When lawyers hear the word ‘marketing’, they often think of traditional one-size-fits-all strategies. However, many professionals, especially those in the legal industry, tend to overlook Account-Based Marketing (ABM).
Account-Based Marketing is a growth strategy focused on creating more personalized experiences for the firm’s top current and potential clients. ABM is one of the most effective ways to grow a law firm’s practice, and it’s the perfect strategy for legal marketers and law firm partners alike to win more clients with less effort.
In this blog, we’re going to answer the following questions to help you determine whether Account-Based Marketing is right for your firm.
1 – What is Account-Based Marketing?
2 – Why should law firms implement an Account-Based Marketing strategy?
3 – How can Nexl help law firms with Account-Based Marketing?
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Essentially, Account-Based Marketing is a strategy centered around targeted marketing and business development.At its core, ABM is accomplished by engaging directly with the best-fit, highest-value clients and prospects for each specific law firm and speaking to their specific pain points.
With ABM, there is no wasted time working to market and offer legal services to unqualified leads who aren’t the right fit for your law firm. In other words, you can drastically shorten the qualification process and move straight into the phases of engaging directly with your target clients.
The process requires the Marketing and Business Development teams to collaborate with lawyers to align their marketing and business development strategy to the firm’s ideal clients. By creating a personalized buying experience for a carefully identified set of high-value clients. Lawyers develop stronger relationships, promote long-term business growth, and boost revenue.
Why should law firms implement an Account-Based Marketing strategy?
In a crowded market where personal data has become a commodity, law firms need to exert much more effort to gain the attention of their ideal clients. Instead of using a more general strategy that casts a wider net, law firms that want to get an ROI on their marketing and business development initiatives need to narrow their focus and place their attention on high-value clients. To understand some of the problems that ABM can solve, click here.
For law firms, there are a few key benefits to using ABM, which we will explore further below:
- Standing out from your competition
- Increasing your sales velocity
- Delivering a consistent client experience
- Increasing cross-selling and practice group collaboration
- Increasing client retention
- Leveraging existing relationships and your lawyers’ networks.
- Keeping everyone in your firm aligned
Standing out from your competition
With the vast majority of law firms investing in creating insightful legal blogs and newsletters, it has become much trickier to stand out amongst the competition. With this overload of content and information, getting potential clients to hear your message above the noise is not simple.
This is where ABM becomes helpful. With ABM, you’re not creating a few generic content pieces and hoping that your target market and clients will engage with it, you’re coming up with a content and messaging strategy that is customized and personalized for each high-value client. And the more you can speak directly to a client’s specific pain points, the more likely they are to hear you.
Increasing your sales velocity
Just as Account-Based Marketing shortens your firm’s qualification process for potential clients, ABM also shortens your potential clients’ qualification process when evaluating your firm. By changing the way your firm creates content—i.e., using personalized content that focuses on the right high-value clients—law firms can create very specific messaging that will align with each potential client’s needs and overall goals. When a potential client feels that their problems are inherently understood, lawyers are better able to foster the sense of trust required for a successful attorney-client relationship (thus increasing the velocity of their sales). Essentially, the better you can communicate how your law firm’s expertise very specifically fits a client’s unique needs, the quicker and easier it will be to win new business.
Delivering a consistent client experience
Many law firms struggle with ensuring that their messaging, marketing, and business development efforts are aligned with how the firm operates in practice after the engagement letter is signed. An inconsistent client experience causes friction for law firms when serving their clients, with many clients feeling as though the firm has over-promised. However, through the use of ABM, law firms can avoid providing generalities about how they deliver their services and speak directly to how a specific practice group or matter type is handled. With a focus on more personalized messaging, ABM strategies achieve a better and more cohesive client experience.
Increasing cross-selling and practice group collaboration
By using ABM strategies, law firms can increase their cross-selling (or cross-serving) and practice group collaboration. Account-Based Marketing doesn’t just focus on potential clients—it also includes strategizing about how to speak to your current clients’ ongoing legal needs and expand the scope of the client relationship. Because these strategies require the involvement of multiple practice groups, ABM creates the alignment and focus your firm needs to facilitate collaboration and create a team-selling environment.
