Lawyer business development activities are notoriously difficult to tie to ROI given the nebulous quality of winning new work. But it’s important to measure performance with any BD initiative, both to justify its expense to management and to encourage lawyers who aren’t necessarily confident with their business development skills.
Try measuring these key performance indicators to document your BD success:
- Productivity. There’s no way around it; nurturing relationships takes time and persistence. Meet with your lawyers for regular coaching or accountability meetings so you can track their activity. Measure proactive behaviors like “pitch meetings per month” or “BD touch points per week.” These are leading indicators that will foretell practice growth. When you begin to work with a lawyer in a coaching capacity, set a baseline value for these KPIs so you can measure growth later. For example, if a lawyer had an average of 4 pitch meetings per month before he/she started working with you, and the number increased to 10 after a few months of coaching, you can point to a 250% increase.
- Opportunity Value. Even when a lawyer is extremely proactive with their business development outreach, if they’re chasing small opportunities, their efforts won’t produce meaningful results. It often takes just as much time and energy to pursue a minnow as it does to chase a whale; coach your lawyers to identify substantive targets to increase the potential value of their pipeline. Because it can be difficult to foretell the monetary value of a deal before it comes to fruition, encourage your lawyers to label their opportunities as low, medium or high-value.
- Close Rate. Once you’ve been tracking lawyer BD behavior for long enough to close a piece of business, you can begin to measure close rate. This is the percentage of total prospects from whom the lawyer has won a matter. Having accumulated close rate data, you can compare a lawyer’s success with different prospect demographics to determine where they should spend their energy. Perhaps you’ll find that the lawyer has a higher-than-average close rate in the energy sector, or with prospects of a particular cultural background. This metric shows you where the lawyer can spend their BD time most wisely.
- Total Revenue. Last but not least, revenue is by far the most important metric to measure with business development. Be sure to follow up with your lawyer after winning each new matter so you can track deal values, or work with your accounting department to measure the value of your lawyers’ book of business.
For marketers that don’t track metrics consistently, these recommendations may seem daunting. If you’re working with uncooperative or disinterested lawyers, it probably will be. But when you focus on lawyers who have an interest and a willingness to engage in business development, measuring progress will be straightforward. Schedule regular coaching meetings and incorporate tallying metrics into your routine.
Most firms have seen firsthand how cumbersome it can be to track various key performance indicators in CRM, accounting software, content management systems, and numerous other platforms that marketers routinely use. However, making data-driven decisions often demands juggling half a dozen platforms or more.
Practice Viewer is a simple KPI dashboard that integrates with all of your platforms to present your data in one customizable dashboard. Practice Viewer can also apply formulas and code to the data from your other platforms so you can see exactly which metrics you need.
Contact us to learn how Practice Viewer can help you make better business decisions, simply.