By Helena M. Lawrence, Marketing/Business Development, Orrick
The future of the legal profession is here. Legal services are changing, and clients are purchasing differently. Drivers of this change include (1) innovation – creating value, (2) technology – efficiency in cost, time and delivery, (3) commoditization – repeatable work delivered by alternative service providers, (4) creative thinking – demanded by clients, and (5) alternative business models – delivering high value at lower cost. Law firms need to adapt to stay competitive and the productization of legal services is one way to do that.
Historically law firms have been service providers providing unique one-off answers for an individual client’s problems. But if firms can build a single “thing” – product – and deliver it to many clients, it can be used as a door opener to new clients, or deepening client relationships, creating the opportunity for strategic legal advice. Technology makes this possible and scalable. Its price point can be based on its value, not necessarily the cost to make it, or the cost per user to use it. It can be marketed at its value or, potentially, given away as a comp for relationship building.
There are many sales benefits to selling legal products:
- Unique Competitive Differentiator – provides an opportunity for a focused, unique sales campaign to use for lead generation and profile building
- Showcase Expertise – provides an opportunity to profile your legal talent
- Relationship building – opportunity to strengthen relationships with current clients and contacts
- Revenue generation – legal products can be used as independent revenue generators
Sales executives are uniquely positioned to identify legal product opportunities because they bring together the perspectives of global macro factors, client needs and firm culture. Global macro factors that may create opportunities are political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental.
Sales executives are on the ground with clients and are aware of organizations’ inhibiting and supporting factors. They can listen to clients and watch their actions. For example, they may notice an uptick in certain types of matters and issues. This pattern may signify a need, even if our clients are not verbalizing it to us. Sales executives may notice clients asking questions during meetings or client feedback interviews.
Finally, when looking to identify legal product opportunities, sales professionals need to look inward at their organization and who their firm is and what their strategic business objectives are.
Strategy is where goals, culture, opportunities and delivery meet. By knowing your firm’s identity, what it wants to achieve, understanding the global marketplace and knowing your clients, the right opportunity for your firm can become clear. Is there a way to use innovation to create something that creates value for your clients and firm? Can you build one tool and use it as a blueprint for future legal products?
This is the future of the legal sales executive.
About the Author
Helena Lawrence took the road less traveled and it led her to a career in marketing and business development in Washington, D.C. She provides strategic guidance, thought leadership, and recommendations for innovation, product development and marketing, client service, business development, and marketing initiatives. Helena is the Strategic Marketing Lead on Orrick's award winning GDPR Readiness Assessment Tool and global marketing campaign. Helena and the team from Orrick received the 2018 LSSO Sales & Service Team Award.
Contact Helena at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/helenalawrence/.