Using data to improve sales and profitability

Apr, 2021   ·   6 min read

In today's competitive legal environment any advantage can have significant impact on your bottom line. If you utilize some basic data you can obtain great insight into many different aspects of your sales, delivery, and marketing activities. For this discussion, we will focus on data that any law firm or ADR center can capture and analyze by themselves. We will leave purchased data and data acquired through web analytics for future discussions.

Let us look at some types of data that can be collected and what potential insights can be observed.

Source of customers

By collecting basic "how a client heard about you" (referral) data, you can obtain great insights as to your most effective advertising channels. Is your billboards or advertisements delivering the clients that you expected? Is word of mouth / client referrals happening? To obtain even greater insight, expand the data to include: location of the billboard, or which Facebook Ad was seen, or which association or church group does your satisfied client attend. Practice management software is a great tool to help track your firms referrals.

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Types of services

Tracking the number of matters by practice area will enable you to know what services are in highest demand. Couple this information with your learnings around advertising channels (see above) and you can now target where to advertise and what services to highlight. Insight into arbitrations and mediations is just as critical in understanding and tracking the services your firm offers.

Bundling / follow on opportunities

Tracking services delivered at a client level and by date can show potential bundling or follow-on opportunities and timing. This analysis will provide you with suggested services to package together or provide you with a timeframe to solicit follow on services. This analysis takes more time and effort as you will need to analyze potential add-on services first then do a second analyses around timing. However, the payoff in additional or follow-on services makes it a very worthwhile exercise to perform periodically.

Conversion rates

Collecting data around inquiries or initial consults and tracking which ones result in cases can inform you as to the success of your sales process. This information can allow you to know if you are getting the correct inquiries or opportunities and if those initial consults are resulting in paid engagements. This can be a KPI or key performance indicator growing firms can use to track their business development quality.

Collected fees vs effort

By tracking time spent on a case regardless of the fee type will enable you to have a fact-based understanding of case profitability. Does your fixed fee cases deliver the profitability expected? Are there a significant number of outliers that can be identified early on or tweaks made to your process to reduce the effort associated with those outliers? Are there aspects of your hourly fee cases that can be altered to free up time and enable you to increase your caseload or eliminate billing disputes resulting in write-offs? By tracking your time and analyzing how it is spent, real insights around the productivity of your processes and case management can be gained. If you take this a step further and track time outside of case work (such as business development) you can determine if that time is well spent.

This is just the beginning of what can be learned by collecting and analyzing data. At Caseroads we enable the collection of data as well as reports that make it easy to analyze and understand how your legal and ADR practice is operating.

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