3 things to remember when upgrading your CRM

The customer relationship management (CRM) software you use for your law firm has a big impact on how easily and frequently you communicate with your contact list. Those things are huge in the legal industry because it’s an industry that really relies on building trust with potential clients and referral sources. That trust is what brings in your best new clients and cases!

If you’re not reaching out to your list often, they won’t remember you when they need a lawyer. If you’re letting some contacts “fall through the cracks,” then you’re missing out on potential leads. And, if you can’t track it, then you don’t know if your campaigns are working. 

So, clearly, having a CRM—and having a CRM that is current and works well for you—is critical for nurturing those professional relationships and driving more cases to your door.  

But here’s the problem: A lot of lawyers drag their feet about upgrading their CRMs because it sounds like such a headache. It seems like so much could go wrong! What if you lose your contact list in the transfer? What if you have a question or don’t know how to use the features you’re paying for? What if your employees aren’t up to speed? 

It’s easy to imagine that it will be a nightmare, and that anxiety keeps a lot of law firms chained to marketing automation software that just isn’t working for them. 

However, upgrading to a new CRM doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Work with a great team. Follow the process. Do the research about your marketing automation software. Understand that there’s more to it than installing the software and pressing “go.” And—this is really important—don’t forget the three often-overlooked things we talk about below. 

1. Will Your CRM Integrate With Your Other Marketing Automation Software?

Sometimes lawyers get so focused on finding a software solution for one problem that they don’t look at how that new software will work with what they already have going. It’s not that you absolutely can’t do it that way—you definitely can. But, if you do piecemeal all the software for your law firm without looking at integration, then you’re probably not getting the most efficiency out of what you're paying for. Even worse, you could end up stuck with a CRM that only functions in its own little bubble and wastes more time than it saves. 

As you’re looking for a CRM for your law firm, you need to think about how it will fit into your overall strategy. Think about how a contact becomes a client for your firm, and ask yourself questions, like:

  • Will you be able to import contacts from the software you currently use easily?
  • Will it work with your current email platform?
  • Will you be able to identify and track your leads effectively?
  • Will you be able to review campaign performance?
  • Will your CRM also integrate with your case management software?
  • Will it integrate with your other practice management software? 

It’s so much easier to get through the upgrade of your CRM if you know everything will work well together. Plus, it is so much easier to manage your marketing when you don’t have to continually double-check that Software A knows what Software B is doing. 

Looking for a bigger solution than just a CRM? Try our power-packed marketing automation software that also plays nicely with others. Learn more about DSS

2. Does Your Marketing Software Partner Have a Plan for Upgrading Your CRM?

Absolutely any CRM is going to work better for you if you’re working with a partner that has experience and a plan. If you’re left totally on your own, or if it’s too hard to get the support you need, it could be a disaster in the making.  

The scariest thing about upgrading the CRM for your law firm is usually the data migration. Most lawyers have spent years building up their contact lists, collecting names and addresses, and nurturing those relationships. The fear is that you’ll lose names, scramble up information, or have to do it all by hand after something goes horribly wrong. If you’re talking about a list of hundreds or thousands of names, that’s a real nightmare!

However, an experienced software team is going to recognize this and understand the potential impact on your business. They will have a strategy ready, walk you through the steps, tell you what to expect, and be ready to support you all the way. 

If you’re just purchasing the software, without the benefit of a supportive team, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. 

Not sure if your software team has a strategy? Just ask them! 

They should be able to describe the process clearly, in terms you understand. If they can’t, then you might want to move on to someone that can. It’s really the best way to ensure that upgrading your CRM is a smooth process, with fewer headaches and bumps in the road. 

3. Is Your Team Ready to Make the Switch?

Some lawyers handle their marketing on their own, and other lawyers hire a team to take care of it. Either way, it’s up to you to make sure everyone is ready to use your new CRM—and use it to its best effect. 

This is something that’s going to look a little different for every law firm, and it’s another big reason to work with a software team you trust. As you look at different CRMs, you need to ask questions, like:

  • Will you be trained to use the software? Will your employees also receive training?
  • How will you learn about new updates to the software? Who will teach you how to use new features?
  • What internal processes will need to change with the updated software? How can you use this as an opportunity to rethink outdated processes that have changed since the initial implementation of your old system? 
  • Does your team know what your expectations are for using the new CRM? Does each team understand what it’s for and what the notifications mean?
  • Will everyone on the team be able to sign in and access the software, as needed? Can more than one person get into the system at the same time? 

Modern CRMs, like the DSS CRM, usually also include some features that help you maintain team engagement and communication as you move beyond the initial implementation. For example, you can set up automated emails to your internal staff that are triggered when a recipient takes action on a campaign. This streamlines the process by a lot, making it faster and easier to keep up with interested potential clients. 

Get Marketing Automation Software That Works From a Team That Cares About Your Success

Like other marketing automation software, a CRM streamlines tasks and keeps you focused on what’s most important. And, as you’ve learned in the three tips above, it’s even more effective when you’ve tied up all the loose ends and are really ready to make it a success.  

In the legal industry, upgrading to a CRM that puts you behind the wheel of your relationships with your past, current, and potential clients, your referral sources, and important partner businesses is invaluable. After all, people are far more likely to buy from people they like, know, and trust!

Ready to start nurturing the relationships that matter the most? Join us for a DSS demo to see for yourself what better marketing automation software could do for your law firm.