Let’s face it, pulling together pitches and proposals is not fun for business development teams.
Because lawyers often make requests at the last minute – and on days that coincide with other high priority tasks. Business Development teams have a hard time putting their hands on the right content. Their automated proposal system, if they have one, isn’t flexible enough to create the best proposal possible. Relevant information is difficult to navigate and inadequate, or completely non-existent. And once the proposal is out the door, it’s 50/50 whether you’ll hear back from the lawyer about why the work was won or lost. It’s a mental beatdown.
However, what is fun is winning. Technologist can help their business development counterparts solve these problems. Turn pitches and proposals into a joyful process by following these four guidelines.
Start with strategy
Ask your BD team questions like these, to get realistic solutions:
- What type(s) of work are the most profitable or strategically aligned with firm objectives?
- Are there specific pain points the team is hoping to resolve?
- What are the limitations of the current process?
- Can you outline a typical proposal request, from cradle to grave?
- How will success be defined in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years?
Create a collaborative culture
The firms that are most successful in creating pitches and proposals have created fail-safe, methodical approaches when responding to lawyer requests. These plans detail what the firm can provide based on how far in advance the original request is received – from 12 hours to 2 weeks.
As the lead time increases, different processes and workflows, aided by automation, kick-in to assist the business development team in creating a best-in-class response. These types of processes are vital in creating a “we’re all in this together” mentality, as well as aiding the BD team in putting the firm’s best foot forward.
Collect sensible data
The old saying that “content is king” holds true in the proposal automation realm, too. There is a constant fear that BD teams do not have access to the right content. Look beyond the website, experience management, and time and billing systems for content. These integrations are considered table stakes. Your intranet, HR database, data warehouse and document management systems have tons of actionable content that the BD team may not have otherwise considered. It’s often the furthest beneath the surface where we find the diamonds, so make it easy for BD teams to excavate this rich content.
Create and maintain a win/loss debrief
One of the most invaluable pieces of information when formulating a winning pitch and proposal strategy is knowing why the work was won or lost. Tracking this feedback is even more important.
Work with your BD team to determine the most important questions to know in the win/loss debrief. Then create an easy method to get this survey into the hands of the lead lawyer(s) or even the clients. And keep the survey as brief as possible. Create quality questions instead of increasing quantity.
Even more on law firm proposals
If you want a more comprehensive resource to learn about what your competitors are doing with proposals, download this brand new white paper co-authored by Keith Wewe, VP-Sales + Solutions at Content Pilot and published by ILTA (the International Legal Technology Association.)
ILTA also just released the all-new Law Firm Marketing Technology Survey, sponsored by Content Pilot. ILTA conducted an in-depth survey, guided by a committee of legal marketing professionals that included Content Pilot CEO Deborah McMurray. The resulting data provides valuable insight into how law firms are using technology in their day-to-day operations. Access the survey results to see how your firm stacks up to the current trends.