Visit LSSO Job Bank

to see new job postings or post a position

Search Upcoming Events

from LSSO and our partners

  • March 10, 2021 2:13 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    By Adam Severson, Baker Donelson

    We all have the same goal: more meaningful, trusted advisor relationships with our clients. Whether you’re a sales professional looking to expand services with a current client, a lawyer aiming to move up the value chain with a client to do more sophisticated work, or business development manager supporting lawyers in the pursuit of new opportunities, the deeper you dig into those client relationships – the more fulfilled and intellectually exciting your work will be. There’s frequently a tangential benefit of additional revenue, new service lines, and greater loyalty derived from these efforts. Successful client expansion efforts are best done with sound fundamentals with added complexities.

    The Challenges

    If everyone has the same goal, how is execution and success across the industry lukewarm at best? Short answer: very few people act without their own self-interest being the fundamental driver of their behavior. Long answer: the transient market we’re in today leaves people motivated to increase their own individual columns instead of taking a client-centric approach to growth. The best rainmakers act with their clients’ interests at the core of everything they do and ensure each approach for new work is based on uncovered needs derived from thoughtful, off-the-clock conversations.  

    With only 5-10 percent of the lawyer population at any given firm falling into “rainmaker” status, this leaves a lot of people with their hands out waiting for someone to deliver them their next opportunity. We’ve all been in meetings where there’s common cross-selling banter: they have employees, we should be doing their employment work; or they have real estate, we should be doing their real estate work. They rarely consider the myriad of factors like relationships, decision-making criteria, cost of doing nothing, or why would they be compelled to change counsel.  With self-interest aside, other significant challenges continue to present themselves and get in the way of execution like time, capabilities, relationship strength, a “hook,” and trust. I could write 1,000 more words on each of these of these challenges, but this article is intended to be about overcoming obstacles, not perpetually shining a light on them as excuses to implementation.

    The Fundamentals

    Having sold to, for, and with lawyers for more than 20 years, I’ve attempted to simplify the sales process in a number of ways to help make client development easy. My latest iteration boils down to three key areas:

    • Relationships
    • Opportunities
    • Commitment

    Relationships. Below are a series of questions and considerations to ask when determining discussing a potential client target:

    • Who do we know at the company and what levels? We employ a D.I.R.P. analysis which is assessing if a contact is a Decision marker, an Influencer, a Referral source, or a Personal connection.
    • What is the strength of our relationship? This should be considered individually and institutionally. 
    • How do they view your firm? Are you a commodity provider for a high-volume area of work? Are you a trusted advisor for bet-the-company matters? Do some people love your firm at the company and others have disdain? Are there alumni within the organization that might “know you too well” or can they serve as your biggest advocates? 

    The answers to these questions will undoubtedly help determine a path forward. On many occasions over the years, we have a very strong personal connection with a single decision maker, but have a lesser company-to-firm relationship. This is just fine AND sets the stage for a different series of tactics that ought to be employed. For example, performing research on the company to uncover a latent need that could be raised to help the client, or seeking out introductions to different people with the legal department. On the flip side, do we have multiple relationships across different functional areas with varying levels within the organization? This is admittedly preferred AND sets a different set of tactics. In this instance, internal coordination and information sharing become paramount in your ability to uncover needs and fill them. 

    It's also possible that you don’t have answers to the questions above. That, too, is fine, but requires a modified approach. For example, if you don’t know how they view your firm, you should ask them, or better yet, employ a third-party to perform a client feedback interview. These interviews have served me well over years as it provides a road map for continued improvement and growth.

    Opportunities. Below are a series of questions and considerations to ask when determining what opportunities may exist with a given client or prospect:

    • What kind of work do we perform for them now? This is partially addressed by the question raised above about how they view the firm, but also sets the stage for additional market opportunity within a given segment.
    • What kind of work do they have to give? How do they rely on outside counsel? How big is their legal department? What is the volume of work they manage? How do the matters break down from a “bet the company” and “run the company” perspective? What is their overall legal spend and what is your share of wallet?
    • What is their decision-making process and criteria for dolling out work? Do they have a list of preferred provider firms? Do they adhere to that list? Are you one of the firms on that list? Do they issue RFPs on a matter by matter basis? Do they call their trusted advisor at a given firm, tell them their issue, and trust they’ll find the right resource to fill the need?

