What BD Efforts Are Actually Working?

November 15, 2021

Growing a business during a global pandemic is no small feat. Business development has been particularly challenging for law firms because, maybe more than any other industry, firms have continued to rely on in-person connections and networking to build new business. But while the pandemic made in-person networking impossible, some law firms have thrived. What separated these high-growth firms from their no-growth competitors? As this article in Attorney at Work demonstrates, the law firms that enjoyed success didn’t stumble into it by accident. They employed clever marketing and business development actions. Doing so put them leaps ahead of their less fortunate competitors. Here’s how they did it:

Increased spending

For one, firms that saw a high growth rate tended to invest more in business development. In fact, 28% added marketing and business development staff, while only 8% of them reduced staff. But firms that didn’t experience growth chose to cut back their spending. Almost none of the no-growth firms increased staff, and 17.9% of them reduced headcount.

Adopted collaboration tools

Another tactic high-growth firms used was the adoption of effective collaboration tools. Remote work forced attorneys and staff to pay a higher level of attention to deliberate collaboration. So they used tools that helped them organize projects, delegate tasks and stay in touch. This strategy made them more efficient and effective than lower-performing law firms.

Measured performance and tracked goals

Successful firms were also four times more likely to prioritize data and use tracking metrics. Moreover, they used different tracking techniques at far higher rates than firms that had average or no growth. More than half of high-growth firms set goals based on historical data. Another 42.9% analyzed patterns that lead to success and then adjusted their strategies. In comparison, 35.1% of no-growth firms didn’t track or report on marketing metrics or business development.

Clearly, the pandemic delivered a blow to the traditional model of marketing and business development used by law firms. But it didn’t stop innovative firms from thriving. High-growth firms that have adapted well to the challenging times used this disruption to their advantage. And now they are well positioned to continue growing even in a remote environment.