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This is a guest post by Quinn Malloy from CloudTalk.io.

How many hours a month do you spend trying to keep track of your clients, prospects, and leads? Your time is precious. But you still need to maintain great client relationships and give prospective clients the best care, so they choose you over your competitors, right?

That’s why every law firm needs a good CRM system. It will free your hands from the manual paperwork. Also, it gives you one source of information to manage your business relationships and your law firm’s marketing efforts.

What is a CRM Software?

Customer Relationship Management software is a digital adoption tool that helps you track and manage all information and interaction with your current and potential clients .

It’s a centralized platform that connects all departments and organizes their activities and data into one system. It also consolidates all communication streams (e-mails, calls, text messages, and meetings), documents, quotes, and tasks associated with each contact.

As a result, every user has direct access to the real-time client data they need. Yes, the data is constantly updating automatically as soon as your leads and clients take action.

That impacts your team’s productivity (as they no longer have to share excel sheets and demand data from other departments) and your client’s experience.

Related : Best CMS for Law Firms and Lawyers

Why should you use CRM in your Law Firm?

According to an Ackert survey , 78% of law firms use a CRM system. As a law firm, you are responsible for keeping track of a vast amount of information: client intake, contact information, past conversations on different platforms, and invoicing details.

Even in a small firm, your team can struggle with managing that all. Or, they have to dedicate a lot of time, which they could use on profitable activities.

Whether a small law firm or your business has grown into a large company, every legal practice needs easy contact management, effective and quick communication with clients, streamlined team collaboration, and tech aid to enhance productivity.

As the study shows, about 84% of law firms saw an increase in their overall work efficiency using legal technology. As you can see, not following tech development can make you fall behind your competitors.

Still not sure what exactly a CRM tool can do for you? Here are some of the main benefits of CRM for your legal services:

  • Centralized database of information – whether the client or prospect contacted you on the phone, by e-mail, or on another platform, you will always have information about all his previous interactions with the company.

Your client will feel noticed and well-served, and your team will be less overwhelmed by managing the data manually.

  • All documents in digital form – A CRM system will help you switch from paper to electronic documents, so it is easily accessible and sorted in any desired way.
  • Enhanced security – if you choose the right CRM with the latest security technology, confidential information and documents will never fall into the wrong hands.
  • Simplified collaboration and task management – as you share client details across the company. You can also assign tasks to a particular client or prospect, for example, to contact him as a follow-up to the previous communication.

What features should a legal CRM solution have?

According to Statista , the CRM market has grown 393% between the years 2010 and 2020. The strong demand for CRM software caused a rapid growth of new companies offering solutions for law firms and any industries that can benefit from the technology.

So how to choose the right solution for your law firm? First, you need to look for specific CRM capabilities to make sure they will serve your needs. Here are the features your new law firm CRM should not miss.

Client Intake

Automating your client intake process will improve your organization and workflow, reduce data entry, give your clients a better experience and allow you to better track and analyze your data.

With some legal CRM software, you can generate online forms, create appointments, receive documents, and more. All the data you receive are automatically stored, and you can see at what stage of the process the contact is.

Case management

Salesforce research has found that 76% of clients prefer different communication channels depending on the context. The case management feature allows you to track and organize all interactions between a contact and your company on any channel. You are always in the picture and never ask about anything twice.

Your team can categorize and manage requests. Other team members can review cases and resolutions and aggregate information to help the company improve services and business processes.

Document management

As we already mentioned, storing all documents digitally in one place can benefit your business. You will get rid of the endless amount of paper and always find whatever you need in seconds.

Enhanced data security

As a law firm, you handle loads of highly confidential data. But unfortunately, the amount of cyber attacks is constantly increasing. Make sure that your CRM system offers enhanced data protection with these features:

  • Encryption – nobody outside the company can read the data without a password.
  • Two-factor authentication – users will be forced to install multiple ways to log into the service.
  • Authorized IP addresses – especially if you access the CRM from public WiFi networks, your data is at risk.