    Some companies manage portfolios of litigation that span all 50 states and others will have a meaningful litigation matter present itself every 3-4 years. If it’s the former, presenting solutions to help them manage that portfolio, reducing their overall spend, and providing them with greater predictability in per case cost (settlement and fees) could be an angle to pursue. If it’s the latter, you may simply mention it from time to time that you recognize litigation isn’t a key area of need for them, but when it happens, they ought to know your bench strength and depth in the area with hopes of being considered when the issue arises. Too many times, lawyers go in selling litigation when their clients aren’t buying litigation that day (or year). 

    Commitment. Below are a series of questions and considerations to ask when determining if you’ve got the chops to be successful:

    • Are you committed to working towards client-centric growth? If not, you can stop reading here.
    • What kind of resources will it take to ensure your success?
    • If the questions above yield a perceived ripe opportunity, what stands in your way of progress?  Are these internal factors or external/client factors?
    • How can you move the ball forward? What incremental steps will support your goal?

    Commitment is typically where any good client target or team effort falls on its face. There is initial interest and enthusiasm for this wonderfully-vetted opportunity and then people aren’t willing to commit the time and energy to pursue it thoughtfully and consistently. The good news is that your competition frequently doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to keep at it either. If you stay committed, good things will happen! 

    The Complexities

    Now you’re excited: you are poised with thoughtful answers to your questions, you have identified a variety of needs, and you’re committed to take the next step on pursuing these targets. What do you do now? Insert favorite lawyer answer: “it depends.” There are a myriad of resources and tools out there to support each of the fundamentals outlined above. How you approach each of these areas, employ these tools, establish processes, and engage in discussion and action can take your client development efforts to the next level. 

    Each fundamental area of relationships, opportunity and commitment have resources to support you. I find it incredibly valuable to bring data to the conversation. For relationships, this could include identifying who knows whom from your CRM database or a strong sense of strength of relationship from your ERM database. For opportunities, this could include research on litigation trends, docket alerts, annual reports, and investor presentations. I’ve yet to identify a tool that provides meaningful and accurate legal spend data, but for asking your client about their outside counsel budget, whether it’s trending up or down and in which areas. For commitment, there are pipeline tools that provide prompts to execute a given activity or element of outreach. These tools coupled with smart, engaged, and intellectually curious professionals make a recipe for success. 

    Taking these efforts to the next level includes tapping into marketing automation tools that help you understand client engagement. Below is a snapshot of areas you can track to uncover some of the aforementioned latent needs.


    This information can serve “warm leads” or conversation starters. Don’t let your lawyers say it’s too creepy! It’s 2021 and our phones track our every move, search, and comment. You’re simply harnessing that information to help more fully serve your client. 

    Next Steps

    Few firms, if any, execute on the fundamentals and complexities at an optimal level for every client. You can employ some or all of the above to get started.  The key is focusing on incremental gains, continued commitment to help, and removing self-interest. What are you going to do from here?


    Adam Severson is the Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer at Baker Donelson. He is a past President of the Legal Marketing Association, recent LMA Hall of Fame inductee, and a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management.


  • March 08, 2021 12:18 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Below are 5 key reports you should be getting from your marketing team to ensure the leads you’re generating are high quality, and resulting in more sales!

    1. Leads generated from Organic web traffic

    2. Total number of leads generated broken down by lead type (forms, calls, etc.)

    3. Cost per lead generated (CPL)

    4. Cost per file opened

    5. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

    Why Retrieving the Right Data From Your Marketing Team can Inform Your Sales Strategy

    Data is abundant when it comes to digital marketing! It is crucial to sift through the mountains of data to get the information you need. The right reports can help inform your sales and marketing strategy, and help you better understand your success and areas for improvement. The right data will also help your marketing team understand which strategies result in quality leads.

    1. Leads generated from Organic web traffic

    What does Organic mean?

    You’re showing up in Google’s results based on something that was ‘Googled’, or searched by a user using another search engine such as Bing. This is largely driven by Search Engine Optimization work that is done both on and off your website. See this resource for more information on SEO for law firms.  The question you want to ask yourself and your team is: Are your marketing efforts helping you generate leads organically?

    Why is this important?

    You’re showing up near the top of search results on Google - without paying for an ad! The leads generated organically are people who are actively searching for something related to your business - meaning these leads are likely high quality. You can see organic website traffic via your Google Analytics report, like seen below:

    2. Total number of leads generated broken down by lead-type

    Leads come in all shapes and sizes. It is crucial to determine how many of each lead type you are generating. Below is a list of potential lead sources. 

    • Form submissions via your website (contact form)

    • Chat submissions via your website (a little chat feature that allows users to chat with a real person in real time!)

    • Phone calls 

    • And more

    Why is this important?

    As a sales person, you can inform the marketing team which lead types result in the highest quality leads, and they can adjust their strategy accordingly. For example, budgets, and calls to action (CTA) in marketing copy can be updated to reflect this (Ie. Call Us Today at ____ OR Fill out our form).

