It's 2019 and a Happy New Year to you. As always, January is used to regroup, consider what goals you want to achieve in the coming year and begin making plans, both personally and professionally, to execute them. I know I am.
One thing that I would like to see this year is firms becoming more comfortable with the idea of not just capturing data, but using it, to improve your firm's position in the market, build trusted relationships with your clients and ultimately win more business. The 'what' and 'why' are just as important as the 'how'.
This means firstly, identifying what information you need to analyse to understand your position so you can improve it. This 'in my humble experience' is lacking somewhat in law firms. You can't eat the elephant, particularly with limited resource, so we have to focus our attention on specific data areas. These could include:
- Understanding how our firms engage with key buyers and decision makers at our clients and defined prospects
- Understanding how our audience engages with our marketing
- Understanding our tender win/loss rates to ensure time spent pitching is time well spent
- Understanding where our lawyers are spending their energy and if it is in the right places
- Understanding if time spent on business planning is actually being executed and moving the needle
- Understanding how we are penetrating particular sectors of interest and growth, whether across all companies in our databases, or by identifying key companies you want to work with in that sector
I could go on...
Each firm will have their own identified strategies and programmes for the business and therefore a need to collect data and build efficient processes that supports and manages that programme. This needs to be included as part of building a programme – without it, all you have is an outline that will not be executed across necessary teams or the whole firm.
If you don't understand what data you want and why you are going to use it, it will be near impossible to convince your lawyers to engage with the 'how' - the software that helps you capture the data. The responsibility of the 'what' and 'why' lies solely with the leaders of each business unit to direct their teams on the processes and tools they need to use to ensure the data is collected consistently and efficiently.
So please... When you are building your plans for 2019 – consider what data and tools you need your firm to engage with to support these plans. Most firms have the tools already, they are just not prioritized when building and executing a programme. Frankly, without this consideration, you will be exactly where you are now in January 2020.