Law firms, like most businesses, are always looking to maximize efficiencies and track activities that contribute to firm growth and the bottom line. But while they track revenue generation down to the minute, the same level of attention isn’t always paid to other business activities and firm departments that can grow the business.
That’s why Society 54, a consultancy for professional services firms, developed its digital tool to simplify progress tracking, provide robust, on-demand reports, and drive actionable change with real data.
Recognizing the need to create efficiencies around outreach, marketing, and business development to build a firm’s brand and revenue growth for the future, Society 54 co-founders Heather McCullough and Jill Huse developed two separate softwares to support the legal industry: one tracking attorney’s business development activities and goals, and the other tracking marketing and business development teams’ projects and workloads. When they wanted to merge the two into one solution, and amplify gamification elements, they partnered with Dualboot to get the job done.
Society 54 goes into law firms to help teams of attorneys develop good business development habits. They identify ways that they can build their books of business and ultimately the firm’s books of business.
Society 54 developed a software tool to support their efforts and complement their consulting services. That first system, which McCullough describes as “incredibly simple because attorneys are busy, and don’t want to be bothered with anything overly complicated” was developed to measure and track outreach efforts and to provide on-demand access to attorney productivity reports.
But what about at the firms that had designated marketing and business development (“MBD”) professionals? As former MBD leaders at law firms themselves, Huse and McCullough of Society 54 saw an opportunity for another solution. They designed a second system for project management that could help identify return on investment for these efforts as well. They created the software they wish they had when leading their in-house teams.
“We were looking to create some real data that professionals within firms could take to their department heads or the attorneys within their law firms and really talk about what they were doing to grow their firms,” says McCullough, who brings more than 20 years in the legal industry to Society 54’s work.
Realizing engagement is essential for any digital transformation to work successfully. In order to gain a strong understanding of how to do this, Huse and McCullough went back to school to gain certifications in gamification, “We saw that as an area where we could drive engagement with all kinds of activities,” says McCullough.
Yet while the concepts found traction with firms, Society 54 now had two different systems to sell, maintain and evolve. They also recognized several areas in which the two softwares could provide richer data – and offer more value – to users if they functioned collaboratively rather than separately. Finally, they wanted to pursue more gamification tools to further spur user engagement. They needed an integrated platform and more robust systems but lacked the time or expertise to create the smooth, user-friendly solution they wanted. Looking to level-up, they reached out to Dualboot.
I had a coaching client tell me the other day, ‘I hope this system never ever goes away. It is so simple to use.’ She’s found it helpful to have a system to track the business development activities that she’s putting her time and energy in to. That was very gratifying and encouraging.
Co-founder Society 54
Dualboot started out by learning more about the legal business to design a new, single solution, INform, that is both intuitive and functional. Taking the two .NET platforms to Ruby on Rails helped Dualboot build out a consolidated platform with a clean, attractive design that is easier to maintain.
INform lets a law firm choose to use only the attorney side, only the marketing/business development side, or to connect both for more robust data and reports. The look and feel is now cohesive on both sides of the platform with similar yet not identical functionality.
For example, the gamification elements have proven valuable over time on the attorney side. Subsequently, Dualboot enhanced Society54’s points allocation and leaderboard ideas, and also added levels and customized badges. On the MBD side, there will soon be the ability to make the leaderboard widget active or inactive, allowing the client admin the ability to increase or decrease competition among the team.
Building on Ruby also gave the client another win with its clients, as it now has a fully turnkey technology offering. In the past, Society 54 had to be more hands-on to set firms up in the systems. Now, they can offer assistance if needed, but the clients have the ability to import their own attorney files, users, practices, contacts and more to get up and running quickly.
INform is now getting a heavy push from Society 54 with legal clients. Its out-of-the-box solution created specifically for busy law firms makes attorney outreach initiatives easier, straightforward and fun. The streamlined system now boasts a user-friendly interface and a simple way for attorneys to systemize tracking, set goals and action items, gamify the experience, reward results, and intentionally grow a law practice.
The sleek and intuitive INform also helps firms understand, analyze, and realize MBD impact by clearly identifying key metrics to measure success.
Society 54’s clients especially appreciate the ease-of-use, McCullough said. “I had a client that I’m coaching tell me the other day, ‘I hope this system never ever goes away. It is so simple to use.’ She’s found it very helpful in keeping up with the activities that she’s working on. So that was very gratifying.”