Automation & Efficiency

The #1 Question I Get Asked about CRM Tools for Lawyers

A potential client’s initial interaction with your firm is often the deciding factor in whether they sign up and most definitely sets the expectation of what it’s like to work with you. The process and the prospect’s experience with it is not only critical but often hasn’t been thought through (or even thought of) by us lawyers.

In other businesses, this flow is often called a pipeline. Regardless of how you feel about the characterization, it’s both an important phase of the client’s experience and provides real-time data about things like future revenue projections and referral sources. And, y’all know I love me some data.

After mapping out what the path between initial contact and sign-up is for your practice, it’s often helpful to use a tool to track a prospect’s progress and automate some of the steps. (For example, my process includes using custom intake forms and automatic reminders.) Because this process is so vital to businesses no matter the industry, there is a common name for the tool that helps facilitate it: Customer Relationship Management or CRM.

While most folks hear CRM and think sales, the name really gives it away. It’s not about sales in the sleazy sense. It’s about building a relationship with a potential customer (which is what sales is really all about), and there are several different features and tools available to help you do just that.

Depending on your practice, different CRM features will serve you best. Here are a few to consider:

  • Customizable intake forms for the different areas of your practice
  • Templates for easy replication
  • Task management to keep yourself or your staff organized and proactive
  • Emails sent automatically and based on a predetermined schedule for reminders and follow-ups
  • Document generation for quickly drafting things like engagement letters
  • E-signature for requesting signatures on documents
  • Reporting to see the real data points of your practice so you can make informed decisions
  • Exporting capabilities so you can send a lead into your case management software when they become a client

Because CRM tools are popular in other industries there are several options to choose from. Only two, however, are made specifically for lawyers: Clio Grow and Avvo Ignite. Here are a few CRM service providers you might consider:

While there are several CRM options available, it’s best to find what’s right for you, otherwise, you won’t use it. First, consider what features you need or would really like and then review the software to see what checks the most off your list. If you start by looking at the different software first, you’ll likely get overwhelmed and buy something that may not be right for you.

This is not an ad. I do not endorse or receive compensation from any tools mentioned.

How would a CRM help you track and manage leads? What data do you wish you were gathering now? Could a CRM improve the client experience and allow you to add value from the start?