There are many other useful features, but these are the core you should not compromise on.

Marketing automation

When it comes to marketing, data is everything. With all information about your contacts, you can drive leads through the sales funnel into conversion thanks to carefully targeted, personalized, and rightly-timed communication.

CRM solution with integrated marketing automation will create a shared workspace for your sales and marketing team to better cooperate and reach the desired goal – close more sales.

Top 8 CRM for law firms

So which of the CRMs is the best to choose? It depends on your unique needs and preference. Here are the TOP 8 CRM software solutions and their main pros and cons.

1. Clio

Clio is a cloud-based practice management software specially made for law firms. It is designed to replace multiple different systems (document management, case management, accounting software, etc.) to streamline the technology you need. As a result, it will help you to manage your caseloads efficiently and conveniently.

Clio offers several pricing plans starting from 39$/month and finishing at 129$/month for a complete package.

Pros:

  • Time-tracking and billing features
  • Virtual phone lines
  • Automated email campaigns
  • Unlimited document storage
  • Hundreds of integrations to other tools and software
  • Bank-grade security

Cons:

  • Limited customization of reports
  • Credit card processing is available only in a $59/month or higher pricing plan

2. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM was not designed specifically for law firms. However, it offers all the important features a law firm CRM should have. It manages your clients’ relationships and streamlines and automates marketing and sales.

You can connect with your clients via email, telephone, social media platforms, live chat, and portals. It also offers a single-click dial and analytics to track the call data.

The pricing plans starting at $14/month make it one of the cheapest CRM systems on the market. There is also a free version for up to three users. But despite the price, it is a very complex solution.

Pros:

  • Great sales automation, lead management, and account management features
  • Customization through API
  • Automated invoice creation and billing
  • Basic call center management features, extendable through integrations

Cons:

  • Due to many features, implementation can be overwhelming
  • Limited mobile app features
  • Customer support has patchy reviews
  • Limitations in running campaigns

3. Law Ruler

Law Ruler was the first law firm with CRM software released in 2012. Throughout the years, it grew into an integrated solution proven to increase revenue by 20%+. Thanks to years of development, Law Ruler could tailor the software to nurture the needs of law firms perfectly. In addition, it offers customized solutions for particular parts of the law.

The pricing plans start at 89$/month per user, and there is no free version, but you can register to get a two weeks trial to test it.

Pros :

  • Different solutions for particular parts of the law
  • Personalized done-for-you setup from a dedicated Law Ruler representative
  • Advanced document management
  • Advanced contact management
  • Legal billing
  • Great customer service
  • E-mail marketing

Cons:

  • Only available in US and Canada
  • Lack some important integration like Gmail

4. HubSpot

HubSpot is an all-in-one solution designed for email marketing , sales, and customer support, all in one place. It offers a free (but limited) CRM tool, including email tracking, deal overview, analytical dashboard, tasks, and activity monitoring. However, the paid version will open advanced analytic and automation tools.

The users say that the real strength of HubSpot comes when you use all of its parts (not only CRM). Together with the possibility of integration with more than 200 other platforms, it creates a real one-stop shop for your business management needs.

The pricing starts at 41$/month, but it can grow to 3300$/month depending on the size of your contact database.

Pros:

  • The largest amount of integrations
  • All-in-one solution for client relationship management, sales, and marketing
  • A cloud-based system with strong security
  • Offers a free version
  • Customizable to your needs
  • A robust community of 50,000+ users

Cons:

  • To unlock the potential, you need a paid version
  • The most expensive solution if you want to use all features
  • Not specialized for law firms

5. Lawmatics

Lawmatics is a leading end-to-end solution for law firms. It will help you manage your contacts, simplify client intake, and benefit from personalized marketing automation, billing, and more. It’s designed specifically for law firms to impress clients, win more business and be more efficient.

