Chapter 3

Success Factor 2: Value

Gaining optimal return on your CRM investment is critical from both a dollars-and-cents and a realized value standpoint. Unfortunately, value is another one of those tricky terms to define, especially when considering the ROI of a CRM platform. Rather than focusing on the financial value of your CRM, which is, of course, an important factor, consider the platform’s positive impact on your organization and individual employees. Weighing this value against the cost of the platform can shed light on the overall success of the system.

Here’s an example. A law firm that has historically struggled with maintaining effective relationships with clients and other firms implements a new CRM system. The CRM makes it easier for the firm to track the details of relationships and leads to improved awareness of clients. In turn, the marketers within the firm are better
equipped to win new business and retain current clients.

In this example, you can track the value of the CRM by considering the incoming revenue of newly won clients or retained clients. That’s relatively simple math. However, there are other ways to gauge the value of the platform. For instance, any time and effort the CRM saves employees or additional relationships created through networking with current clients should be considered.

How do you determine the value your CRM delivers?

When attempting to establish the true value you are getting from your CRM investment, answer these questions:

Has our CRM platform helped to improve our client relationships?

At its core – and by its very definition – a CRM platform is focused on the management of relationships with your clients. If yours doesn’t help you track and build relationships, it likely isn’t providing the value you need. Your CRM should track critical details associated with client and prospect relationships, including demographic information and real-time interaction data. It should also serve up this information to employees as they look to engage with clients.

Does the CRM make it easier to capture data?

With the right CRM platform and processes in place, capturing operational data should be simple. If your CRM can’t capture and manage data automatically and in real-time, you likely aren’t getting the optimal value out of the system. If your employees must manually enter or assign data, the CRM is actually providing negative value, which could be a major red flag.

Does the CRM platform address each of our specific needs?

Law firms face unique challenges when it comes to managing client data. To be of optimal value, your CRM must be able to address these challenges, including managing the many complex details of a client relationship, their case, and previous interactions – all while keeping the information secure. If you must compromise on any aspect of your CRM, even small ones, you likely aren’t getting the most value from your investment. Remember, you don’t have to settle for features that don’t address your firm’s needs.

What's next?

If reviewing your CRM leads you to believe you aren’t getting the value that you should, it might be time to take a hard look at your options. Perhaps you can adjust the implementation or use of your current system to optimize its value, but it might be easier and more effective to migrate to a system that actually addresses all of your needs.

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