Law firm business development folk, look away now.
A new survey has found that law firm BD teams are “ineffective” and among the worst of organizations in any sector.
Workplace ratings company ViewsHub sampled more than 50,000 employees at U.K. companies across nine industries, including legal services, and asked them to rate the effectiveness of their own internal BD department.
Professional services, including law firms, finished bottom of the pile, with BD staff slammed for being slow at delivering results, lacking sufficient experience and not responding to criticism.
ViewsHub CEO Ab Banerjee described the results as “a wake-up call” for the industry.
“Many professional services firms have focused, understandably, on recruiting and training fee earners to the detriment of support staff—a category that business development staff often fall into at the largest consultancies and law firms,” he said. “Our data appears to suggest that this approach is now coming home to roost. Professional services companies may well now be under-investing in business development to a dangerous level.”
Banerjee also said that many law firm BD teams are “overly reliant” on star individuals, which he said could lead to succession issues, and need to improve the processes by which they measure their own performance.
“[Firms] are falling way behind when it comes to the effectiveness of their business development,” he added. “If they don’t tackle this issue right now it could ultimately lead to company failures.”
The top-ranked BD teams, according to the report, are to be found in the automotive, communications and financial services sectors. ViewsHub’s analysis comes after another survey earlier this year by Bloomberg Law and the Legal Marketing Association found that law firms have increased their spending in business development and marketing technology.