Monthly Archives: April 2014

Managing Client Relationships (CRM) is certainly not driven by technology; it is about people. However …

Listening to clientsCRM is certainly not driven by technology; it is about people. Creating and engaging with your people on a coherent business strategy that enables your practice to begin to understand and deliver what clients value is the first priority.

However … you must run an early pilot to get data and structures in place; give people confidence that they can do this. Simple at the outset, managed within a small team.

Microsoft Outlook is where lawyers live and Microsoft can invest in ease of use and development, so we prefer a low cost pilot using their hosted CRM @ c. £19 to £42 per user pm (min of 5).

Do you want to check it out?

To discuss your particular requirements in confidence with no obligation and no cost, call Allan Carton (07779 653105) or Nathan Smith (07814 569218) or complete this contact form.

New Enhancements to Microsoft Dynamics CRM: More potential to make more impact on your business.

Are you aware of the very significant enhancements that Microsoft has been rapidly introducing into their Dynamics CRM package?  There have been significant recent acquisitions and development that could deliver wide-ranging benefits across your business. Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The Background

Traditionally, CRM has been a management tool to control marketing, sales and customer service silos. Now, Microsoft’s focus is on getting CRM to be used as a collaborative, cross-department hub that can transform your business. By connecting more of the data points across from your customers, you’ll be able to improve customer engagement, customer lifetime value and business performance.

It’s a bit like looking up at the sky at night. If you’re not an astrologist you just see a few distant stars. However there’s an app called Skyview that joins those stars into constellations. You spot things you wouldn’t spot otherwise and have a much better experience.

Likewise, Microsoft’s CRM technology is trying to bring everything you can know about your customer together. This improves your business’ knowledge about your customers and makes it more adaptive to their needs. Microsoft’s recent acquisitions and integrations are testament to this.

So what is new, to help you add more competitive advantage?

  1. Social Media Listening
  2. More tools to manage marketing budgets and targets
  3. Tools to support closer collaboration

Microsoft Social Listening brings social analytics into the CRM system

Microsoft’s social listening tool is available to anyone using the Dynamics CRM platform. By seeing what customers are saying through social media, your salespeople, marketers and customer service representatives can see the context of your customer’s behaviours. This makes the CRM platform more than simply a record-keeping piece of software, and more of a proactive tool to truly understand your customers.

New Marketing tools to support more pro-active management of budgets

Having acquiring “Marketing Pilot” last year, Microsoft has relaunched the platform under the title of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to further improve the management of marketing resources and marketing budgets. A suite of tools and workflows can help you efficiently manage your marketing departments and agencies. These tools include, scheduling, expense, approval, brand, product, event, social media and marketing database management, as well as analytics to track ROI. By tightening the circle between revenue and marketing expenditure you can get more from your marketing resources.

Tools to support closer collaboration within your business 

Rather than a management tool for just marketing and sales silos, Microsoft CRM is becoming more capable of supporting the transformation of culture in your business to focus people on adding value to client relationships, where collaboration is key.

By fully equipping your team with the CRM tools to be more adaptive to customers, more personal and efficient, your firm will better meet clients’ needs, so they place more value on your services. The benefits of this are very tangible: increased customer loyalty, increased customer lifetime value, alongside reduced costs and organisational wastage.

The changes that Microsoft are continuing to make, will lead to a significant competitive advantage within your business if you can get ahead of the CRM curve.

If you are interested in introducing more effective Client Relationship Management into your practice, supported by your people so that it produces significant results for your practice, please contact either Allan Carton or Nathan Smith.  Call 0161 929 8355 or complete this contact form.


Microsoft Social Listening in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Release Preview Guide

ms_dynamics_crmDOWNLOAD a Release Preview Guide here

It describes the exciting new enhancements and features for Microsoft Dynamics CRM happening this year.  Worth checking out is the NEW capabilities to enable marketers to understand how their customers feel about their brand through Microsoft Social Listening.

What motivates your lawyers? Why we think it matters when introducing process improvements.

Adopting lean thinking to improve legal and business process, to add value to services and reduce operating costs, is as much about engaging people as it is about “Value Stream Mapping”.  You improve the performance of your business because people engage in working smarter. It may be hard work, but they understand why they are doing it.

Some hard facts here from Dan Pink that I explore in our in-house Introductory workshop for senior managers to help those involved in senior management to understand how engaging employees through lean and in other ways motivates them to perform better.  It’s not all about more money.


