Tipsheet: How To Gain Buy-in for a New CRM Tool Across Your Firm

Tipsheet: How To Gain Buy-in for a New CRM Tool Across Your Firm

By Luke Schnoebelen
June 13, 2024 | 3-minute read
Technology Management Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
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Introducing a CRM tool poses significant challenges, despite its potential benefits. Resistance to change, data migration complexities, integration hurdles and the need for comprehensive training all complicate implementations. Aligning the tool with existing processes and gaining buy-in from attorneys, IT and end-users is essential.

If you’re working to encourage the adoption of a CRM tool at your firm, here are some friendly tips to make that happen:

1. Show the benefits: Start by showcasing how the CRM tool can make work (and life) easier. Benefits can include fewer help desk calls, less time on meandering DMS searches, smoother teamwork, happier clients and more time for enjoyable and meaningful legal work.

2. Be the guide: Nobody enjoys feeling lost in a new tool. Make training sessions engaging and helpful — exciting rather than overwhelming. Create some simple instructions on how to use it or short videos that show how easy the process can be to use. Allow users to train on the tool internally to understand its functionality. Provide a roadmap for success and supporting training materials.

3. Efficiency boost: Emphasize the time-saving features of the CRM tool. Automated tasks, swift data entry and seamless document handling can free up time to focus on solving complex legal puzzles. Using the CRM to find information faster will allow you more time for meaningful work.

4. Customized for legal needs and legal nerds: Tailor the CRM to speak the legal language. Incorporate case management and client categories based on legal matters to make it feel like it's designed specifically for legal wizards (like yourself).

5. Smooth integrator: Ensure the CRM tool integrates well with other tools used by the firm. Avoid data chaos and extra work caused by incompatible systems. Using a CRM for the first time can be a way to ditch some tired habits or archaic processes.

6. Undeniable support: Offer friendly IT support or external help for those who need assistance with the CRM tool. Knowing help is available can ease any concerns about adopting the tool. Make sure the IT support staff speaks the same language as others at the firm. Perhaps include marketing in the support tree so you can ensure a resolution to support requests.

7. Make it interesting: Turn adoption into a game with challenges, rewards and friendly competition. Make it a team adventure rather than a chore. Encourage use and find champions. Encourage the champions to advocate for use across the firm.

8. Celebrate success: Share stories of how the CRM tool has improved the work of early adopters. Positive experiences can inspire others to join in. Also, don't expect everyone to succeed; allow for all speeds of learners to use the tool and help them integrate it into their daily work or the people around them.

9. Collaborate and listen: Be open to feedback and use it to enhance the CRM tool. Continuous improvement ensures it remains beneficial to the firm. Ditch the CRM acronym and give the tool a name; make its use part of daily firm life.

10. Gain leadership support — all the way up: This is a no-brainer. Having support from leadership is vital. When leaders show enthusiasm for the CRM tool, it encourages everyone to embrace it. Talk the talk at all levels, but also let them walk the CRM walk. 

11. Stay in the know: Keep an eye on new features and updates. A CRM tool that evolves with the firm's needs is one that everyone will want to keep using. In a fast world of ever-evolving technology, make sure your CRM works for your clients and your firm. A good relationship with a CRM provider can pay dividends in client satisfaction and internal adoption.

Adopting a CRM tool at your law firm can be a smooth and rewarding journey for everyone involved. Make it fun, make it part of your daily work and reap the rewards.

Luke Schnoebelen
Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Luke Schnoebelen is the director of professional development at Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. His strategic leadership has helped Shook achieve growth objectives by using technology as a catalyst. Schnoebelen has expertise in overseeing large firm-wide projects and programs including cloud migration, remote work support and a wide variety of technology solutions.