Increase your law firm’s pitch-to-win ratio and cut the cost of pitching at the same time, using PitchPerfect.
Pitching for work costs time and money, and competition in the legal market is tougher than ever, which means law firms win approximately 35% of pitches. A firm’s success rate is directly related to the pitch cost; every win has to make the firm money, but it also has to cover the cost of nine failed pitches. If you’re not thinking about that calculation when thinking about a pitch, you should be.
So the goal is to reduce the cost of pitching and increase the ‘hit rate’, and the BD team at Speechly Bircham thinks it has found a way to achieve that.
The firm had a pitch creation product, but its wizard-based system wasn’t flexible and didn’t take out enough repetitious work.
“Enough was enough. The wizard-based system could only generate content in a certain way.”
Adam Lewis, BD and Marketing Manager, Speechly Bircham
Not so wizard then, after all. Lewis and the team started from scratch and put together a needs list, before turning to Enable, which worked with the Speechly Bircham team to create what Enable now markets as PitchPerfect.
They made an easy-to-use application based on Microsoft Word, pulling information from SharePoint repositories. However, its simplicity belies how important it will be to Speechly Bircham.
“It will be a real game-changer in how we create pitches, ironing out inefficiency across the firm while also raising the quality of the output and the international profile of the BD team.”
Using PitchPerfect will cut the cost of pitching for Speechly Bircham by reducing the amount of work that goes into pitches, and it should increase the firm’s hit rate by giving BD/marketing staff more time for strategic behaviour.
Lewis’s team can now create pitches by “just grabbing content from the library, then generating the document”, a process that took upwards of two hours and now takes 5-10 minutes, he says. Using a SharePoint repository also ensures proper quality control.
Lewis explains, with some frustration, that until now the teams spent too much time worrying about creating the pitch rather than what the document said.
“We have the information we need, but finding and collating content takes so much time. Now the valuable time we get from partners will be spent focusing on the message, not proofreading the content. The system will dramatically improve draft documents.”
Pitch quality will undoubtedly improve, says Lewis.
“If you have 48 hours to prepare, most of that time will now be spent deciding what the message is, rather than gathering content.” It also follows that this should lead to increased profitability. “The cost of delivering each pitch and so winning new business will be much less, and because the output will be much better we’re more likely to win any given pitch.”
The new pitch engine should also change the way the firm creates other material, says Lewis, because the firm can re-purpose it for an array of other marketing and BD activities, like those dreaded directory entries. Speechly Bircham makes around 100 legal directory submissions a year and we all know how painful that is; but PitchPerfect will allow direct access to credentials that can be pushed straight into templates.
And because it’s built on SharePoint and Microsoft Word, the system can also be used by fee earners in a self-service way, taking more heat off marketing and BD.
“It means no more last-minute requests – for example, we constantly have requests for CVs and basic marketing material, and fee earners are never sure where they are stored. The new system is really just an extra ribbon in Microsoft Word. Partners have been blown away by it.”
An increasing need for the 11-strong BD and marketing team to build and maintain profitability drove them to seek a better solution – which should also improve the profile and reputation of the team within the firm, says Lewis.
“As a team, we don’t spend enough time on strategy – which was a key reason for implementing this,” he says. “And there is plenty to do: developing content, market intelligence around big reforms, helping to get pricing right etc. Now we’re spending more time adding strategic value – not just covering the basics.”