2018 Winners – Technology Management: Software and Platforms

First Place

bradley, contactease and clientsfirst consulting

Bradley Connect

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Summary: With an expanded footprint and increased practice offerings, Bradley knew it needed to revisit its marketing processes. The first priority was to select a CRM — one that could grow with the firm and was easy to use. Next, the firm established its initial goals to improve data quality and relationship intelligence by enabling attorneys to easily identify “who knows whom" and reach out to colleagues directly rather than circulate burdensome and redundant emails.

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With two implementations under its belt, Bradley learned from its mistakes. Branding the CRM system as Bradley Connect tied it to the firm’s recent and successful rebrand. Identifying stakeholders and tech partners to guide the firm and champion the CRM’s value enabled the implementation team to achieve buy-in from the start, which was something prior implementations lacked. Providing individualized, deskside training enabled the team to appeal to various learning styles and generational preferences (creating additional buy-in). Utilizing the technology to automate internal email campaigns and manage attendee lists for training also helped show value. With the rollout complete in two offices and almost 500 users trained in less than six months, the firm is seeing increased usage among attorneys and staff who are tagging contacts by contact type and adding them to mailing and event lists. More importantly, they are using the CRM to mine relationship data and better understand these relationships.

The implementation was a tremendous effort on behalf of the firm’s teams. Attorneys and staff had little faith in prior systems because contacts could not be globally updated and relationships couldn’t be identified or segmented, resulting in redundant emails asking “who knows whom” and an inability to track open and bounceback rates. Looking past the implementation process, it was important that users understood the firm’s goals for the system. It was also important to staff the firm properly starting with the Marketing Technology team led by Jacqueline Madarang and Bradley partner, Justin McDonald. Users can now see “who knows whom” and other relationships a client may touch. They can add contacts to mailings and are seeing the results of this relationship intelligence – a significant culture shift at the firm. Attorneys once hesitant to share contacts are now doing so. Of the almost 500 users trained, the few not participating are due only to scheduling and not resistance.

First Place

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland360° CRM Activities

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Summary: In a global firm like Kirkland, collaboration is key to success. Tools to help lawyers connect and identify business opportunities can help — if lawyers use them. To achieve this goal, Kirkland & Ellis LLP used its CRM, Kirkland 360° CRM, in a novel way by creating a Daily Activity Report that shares information and uncovers connections. At many firms, CRM adoption is poor and activities are entered post-event. By targeting usual barriers to success, Kirkland created a program that its attorneys view as essential.

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Kirkland approached CRM activities differently. Logically, partners wanted to know about meetings before they happened. The Kirkland team sought to create a culture of entering CRM activities in advance. To do so, the team developed the Daily Activity Report to deliver all activities entered from the previous day to partners every morning. The team also thought creatively about engaging secretaries, who can create activities on behalf of their partners, and developed education programs, newsletters and recognition opportunities for star performers. Both partners and secretaries receive activity reports and metrics to add to their annual performance reviews. This approach keeps CRM activities top of mind. The Daily Activity Report also rewards and acknowledges the firm's lawyers’ competitive spirit through internal recognition, while increasing activity sharing and collaboration. The team distributed a year-end CRM Activity Report Card highlighting top contributors and important statistics.

In its first year, the report captured 3,300 meetings logged by partners with more than 2,300 companies. Since then, partners logged more than 4,500 activities with more than 5,300 clients and prospects. Every Kirkland office and practice group has contributed. The team’s vision of how to use CRM activities exploded, and demand for custom reports continues to rise. The team built five custom SQL reports to meet partners’ needs, and more are in the pipeline. The team’s strategy was to deliver reports that would help partners track their individual activities and their clients’ activities. The activities were also pulled for over 300 business intelligence requests in the past year. Some of the most significant beneficiaries of Kirkland's CRM activities and the Daily Activity Report have been lateral hires, who use the information to understand client relationships quickly and who use the report to share with incumbent partners the valuable connections and activities that they bring to the firm.