CRM, Marketing and Business Development

What is CRM, Marketing and Business Development?

Legal CRM, marketing and business development products help law firms manage the process of converting potential clients to retained clients. They enable law firms to automate and manage client pipelines and intake, to track and analyze digital marketing campaigns, and to manage communications with current and prospective clients.

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What does CRM stand for?

In the legal industry, CRM stands for “client relationship management.” In other industries, it is more commonly referred to as “customer relationship management.”

What are the key components to look for in a legal CRM product?

The key components to look for in a legal CRM product will depend on the nature of your practice and the types of marketing campaigns your firm engages in. The most common components of legal CRM and marketing products are:

  • Legal CRM. This is the core of a legal CRM system, where you manage and organize your leads, prospects and current clients.
  • Marketing automation. These are tools that automate the workflows around email drip-marketing campaigns, text-messaging campaigns and phone-messaging campaigns.
  • Client intake. CRM products enable you to build custom client-intake forms, schedule clients for consultations, electronically sign retainer agreements, and electronically collect retainer payments.
  • Analytics and KPIs. Legal CRM and marketing software typically provides dashboards by which law firms can view and create reports on their marketing and client-development efforts, as well as on milestones and progress in client pipelines.

Does my law firm need CRM software if we already have law practice management software?

Even if your law firm is already using law practice management software, you may also need CRM software. Most law practice management software is designed to manage your matters beginning from the point when the client retains you; this software does not manage the client-acquisition and client-intake process.

By contrast, CRM products help automate and manage the pipeline of potential clients and leads before and up to the point when they retain you.

However, some law practice management platforms have now started to offer CRM features. Others directly integrate with popular CRM products. You should check your platform to see if it offers CRM features or integrations.

Can legal CRM or marketing software automate the client-intake process?

CRM software can automate client intake in multiple ways. Most CRM products allow you to create custom client-intake forms and questionnaires. These forms can be made available to potential clients through your website or secure links.

When a lead comes to your firm, CRM software can collect the key information, automatically book an initial consultation, prepare a retainer agreement, send the agreement for the client’s e-signature, and collect the retainer via electronic payment.

When a lead converts to a client, all data collected about the client and matter can be saved directly into your practice management system, eliminating the need for redundant data entry.

I am interested in email marketing. Can CRM and marketing software help me with this?

Many legal CRM products are designed to help law firms manage email and drip-marketing campaigns. Some of these products also let you market to clients and prospects using text messaging campaigns and voice messaging campaigns.

How can I know if my legal marketing efforts are successful in bringing in new clients?

Many legal CRM and marketing products include dashboards, analytics and other tools to track and measure your legal marketing efforts. These products can enable you to see information such as the numbers of potential clients in your pipeline, where they are in the process, and which of your campaigns is more or less effective.