The state of legal marketing and business development today is still evolving. Considering the fact that Chief Marketing Officers have only appeared in law firms over the past 15-20 years, it’s safe to say that marketing and business development is still relatively new to the legal world. But that doesn’t mean they can continue to ignore it.

According to Joe Przybyla, Introhive’s new legal marketing expert and Regional Sales Director, it’s the greatest reason for law firms to embrace it—they are far behind the curve when it comes to attracting new business. And in a compressed marketplace where clients want greater results at a lesser cost, the demand for new clients is high.

“Up until about 10 years ago, business just walked in the door for law firms,” Joe says on the state of legal marketing today. “With the compressed market, law firms need to become internally more efficient and market themselves as an actual business.”

Having worked for Thomson Reuters for eight years as a CRM strategist working with their top law firms, Joe has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to legal business development. “Having someone of his pedigree and experience inside the legal sector on our team is something that will be an invaluable asset to our business,” explains Introhive’s Vice President of Sales, Adam Draper. “He spends less time selling and more time consulting and helping our clients work through their challenges.”

To help you grow your law firm to its maximum potential, we sat down with Joe and asked him to share his secrets on law firm marketing and business development.

1. Reduce Attorney Disruption

The key to any change at a law firm is to keep the attorneys informed with unique insights about their clients and industry. To expect attorneys to go into CRM systems and develop potential business targets off of old CRM data, is a taxing job that adds hours onto their day, if they do it at all. Not to mention the time it takes for them to input information on every client. Instead, law firms need to take the attorney out of the equation and provide them with potential new business based on previous firm work and industry knowledge without disrupting the attorney.

Joe gave a great example of this using the attorneys’ dreaded holiday card list. Today, most law firms use the same list from the previous year and ask attorneys to provide the names and emails of the clients they would like to add.

“The engagement from lawyers in this marketing campaign is nil. It disrupts their work,” Joe adds.

Instead of tasking attorneys with jobs that take up a chunk of their time and interrupt their work day, law firms need to automate their data collection. Through CRM data automation, law firms can provide attorneys with personalized content, key insights, and rich relationship analytics without having to pay for it by requiring them to manually input all of the data.

2. Increase Cross-selling Opportunities

“Every law firm talks about cross selling but few do it very well,” Joe claims.

With attorneys working in different sectors, different types of law, they’re naturally sequestered from each other and normally don’t interact much. So how are attorneys supposed to feel comfortable recommending a colleague when they don’t know much about them, their business or their relationships? How can they be expected to identify cross-selling opportunities when they don’t know who their clients are? According to Joe, the key to cross-selling for attorneys is making it easy for them to see the client relationships and connections they share.

This is where CRM systems and relationship intelligence automation can provide a huge lift for law firms to bring in new business and cultivate existing relationships. With relationship automation tools, attorneys can immediately see where connections lie between them. The CRM system proactively suggests cross-selling opportunities without hogging the attorney’s time and energy.

3. Make it Painless to Share Information

It’s pretty much a proven fact now that business is becoming more social. With people spending nearly two hours a day on social media and our lives becoming more connected than ever, it is increasingly important to share your relationship data to develop your business. Without it, you’ll never know the best way to reach or engage new and existing clients.

To drive the point home, Joe points out the value of sharing information in a merger. “Mergers are designed to grow business by absorbing the relationships from each firm involved. If one party isn’t willing to share all of their relationship data, they are putting the entire firm as a whole at risk,” Joe shares.

Firms need to make is easy to share information if they want to grow their business. And it doesn’t have to take several months of collecting customer data and mapping connections to make it happen. CRM automation tools highlight the connections between the two firms to make an easy transition without having to disturb attorneys. Plus, relationship mapping and analytics allow attorneys to quickly identify new clients and sales opportunities.

Inertia Isn’t an Option

Joe’s concluding point is that if you want to save your attorneys’ time and grow your law firm, you cannot sit back and wait. You need to push inertia with tools that reduce attorney disruption, increase cross-selling, and make it simple to share information.

“The reality is that clients are shifting to new firms every day. If you don’t have a way to be proactive and get ahead of those cycles, then the world will pass you by,” Adam agrees.

We’re thrilled to have Joe and his amazing insights into legal business development as a part of the Introhive team. Find out how you can take Joe’s advice and eliminate inertia in your law firm with the leading CRM data automation and relationship intelligence tools.

By the way, if you’re attending the Legal Marketing Technology Conference Midwest next week in Chicago, be sure to attend Joe’s session on legal marketing and business development strategy on Sept. 26.