Our popular annual Legal Webinar Series is a wrap. The three-part 2021 series presented commentary from a range of special guests, technology gurus, and business development experts aimed at helping law firms and legal service providers gain an understanding of the latest trends and technologies impacting the legal industry to win more business and accelerate revenue generation.
Webinar #1 highlights: The 411 on the marketing & bizdev tech stack
The first webinar in this year’s series examined the current state of legal marketing and business development after the challenges of 2020. Facilitated by Jobst Elster, Head of Content & Legal Strategy at InsideLegal.com, COOs and CIOs from firms across the country shared their input on the state of budgets and tech investment going forward, along with insights into technology trends, from analytics and experience management systems to search and proposal management solutions.
The panelists agreed with the ‘quick poll’ of webinar participants that tech investment in 2021 would either grow or remain constant. To make sure they’re providing clients with the right tools and tech, firms are listening to clients and what they need. While IT needs to be on board, they’re no longer the primary driver for tech purchases; decisions are a partnership between SMEs across different departments, the clients, and IT.
Data analytics saves the day
Our second ‘quick poll’ revealed one of the biggest adjustment firms made during the pandemic, aside from working from home, was the accelerated use of data analytics (more than 40% of participants). The panelists concurred and Skip Lohmeyer from Parker Poe noted that client-driven data requests for diversity & inclusion statistics are showing up in RFPs.
The poll also revealed that firms collaborated more with clients in 2020, worked across their organization to help clients, and were focused on getting the most out of their existing technology (50+% of participants)—whether that’s CRM, proposal management, experience management, or data analytics platforms.
When asked to share their top tips going forward, Jeffrey Brandt, CIO at Jackson Kelly, stressed the importance of building bridges: “Most of the data you need isn’t yours; it’s housed externally or in another dept so being able to build bridges both on a technical and relationship level is critical for business development.”
To learn more about what our panelists consider key metrics for business development performance (length of client relationship, profitability, and customer satisfaction play big roles) and which martech/biz dev tool is most critical client success (CRM is a rock star), watch the webinar replay.
Webinar #2 highlights: Why is setting up content & pursuits libraries so critical?
At Qorus, we work closely with Bid, Proposal, and Sales teams around the world. They often turn to us for help and advice on how to quickly prepare targeted, engaging proposals. They also want to make sure that their Bid Managers, Business Developers, and SMEs can locate and use content efficiently and collaborate remotely on documents.
With that in mind, we teamed up with APMP for the second webinar in our Legal Webinar Series 2021 to offer insight into the powerful one-two punch of proposal technology + Microsoft Teams collaboration capabilities to illustrate how this potent combo can deliver exponential gains in alignment and productivity.
Challenge: An unpredictable workload
Even with a careful capture plan, you don’t control when RFPs are going to land on your desk. During the peaks, when RFPs are flowing in fast and furiously, it feels like you need a small army to not only get through the workload, but also to do a good job and win the deals. Plus, the flood of RFPs may be followed by quiet periods which are equally hard to forecast.
To complicate matters further, it’s common for people in proposal writing and management roles to find themselves fulfilling other roles in the organization, putting additional strain on the team when the volume of RFPs increases.
In the face of these challenges, proposal teams need the ability to scale their capacity rapidly, without sacrificing quality. There’s simply no time to figure it out when crunch time hits. To accomplish this, proposal teams need efficient processes, content, and technology. Think good content libraries, templates, and collaborative workspaces that are easy to use.
Challenge: Past proposals can sink the ship
In the absence of a well-stocked library of answers, proposal teams inevitably turn to past proposals to dig out an old answer to a similar question. This time-consuming and labor-intensive process creates several issues:
- The answer may not be the best answer for this client
- The information could be out of date
- The answer could inadvertently contain information about another prospective customer
Personalization, differentiation and building business value are the keys to winning proposals so, inevitably, re-using old content isn’t going to be your best work. Content libraries are the secret weapon of every successful Bid, Proposal, and Sales team.
Challenge: Collaborating with SMEs
SMEs have day jobs with multiple responsibilities and you can imagine they don’t appreciate being asked the same question over and over again, especially if they have to log into yet another system to respond—and that’s if they respond!
In the absence of a proper collaboration strategy, email chaos ensues with threads that are impossible to follow and take an inordinate amount of time to piece together into a coherent response. And chasing SMEs can be like herding cats; no one likes to nag, sending one friendly reminder after another.
- Adopt technology that already fits into SMEs’ day-to-day workflow
- Put answers from SMEs into your Content Library so the info is there when you need it
- Create a Pursuits Library in Teams – especially helpful when you’re working with SMEs and other stakeholders on more complex documents, like RFx responses and sales pitches
- Pull it all tougher with proposal management software, connecting the user with the libraries of information
If you’re not yet using proposal management software, now is the time to get a better understanding of how easy it makes the search, creation, collaboration, sharing and tracking process. Qorus literally wrote the book on building content and pursuit libraries in Teams, so check out our comprehensive guide and get your proposal management processes working for you.
To learn more about how creating content and pursuits libraries can elevate your RFP response process and close more clients, watch the replay.
Webinar #3 highlights: Leveraging AI to deliver winning proposals
For the final webinar in our 2021 Legal Series, we teamed up with ILTA to explore how AI is impacting the legal proposal process in light of the pandemic. Ray Meiring, the CEO of Qorus, explained how firms can improve the ability of their business development teams to create proposals that win more deals faster using best practices for content integration and collaboration across the firm.
Our ‘quick poll’ revealed that 36% of webinar participants experienced a 10%-50% increase in RFP volume in the last six months and 21% noted an increase of 50% or more—statistics that are in line with what we’ve been seeing in the legal industry. Law firms need a strategy to keep pace with this influx of RFPs.
Automation fuels growth
Software platforms, such as CRM, experience management, and proposal management, used to be considered luxury buys for law firms but today these mission-critical platforms are the driving force behind both creating operational efficiencies within the organization and boosting win rates to generate revenue.
To ensure win rates don’t collapse in the face of rising RFP volumes, many firms are turning to automated proposal processes and technology. Meiring explained how automation and AI-driven processes are helping law firms keep pace with the volume of RFPs without increasing headcount or sacrificing quality. “Being able to aggregate the sheer volume of content and data and use it effectively to respond to RFPs or build a better pitch is really critical—and AI and automated processes are the key.”
AI helps proposal teams win deals by learning what content is ‘winning content’ and recommending the best content for a specific pitch. Plus, AI functionality within proposal management software helps law firms automate RFP responses, minimizing cutting and pasting, eliminating the endless search for answers, and taking care of some of the manual work of tagging content so it can be found later.
Integration drives efficiency
Automating parts of the RFP response process creates a definite competitive advantage, both through helping to create visually-compelling proposals and saving time and resources by increasing the efficiency of the proposal team. Vital to this process is integration of proposal management software with multiple business systems across the law firm, from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce to Microsoft 365 and Teams.
The proliferation of Microsoft software in the legal industry means that effective proposal management solutions need to operate seamless with MS applications, leveraging AI functionality to enhance efficiency. Meiring noted, “At Qorus, we’re investing heavily in embedding AI into more everyday tasks around the proposal management function so that it becomes ubiquitous and you don’t even know you’re dealing with artificial intelligence in the process.”
To learn more about automating your RFP response to boost win rates (and to see AI in action in a demo of the Qorus proposal management platform), check out the webinar recording.