The marketing and business development pro Lise Monette has just moved its household to Miller Thomson.
And her mandate as head of market development is both simple and complicated, explains the one who has positioned Norton Rose Fulbright, McCarthy and many others for the past 25 years.
“With limited resources, we need to increase market penetration and share of wallet for each client,” she explains on the phone.
And this, we achieve this by focusing in particular on the strategic management of accounts, free translation of theAccount-based managementwhich essentially consists in identifying the most profitable accounts for the organization in order to concentrate its business development efforts there.
This approach, used in particular by the sales and marketing functions of a company, Lise Monette knows it well, having implemented it in particular at Norton Rose Fulbright.
So much for the simple portion of the mandate.
But things get complicated, and it’s Lise Monette’s tact that makes all the difference: all the variables that must be aligned for the initiative to succeed are numerous.
And this is the second part of his mandate, which also consists of “establishing a culture of business development, building a team”, and above all, setting up a client program.
It is therefore a question of setting up the firm’s marketing function, and aligning it with its business development objectives. To achieve strategic account management.
First the customer
To stand out, you have to stand out. At Miller Thomson, for example, it’s not just about saying that the firm excels in this or that area. “What are the things that set us apart? asks Lise Monette, according to whom taking stock of the firm’s strengths and weaknesses is essential.
Of course, we do this assessment internally, but we have to go and validate this positioning on the market.
This is where the essential tool for any customer consolidation initiative comes in, the customer journey. The latter, when he engages with a firm for his legal needs, goes through five stages: discovery, consideration, decision, commitment and retention. At each of these stages, you have to know what attracts him, motivates him… or irritates him.
Because to improve the customer experience, it is still necessary to know what he wants and what he needs, to adjust his strategies accordingly.
Simply put, the client journey refers to all of the touchpoints a client has in their journey with a firm, from the moment a legal issue emerges–how are they encouraged to use a firm’s services? accurate?– until the final invoice is paid.
One of the challenges, internally, is having the means to do the work. “There’s a lot of reluctance to give clients access,” requiring a lot of up-front work to convince lawyers to open their books, as it were.
But the reward is there: coming back from these meetings with client comments and details of what works – and what needs to be improved – is formative for lawyers, explains Lise Monette. “I see their eyes twinkle,” she said.
And, ideally, until the final bill is paid and he plans to recommend you.
And if we were to discover, for example, that the firm’s clients come more from one sector than another.
It is a truism to say that differentiation is an important competitive issue for law firms.
Lise Monette is of the opinion that “we distinguish ourselves by offering specialties”, and by betting on the niches that stand out the most. We take stock of these strengths and consolidate them.
Contacted by Droit-Inc when she had just arrived in her post, it was too early for Lise Monette to speak out with confidence. However, it offers the roadmap it intends to follow to achieve this consolidation.
What a firm wants to do is provide “added value” to its business advisory services. “You have to know how the firm can help the client”, beyond the provision of legal services. Can we help him navigate his business issues? Help him measure the risk of the sectors in which he is active? Identify the most important issues for its clients?
The added value can also be found in the provision of services: doing all the work internally, without intermediaries, ensuring continuity and consistency in the management of files, etc.
To position yourself
Finally, to come back to the marketing function, all the magic of positioning consists in making sure that “we have to take a position on something to ensure that the customer remembers us”, maintains Lise Monette.
We must intervene on the issues that have an impact on clients, anticipate their needs by offering food for thought that challenges them – and that offers them solutions to contemporary issues.
Clearly, it is necessary to produce content and feed it with Information that positions a firm for reference on a specific issue.
Because “Content is king”, the content is king, according to her.