The best legal marketing is sales enablement-friendly

A recent blogpost by legal business development professional Richard Smith highlights a Financial Times article about why in 2023 content marketing professionals will increasingly need to articulate a clear business case for their activities – including how it helps produce return on investment (ROI).

I agree with the article’s assessment that the most effective marketers will be able to demonstrate how thought leadership helps build the sales pipeline.

Unfortunately for most law firms, the sales funnel is flimsy or non-existent.  Because most legal marketing and content marketing initiatives are focused on building awareness – and not generating leads by helping firm business development activities (in many cases, legal business development simply doesn’t exist in law firms).

The goal of legal marketing should be to help drive leads

If your law firm does have a business development function, a blogpost by Tracy Lewis and Jessica Miller is relevant – as it outlines how marketing can drive leads.

They explain, for example, the importance of close coordination between marketing and sales (with sales in charge, presumably) to achieve results. Perhaps their most important advice is to align content marketing with the buying cycle – by creating content which addresses specific client queries.

Marketing, they argue, can also serve as a research function for sales – by generating information including commercial data and contact details of prospects, curated event attendance data, and contact form completions.

When sales have this support from marketing – it can do a better job of following up, tailoring conversations and spending time on the most qualified leads.

A shared CRM may also be helpful. But I believe what’s more important is for law firms to have – is an active business development function. CRM is something to be adopted further down the line once firm marketing and business development have developed a good working relationship – which has achieved tangible positive results.

Firms need marketing-enabled business development

As legal marketing professional Terrie Wheeler has noted – many law firms simply throw money at marketing and hope the phone rings.  But in 2023 – is this approach still justifiable?

Instead, I believe – firms need to establish dedicated sales teams and get marketing and sales talking to each other.

Without an organized sales process working in close coordination with marketing, law firms simply will not achieve as many new client signs (and the increased revenue that goes along with it).

I help law firms adopt sales practices and integrate the business development and marketing function to achieve more leads and more revenue. For more information or to arrange a discussion, please contact me.

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