Any forward-thinking legal professional understands how significant an impact tech solutions have on their organization’s profitability, scalability, and productivity. As companies grow within the digital age, business success is nearly impossible without enterprise software solutions that align and streamline daily workflows. However, securing the budget for these solutions can be uniquely challenging for those who’ve never before bought software.
To ensure that your organization financially supports the software decisions that meet your needs, its important to follow three critical steps:
- Prepare your Value Proposition
- Conduct a Discovery Stage with Stakeholders
- Draft and Present a Winning Business Case
Prepare Your Value Proposition
“It all starts with your value proposition, and to do this; you need to identify your pain points. Pain points could be: not having access to accurate data, not having a source of truth, not having a seamless way to digitize minute books or populate documents, or not having an effective way to communicate with clients.” - Karen Tuschak, Founder and CEO at Spider Silk Innovative Solutions Inc.
To have a comprehensive overview of your needs, you must identify the key challenge areas that currently hinder your team and prohibit efficient processes. Whatever your needs, ensure that they are accurately communicated with measurable data to back it up.
With clearly identified challenges, you can begin evaluating a service provider’s value. How will this solution save you time, money, or better––both? What is the potential ROI? And, what is the projected improvement on your team’s collaboration?
Compare your current state with the projected future state, and qualify your case with measurable data. For example, compare how many transactions you can currently accomplish daily and how many you anticipate achieving with your new solution.
Conduct a Discovery Stage with Stakeholders
“Make sure everybody feels engaged and involved in the project. From those in the copy center scanning the documents to the junior paralegal doing compliance, to the senior paralegal doing transactions, all the way up to the managing partner.” - Karen Tuschak, Founder and CEO at Spider Silk Innovative Solutions Inc.
To find the most success, it’s critical to ensure everyone involved with the project’s needs are considered. Adopting a new enterprise software affects the entire organization, and giving every department a voice in the evaluation process ensures support from the start. Involve adjacent leaders early in decision-making because the more transparency on the project, the easier it is to command a budget.
Transparency can integrate into stakeholder and client relationships as well. Modern stakeholders expect clarity regarding their data and to know how their firm leverages its resources.
Draft and Present a Winning Business Case
In the simplest sense, a business case is a story. Like with any good story, you must start with a clear outline of the current challenges, and using the software solution as the turning point, bring your audience to the optimal ending place. Show your stakeholders how this software will change their business, from the junior level to the C-suite.
Rely on Your Sales Representative
“Give yourselves a little bit of time back in your day and rely on the company you're purchasing from. As a service and part of their job, a sales representative can summon the resources you need to make the value prop process easier for you.” - Terry Falk, Director of Sales, Athennian.
An engaged sales representative who actively listens to your needs has the resources you need. Don’t hesitate to ask for ROI numbers, case studies, or testimonials. This information can be hugely beneficial when presenting your business case.
Remember Your Value as A Legal Professional
“While the legal department doesn’t always make the strategic decisions, it does bring them to life through drawing up papers, advising on risk, and playing the role as a trusted advisor to the rest of the business.” -Terry Falk, Director of Sales, Athennian.
For law firms, remember that your role as a law clerk or paralegal is integral to generating revenue for your firm. Your daily workflow upholds the sustaining income for the entire organization and, therefore, should be a key priority in the eyes of leadership.
For those working in-house, ensure that you communicate the critical role legal plays in the organization at large. Strengthening your practices will have an interdepartmental ripple effect, and therefore are essential to scaling your business.
For more information on securing a legal tech budget, you can access our free webinar, How to Secure a Budget for Legal Technology, where industry experts provide a business case template, discuss the intricacies of budget planning, overview what to prioritize in terms of financial investment, and unlock best practices for explaining ROI in both cost and time.