How Law Firms Are Investing In Marketing & Business Development Headcount to Stay Competitive

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In this article, we’re going to analyze how Marketing and Business Development roles are growing – or not growing – based on firm size. In January 2022, Calibrate surveyed first-chair Marketing and BD leaders at 80 law firms in the US and Canada to gain a deeper understanding of how Partners and Marketing & Business Development roles were growing within firms – at both the headcount level and the leadership level.  

The study revealed that while Marketing has maintained a healthy growth rate between Partners vis-a-vis Marketing (with a ratio of 8:1), the story is inconsistent when comparing the number of lawyers firm-wide to Marketing and Business Development professionals (a ratio of 17:1).  

This is a big deal. For already over-leveraged law firms, Marketing teams are now being stretched further and being asked to do more for more lawyers than ever before. 

But that’s not all. The survey also studied the increases seen in the Marketing and Business Development teams over the past two years (2020-2022). When broken down by revenue, firms in the highest revenue band had the largest increase, especially across Marketing professionals. This makes sense as Marketing teams are now used to nurture clients further along the client journey, especially across digital channels.  

When it comes to leadership roles, the survey looked at the Marketing department and analysis revealed that the number of personnel in leadership roles rose significantly from 2020 to 2022 — a whopping 35%. These leadership roles range from C-Suite to Director roles as firms are beginning to see the importance of Marketing and Business Development Professionals in the industry — and investing in leadership levels accordingly. 

In summary, the Calibrate survey reveals that law firms with the highest revenue growth are growing headcount, adequately mapping marketing/BD resources to lawyer headcount, and investing deeply in charting leadership paths.  

TLDR: Marketing and BD is in for investing.  

The question is: Can firms with less resources still compete with those large firms growing at such a fast pace? We believe they can. Here’s how, 

Doing more with less by using Business Development technology over headcount. 

Various law firms are now turning to business development tools, like CRMs, to help them compete in their go-to-market motions and turn client relationships into revenue. In the case of Nexl, firms such as Moira Mukuka Legal Practitioners, Morgan + English Commercial Lawyers, and Induslaw are using Nexl’s Revenue Operations Cloud Platform to compete with firms who might have more resources to spend on headcount. 

How does Nexl Work? 

Nexl is a three-part system: No-data-entry CRM, Relationship Intelligence/ERM and Revenue Operations Platform. With our no-data-entry CRM, Nexl automatically captures all of your lawyers’ interactions. Any email sent or received and any meetings with clients, prospective clients or referral sources are automatically captured, analysed and, seamlessly, turned into actionable insights to help you accelerate your revenue growth. Your lawyers do not need to input data into the system making Nexl a true no-data-entry system.  

In a modern B2B business development environment, lawyers must understand the entire relationship history of a prospective and existing clients and understand the who knows whom across your entire firm. Nexl shows the lawyers and business development the deep relationship insights to better leverage your firm’s relationship and win more business — across every practice group – by seeing what gaps exists within a specific client account.  

If you’re looking to turn more relationships into revenue, understand your relationship on a deeper level, and operationalize your firm’s marketing and business development to stay competitive, Nexl can help. Learn more about the Revenue Operations movement or reach out for a demo by clicking the button “Request Demo” below. 

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