When it comes to enabling revenue generation, legal marketers have their work cut out for them. According to a 2018 joint survey by the Legal Marketing Association and Bloomberg, 62% of firms are increasing their emphasis on marketing and business development efforts because there is more pressure to generate revenue, fewer opportunities, and stiffer competition.
One response to this pressure is an increase in business development coaching and training. Firms invest 5% of their marketing budget in coaching, and now one of the primary duties for many marketers is providing coaching and business development support to attorneys.
Coaching Consistently Works
Coaching is the #1 most effective revenue generation strategy because it focuses and engages the law firm’s sales force - the lawyers - who would otherwise be too consumed with billable work to attempt to win new business.
However, there are many untapped opportunities to optimize coaching and training programs, which will assist lawyers in competing for new work and enable the firm to generate a better ROI. The good news is that high-ROI programs do not require an untenable budget and bandwidth to manage.
Four Tips for Higher ROI
Here are four tips for improving the ROI of your business development coaching and training programs, backed by our latest industry research.
- Provide different formats to different cohorts of lawyers. It’s important for associates to receive training on general business development concepts early in their careers, but it’s expensive and time-consuming. Use a scalable online training format like Practice Boomers for junior lawyers, and reserve more hands-on coaching for senior lawyers. Coaching should focus heavily on implementation, cross-selling, and pipeline management.
- Secure buy-in across the firm, especially with leadership. Coaching and training programs perform significantly better when there are high levels of buy-in from leadership. It is incumbent upon marketers to present compelling business cases to firm leadership in order to secure buy-in for these programs. Case studies, well-tracked pilot programs, and data visualization tools can position these programs in the best light and set them up for greater success.
- Provide a combination of internal and outsourced resources. Marketers can leverage external coaches, trainers, and technology service providers if their bandwidth is too limited to manage the entire business development initiative. They can often accomplish a greater ROI by leveraging the expertise of service providers, too. But if the entire initiative is outsourced, the results won’t last. Marketers must be empowered to work with the lawyers and, ideally, repeat the initiative with other cohorts throughout the firm. Train-the-Trainer programs can be particularly effective at teaching marketers to coach and manage their own programs internally.
- Track results and don't take support systems away from the lawyers. Data visualization, pipeline management software, or even spreadsheets will allow you to track the results and revenue from a business development initiative. This is absolutely crucial for marketers who want to demonstrate that their department isn’t an irrelevant cost center, but a highly valuable profit center. Track all forms of ROI: behavior change, increased efficiency, lawyer satisfaction, and new revenue. Continue the pipeline management process post-program for sustained results.
Scalable, Affordable BD Training
Practice Boomers is an award-winning business development training program that can help you accomplish all four points above with a low-cost, low-effort training solution for lawyers. It includes:
- 50+ training videos based on our 20 years of coaching experience (so you don't have to create the curriculum yourself).
- A simple pipeline management tool with an adoption rate that's 70% higher than CRM.
- Monthly 15-minute individual coaching sessions that promote lasting behavior change and accountability.
- Specific, tactical business development action steps that help lawyers make progress in minimal time.
Our clients typically generate 5x - 40x ROI when they enroll their lawyers in the Practice Boomers program.