Tucker Arensberg partnered with Ackert Inc. to upgrade their existing business development coaching. For the last several years, lawyers had competed for a $5,000 year-end bonus by originating a stated revenue goal with coaching support from the firm's marketers. The firm licensed Ackert Inc.'s business development e-learning program, Practice Boomers, to add an online curriculum and a meaningful accountability structure to the initiative.


Allysn Hurley, CMO, hand-selected a group of up-and-coming rainmakers to participate in the initiative. They set individual revenue goals for their practices, utilized the Practice Boomers curriculum of video tutorials and business planning tools, and received regular group coaching from a member of Ackert Inc.'s faculty. The coach shepherded the lawyers through the video tutorials and worksheets and helped them create robust, customized business development plans over the course of the year. Employing Practice Boomers robust curriculum freed up considerable time and resources for Allysn and her marketing department. It also provided analytics so that the marketing department could ensure that the lawyers were completing relevant assignments. The chart below illustrates lawyer engagement over the course of the program.

The program began with relatively modest revenue goals for participating attorneys. Increased engagement in Business development and cross-selling would have been considered wins for this initiative. But the introduction of Practice Boomers and multi-modal online training added elements of flexibility and accountability which drove engagement much higher than traditional coaching initiatives. Overall, the objective with the Practice Boomers initiative was for participating lawyers to reach a stated revenue goal of up to $250,000. Individual revenue goals differed based on each lawyer’s practice area, but the prizewinning goal of $250,000 earned the winner a a $5,000 bonus in addition to the other standard compensation earned. 100% of the lawyers surpassed their individual revenue targets and one of them brought in over $250,000 in new revenue, making him the winner of an additional year-end bonus.

There were also measurable performance improvements. At the beginning of the program lawyers were asked to complete a self-assessment survey in which they rated themselves on a scale of 1 to 10 in various aspects of their business development capabilities. The chart below illustrates the self-assessment categories and results.

Unlike most coaching initiatives, which require a heavy investment of face time for lawyers to meet with marketers in individual or group meetings, the firm emphasized the online aspect of Practice Boomers. Its content was available on-demand so the lawyers could access it anytime their schedules permitted. Several of the lawyers downloaded the mobile app on their phones, and the flexibility was helpful in driving high utilization.

Despite some initial discomfort among the lawyers, the program  was a resounding success. By the end of the year they rated themselves as having improved by more than 20% in their business development capabilities and habits. 100% of the lawyers surpassed their revenue targets. The total new revenue generated by the lawyers in the program was over $1 million, representing a return of 1,374% on the Practice Boomers investment within 12 months. 

 

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