Monday, October 27, 2008

Attorney New Business Development Goals

A good question was raised in regard to last week's post on the revenue target for attorney rainmaking goals. Our suggestion was a minimum goal of 1.25 times annual salary (with the .25 to cover benefits) for annual new business development, with a maximum goal of 3x annual salary.

The question is whether the higher end target of 3x salary is gross revenue per lawyer or new business generation. While the 3x number is an admirable business development goal, in reality it is most likely out of reach for most attorneys.

If the 3x salary level is viewed as an annual book of business in its entirety, then certainly it seems fair to say that 1.25x salary is a reasonable goal for the portion derived from new business generation. In the case of a solo practitioner, an attorney's ability to generate new accounts consistency will determine the health and profitability of their practice in the longer run. Partners in a larger firm may operate under a more complex set of goals.

When one third of a firm's revenue is derived from new accounts, this translates into demonstrated competencies in the many activities that go into closing a sale. For example, a sufficient volume of qualified leads needs to be in the pipeline at any point in time. Next, the "conversion" process from "lead" to "client" must be tracked, monitored, and handled efficiently. Finally, competitive factors must be overcome, services must be priced fairly, and prospects must be convinced that their needs will be fully met in order for them to say "yes!" to becoming a client.

When you stop to think about it, a true focus on developing new business skills can actually reorient they way an attorney approaches their practice.

The Rainmaking Lady invites your feedback. What are the business development goals that your firm targets?

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