Panel selection processes are key to client growth. The question is, “are law firms pitching themselves in the best way?”.
In this article we’re going to:
1 – Understand the Panel Selection Process
2 – Understand why law firms are at an unfair advantage
3 – Learn how Nexl can help Law Firms tip selection advantages in their favour
4 – Learn if today’s CRMs support Panel Business Development
Understand the Panel Selection Process
Over the course of the last few years, in-house counsel has looked to the Panel Selection Process as means to control costs and operationalize the selection of outside counsel, based on merit and, at least what should be, a competitive market environment. While good in practice and theory, the reality is that in-house counsel seems to be stuck with ever-increasing rates from outside counsel.
Why is this the case?
The problem originates from how in-house counsel actually selects who will be on the actual panel, namely, that in-house firms continue to only select who they know, leaving a tremendous amount of otherwise qualified firms outside the process. Therefore, the main problem is that panels don’t deliver for either side – in-house counsel nor law firms.
Understand why Law Firms are at an unfair advantage
Unfortunately, inhouse lawyers only ‘know who they know’. On the other end, today, law firms expend huge amounts of effort with the promise of more work to get onto these panels but are left feeling stifled when they see no change. Furthermore, clients expect costs to reduce which don’t because the same law firms are continuously engaged with one another. Whilst RFPs are frequently pointed to as a symptom of the problem, the main issue is not the RFP process but rather law firms that aren’t coordinating their pitch and business development efforts around their clients. This makes the solution obvious – if law firms coordinate their efforts and introduce themselves to their panel clients, in a more strategic and coordinated basis, both law firms and clients should see the desired returns from the panel process.
Learn how Nexl can help Law Firms tip selection advantages in their favour
Over the last 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 clients in highly regulated industries. Over that time, I have seen how those law firms that take on targeted and strategic business development, move the needle when it comes to their panel participation. Today, as SVP of Revenue Operations for Nexl, I’m excited to be part of a product and team that is helping law firms operationalize this Panel Selection process and want to share some best practices, I’ve seen work for firms.
A. The Sector Based Approach
In a sector-based approach, law firms manage their panels to helps them identify if their clients are affected by changes in law, based on that sector. Nexl helps law firms do this today by capturing the dimensions of relationship data (size, jurisdiction, sector, etc.) that allows firms to target their outreach via a personalised/targeted approach, based on that sector and change in law. Relative to the Panel Pitch process, by managing their panel “business development”, law firms can target prospective clients and explain their services – before the selection process. Importantly, however, law firms must be proactive and strategic when explaining their offering and ensuring that they introduce themselves to the relevant people.
Organizing all this can be difficult, especially when the current contacts within the clients are opaque. This explains the importance of revenue operations for law firms and why many law firms use Nexl’s Revenue Operations Cloud.
Revenue Operations is an operational model that helps law firms align toward the highest value clients, ensuring they execute on strategies, such as proactive panel discussions. You can learn more in our Revenue Operations for Law Firms Whitepaper.
Nexl’s Revenue Operations Cloud was designed specifically to help firms execute proactive firm panel business development and break the vicious cycle of repeated panel selection. Specifically, Nexl helps law firms to find and get in-touch with key in-house counsel stakeholders using targeted messaging about their services. Getting over the barrier of in-house counsel lawyers only ‘knowing who they know’. Read more about how to manage Key Client Programs with Nexl by clicking here.
Can today’s CRMs support Panel Business Development?
The short answer is, “NO”. Today’s CRM systems fail to support this proactive type of business development for two core reasons:
(1) Today’s CRM were built for sales, salesforce automation and help desks and therefore lack this core use case ability.
(2) Today’s CRM require manual data-entry to get access to relationship data needed to understand who your firm should approach.
In contrast, Nexl’s Revenue Operations Cloud was built for law firms and designed to help law firms execute the type of proactive panel business development law firms need to ‘hack’ the current panel process by leveraging a targeted and personalised approach to content.
The solution to getting more from your Panel Pitching Process has arrived – it is Strategic Business Development – which is powered by Nexl’s Revenue Operations.
To learn more, head over to Nexl’s resources tab or click on the “Request Demo” button below.