Mullins Lawyers – The Power of Communication
It’s not what you know – it’s who you know
In the legal industry, your network is everything. No matter what the sector, every lawyer invests a considerable amount of time and energy into securing and retaining quality work. But when you’re running a large caseload, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. While you’re engrossed in securing an outcome for one client, it doesn’t take much for another key relationship to end up being neglected.
The team at Mullins Lawyers, a Brisbane-based commercial practice, manage a wide client base across multiple industries. With an ever-growing web of clients and referrers, they needed a way to gain oversight of their communications and professional relationships. They wanted to understand what was being done well, what (or who) was being missed – and the impact that this was having on their functionality as a business.
Mullins Lawyers teamed up with Client Sense, in collaboration with HubSpot CRM, to unlock the wealth of untapped data behind their communications. The firm’s partners have turned Client Sense into a game changer – transforming the way that they manage their contacts, grow their most valuable relationships, and pursue new business opportunities.
Capitalising on your contacts
No two businesses are identical – and the real value of any tech product can only be as strong as the professionals who work with it. The team at Mullins Lawyers have managed to capitalise on the potential of Client Sense technology in three key areas of their practice.
For Mullins Lawyers, visibility into data was a key concern. With so many contacts across multiple networks, they had no real system for assessing how well these relationships were being managed. For the firm’s partners, the reality was that they simply did not have the time to manually update their systems after every client interaction.
Because Client Sense automatically captures every piece of external email correspondence (both past and present), Mullins Lawyers were able to shift this picture dramatically from the get-go. Partners could immediately visualise the “health” of each of their commercial relationships, and identify with precise accuracy, when each of their clients or referrers were last contacted, how frequently, and by whom.
Armed with this information, teams were able to generate reporting on which key contacts were being nurtured, and which needed attention. With no manual input whatsoever, this data was suddenly accessible to partners firm-wide, laying the foundations for a multitude of other potential uses.
“Client Sense has really given us a clear picture of where our key relationships stand. It’s an invaluable tool which allows us to monitor, manage and nurture the critical relationships that drive our revenue”.
Making an approach
Approaching potential clients and submitting tenders has always been a critical part of business at Mullins Lawyers. As a multi-disciplinary practice, it was previously not uncommon for a partner to seek a lead into a new target client, completely unaware that another fee earner was already in a position to facilitate the connection. The only real way for the team to pick up on these internal links was through a stream of cumbersome “all staff” emails.
Using Client Sense, Mullins Lawyers have eradicated the problem, as the search function immediately flags any internal connections with a prospective contact. Because the system also picks up on tangentially related contacts (such as connections with other individuals in the target organisation) the team have been able to take full control, ensuring that no valuable leads are ever missed again.
Mullins Lawyers have spun Client Sense into a conversation starter – using data points to help break down the critical first point of contact for new work. In one critical tender, the firm used the system to discover that they had previously sponsored a charity associated with the target organisation. They used this information to significantly strengthen their bid.
It’s no secret that it’s easier to nurture an existing professional relationship than it is to acquire new business. At Mullins Lawyers, client retention is a top priority – and the partners are confident that they know theirs, inside and out. However, the truth is that nobody can maintain perfect communication with everyone across their network, all of the time.
It came as a surprise for some partners to discover how long it had actually been since they had checked in with some of their major clients. They now use Client Sense’s traffic light system as a motivator to resolve these gaps, as “red flag” reminders to make contact are replaced with the reassurance of a green tick.
The team have taken full advantage of the adjustable “reminder” parameters for each contact. Whilst some of their clients require regular communication, many others prefer to touch base more sporadically. Mullins Lawyers have achieved a significant ease in pressure on their marketing team, with less demand on their staff to “nudge” fee earners to check in.
Getting more from HubSpot
Before implementing Client Sense, the Mullins Lawyers team were using the HubSpot CRM system in isolation. They have since integrated the two platforms – which has proved to be a turning point. The key differentiator for them is that whilst the CRM system is heavily reliant on manual data entry, Client Sense is fully automated, requiring zero partner input.
The information gathered by Client Sense is hard data. Whilst it would be theoretically possible to record the same statistics manually within the CRM, the Mullins Lawyers team realised that it would be virtually impossible to achieve the same level of accuracy or detail. Information entered by busy individuals tends to be more subjective – and less reliable.
Connections, not content
It’s common knowledge that lawyers tend to be risk-averse. They are also extremely protective of the client relationships that they work so hard to cultivate. However, the Mullins Lawyers team are convinced that the benefits of collaboration far outweigh those of operating as a lone island – and this is the direction that the legal industry is heading in.
Mullins Lawyers’ partners appreciate that Client Sense is non-invasive, involving no recording whatsoever of the content of their communications. They find a critical point of value in the fact that they are now able to monitor key data without sacrificing the confidentiality of their client relationships.
Implementation and support
Mullins Lawyers have taken full advantage of the fast implementation and support packages on offer from the Client Sense team. They have participated in multiple free demonstrations and personal walkthroughs, and love the fact that the Client Sense team use their own product – partners find it amusing when they check in as a result of a prompt from the system!
“We’ve worked with a lot of different tech providers, and the service that Steve at Client Sense provides is worth its weight in gold. His passion for the product and its capabilities really shines through.”
The Mullins Lawyers team believe they are only beginning to scratch the surface of what they can achieve with this software. The Business Development team are already starting to use it for segmentation, running reporting on client interactions by practice group and industry – identifying where the best relationships lie, and using this information to focus their future marketing and BD efforts.
In the longer term, the team expects to expand their use of Client Sense far beyond marketing. The team looks set to really push the boundaries of the system’s capability over the coming year, from using new platform integrations to identify correlations between client relationships and financial spend, to extracting data into performance reviews and KPIs.
“Without Client Sense, our work would be so much harder. For any BD person to really have credibility, you need data. Just relying on gut feelings, or information from other people, is not an accurate way to generate change or affect behaviour. Client Sense gives us that hard data, and it’s a game changer.”