The users mostly praise the automation capabilities and the power to turn leads into new clients, while they say that some of the features would need further development. However, the Lawmatics team works on improving the system continuously.

The pricing plan starts at 99$/month per user and 10 000 contacts for a client intake feature.

Pros:

  • Very advanced client intake automation while maintaining a personal touch
  • User-friendly intuitive interface
  • Built-in scheduling tool for meetings
  • E-mail marketing features
  • Advanced analytics

Cons :

  • Limited integrations, you have to use API
  • The billing and payment features would deserve an improvement
  • Lack of GDPR compliance

6. SalesForce

SalesForce is a market leader in CRM software with more than 20 years of history. It is popular, especially amongst medium-sized and large enterprise companies, as it’s a complex solution that can be difficult and costly to implement. However, with its popularity, a solid number of experts can help you along the way.

It is packed with many features other CRM systems don’t offer, like workflow creation, task management, customer engagement tools, etc. Thanks to uncountable integration and customization possibilities, it will become your all-in-one solution for most business processes.

The price starts at 25$/month per user, but it can grow far beyond as you have to pay for extending features.

Pros :

  • All-in-one solution
  • Easy integration with hundreds of other platforms
  • Fully customizable
  • Very reliable in terms of crashes and data loss

Cons:

  • It fully relies on an internet connection, so it has to be steady
  • Considering the price, it won’t be suitable for small law firms

7. Pipedrive

Unlike SalesForce, the Pipedrive CRM solution is most popular among smaller businesses. It was designed by salespeople to give managers and sales teams the time and visibility they need to focus on growth. It encourages activity-based selling and focuses on the tasks that drive sales while reducing the time you spend on activities that do not.

The price starts at 12$/month per user if you pay annually. However, to use the software’s full potential, you have to go for a higher-tier plan. There are also several add-ons like LeadBooster that offer lead generation tools such as chatbots, web forms, or live chat.

It is the right solution if you want to focus on organizing and streamlining sales pipelines.

Pros :

  • Very affordable
  • Full customization through API
  • Easy integration with nearly 300 applications
  • Built-in dialer
  • Pipeline with easy drag-and-drop features

Cons :

  • Limited support for small accounts
  • The users often mention limited or hard-to-use reporting options

8. Fresh Sales

Freshsales is a CRM solution designed to help you manage multiple elements of the sales process. It combines the best features of legacy CRM software with a few unique features that prioritize pipeline opportunities and boost sales. Advanced dynamic analytics offer deep sales insights and customizable reports.

You can also benefit from many useful features, including affiliate management, call routing, call recording, or auto-dialers. However, it is not a specialized law firm CRM, so you might find some processes complicated. Users also mention a wish to make an interface more user-friendly.

The pricing packages are very flexible, starting at 19$/month per user.

Pros :

  • Affordable
  • Advanced reporting options
  • Direct calls with features like auto-dialer, call routing, or call recording

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • Limited exporting options
  • Users often complain about a customer support
  • It lacks some of the enterprise features

Final thoughts

The right choice of a law firm CRM depends mainly on your needs and expectations. There is software designed specifically for the legal industry, which will become your all-in-one solution for most business processes, but those are on a higher end of the price spectrum. Cheaper solutions can also be constructive in making your workflow more efficient and closing more sales, but you might be missing some features.

The best way to decide is always by testing the tool on your own. Go for a free trial or demo version and see what will be most convenient and cost-effective.

If you don’t have a CRM system yet, don’t hesitate. Even though the implementation can be overwhelming, the benefits are worth the temporary inconvenience.

Author Bio :

Cloudtalk

Quinn Malloy is a copywriter and marketing professional based in Prague, Czech Republic. He works for CloudTalk , helping to create compelling messaging in support of the next generation of cloud communication. In his free time, he enjoys jogging with his dog and pretending he knows how to cook.

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