Law firm business development — tasks like customer relations, marketing and networking — requires a human touch. Unlike time-tracking, billing and managing your email — all of which are automated by Smokeball’s legal practice management software — business development requires empathy, interaction and insight.
Business development tasks are also high on the list of lawyers’ favourite non-billable responsibilities. In a recent Thompson Reuters survey, 85% of lawyers say they want to retain or keep client relationship development as a responsibility; 83% new business development; and 80% practice development. Now that you know your team is eager to participate in business development, where should you start?
Smart business development means using what you already know about your law firm and your clients to generate more success. By narrowing your focus, you increase your chance of success. Here’s how Smokeball can help.
See your most profitable clients and matters at a glance
Some clients bring cookies to every meeting and have the best dad jokes on the planet. Then there are the ones who generate tons of billable hours. While you definitely want to work with clients you enjoy, profitability is crucial to the long-term health of your firm. Thankfully, the data to determine which client is which is built directly into Smokeball.
When you automatically track your billable time in Smokeball, that data is applied to a wealth of tools throughout our practice management software. That includes Law Firm Insights, reports that show your profitability by matter and matter type. These invaluable details don’t just inform your next steps for business development — they allow you to adjust your billable rate and hours worked on every matter and then invest those profits in your business. Even fixed-fee firms can find value in Smokeball’s Law Firm Insights; if you discover you’re working 20 hours on a matter and only charging a client $2,000, isn’t it time to adjust your fees?
Tailor your marketing
Now that you know which audience you want to target, you need to hit them with the right message. Make sure your firm’s branding and website are up to date and that messages reflect the current value you provide every client. Smokeball Integrations like Campaign Monitor help you create email marketing campaigns based on your contact tags within Smokeball, organising your efforts and helping you create personalised messages that resonate.
Manage leads effectively
Your marketing attracted a ton of leads — great! Now it’s time to nurture them into clients. Smokeball’s built-in leads management system lets you treat your leads as you would a client, tracking communication and documents while generating reports. Set up automatic reminders using Smokeball Tasks and Workflows to make sure you never miss an opportunity. And once that lead becomes a client, convert their lead into a Smokeball matter in a snap.
Create more time for business development
Just because your team is interested in business development doesn’t mean everyone can spare the time in their day — if they’re filling out forms manually, scrambling to find missing documents and filling out timesheets. Because Smokeball matter management software automates those formerly-manual, sometimes-tedious tasks, your entire firm has more hours in the day for their favourite business development activities. You can also delve into performance levels by matter or by an employee to see if it’s time to develop your business by taking on a partner with a different specialisation — or if your current team needs additional coaching.
Brainstorm, organise and delegate your law firm business development tasks with the 2022 Smokeball Business Development Cheat Sheet. It’s a quick way to ensure your law firm takes advantage of all the business development opportunities at your disposal — backed by data from our practice management software.