM reporting

Reporting is one of the quickest and most effective ways to achieve fee earner buy in for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Why? Because it quickly demonstrates how your CRM system can deliver real value. And, because your CRM system is one of the key mechanisms for tracking and managing business development, it makes sense to focus reporting on individual, practice, sector or firm initiatives. Follow these five steps and you'll deliver the kind of intelligence that will win over fee earners time after time:

Make it personal

Reports linked to fee earners own initiatives will always gain interest, so it's important to understand what motivates them from a business development perspective – be it practice initiatives, sectors or individual profiles. Then ensure that report information reflects fee earners' priorities and is related to contacts and activities they are interested in, actively engaged with or pursuing.

Start simple

Never under-estimate the value of an activity report. It can show who is engaged internally and externally, what they are engaged with in terms of events, mailings, meetings etc. and when the last engagement took place. This information alone is a great starting point, especially when it's also linked to the right business development initiatives and defined contacts.

Keep it clear

Reports should give fee earners a snapshot of the initiatives they are working on. Delivering reports in a visual format showing numbers linked to client activity and financials (either in charts or graphs) will enable fee earners to see at a glance what is going well and where effort should be directed at. To really understand what is happening, they may also need the detail behind the snapshot, so be prepared to deliver that too.

Ensure it's relevant

Not all data is equal. The burden of data management is a turn off for everyone and, if irrelevant data finds its way into a report, it will be ignored and subsequent reports will find their way into the bin pretty quickly. Ensure reporting only focuses on key contacts and activities. Reports should provide information that helps fee earners understand what actions they need to take, based on how a contact is engaging with the firm.

Show the gap

Use reporting to show where there are gaps in services or a lack of engagement with contacts. This can be invaluable for helping fee earners direct their efforts and avoid wasting time on contacts that are not going to provide work or referrals. By beginning with simple and focused reports that provide useful information to fee earners, you can quickly demonstrate that there is value in adding key contacts and activities into the system. And once fee earners start to engage, reporting can become more sophisticated, helping them make the right decisions to achieve their business development and client relationship management goals.

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