    3. Cost per lead generated (CPL)

    Cost per lead refers to how much you’re spending on marketing efforts related to lead generation, divided by your total leads generated. For example:

    You’re spending $5000 per month on Google Ads - resulting in 100 leads = $50 CPL.

    What is a good benchmark for CPL?

    Everyone’s favorite answer: it depends! The important question to ask yourself and your team to determine this is:

    What practice areas do you cover, and what is your average revenue generated from each file?

    4. Cost per file opened

    This metric is calculated based on your ad spend for a given period of time, and how much it is costing you to open a file, on average. For example:

    You’re spending $5000 per month on Google Ads - resulting in 5 files opened = $1000 per file opened. 

    Why is this important?

    This leads into the 5th metric, but it helps inform what marketing strategies are costing you the most, and resulting in the most files opened. For example, is your Google Ads campaign resulting in the most files opened? Most importantly, this helps you determine which marketing efforts are resulting in the highest quality leads.

    5. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

    This is the arguably the most important metric or report you should be receiving as a sales person. The previous 4 metrics mentioned all funnel towards this one. Why is this important?

    • Helps you determine your actual revenue generated as a result of your marketing spend - also known as your return on investment

    • You can follow a lead through the entire funnel until: does it reach the point of sale or a file opened?

    • What did you spend on this campaign?

    • How many files were opened?

    • What was the resulting revenue from these files?

    • What was your total marketing spend that led to the opening of these files?

    How is this calculated?

    For a defined period of time (ie. Feb 2021) - Total Ad Spend divided by Revenue from files opened = Return on Ad Spend.

    About Jelly Digital Marketing and PR:

    The team at Jelly Marketing has been working with law firms for more than 5 years to help them drive leads, and promote their practice overall. Get in touch with them today!






  • March 08, 2021 11:33 AM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    The Client Account Executive (“CAE”) – Banking & Financial Services (“BFS”) is a core member of Ballard’s Business Development team and is responsible for identifying opportunities for current and potential clients, as well as implementing plans that generate new business in the BFS industry.  This new and exciting opportunity can be located in New York, Philadelphia or Washington, DC.

    LEARN MORE

  • March 02, 2021 6:59 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    The Business Development Manager will work with assigned lawyer teams to drive revenue growth, enhance the client experience, and execute marketing and business development tactics in support of firm and team business plans.

    LEARN MORE

  • March 01, 2021 4:33 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Kirkland & Ellis is seeking an enthusiastic, organized coordinator to support the marketing and business development efforts of the Firm’s Investment Funds Group as part of the Business Development (BD) team in our New York office.

    READ MORE

  • March 01, 2021 4:27 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Kirkland & Ellis has a Marketing Coordinator position for the Transactional practice. You will be responsible for enhancing the Firm’s experience database with company and industry data that will be used to structure a variety of marketing initiatives including business pitches, client presentations and web presence.

    READ MORE

  • February 14, 2021 1:05 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    The primary responsibility is supporting the preparation and delivery of pitches/proposals/RFPs that highlight and reinforce the Ballard brand. This position reports to the Senior Proposal Specialist and can be located in any Ballard office.  

    LEARN MORE

  • February 11, 2021 6:16 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Now available in the Members resources section.

    Watch the Video

    We'll cover 5 areas to help build a strong bridge between Marketing & Sales. Please invite your marketing team to this - as we want your teams to be on the same page about what is expected and what is available these days when it comes to reporting.

    There are some valuable data points and helpful information that Marketing can provide. We'll cover the top 5 areas and show examples of what they look like. These valuable reports and documents will be helpful in whatever professional services sales role you do for the rest of your life.

    Come prepared to see how your teams can grow together this year and be an efficient system that is a win for Sales, a win for Marketing and ultimately a win for your firm.

    You'll walk away:

    • Understanding the impact Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) makes for sales
    • Grasping the total number of leads generated broken down by lead type: i.e., Form submissions, phone calls, live chats, etc.
    • Understanding the role you can play in seeing more leads generated
    • Building a strong working relationship among marketing and sales professionals
    • Building the knowledge and understanding of what reports and data you can expect from your marketing team


  • February 10, 2021 10:31 AM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    By Mark Medici

    The pandemic taught us the importance of data-driven decision-making for client development. Firms can and must do more with data to serve clients. And the best time to introduce these ideas is now, during some economic stress and still some uncertainty.

    Why would that be?   

