What makes CRM successful in professional services firms?

The final blog in our series, relating to the successful implementation of CRM in professional services firms.

Clearly articulated data managment strategy

The last critical success factor is getting the data right.  You have to understand what information you will need and what data you currently have.  This audit of your information should drive your data strategy. 

We would strongly advise against large scale fee earner clean ups, or loading all data from practice management systems into CRM. 

The former will result in bad will amongst the fee earning community and is likely to take a great deal longer than you expect, after all who wants to spend their nights pouring over list print outs? 

The latter will mean that the new system is swamped with irrelevant information which will turn users off. 

Auditing your data is essential to help you strike the right balance.

We work with firms to assist them to identify a methodology by which they can identify those clients and contacts with the greatest potential.  This is not as hard as you might think.  The starting point is to be clear about what “value” or “importance” means.  This might be any of the following (although this list is not exhaustive):

• Number and value of instructions

• Growth potential

• Share of spend

• Strength of relationships

• Attendance at marketing events

• Alignment with service line or industry business plans

The problem with data for most firms is a fear of throwing information away, in case someone needs it again.  In our experience this virtually never happens.  This makes,  the effort of cleaning up a lot of your data simply not financially viable. 

There’s a reason why most fee earners can name the “Top 100 Clients of the firm”, they mean the most to them.  So that’s a good place to start.

Previous Blogs in this series

Blog 1- Explicit Management Support 

Blog 2- What does CRM mean to your firm?

Blog  3- Clear understanding of the role technology plays