Find more information here on our introductory programmes or speak to me, Mark Greenhouse on 0161 929 8355.

How do I overcome limited adoption of CRM by fee earners?

Scrabble Are You ReadyYou can probably imagine the scenario and you’ve have probably been there already as this is an ongoing dilemma … so what do you do about it?

To check if you qualify for our FREE in-house Client Relationship (CRM) Workshop for your team at your offices CALL Allan Carton or Nathan Smith, or call 0161 929 8355.

Increasing competition within the legal industry has increased the cost of acquiring new clients, forcing you to ensure you maximise the value of each client over and above the cost of acquisition. You’ve invested in CRM to help you increase client value, but it’s not being used to its full potential. Why? Because fee earners within your organisation are not adapting to the new technology or are delegating responsibility to secretaries.

They want to maximise billing time and, for those in your company that are willing to use your CRM system, tasks deemed as administrative are being delegated to secretaries. Yet, secretaries are not the best people to capture information within a CRM system and this often leads to information getting lost somewhere in the process. The fee earners then question the value of CRM and continue to resist, leaving you with an investment that is not being utilised properly. How do you break this cycle?

At Crimson (Inpractice UK’s technology implementation partners for Microsoft CRM in law firms), we come across this issue a lot across a variety of business sectors, which is why we have tailored our own user adoption programme working with Inpractice UK for legal firms. This includes a suite of tools, training, consulting and technology that breaks the deadlock, helping both fee earners and partners realise CRM’s true benefit. More on that later, but what else can you do to enhance user adoption of your CRM solution?

Here are a few of our tips from our approach to implementing CRM in legal practices:

5. Change how you think, not necessarily how you work – You need to help fee earners and partners change the way they think about CRM.  It’s not simply an IT investment that has been brought in to increase client value. It’s a business critical system that will enhance client relationships across the business. Sit down with those resisting the new system and go through what they currently do now (and don’t do) to increase the value of the legal service they provide. How are they identifying the opportunities for upselling your firm’s services across a range to existing clients?  How are they keeping track of what support clients are currently receiving – not just from them but also from others in your practice? It is likely they will have out of date information, or inconsistencies in their data because they have not been updating it regularly. Make them aware that CRM does this for them in order to get them more on board.

4. Celebrate CRM successes, big and small – Case studies are the best marketing tool you can use for CRM. Celebrate every success and the benefits that CRM delivers, however big or small. Demonstrate to fee earners and partners that CRM makes a difference to make their life better; that what is being done is providing clear and compelling benefits demonstrating in the real world that it is a useful investment when utilised properly.

3. Reward early adopters – Those partners who do adopt CRM from an early stage need to be praised and rewarded. Make an example of them so that those who are resisting the system are encouraged to adopt it more quickly.

2.  Review the system – Conduct frequent audits and review progress of your CRM system.  Identify areas where it could be better utilised and relay this information back to fee earners, to encourage their adoption. Often if you can attribute a benefit to user adoption and show how this is affecting current usage of CRM, fee earners will think twice about resisting.

1. Ask us for help – We have developed a number of accelerators for legal firms that minimise data entry for fee earners, while radically increasing the amount of valuable data gathered. My-CRM is our user adoption programme that we have tailored for legal firms to address the issues associated with manual data entry. It combines tools, training, consulting and technology to help fee earners and partners realise the true benefits of CRM, enhancing user adoption and helping to increase client value. 

For starters – you need to define, agree and communicate a structured plan to do something; probably as a pilot with a small number of users at the outset.  Keep it manageable from the outset.

We start by exploring the strategy of your organisation and understanding what your vision is and what you expect to achieve with your CRM system. We then work with management to help them align their business processes with the CRM system. Understanding the demands on management helps us to identify opportunities for streamlining workflow and supporting management decision making.

We work very hard throughout to motivate users and keep them actively engaged in CRM to increase adoption within a practice. It’s because we understand the challenges facing the legal sector that we have been able to develop this suite of tools that can ultimately help legal firms to realise on average, a four per cent rise in overall profits.

To explore how this can work for your practice, contact either Allan Carton on 0161 929 8355 or Nathan Smith on  01675 466 477 to discuss your particular situation in confidence and without obligation.

We may be able to run a FREE workshop to explore options with your senior management team to help you get a clear view on what you want to achieve with CRM and how to set about doing it the right way.