The Salesforce Law Firm Disconnect – When Less is Actually More

by | Mar 17, 2022 | CRM Software, Legal Software, Software | 0 comments

Salesforce seems to take up a lot of space within the Client Relationship Management (CRM) market. Having established itself as a go-to among the world’s largest corporations, it is often the first option that business owners consider when seeking customer data solutions. But bigger does not always mean better, particularly when it comes to the CRM needs of an averaged sized law firm.

The management of client and lead communications is extremely important within a legal practice environment. Small and mid-sized firms need systems that offer quality CRM services in an efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly way. For some lawyers, Salesforce appears to be the easy solution, so they choose the platform without thoroughly researching other options, only to find themselves with a platform that is far better suited for huge corporations than small to mid-sized law firms.

This post will explore the suitability of Salesforce to the average-sized law firm and why the “more” offered by Salesforce can actually be too much.

Law Firms Have Unique CRM Needs

Salesforce was established to meet the needs of businesses that operate for the sole purpose of selling a product. Whether that product is a machine widget or an online subscription service, the company’s primary purpose is to reach as many potential customers as possible for the purpose of selling as many products as possible.

While securing clients and earning revenue is also an important aspect of operating a successful law firm, lawyers cannot utilize these same tactics to generate sales. Instead, they need the ability to communicate their unique professional skills, experience, and qualifications in a way that upholds the dignity of the profession while also leveraging new and existing clients. In other words, legal CRM is much more specialized than tracking prospects and closing the deal.

For law firms, effective relationship development is essential for lucrative growth but without the right system in place, these processes can be extremely time-consuming and divert firm resources away from more valuable tasks. That is why legal practices need a CRM platform that offers innovative solutions to their unique relationship-building needs.

Firm leaders want platforms that facilitate communications, capture activity data, and provide their firms with valuable insights in an efficient, affordable, and easy-to-use way. They see the expansiveness of Salesforce and assume that it is the best fit for their firm, only to later learn that you don’t need a sledgehammer to swat a fly. In other words, the CRM nuances that law firms require can be lost in the complexities of Salesforce.

The Cost Factor

Cost is one of the most common complaints made by Salesforce users. While the advertised monthly fee may seem affordable, the platform also comes with a host of hidden charges for users that want to fully utilize the system’s functionality. For example, the integration of Salesforce with platforms commonly utilized within a law firm setting may require paid technical assistance along with an additional monthly fee. With the various software platforms that law firms use to maintain operations, fully integrating Salesforce could become a costly feat.

Availability

Another common complaint from Salesforce users is the amount of service interruption that takes place when software updates occur. Implementing these changes can disrupt the system’s functionality, which in turn disrupts a law firm’s workflow and ability to consistently manage client and lead communications.

Law firm prospects do not care if a firm’s CRM system is temporarily unavailable because they have countless other service options available to them. If one firm fails to follow up in a timely manner, they can simply move on to the next firm on their list. This is why law firms need the reliability of a CRM platform with maximized availability and seamless software updates.

Usability

A CRM system is worthless if law firm attorneys and staff cannot properly utilize it, so usability must rank high on the list of CRM priorities. A glance at Salesforce customer reviews reveals that users have a variety of problems when trying to implement and utilize the platform, which is frequently referred to as complex and prohibitively dysfunctional.

Some users complain of having to bring in Salesforce experts to configure needed workflows, customize processes, and train firm staff members. It’s a consequence that not only frustrates the purpose of the software, but also adds to its already substantial costs. The lack of law firm usability can likely be traced back to the purpose behind Salesforce, which is primarily the sale of products. It is not designed to provide the intuitiveness that law firms need.

What Law Firms Need in a CRM

When choosing the best CRM to manage current and potential clients, attorneys should look for features that address their firm’s unique interests. For instance, data analysis is very important for the identification of strategies that work and those that do not. Law firm lead management is a game of strategy so firms need the data necessary to focus on the plans that are most successful at turning leads into clients.

Other valuable features include:

  • Easy accessibility through cloud-based software
  • Measurement of inbound marketing channels
  • A streamlined intake processes
  • Customized reporting options
  • Proven ability to drive firm growth and development
  • Customer service options for assistance when needed.

One Option Does Not Fit All

Salesforce may have a stronghold on the CRM market, but that does not make it the best fit for the specific needs of your law firm. Its complexities and functionality gaps can leave you less than satisfied with their services and still in need of effective lead and client management. When choosing a CRM platform, do your homework and make thoughtful decisions about the best options for your firm.

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