Law firm CRMs. Which suits a small firm of solicitors best? Or do you even need one?

 In Practice Management

Disclaimer: LawSkills provides training for the legal industry and does not provide legal advice to members of the public. For help or guidance please seek the services of a qualified practitioner.

If you are looking at CRM for the first time, you will soon realise there are many to choose from.

Some specialise in the legal sector, while others cater to the mass market. Mass market systems help businesses sell widgets better than they help solicitors sell their services, so we’ll concentrate on law firm CRMs for now.

The best CRM for law firms isn’t a technical answer, but how it suits your firm’s situation.

The best CRM for solicitors is one that helps your firm generate more work, improves your understanding of client and prospect relationships, and makes marketing easier. All with less effort than it costs to buy and support.

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The best CRM system is one that is used and matches your needs.

When it comes down to it, all they do is store data and show it to you again.

CRM’s cannot solve your problems if you won’t change how your firm does some things – they’ll just help you do those better.

Law firm CRM options for typical scenarios

I want one single list of contacts

Your easiest option is a spreadsheet. A CRM system will over complicate your life if this is what you want and need. Have your spreadsheet display one version of each contacts, with different tags and columns so you can see one version of a contact and if they are on the golf AND Christmas card list with ease. This is the first step, whatever else you want.

I want to send out newsletters

Try Mailchimp, or any other mass-market marketing email tool. There are loads and they are cheap. CRM’s generally don’t do emailing as well as Mailchimp. I say Mailchimp because so many people use it, you can always find help with it.

I want to systemise our bids and pitching

Then a purpose built pitch management tool like PipeDrive or Hubspot will suit you better than a CRM.

I want to understand our law firm’s complex relationships and improve our client’s experience with us

This is perfect CRM territory. They easily show you ‘who knows whom’, track your referrer network, and pull together all your marketing and BD activity into one central source that everyone can benefit from.

CRM is right for our firm, but it sounds far too hard

If you want CRM, but don’t have the headcount, time or skills to support it and want the user adoption efforts and data updating all done for you – look at Promptr. But I would say that. It’s the most effortless CRM system on the market. The team behind Promptr do 95% for you, and hand-hold the rest.

What Law firm CRM systems are available?

Here’s an alphabetical list of CRM software the legal market is using: Client Sense, DeadCloud (was OnePlace), Dynamics, Elite, InterAction, Introhive, Legal360, Nexl, Peppermint, Practice Evolve, Promptr, SalesForce, Tikit.

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