In today’s professional services marketplace, marketing and business development teams find themselves faced with a new set of challenges. Where new clients once came knocking with a seemingly limitless supply of work, firms must become more focused on business development to drive growth.
During part one of a four-part webinar series, Michael Warren, Vice President of the CRM Practice at Wilson Allen and Gareth Thomas, Practice Group Lead of the Intapp Marketing & BD Practice, addressed how firms can meet the objectives of various stakeholders and deploy strategies to drive growth by making small but important changes in how the firm uses CRM. They discussed the industry’s key challenges candidly:
- Firms have a history of working in silos
- Analytics and reporting have been overly focused on financials
- Risk and intake functions often don’t consider business development needs
- Data that’s captured in other parts of the business often doesn’t feed through to business development
Even more critically, business development is becoming increasingly important at the same time that firms have fallen behind in data and technology to support business development. With all that’s at stake, what’s the answer?
Many strategies for firm growth, but a single solution
Responding to market pressures, firms are implementing a range of growth strategies. Leading firms are focusing on growing their key-clients’ business, while others focus on winning more new clients. Many will target profit gains through efficiency. Firms of all sizes are choosing to expand via laterals and combinations; other firms are increasing cross-border deals with their international network. The one common thread between these strategies? They are all difficult — if not impossible — to implement without connecting the dots between the firm’s systems to leverage the data that exists more effectively.
Instead, Warren suggests that forward-thinking firms that want to succeed in the modern marketplace must devote their resources to vertically integrated solutions to meet all of their business development and marketing needs. He’s identified three key factors that differentiate a successful technology investment:
- The best options include CRM, relationship management, and experience management capabilities in one seamless and integrated solution
- To avoid disconnected priorities, this solution should align with and support the firm’s growth strategies
- And, in order for deployments to succeed, that solution must also be easy to use and maintain
To explore these strategies in greater detail, view the recent Wilson Allen webinar “Practical tips to align with client needs to drive growth”