    • Client connectedness. We need to connect with our clients during times of economic stress,
    • Change enablement. We learned how quickly we are able to change and did over the last year,
    • Data guidance is critical for speed. Data was critically important before the pandemic and is more so now, helping firms’ teams to make better decisions faster,
    • Technology tools are empowering us. Better tools are available, creating greater organizational agility and providing power platforms to tell compelling stories and offer strategic insights. And, the good news…armies of people are not necessary to deploy modern client metrics and reports.

    In short, great tools and data are available today, and now we have a ready audience to receive them.

    Changes Which May Results from the Pandemic and Beyond

    What have we learned from recent recessions regarding industry change?  The following things come to mind related to client development: (1) resources become scarce, (2) clients become empowered, (3) new roles emerge within law firms and clients, and (4) new competitors become motivated to enter the market.

    These trends and others will increase the need for an enhanced client data framework, introduced below.

    Client Data-Driven Insights Action Loops

    The CLIENT DATA -> INSIGHT -> ACTION workflow illustrated below plots the three steps most firms use to manipulate data to support client decision-making: (i) data aggregation, (ii) insight generation, and (iii) resulting actions taken.  In the next wave, data quantities will be exponentially larger, decision models will become more sophisticated, and the importance of follow-on action will be paramount. 

     

    Imagine, for example, a client alerting system that signals a significant issue or change with a client and provides a playbook and set of recommendations about what you should do to mitigate this issue.

    Performance Data Operating System – Key Client Applications

    Key uses will evolve out of current firm activities, while new ones may emerge, examples including:

    • smart pricing and more rapid fee arrangement deployment, based on knowing with precision, the firm’s underlying costs,
    • client and matter portfolio risk profiling,
    • predictions on matter outcomes, matter profitability, client attrition, client needs, talent success rates, etc.,
    • client listening and needs analysis triage systems,
    • software-guided client compliance and OCG systems,
    • digital client firm "situation" rooms (think smart Zoom rooms blended with Slack, and relevant client metrics),
    • use of industry matter standards and new client metrics,
    • outcome scenarios for budgeting and setting client expectations.

    Data Design Must Drive Action: Living Analytics

    Today, most data experts classify data insights into four groupings: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive, as illustrated in the chart below published by Gartner.


    Applying the above framework to client metrics, you can think about how metric design, their intended purposes, and anticipated uses may change as you push further into decision automation. In the table below, I list client development categories and how you might think of them by the phases in the continuum.

    Living Profit Analytics for Law Firms

    The above are only a few examples of client-oriented issues where data can support your thinking, decision-making and actions. Even as budgets likely remain tight for the remainder of 2020 into 2021, it is imperative to plan and begin your steps for your accelerated data strategy.

    In Summary

    Law firms continue to learn from the economic shifts we’ve seen in the last two decades including the recent pandemic.  Each of these cycles provided lessons about client strategy.  As described above, this structure for data can provide context, help set priorities, and be a guidepost for planning and successful forward-looking strategic execution. 

    1 Recent surveys indicate that marketing and business development budgets were cut by upwards of 20% year-over-year in the first half of 2020.


    About the Author:

    Mark Medice is a Principal at LawVision and leads the Financial Performance and Data Science Practice. He has over 20 years of leadership experience providing and applying data solutions to the most pressing challenges facing law firm leaders.


  • February 07, 2021 9:07 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    BE RECOGNIZED FOR YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

    LSSO and Hellerman Communications are excited to announce that nominations are now open for the 2021 Sales & Service Awards. The Sales & Service Awards salute the efforts and results from individuals/teams who have helped their firm drive revenue.

    Now is the time to celebrate your accomplishments!  Submit your nomination on or before March 19, 2021 in one or more of the following categories.

    • Sales & Service Executive of the Year – this award goes to a leader who played a crucial role in retaining clients and/or growing firm revenues in 2020. Large firm and smaller firm categories. See the nomination form for more details.
    • Sales & Service Team of the Year – this award goes to a team who played a crucial role in retaining or  growing firm revenue in 2020.  Large firm and smaller firm categories. See the nomination form for more details.

    Submit a Nomination


    Did you or your team play a crucial role in growing firm revenue or improving client service? Did you lead efforts to retain an "in jeopardy" client? Did you initiate a new client relationship or  implement new technology to benefit the firm? We want to hear from you! 

    Award: The winning executive and a representative from each team will receive a free registration to the 2021 Global Sales Summit and may be asked to participate in a Q&A panel at the conference. Executive and Team winners will receive a one-year membership to LSSO, an award and a badge for digital/print use.

    See past winners and learn more here: Sales & Service Awards



©2019 Legal Sales and Service Organization