How investing in data points can drive your firm’s profitability
In the world of professional services, the ‘three Rs’ are retention, reputation and revenue – with revenue being the most important by far. By measuring revenue, firms can better understand their own profitability and growth. Although distinct from one another, business development and pricing – two disciplines with the greatest effect on revenue – share one common requirement: data.
Connecting past and present to the future
Business development teams need data – experience history data, in particular – to respond to RFPs and to develop and deploy key-client programmes. Understanding of fee earners’ histories, capabilities and backgrounds gives clients assurance that the firm is qualified to handle their matters. This data can also help to shape talent development and addresses the increase in diversity requirements in RFPs.
Within the pricing sphere, firms need accurate fee estimates, time and billing rates and institutional history to price matters for clients or prospects correctly. Pricing history allows firms to reflect on key data points, including what they’ve charged clients in the past, and whether those engagements were profitable. Firms can then use that information to ensure appropriate staff are allocated to matters and that they’re billing at an appropriate rate, thereby improving operational efficiency, resource planning, and overall profitability.
However, firms can’t simply rely on historical data to gain a competitive advantage. They must also leverage current, real-time data to provide a more holistic view of performance. Lawyers, for example, record new time entries, client interactions, requests and other vital information on a daily basis. By comparing current and historical data, a firm’s business development and pricing teams can get a sense of what’s working well, and then act accordingly. Armed with information from both past and present, these teams can help to drive the firm’s profitability and growth.
Supporting success with data integration
Centralised, connected, accessible data lets business development and pricing teams deliver maximum profitability, and provides firms with the chance to evolve operations. Teams can work more quickly and effectively than before, resulting in happier clients and higher profitability. Unfortunately, many firms lack a centralised process or system that would allow their teams to easily access the data they need to work effectively. Data is often scattered throughout the firm, siloed within disconnected systems and storage. It may be located in digital files such as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, pdfs and emails. It may be stored on personal hard drives or within private departmental databases. Data may even be held on physical media, which presents a high risk of being inaccessible, outdated, or lost.
When searching for scattered, unintegrated data, people often don’t know where to start looking, or who to ask for access. They frequently encounter silos that prevent them from accessing information easily, if it can be accessed at all. Even if an individual can locate the necessary data, it’s often extremely difficult and time-consuming to assimilate and aggregate that data, and then to derive insights from it. This means that firms can’t provide work of the highest quality and efficiency for their clients. As a result, clients may take their business elsewhere, and the firm’s revenue, reputation and retention rate will all suffer.
Integrating with Intapp OnePlace
Understanding that data provides the cornerstone for revenue growth and overall success, firms must invest in technology that centralises data for firm-wide access and competitive insights.
With this need in mind, Intapp has developed a unified platform, purpose-built to support the needs of the connected law firm. Intapp OnePlace allows teams across the entire firm to access, sort, connect and share the data they need, when they need it, all via the Intapp Secure Cloud. Users can find and leverage valuable data – information that once remained locked in disconnected spreadsheets or lost in personal emails – simply by searching within Intapp OnePlace.
The platform also provides insights into how data relates to information about other crucial aspects of the law firm’s business, such as its experience and pricing history. Additionally, AI-driven recommendations can help professional services teams to craft innovative strategies that can serve to improve business outcomes and strengthen clients relationships.
Ultimately, a centralised and connected source of data can be the platform for launching firms to a whole new level of efficiency, accuracy and profitability. Teams will no longer waste time searching for potentially outdated data in hidden locations across the firm. Instead, professionals can leverage intelligent insights, work more closely with their clients and brainstorm new and better ways of operating.
Integrated data truly provides the key to a brighter and more productive future – for firms, their people and their clients.
Measuring law firm marketing and BD success in a virtual world
Richard Brent, editor-in-chief
Christopher Young, leader of the BD practice
Sid Welham, chief operating officer
Ruth Ling, head of innovation and change
Marc Yaffe, partner and head of commercial litigation
Kirsty Shenton, head of client care
Mills & Reeve