Five Obstacles to Business Development Success, Part 5


Every year law firms spend millions of dollars in marketing, client development, training and technologies to attract more clients. Law firm leaders understand that business development is the life blood of the firm. Or do they? An argument can be made that a law firm that puts business development as one of the top drivers of the firm’s growth would do a better job of addressing the most common challenges that are obstacles to the success of most attorneys. Many law firms survive on the client development effectiveness of a small group of the firm’s partners making law firms generally extraordinarily fragile. But eliminating these barriers could produce significant returns and spark faster growth in the firm.

What are these obstacles? This is the fifth in a five part series outlining the obstacles to business development in most firms.
Obstacle Five – Lack of daily sales management and coaching.
Many firms have moved to toward a practice group management model and client service teams in order to facilitate the cross selling and client development processes in the firm. However, too often firms fail to implement strong sales management and coaching processes. Stark evidence of this can be found in the separation of the compensation decisions from the practice group, client service team and other sales management processes. Those responsible for developing the skills are often left out of the rewards and incentives decisions.

Law firm “Sales Managers” are not spending enough time effectively coaching and developing their “salespeople”. The job of a sales manager is to coach their people just like in professional sports. Law firms saddle the coach with the responsibilities of also playing on the field. The value and leverage that can be achieved by sales managers is simply not appreciated or valued in law firms today. As a result, the organic growth of most firms today is anemic at best and contracting at worst.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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