- Law firms struggle to create compelling proposals due to Business Development and Marketing lacking the capacity to pull together real-time data to submit a winning response.
- Finding a database solution that makes data accessible to these teams cuts down on the time required to combine the right data and content to differentiate your law firm.
- Unifying intellectual property with an automated content creation solution can significantly improve your law firm’s win-rate.
An RFP for a promising opportunity just came in the door. It’s in the sweet spot for your firm’s experience, transaction size and the attorneys on your team. You are excited to bring in more work, which means more revenue for the firm.
You think you have the data to back it up, now you just need your Business Development and Marketing teams geared up to create a compelling response that demonstrates you have the experience that speaks to the challenges the customer will have for this deal.
If you are like many firms, this is where your excitement comes crashing down like the Hindenburg.
Source: How Stuff Works
The VP of Business Development shares that they are at capacity and have two other practice areas that are responding to potential deals at the same time. However, they never say no; they’ll get it done and do the best they can in the time frame they have.
Your excitement is replaced by worrying that the effort will create a less than compelling proposal that could lead to a deal. Your win-rate is barely achieving the status-quo and past experience is causing you to question:
- What are the odds on winning this one if you are pulling dated information from past proposals?
- What new data and experience has been accumulated since that last response?
- How can you make sure the new information is included?
If this sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to the same frustration for your practice area, or your entire firm, you might also be asking:
- What can I do to improve the odds?
- Is there a better, more efficient process to build compelling proposals?
- How can we create a formula for winning work and increasing revenue that is easily repeatable and scalable?
Here’s a 3-Step Proven Formula to help your firm and practice area win more proposals and increase revenue.
1. Focus on the challenges that the client will experience and how your law firm helps overcome them.
It’s not about you, it’s about them. Check your ego at the door. Showcasing all your experience and knowledge is really just meeting the baseline criteria for the RFP. You don’t stand out. As George S. Patton once said, “Always do more than is required of you.”
Often the most important challenges aren’t asked or addressed in the RFP. To make your response (and your firm) stand out, address the hot buttons or pain points that you know the client’s situation presents. Where do you put them? In the cover letter or executive summary. Address the known and unspoken challenges and share how your experience and attorneys have solved and overcome them for previous deals.
Often Business Development and Marketing have barely enough time or capacity to pull together the baseline criteria, tombstone information and biographies. They don’t have time to stop and think how to strategically position and align your strengths to the challenges the client will encounter.
Don’t worry, the next two steps address how Business Development and Marketing can efficiently focus on the client.
2. Conquer the law firm data accumulation and accessibility problems.
Whether you realize it or not. Your law firm is in the data accumulation business. Every company is in this business, they just vary on how they are storing data, accessing it and whether or not they consider it an asset or problem. By 2020, new information generated per second for every human will be approximately 1.7 megabytes. According to our data and end-users, the average investment bank stores 87 data points for each deal.
So how can your proposal focus on the right data when your data is:
- Hidden away in past responses or presentations that may or may not be relevant?
- Stored in multiple Excel spreadsheets that may or may not be secured and up-to-date?
- Inaccessible due to a database that is impossible to search, filter or segment?
While there are more costly options, such as building your own system, which often includes hiring IT and a “data scientist” to help create and navigate, a more feasible and cost-effective option is to leveraging a cloud-based solution, such as Pitchly, that offers a user-friendly interface anyone can navigate and makes your data accessible to your Business Development and Marketing teams.
When selecting a cloud-based database option, here are key questions beyond “storing” your data:
- Can we filter the data by segments that are meaningful for a law firm?
- Can we view “relationships” between attorney information, deals and practice areas?
- Can we learn and use this quickly?
- Can we secure confidential information from certain team members?
Finding a database platform that makes your data accessible and easily segmented saves valuable time for creating the proposals and content that improves your success rate with RFPs.
3. Automate content creation and unify to your intellectual property and proprietary data in real-time.
Time Saved Creates the Competitive Edge
Access to current intellectual property gives your law firm a real competitive edge. Not only can you make strategic decisions more quickly, but your Business Development and Marketing teams can automatically assemble a response document in less time.
Consider the time it takes your team to search and find data tucked away in Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or two-year-old PowerPoints. Then, determine how much time they would save if they had “accessible and approachable” data that could be searched, filtered and exported into a branded, templated proposal.
Imagine the time saved and how your firm could leverage this capacity to seek out and respond to more RFPs that are in your sweet spot and create a more strategic (and winning) response for each of them.
Options for Automation
Again, companies can build their own system. This can take time and may involve contracting or hiring IT or data scientists to build and maintain the database and content creation system. You can put off automating the process of data management and content creation and hire more people.
Or, you can investigate proposal software solutions such as Pitchly, which combines a user-friendly database platform with automated content creation. Unlike many of these tools, Pitchly was designed specifically for law firms.
For customers, such as Choate, a Boston-based law firm servicing national and international clients, Pitchly allowed them to migrate and consolidate transactional practice group deal records into a cloud-based database that serves as a single source of truth and helps them create tombstones.
“The tombstone functionality saves me hours each week fulfilling attorney requests,” reports Stephanie Raven, Business Development Assistant for the team. The solution has allowed Choate to:
- Create consistency between practice group data;
- Standardize tombstone design between practices;
- Manage a central master deal data source;
- Notify league table providers of new deals easily;
- Mitigate knowledge loss from attorney turnover.