Integrating Manzama and CRM systems to arm lawyers with client news when it matters
Legal professionals share a common challenge when it comes to ensuring lawyers have the news they need to stay current on happenings surrounding their clients’ business needs. The challenge—getting lawyers to take the time to read or at least scan the headlines. Awareness of current client news is especially important as lawyers are picking up the phone to call a client or heading to their offices for a meeting.
Husch Blackwell has set a high bar when it comes to arming their lawyers with news at the point of client contact. The firm’s commitment to service and client understanding was formalized as part of its strategic plan. “Four years ago, Husch Blackwell made the decision to reorganize the firm around industry teams,” Lann Wasson, the firm’s Senior Manager of Knowledge Management explained. “The impetus was that to walk the walk of greater client understanding and service, we would need to immerse our attorneys in our clients’ industries.”
Once the firm had restructured according to client industries, the search began for a technology that would help industry teams stay abreast of developments impacting their clients and industry teams. “We were looking for a tool that would provide quality news that was relevant to lawyers on a daily basis,” Wasson continued. “Some attorneys were using Google Alerts, but results were inconsistent. We wanted to institutionalize the delivery of information so our attorneys could be well-versed about their clients. The search for timely news from quality sources led us to Manzama.”
Linking Manzama with a CRM to Get More from Client Interaction
Husch Blackwell also decided to leverage its CRM system – InterAction – as much as possible. “We wanted to go beyond typical applications – generating mailing lists and the like – to find ways to bring client information to our lawyers where they work and communicate,” Lann Wasson continued. “By bringing in data from other systems, such as accounting and business intelligence, we’ve built a system where our people can access a rich set of information about the people they interact with. Manzama was a natural fit in this framework.”
Husch Blackwell initially set up searches in Manzama for the top one hundred companies in each of its industry teams. As other prospects and key individuals are identified (like companies on a growth path), they are added. Using tools from Fellsoft, search results are mapped and fed into InterAction as activities. “With the Manzama feed into InterAction, lawyers can see what’s happening with a client before they pick up the phone to call them,” Wasson said. “Are they announcing a merger? Are key players leaving? Having such timely information at your fingertips is very helpful. For a lawyer who’s doing business development – and all our attorneys are encouraged to be entrepreneurial – such information allows he/she to identify opportunities to discuss when they meet.”
Husch Blackwell has over 700 attorneys serving clients from 19 markets in Arizona, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and London.
To best meet the needs of its clients, the firm is structured by industry rather than by practice. Teams of lawyers with a depth of experience within a particular industry work together, across practice specialties, to deliver comprehensive solutions to help clients achieve their business goals. Husch Blackwell serves the following industries:
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Financial Services
- Food & Agribusiness
- Healthcare, Life Sciences & Education
- Real Estate, Development & Construction
- Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation
BTI Consulting named Husch Blackwell as one of the 30 best law firms in the country for client service. Husch Blackwell was specifically recognized for being “a leader in anticipating client needs.”
The firm also earned National Tier 1 rankings in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ 2016 Best Law Firms survey for Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor & Employment, Real Estate Law and Tax Law.