LawProspector Helps Avoid Litigation Support Sales Malpractice

Using these best practice techniques, a litigation support sales team can make targeting major law firms and corporate law departments more like shooting fish in a barrel than looking for a needle in a haystack. The use of LawProspector is recommended and specific techniques for building a prospecting campaign are described. This approach largely eliminates the need for litigation support firms to tediously dig through court dockets and records to find sales leads

LawProspector Helps Avoid Litigation Support Sales Malpractice
Washington, DC, July 23, 2009 --( LawProspector is a tool that helps litigation support salespeople close more deals with major law firms and corporate law departments. This goal is achieved by connecting the salesperson with the right prospects for them, based on a combination of many factors including geography, target firm size, type of case, and stage of case. Below is a description of how LawProspector's founders believe a sales person, team, or manager should build a lead or prospect list (i.e. a custom report) to achieve maximum value from LawProspector.

At the most global level, LawProspector represents a list of the largest active pieces of litigation in the federal courts. This list is loosely defined by the intersection of the world's top 200 law firms, top 100,000 law firm contacts, top 3,000 corporations and 35,000 active federal cases in the most important civil practice areas. LawProspector's database also includes data beyond this intersection and increasingly will do so. With 35,000 active cases and an average of three contacts per case (not including the in-house contacts), there are roughly 100,000 solid sales targets at any given time.

With so many prospects and a proven need to successfully connect with ('touch') each prospect 5-10 times per year to maximize sales results, a sales organization would need to make at least 500,000 'touches' (calls, emails, direct mail, etc.) per year to fully saturate the high-end legal marketplace. Since a very active sales person may make 10,000 prospecting touches per year, roughly 50 salespeople would be required to fully prospect on the entire large law firm/corporate/litigation marketplace covered by LawProspector! Since almost no firm in the litigation support industry has this many salespeople, each firm must make intelligent choices about who and which cases to target.

Who Should We be Touching?: LawProspector's founders recommend that one salesperson in the litigation support space prospect on no more than 1,000 people per year and no more than 350 distinct pieces of litigation. This represents roughly 1% of the legal contacts and cases covered by LawProspector. So, how can one make an educated choice about who to contact in the industry to get maximum sales value when one can only reasonably reach out to 1 out of every 100 potential contacts?

It is always easiest and cheapest to get business from one's existing customers. One study showed that acquiring business from a new customer costs 9 times more than expanding business with an existing customer. LawProspector's founders strongly recommend targeting one's existing customers as a first step. By "customer" LawProspector means the law firm or corporation, not just the person, in your geographic target area. That is, if one has an excellent customer relationship with a top litigation partner in the Houston office of a major law firm and most of one's clients are within 200 miles, both that partner plus their busy colleagues within 200 miles should be on one's target list.

The word "busy" is highlighted for good reason. LawProspector allows one to see not just who is busy now but, more importantly, who is consistently busy. Within a particular law firm office of 100 partners, one might reasonably expect to find 20 partners who are routinely busy in litigation. It is always better to track busy prospects as opposed to those who are not driving litigation revenue.

Once one's customers have been adequately targeted, LawProspector recommends that a reasonable next step is to target non-customer prospects who are busy and geographically desirable. Since winnowing down of prospects based on practice area is easily achieved in LawProspector, LawProspector's founders advise targeting only those prospects whose practice area suits your organization's product and service offerings. Finally, consider using LawProspector's ability to target only litigation involving one of the world's top 3000 corporations. Doing so will help to ensure that you are focusing on only the largest opportunities.

Case-Focus v. People-Focus: The debate over whether to seek out litigation support sales opportunities based on targeting a particular case versus targeting a particular legal decision-maker has raged for the last ten years since court records became available electronically. LawProspector's advice on choosing a methodology for a sales effort is simple: Don't Choose. Both methods have their merits, and LawProspector facilitates the use of both methods. Using only one targeting methodology is sales malpractice in the view of LawProspector's founders.

