While most lawyers recognize the importance of managing their cases, not every firm has a grasp on how to efficiently manage and track their leads. In recent years, case management software like Clio, Rocket Matter, and MyCase have become essential tools for task management and case organization. You track client matters, follow schedules, record time, and most attorneys know the benefits of these systems. So why aren’t we all managing our leads this way?
For many, focusing on the sales and marketing side of running a law firm is far from their primary focus. For others, the issue is time. It is vital for every attorney to recognize the importance of lead management. If you don’t install a system, you may find it difficult to compete against the firms in your market who have implemented a system for capturing leads, tracking them, communicating, and converting them into clients.
Firms without a lead management system in place often struggle to keep their leads organized. You write down contact information on notepads, enter them on spreadsheets, or have them buried in your email inbox. People may be unsure of who should respond to a lead and might not remember when or if they followed up with the person at all. Each lead that isn’t contacted is a potential case lost. When you realize the value of your leads (not to mention how much you spent on marketing to get them), you understand why managing them is so critical to your practice.
Building an Efficient Lead Management System
To start, it is a good idea to install a customer relationship management (CRM) system in place to manage every lead that comes into your firm. You rely on Clio or other case management systems. Invest in a system to track leads and prospective clients. It isn’t a good idea to try to manage leads in systems designed for case tracking, however. You should find a system designed to store and track your leads from all your various marketing channels. When a lead comes in by phone, live chat, contact form, pay-per-click ad, or any other marketing channel, make sure it to enter it into the system and follow-up.
Details Are Essential to Tracking
Once you’ve settled on a good CRM for tracking your leads, your team needs to make sure to enter all the essential details. Some systems feature automatic intake integration, and some need manual entry. Your system should track the person’s name, contact information, information about their legal matter. It should also note the source of each lead (Live Chat, lead generation services, Pay-Per-Click, Google, lawyer referral, TV ad, etc.).
Not only will keeping these details keep the person’s contact information handy, but you will also be able to see how effective your marketing efforts have been. Where are you getting most of your leads? Is one channel significantly more effective than others? Where should you spend more money? What channels should you eliminate? With actual data coming into your lead management system, you can make better decisions on where your marketing budget should be spent.
Track Your Leads Through the Sign-Up Process
Having a lead management system in place means nothing if you don’t nurture the leads in your pipeline. Make sure to follow up with leads as they come in, schedule consultations, track communication, and check the box when the client signs up. Your system should remind you when to reach out, when you last communicated with a prospect, and other relevant information. Making sure to push your leads “through the funnel” will help you see where each lead is in the sign-up process.
Use Drip Emails for Follow-Ups
While some clients will sign up after the initial phone call, you know that for many people, it takes time to get them to come to the signing table. With many clients, you may have to reach out ten times before they sign up with your firm and trying to remember to craft a check-in email can be exhausting and time-consuming. Many firms have incorporated “drip emails” into their lead management system, which are automated emails that are scheduled to go out to your leads at pre-determined stages and times. This way, you are able to remind prospective clients that you are ready to help them with their case without having to manually send them emails.
Use the System
Lead tracking and management are only as effective as the participation from the members of your firm. When implementing a system like this, emphasize how important it is to be consistent, thorough, and responsible with your leads through the process. When everyone is on board and is tracking, communicating, and converting leads in your funnel to clients, the firm will likely see the growth you’ve been hoping to see.
Your firm likely understands the value of case management, so why not invest some time into setting up a strong lead management system as well? By staying organized, you can grow your firm’s caseload while also ensuring that you are providing excellent, responsive customer service to every person who contacts you, through whatever channel sent them to you.