So, how much does the SAM-Legal program cost? | Legal Vision

last week’s post (dollars in details) Is the second in this series. It strongly recommends that companies adopt an Advanced Strategic Account Management (SAM) program, which requires budget considerations beyond the norm.In today’s article – the last in this series of editorial excerpts SAM-Legal: Turning Key Accounts into Strategic Accounts / A Guide to Strategic Account Management for Law Firms (© 2021 LawVision, Inc.) by Steven M. Bell & Sylvia L. Coulter– We define the tested self-explanatory meaning: It takes money to make money.


Throughout (this series) and in the list below, we describe the key elements of the SAM-Legal strategy. No doubt dedicated team leaders can come up with ideas beyond the categories we mention below. From this list, each SAM-Legal team leader will develop a highly tailored plan, specific to her or his SAM-Legal client.

Below is a list of common expenses in the SAM-Legal program.

  • Research — Can the initial and ongoing research needed to conduct the SAM-Legal program be provided by internal support teams that may already have access to tools such as research resources, data compilations, and client industry-specific publications (digital and hard copy)? If not, who Will conduct these activities and obtain these resources? The company’s information resources and/or business development professionals will know how to acquire and budget for these research tools.
  • train — As we discussed in the previous section, lawyers and other professionals in law firms do not necessarily have the appropriate credentials and training “out of the box” to lead and participate in SAM-Legal initiatives. Companies should forecast the costs associated with obtaining the necessary onboarding and ongoing training requirements for each SAM-Legal team. What is the source and cost of this training?
  • go to customer — SAM-Legal work should not be performed without consultation and cooperation with the client. Although much of the communication with clients will be by phone or virtually, meeting with clients face-to-face is the most effective and more popular. How many team members will participate? How much does it cost to initiate a customer visit? For this category, consider the type of transportation, lodging, and meals (or other entertainment). As we suggest, in the late development of a SAM-Legal team strategy, it may be appropriate for team members, perhaps the entire core team, to spend time on-site with clients – another category that may require a large budget.

    What about client trips to law firms? If this happens, who will take the order? If a law firm chooses to pay for client travel, what is the estimated cost?

    Finally, in the Travel to Clients category, we strongly recommend at least an annual service review. Customers are important to a company’s future; therefore, a customer service review should include the personal involvement of senior company leadership, up to and including the company chairman.

    For all of these travel forecasts, a company’s travel department or travel provider can help estimate and determine many of these costs. The point here is that the recommended amount of travel at least 3 times a year is a significant out-of-pocket budget consideration that must be estimated and incorporated into the SAM-Legal budget plan.

  • Team planning a trip — As we recommend, at least the core account team must get together in person at launch, and every year or more thereafter, to research and prepare for the years-long event ahead. As with client-related travel, if teams of five or more attorneys and support professionals are located in different jurisdictions, the costs associated with their gatherings can be significant. In addition to the cost of ground transportation, air or train fares, lodging, and company meals, consider team-building activities that may involve off-campus activities, such as industry symposia, major sporting or recreational events, or corporate retreats. If your law firm is with us Similar to the encounter, the team gathering will be celebrated in the hotel restaurant and bar. Remember to include this expense in your budget as well.
  • consultant — It is certainly possible for the SAM-Legal team to operate entirely in-house, especially if the law firm has the necessary support professionals who can design, lead and facilitate team meetings; conduct business and competitive research and analysis; apply team motivation techniques; provide strategies , leadership, sales and account management training; advise on methodology and follow-up strategies; produce proposals and pitches; create annual reports for teams; provide industry insights; and more. If the company does not have the necessary support resources to handle these potential needs, consider which consultants will best suit the needs and budget for the necessary consultant fees.
  • time is money — We’ve talked about out-of-pocket expenses so far, but anyone who’s worked in a law firm knows that time is money. While doing all of the above out-of-pocket calculations, also consider the time investment required to implement the program and the time costs that come with it. Start with available hours. Perhaps the SAM-Legal team leader will be able to spend most of her or his time getting the program up and running. This may not be the same for all team members. Early in the planning and preparation stages, it is important to have a candid assessment of the available client development time for all the attorneys and professionals involved. Can the envisioned plan be completed within the available time? If not, can committed leadership provide the additional time needed, and if not, how will the SAM-Legal program adjust or scale to accommodate the time needed? Yes usable?

    Just as SAM-Legal funding is important, the time available to contribute is a very important consideration, especially given that attorney time is part of any firm’s profit calculation, and the use of client development time is performance review and compensation adjustment season precious commodity. The time investment of each team member is best worthwhile for the company, company leaders, and each team member.

    The time and effort required to prepare an accurate and reasonable budget for revenue and out-of-pocket expenses for SAM-Legal activities will be wasted if the investment is not actually used wisely. Don’t bother preparing a budget unless a plan is strictly followed and you make the most of it. For those who pay the bill, spending money can be difficult. However, the old saw also had great foresight: “It takes money to make money.” If you budget for it, spend it, and spend it wisely, always with an eye toward creating results that benefit the company and customers.

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