Building Your Lead List in LawProspector: Application of these principles is straight-forward, but care should be taken to design one's lead/prospect lists correctly from the beginning. Remember that, taking a proper big-picture view, the job of a litigation support salesperson is to always be developing relationships with the right people in the legal industry. LawProspector defines 'the right people' as a combination of those who appear to have a need for your services now AND those who would routinely buy one's firm's products/services. This combination is critical to understand.

If a sales team were to only target cases based on ideal timing (e.g. Case Filing, Close of Discovery, Trial Date etc.), one might very well ignore a litigation partner whose name does not appear on a court record, is deeply involved in state litigation or who is going to make decisions about vendors at an unpredictable time. Similarly, if a sales team targeted only those litigation teams who were routinely busy, an opportunity to build a relationship with a new partner, a chance to work with a senior litigator who rarely goes to trial but is a thought-leader at the firm or a chance to get in early on pattern litigation might easily be missed. Always remember that the essential feature of LawProspector that sets it apart from any of the other time-intensive research tools is that, regardless of your experience with and knowledge of the legal industry, LawProspector best ensures that you will be talking to the right people.

Taking these principles into account, LawProspector's founders present their suggested order of priorities for building the perfect lead/prospecting list for any litigation support salesperson or sales team:

For every salesperson on the team, a custom lead list should be designed so that there are roughly 1,000 attorneys/litigation support targets and 350 pieces of litigation. Since LawProspector reports are updated in real-time as underlying data is updated, one's target list will automatically reflect the latest case filings/advancements/closings and attorney moves. LawProspector would advise building one's lead list using the criteria below (#1 is the highest priority and so on) and only move onto the next criteria if you have the sales bandwidth to target it.

1) Target existing clients (individuals) and strike a balance between well-timed opportunities and simply staying in touch with your clients;

2) Target active litigators/decision-makers at an existing client's firm (specifically, their office) and balance targeting perfectly-timed cases with targeting prospects who are consistently busy;

3) Target active litigators/decision-makers at an existing client's firm (now include other offices within your target geography) and balance targeting perfectly-timed cases with targeting prospects who are consistently busy;

4) Target active litigators/decision-makers at non-client firms (within your target geography) and balance targeting perfectly-timed cases with targeting prospects who are consistently busy;

5) Target active litigators/decision-makers at an existing client's firm (other offices outside of your target geography) and balance targeting perfectly-timed cases with targeting prospects who are consistently busy;

6) Target active litigators/decision-makers at non-client firms (other offices outside of your target geography) and balance targeting perfectly-timed cases with targeting prospects who are consistently busy.

If a firm needs to significantly narrow the scope of the target list, LawProspector's founders advise doing so by using an additional criteria like "Client is Global 3000 Firm" and/or filtering by the prospect's title. Doing so will tend to focus the list on only the largest opportunities in the industry. To refine these criteria so that they perfectly match your organization's objectives, LawProspector's founders recommend working closely with one of LawProspector's highly-trained sales consultants (included at no additional charge with a LawProspector subscription). With a LawProspector lead/prospect list built based on these principles, a sales team is guaranteed to outperform the competition implementing only a networking, relationship-selling, docket-watching, repeat business or cold-calling strategy.

About LawProspector

LawProspector is a firm founded by a group of attorneys working in the litigation support field. The firm developed its LawProspector software-as-a-service (SaaS) product in early 2008 and immediately began signing up subscribers. LawProspector operated in private beta for a year and refined its tool with feedback from current subscribers. Current subscribers include top 100 law firms and litigation support firms with revenues ranging from one million to hundreds of millions of dollars. LawProspector expects its subscriber base to grow from hundreds in 2009 to thousands over the next few years. Subscribers pay a monthly subscription fee that is a fraction of the cost of a single researcher conducting similar research manually.

LawProspector™ is a registered trademark of LawProspector, LLC in the US and/or certain other countries. This article may be freely republished in the press and on blogs so long as it is done in its entirety with all contact information below.

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Gabrielle Ballantine
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(800) 738–8018 x8

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LawProspector, LLC
Gabrielle Ballantine
(800) 738–8018, 800-738-8018 x8