5 Common Client Intelligence Challenges Faced by Law Firms and How to Overcome Them

It’s no secret that effective client relationships are critical to the ongoing success of a law firm. Understanding your clients and client relationships – across offices, geographies, practice, and industry groups – is foundational to identifying opportunities for growth and delivering the legal services your clients deserve and expect.

Unfortunately, capturing and managing the details of these complex relationships can be difficult, especially for large and multinational law practices.

So, what are the challenges that stand in the way of capturing, managing, and utilizing this complex relationship data to drive better business outcomes? Here we identify five common challenges faced by law firms looking to better take advantage of the insights contained in their firm’s data. 

  • Siloed Data: Developing a true 360-degree view of a client requires a variety of data  including client demographic and financial data, time-keeper information, case and matter details, campaign and event metrics, lawyer biographies and work history, communications, meetings and other activity data, industry classification information and more. In most law firms, this data is stored in multiple formats across different systems, including CRM, case management, new business intake, time and billing, marketing automation, and human resource software systems. Collecting and systematically organizing this information to deliver an actionable view of the client is often challenging. 
  • Relationship Complexity: Relationships provide the fuel needed to sustain and grow a law practice. Understanding and visualizing the full depth and breadth of these relationships is a challenge for many firms. Who are all our contacts for a given client? Which lawyers are connected to these client contacts and how well? Which practice group(s) are working with the client? Which lawyers? What work have we performed for the client in the past? What current opportunities are we pursuing? Which client team or lawyers are pursuing this opportunity? Who are we referring business to and who is referring business to us? And the list goes on. Few would argue the importance of knowing the answers to these questions, but how do law firm marketing and business development leaders overcome the challenge of curating and assembling the data needed to answer them? 
  • Trend Analysis: Nearly all firms invest heavily in the tools needed to gather and evaluate financial data relating to work in progress, work that has been billed and collected, or – gulp! – that’s sitting in Accounts Receivable. This information is critical, but it misses an important dimension that can shed important light on the health of the firm’s connection to a client; the increase or decline in the number of client relationships being formed along with the level and types of activity with these client contacts. Providing an added level of visibility into these trends allows firm leadership to identify at-risk relationships and take action to reverse or remedy the problem before an important client relationship is lost. How can this be accomplished?
  • Identifying Opportunities For Growth: Demand for legal services remains uneven and often leaves law firms playing a ‘zero sum game’ where one firm’s gain is another’s loss, and vice-versa. This dynamic places enormous pressure on law firm marketing and business development leaders to develop strategies that not only protect their existing relationships, but also grow revenue-share with these same clients. Without the proper tools and access to data, surfacing relationship connections and cross-sell opportunities across practice groups, offices, and industry groups is a challenge.
  • Data Integration: Most law firms are awash in data, but that data tends to ‘live’ in multiple systems and multiple formats across the firm.  The value of a data integration strategy and model that captures, normalizes, and  combines this data to deliver a secure and holistic view of clients to stakeholders across the firm is enormous.  Despite the potential, many firms have not been able to tap the full value of their firm data in support of their client development objectives. 

These challenges are real and they can combine to negatively impact your firm’s growth opportunities, however, solutions and strategies for dealing with them, and for driving marketing & business development success, can be found in the HSO ProServ legal360 platform of software and best practices services.  

HSO ProServ’s legal360: An innovative solution to client intelligence challenges

legal360 offers the functionality and power needed to overcome your firm’s client intelligence challenges.

Built on the industry-leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud platform, legal360 is an integrated marketing, business development, case and matter information tracking, and relationship intelligence platform designed specifically for law firms.

The legal360 platform aggregates and organizes firm data to deliver a comprehensive view of your clients and client relationships. From there, you can gain insights needed to build and execute client strategies that will drive both top and bottom-line growth and create competitive advantages for your firm.

Explore the impact legal360 can have on your law firm

Interested in learning more? Watch our on-demand webcast, Improving Law Firm Client Intelligence with Microsoft and legal360.

Gary Mills serves as Senior Vice President of Finance, Planning & Analysis for HSO | ProServ. Gary’s diverse industry background brings a unique perspective to the company, with more than 30 years in corporate finance, banking and commercial real estate.

In his role as CFO of HSO | ProServ, Brian Lounds leverages deep experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to drive excellence into the organization’s financial and practice management practices. Having worked with Dynamics solutions since 1998, he has a strong understanding of technology solutions and their application
to business initiatives.

Whit McIsaac is CEO of HSO | ProServ and brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem to drive the group’s overall business strategy. Whit was Co-founder and CEO of aec360 and legal360 prior to merging these practices into sa.global, where he served as CEO of the Americas prior to launching HSO | ProServ.

Andy Yeomans brings nearly 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics sales and marketing experience to lead the HSO | ProServ sales organization. Under Andy’s leadership, the organization has shown strong growth and has consistently been recognized by Microsoft as a top performing partner, winning multiple Microsoft Inner Circle and Partner of the Year awards.

Jan Dahl Sorensen’s deep experience with Microsoft Dynamics gives him a unique foundation to guide the HSO | ProServ client success team. As part of the original development team under Damgaard Data, Jan has been working with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions since 1995.

Joe Stuckey is EVP and Director of CRM Product Development for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM product development efforts across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Joe leverages the power of Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform technologies to design and develop purpose-built industry solutions.

Paramesh Rajan is VP, Technology at HSO | ProServ. Paramesh has served in many Microsoft Dynamics project and program management roles over the past 20 years, and currently drives the development of the organization’s vertical ERP and HR solutions and outsourced development services.

A highly respected Microsoft Dynamics veteran, Jen Wisemore serves as CAO for HSO | ProServ. Jen was instrumental in the launch of sa.global’s US subsidiary in 2007 and has served in a wide variety of roles within Microsoft Dynamics consultancies across sales, pre-sales, program management, and leadership capacities.

John Aschenbrener is Director of Delivery Services for HSO | ProServ. John brings over 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics project and program management, consulting, and architect experience to his current role where he is responsible for driving PMO standards, methodology, and overall project delivery.

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In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Sean Skiver brings nearly 25 years of broad Microsoft Dynamics experience to provide strategic leadership around product development and client delivery services across the organization’s solutions and industry segments.

Amy Spencer leads the team that is responsible for go-to-market strategies, messaging, and demand generation in the US.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey and has 25+ years of experience in marketing management for technology and professional services companies.

As Vice President of Human Resources for HSO, Kristen Ramerini is responsible for initiatives including recruitment, onboarding, professional development/career progression, performance management, culture, and employee retention. Prior to her position with HSO, she worked in human resources and recruiting for Seviroli Foods on Long Island and CCN, Inc. in New York City. She holds an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and is PHR certified.

Darren Gooding is VP of Delivery for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM delivery across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Darren applies his 25 years of experience and HSO’s industry focused intellectual property to successfully deliver large-scale, global engagements that ensure customer success.