Increasing client retention
By increasing cross-selling and practice group collaboration, ABM increases the overall value clients receive from your firm. This simultaneously protects your firm’s relationships from competitors by increasing loyalty and client “stickiness”—a term we often use in the tech industry to describe the likelihood of a client to continue to use your product or services. Acquiring a new client is up to five times more costly than retaining an existing client, which means retention is vital for revenue growth and profitability. Law firms that utilize ABM strategies find it easier to retain and expand their existing client relationships because ABM places the client at the centre of everything the firm does.
Leveraging existing relationships
If law firms correctly use ABM strategies, they will find that they are better able to take advantage of their existing relationships and their lawyers’ networks. By using ABM, law firms will no longer struggle to deploy their network to generate new business and revenue growth. Essentially, ABM creates a specific list of high-value clients and prospects, which makes it much easier to identify and utilize those existing relationships. This of course relies on knowing “who knows whom” across the firm, (Which is something Nexl’s relationship intelligence tools can help with).
Keeping your firm aligned
Lastly, law firms can keep everyone at their firm aligned through ABM strategies. With the increase of collaboration that ABM strategies bring, firms can create a more aligned culture across each practice group. Organisations with strong cultures see increased productivity amongst their employees, which is crucial to achieving higher ROI. In fact, studies have shown that developing a strong culture can increase revenue by up to 400%. An ABM strategy aligns practice groups, marketing efforts, and business development teams by having a transparent and focused growth strategy with a clearly defined client profile. This creates visibility and clarity amongst all practice groups on whom they are targeting, why they fit the ideal client profile, and how they match the firm’s values — which will lead to increased collaboration across the entire firm.
For law firms to reach their revenue goals, their lawyers, need to be in sync with their business development and marketing teams, and must employ strategies that blend the expertise of “selling” and marketing to identify, capture and seize opportunities.
How to use Nexl for account-based marketing?
Nexl is the first and only ABM platform for law firms. It’s not just a CRM but a complete client revenue platform that helps your law firm successfully implement a more effective ABM strategy.
Here is how it works:
Step 1: Discover your high-value target clients
The first and most difficult step is to identify the clients or organizations you want to target. Nexl makes it easy for you to identify target clients through its intelligent engagement insights. You and your team will be able to see industry trends based on your lawyers’ level of engagement with certain clients. Once you have identified which industry sectors you want to focus on, Nexl’s prospecting tool makes it easy to find all your existing relationships and clients you have in that sector.
Step 2: Identify key decision-makers
Once you’ve identified the key clients you want to target, it is time to decipher who the key decision-makers are whom you can reach out to. With Nexl, you have direct access to over 450 million professional contacts. Simply search for new target clients, add them to your ABM list and use Nexl’s many built-in filters to find the right decision-makers to reach out to.
Step 3: Execute your ABM initiative
With Nexl, you can easily create a new ABM project to keep your team on track and focused on the most important objectives. You will have access to your target lists and see any engagement with them across the firm, as well as assign tasks, keep notes, and share valuable insights to help make the ABM initiative as effortless and impactful as possible.
Step 4: Keep track of opportunities & report on ABM engagement
The last step for your ABM project is to track all opportunities using Nexl’s opportunity pipeline. This will allow you to get insights on your returns as well as stay on top of opportunities to help you win new business and more clients.
It is important to remember that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”— an ABM strategy can take months to execute. Building relationships and winning new clients is a marathon and not a sprint. To maintain a firm-wide focus over a longer period, you need the right tools to plan and execute your ABM initiatives. A system like Nexl can help you stay focused for the entire duration of the initiative by providing all the right legal-focused features in one place. To learn more about ABM strategies, click on the button below to explore Nexl’s Account-Based Marketing Template.