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Inspiring fee earners to buy into CRM

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In my last blog, we established that fee earners cannot bury their heads in the sand and simply focus on their existing matters. In the current competitive business climate, they have to keep one eye on where the next matter is coming from. And that means having defined business development objectives that build relationships and results in future business.

We also established they have limited time to work on their objectives and therefore, need help to prioritise their efforts carefully. And these two factors are powerful reasons why fee earners ‘need’ CRM.

But, in an environment where they have never needed CRM before, how can you inspire them to see the benefits it can bring them. Here are six practical initiatives you can build into your CRM launch and on-going communication plan:

  1. Educate them on why CRM is a key part of your firm’s strategy, so they understand the broader picture and how it will help to achieve the organisation’s overall objectives.
  2. Discuss the ‘journey’ the firm will take in incorporating CRM into the daily lives of fee earners. Pay particular attention to discussing their own business development objectives and how the system will make them easier to achieve, save time and help to keep the matters rolling in.
  3. Compile a dossier of examples from other professional services organisations that have already fully adopted CRM systems, to demonstrate the positive impact they have had on fee earners in those organisations.
  4. Incorporate articles and white papers written by industry peers and professionals that stress the importance of CRM adoption and the detriment to fee earners and the business if the firm does not adapt.
  5. If possible obtain direct feedback from clients about the benefits they think CRM will bring, in order to emphasise that coordinated client relationship management is important to them.
  6. Have specific and relevant fee earner reports designed and ready for distribution from the start. And be sure they support any existing business development initiatives fee earners are already managing or participating in. There is nothing as convincing as seeing the evidence of how the system is going to help you with your own eyes.

Follow these six initiatives and you will not only convince them they need CRM, you will also have them beating a path to your door for training. But once they are there – a word of caution. Don’t overwhelm them with too much functionality. Focus purely on the essential tasks they need to complete. And, wherever possible, try to use real examples from their client base to help demonstrate the practical benefits they will achieve from using the system.

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:


Tennille has worked in marketing for professional service organisations for over 12 years in various roles, including event management, digital communications and operations. For the last eight years, she has focused specifically on InterAction, working with business development executives to align the database to business planning, key account programmes and marketing strategies.

Tennille also specialises in repositioning misunderstood (or failed) systems with business development teams and partnerships. At Lexis Nexis, she works with business development teams to adopt marketing and client relationship management techniques managed centrally through InterAction, to support the growth of professional service firms from domestic, office centric environments to connected global organisations. Her aim is to help streamline your processes and successfully report client growth, value add and return on investment back to the business.

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