Last week, we wrapped up our discussion of the key parts of the NEXL Revenue flywheel.
We’ve laid out each step in the acquisition recipe so that you can acquire quality, validated clients.
Then we unpacked the concept of retention – the simple but hard-to-maintain behaviours and strategies that keep clients around for years.
And last week, we set you up to expand the scope of services you do for your existing clients – a high ROI activity that you can and should optimise.
But today we are going to jump into the innermost circle.
We’re talking about collaboration.
We kicked off this series with a close look at how the age of analog-only work is over.
Would you say the legal industry hasn’t changed since 2019?
It would be very hard to say that it hasn’t.
A digital workplace, with hybrid working patterns, has given law firms the potential to transform the working lives of its staff in an incredibly positive way.
But with this transformation, some of the existing weaknesses in how law firms operate have become bigger problems.
One of these is misalignment between teams.
Staff within a law firm are often misaligned on strategy, even if things appear to be clear and consistent on the surface.
This is because alignment is a daily, ongoing commitment.
While it would be great to be able to throw staff together at one big strategy day, and forget about strategy until the next year, this isn’t how sustainable BD-led growth happens.
If you really want results, to see client growth increase…
Then your law firm needs to address the elephant in the room.
Law firm growth requires ongoing commitment across teams.
And it requires this not from one person, but many.
This part of the flywheel isn’t glamorous and isn’t easy.
But commitment over months, not days, is what wins.
And it’s what we at NEXL believe most law firms struggle most with in implementing the revenue flywheel.
It involves many decisions by different teams to invest resources into a single, unified strategy.
In other words, we need better collaboration.
A way for every team member to be on the same page.
But law firms, like all services firms, struggle with strategic alignment due to siloed business and practice group plans, and lack of insight into strategic clients across the firm.
So how can you fix this from the outset?
There are two key things to address: siloes between teams and economic tension.
Let’s talk about these two causes of misalignment.
Break down silos
In modern business development, it is critical that law firms overcome the barriers created by highly siloed practice groups.
On the one hand, working in industry-focused and technical specialty driven areas can help to provide excellent legal services.
That is a good thing.
On the other hand, it can be easy for specialised teams to view their efforts as their own and for their client relationships to become opaque to others in the firm.
That is not a good thing.
This holds back vital relationship data, which could enrich the firm’s knowledge of clients.
It is imperative that law firms break down these silos.
By capturing and unifying relationship data across all touchpoints at a firm, a new level of BD engagement can be unlocked.
It allows marketing and BD staff to build highly personalised relationships with clients.
That’s why NEXL automatically captures all relationship data between you, your clients, referral sources and prospective clients across meetings, emails, and your marketing email systems.
The NEXL system than uses its enhanced data enrichment service and LinkedIn data integration to add additional information such as industry classifications, job title location, social URL and more to the contact NEXL’s contact record.
It’s a powerful feature which is trusted by client-centric law firms all around the world.
Remove internal competition
A big, underlying cause of miscommunication and misalignment between teams at a law firm is high-level problems with competition and economic pressure.
Economic friction is created by the need to divide a limited business development budget amongst the client-facing teams (lawyers, business development, marketing).
Lawyers want to provide the best service. This tends towards costing more money in the form of hours and investment into service improvement.
Business development teams tend to favour lower prices on the law firm’s services – this means they can entice clients more easily and gives them more room to negotiate.
Meanwhile, marketing teams are under pressure to achieve revenue goals and need to spend money to generate client awareness in the firm.
This is almost impossible without some level of publishing costs, client events and the internal budget burden of producing thought leadership.
Each team’s concerns are completely valid.
And each needs their share of economic resources to perform for the firm.
But when a limited budget is in play, and goals are set on a team-based rather than firm-wide level, it entrenches economic conflict.
This is a common problem.
It means that lawyers, business development and marketing are not aligned.
They become, in subtle ways, economic competitors rather than parts of a collaborative team.
The key to resolving this misalignment is to build shared goals into the firm’s revenue strategy.
In other words, integrate the lawyers, business development staff and marketing staff, in your firm’s long term growth strategy.
Make them aware of their interreliance and point out the ways in which they can and should achieve the same goals.
To quantify this shared effort, a purpose-built collaboration platform can help.
NEXL includes a powerful project management feature.
One benefit of our platform is that it is set-up free. You simply log in through your browser or enable our fuss-free Microsoft Teams integration.
A second benefit is that the different teams can see how they will collaborate to retain and expand the client relationship.
They can see tasks (for their own team and for others), notes, and a list of team members.
It makes working across different teams transparent and approachable.
While the revenue flywheel itself is the key to client-led growth, this is the secret sauce that enables the firm to execute upon each step.
If you would like to see how this feature has played for dozens of our clients, book a free demo today.
Misalignment is an important concept for law firm leaders to understand.
With a strong growth strategy, it is one of the key barriers for a law firm of any size to overcome.
Resourcing constraints and economic competition are natural issues when lawyers, business development and marketing need to work together.
In our hybrid world, it is even more important that firms identify a way to beat misalignment.
By enabling better collaboration, alignment and transparency between teams, firms can unlock the power of their teams to do what they do best.