Last week I spent some time meeting with a legal vendor. We covered a variety of subjects. At the end of the discussions we picked up the topic of selling technology and services to law firms. The vendor commented on how that has become a challenge because the point of contact for the sale is shifting. It is no longer clear who is the right point of contact to get to (when it's not clearly the CIO). The problem vendors have is figuring out who the new person is. They asked me where this shift was headed.
After thinking about it, I suggested that they really need to reach out to the business side of the law firm. That is where very interesting and important problems are arising for firms - where they can use some help. Things such as AFAs and LPM are front and center for firms.
Then THE question came.
Where is the business side of the law firm?
I told them I would only answer one question a day - since I didn't have an answer - since law firms don't really have a business side.
Kidding aside - this is a real problem for ... Law Firms. Who is driving the business? The Executive Director runs operations. The CFO runs the numbers. The Managing Partner (MP) runs the partnership. But with few exceptions, I do not see a defined business-driver type of position for law firms.
I did come up with an indicator for the vendor for the type of firm that will more likely have some sort of business side. Look for a younger MP.