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In the legal sector, we often hear vague mutterings about client relationship management (CRM) rarely delivering a great deal of value and often creating a cynical mindset among lawyers. There are few great success stories, but perhaps this is because CRM is all about gaining competitive advantage. Law firms are often reticent about their marketing methods and many of them tend to treat all manifestations of direct salesmanship, including its more respectable relative, account management, with distaste if not with disdain. Perhaps those keeping quietest about CRM are those who have actually made it work.

Logically, if CRM is working, we should be able to see a noticeable change in the firm’s business. Ideally, managers are looking for an improvement in revenues but tracing this back to a software system is hellishly difficult. When credit is due, few of us will rebuff the praise and admit that it was our software, not us, that made the difference.

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