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Proposal Platforms: Tips to Ensure a Streamlined Deployment

Posted by LMA Marketing Technology SIG on Oct 9, 2018 10:00:00 AM


The Marketing Technology SIG offers survey results and insights.

Proposal generation solutions are an important tool in the technology stack of many legal marketing departments. In January, LMA’s Marketing Technology SIG surveyed members to gather insight on the technologies legal marketing teams are using for their pitches and proposals.

Here is a glimpse into what was found:

LMA Trends_Infographic_F-C1_Final-1

As the infographic shows, over half of respondents have a dedicated individual or team to manage the proposal process, but close to 80 percent do not yet have a tool to assist. On Sept. 12, the SIG presented “Proposals: Best Practices to Research and Choose the System That’s Right for You” to shed light on the process for anyone considering an implementation. The speakers for the webinar were Ger Thor, global pitch infrastructure manager for Hogan Lovells, and Jennifer Castleberry, director of marketing for Lane Powell.

During the session, the speakers relayed their experience in researching potential solutions, offered insight on things they might have done differently and shared surprises they encountered along the way.

Research Methodology

When researching a potential proposal platform, Ger and Jennifer had helpful observations on how to approach the process:

  • When talking to potential business partners, be specific about whom you’re interviewing and what you’re looking for in a solution.
  • Create an RFP or requirements list. This document can serve as a conversation starter with vendors and internal stakeholders, as well as serve as a foundation for how you want your solution to operate.
  • Make sure you interview internal stakeholders to help dictate your use case and avoid surprises later in the process.
  • Involve your IT team early. They’ll play a big part in implementation and have insight into existing technical and privacy requirements.
  • Talk to your firm’s clients! Many are actively involved in proposal processes and may suggest solutions for you to consider.
  • Demo, demo, demo! If you’re going to invest significant time and money into a solution, make sure you see it in action and understand how it can work for you and deliver on your requirements.
  • Develop a vendor score sheet for anyone reviewing potential solutions. Having a single, common scoring rubric will ensure objective, consistent feedback on important attributes.
  • When evaluating potential solutions, try to focus on efficiency and ability to solve existing problems.

Lessons Learned

Ger and Jennifer offered a number of great lessons they have learned through implementations:

  • Ensure you have support from your IT team throughout the implementation.
    • Your IT team likely has many active projects. Make sure you understand where your deployment fits and the level of support expected.
  • Bake your requirements list into your contract so expectations are clear and there is accountability for delivering on the requirements.
  • Don’t be afraid to request customizations based on features you like in other solutions.
  • Listen to your vendors! Consider a vendor as a strategic business partner and trust in their experience.
  • Keep it simple! You likely do not need all the bells and whistles a solution offers. Focus on the functionality that will immediately make your team more efficient and successful.
  • Make use of data integrations, but make sure to identify the authoritative source for each data set.
  • Customer support can make or break a project. Prompt response (especially around launch) can help the implementation succeed.
  • Create a bug list to easily track, test and report on the system as it is being built and deployed.
  • Consider the timing of your deployment to various stakeholder groups:
    • Tier your stakeholders based on use case and make sure you consider heavy or direct users versus indirect users (i.e., those who might not live and breathe in the system but have a need for the content the system will produce).
    • Make sure everything is nailed down before involving lawyers.
    • Identify champions for your system based on early successes and use them to help win over skeptics.

If you are considering implementing a proposal solution, you can use these tips to ensure a streamlined, effective deployment. And be sure to lean on your peers in the Marketing Technology SIG along the way!

We encourage you to view the webinar recording and download our speakers’ Proposal Tool Checklist.

The Marketing Technology SIG would like to thank Vanessa Petrea, senior manager-business development at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, and Tracey Serber, pitches and pursuits manager at Hogan Lovells, for their extensive contributions to these initiatives.

The Marketing Technology SIG focuses on the role of technology in the ever-changing legal marketing landscape. This SIG discusses and offers programming on marketing tools and their application, developments in other industries, and the integration of marketing technology with other functions in firms. It also discusses how marketing technology is changing the way law firms interact with clients. This SIG's goal is to offer a significant opportunity for networking, thought leadership and career development for those responsible for and interested in legal marketing technology. 

This SIG is intentionally wide-focused in an attempt to give an open forum for members to learn from each other and discuss the many different aspects of marketing technology in and out of this industry. All should feel welcome to bring questions, discussion, ideas and tips to the table. To contact the SIG leaders, email

Topics: Technology Management

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