Blog/Podcast: A New Perspective: Revenue Enablers and Data-Driven Cultures in Law Firms

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Every law firm is a business and should be run as such in order to be in a position for long-term success. Jennifer Johnson Scalzi, CEO and Founder of Calibrate Legal, a company dedicated to accelerating the business side of law, joined the Law Firm Marketing Catalyst podcast to discuss the integral role that marketing, business development and other professionals (also known as “revenue enablers”) play in law firms.

The still-emerging field of legal marketing is not covered in any conventional business school curriculum, therefore, the role of these individuals is still frequently misunderstood.

Yet it is precisely these non-lawyer employees who are charged with ensuring that law firms grow and thrive as businesses. Rather than viewing these employees as operations staff, administrative staff, or just non-lawyers, it’s time for firms to embrace a deeper understanding of the invaluable role they fill in law firms, beginning with rebranding them as “revenue enablers.”

Defining Revenue Enablers

Revenue enablers consist of everyone who works in a law firm who are not direct revenue generators. However, revenue enablers are a vital component of the firm ecosystem because they are fulfilling roles essential to keeping the business running and moving forward. In other words, revenue enablers can be thought of as the infrastructure of the business of the law firm, while the attorneys are the fee earners. Revenue enablers in law firms include marketing, business development, communications, HR and other related professionals.

As revenue enablers, these team members are tasked with streamlining operations of the firm, marketing the firm’s services and handling the personnel aspects of the firm. It’s critical that these employees are empowered to take ownership of their role and ensure that the firm is running as an efficient business.

This shift in how law firm marketers are viewed by attorneys is catching on because their roles are more clearly defined, by virtue of viewing them as “revenue enablers.” This reframing helps to affirm the important roles played by revenue enablers – as consultants and advisors – who bring a great deal of know-how and insight into ensuring that the law firms they serve, are running effectively and efficiently.

Data Driven Cultures in Law Firms

One of the best ways that revenue enablers can ensure that their firm is moving forward is through championing and adopting a data-driven culture.

A data-driven culture is one wherein decisions are based not on a managing partner’s emotions or hunches, decisions are based on data. Consider that a law firm holds an annual event, which has been held for decades. In a data-driven culture, the firm would analyze whether the event made sense from a business standpoint: how much does it cost (both time commitment and expenditures)? What is the ROI? Is there a different event that the firm should be considering, which would make more financial and business sense? By creating a data-driven culture, various initiatives are viewed under a business lens, rather than an emotional lens.

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