Posted by: johnocunningham | December 23, 2011

Top 10 Tech-Related Trends in Legal Practice (#3)

CRM and ERM Tools: More and more law firms are adopting the use of tecnologies for better Client Relationship Management (“CRM”) and/or Enterprise Relationship Management (“ERM”).

These technology tools enable firms to store, sort, retrieve and sometimes analyze data related to their clients and prospects, as well as related sales or outreach efforts to those individuals. This enables firms to make more coordinated outreach efforts and reduce costs (one holiday card or party invitation from the firm, instead of a dozen, and no scrambling to find the latest pertinent data over and over again).

These tools are also frequently able to automatically upload contact information from MS Outlook and other e-mail or address book programs, thereby reducing the hours of human labor previously needed for initial data input.

ERM tools are gaining in popularity with more sophisticated organizations because they provide not only client and prospect information, but data from outside sources about the clients or prospects, such as financial data or data related to social ties between organizations and people. This information can be very helpful in qualifying prospects and in setting up the right team to pitch for new business.

Some of the CRM and ERM programs mentioned at the FirmFuture conference include:

  • ContactEase by Cole Valley, which received some positive mentions about its user-friendly quality;
  • SalesForce, which is one of the top selling programs;
  • OnContact;
  • Microsoft Dynamics;
  • TimeMatters by LexisNexis, which has a RelationshipMatters component for CRM;
  • ContactNet, which is ERM software put out by Hubbard One; and
  • EquityTouch software for ERM/CRM by TouchAhead.com.

For more information about planning and executing a CRM or ERM program, you might consider working with an experienced technology consultant, such as Christina Fritsch of Clients First Consulting.

Note: The author of this post has not utilized and does not endorse any particular product mentioned, but is merely recapping input from other sources about what is being used in some professional service firms.

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