Strategies for Ensuring Profitable Pricing During COVID-19

Building the Foundation for a Profitable Pricing Framework during COVID-19 and Beyond

During a recent webinar, the team at Legal Success Consulting and Intapp’s Jill Nelson shared their experiences and expertise, extolling the importance of creating a rock-solid pricing framework as firms navigate these unprecedented times. The webinar covered the foundational elements required to create a strong pricing culture — strategy, policy, and governance — along with practical considerations critical to successful execution, including tools, data, support, and partner behavior, all of which impact the client experience around the critically important pricing process.

Establishing the Pricing Foundation

As firms cycle through the unknowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, client needs are bound to shift, resulting in incremental opportunity. With a solid pricing structure in place, firms will be able to leverage the tools and data they have in place in order to quickly and reliably establish pricing parameters that reflect the value that clients expect.

Although firms already have established, mature pricing protocols during typical pricing phases — like pitching and client matter opening — firms that need to successfully handle the off-cycle anomalies resulting from COVID-19 need to be prepared to apply the same level of rigor to pricing that takes place throughout the client matter lifecycle. This is why it’s critically important to conduct a full review of pricing structures to identify priorities and dependencies. Developing a heat map that identifies issues and opportunities across the client matter lifecycle is a great way to engage management and encourage colleagues to leverage quality data and pricing best practices.

Using Data to Drive Behavioral Change

Most firms are not able to access quality data in real-time because data projects typically don’t get prioritized — problems get patched but never truly fixed. The best way to approach these problems combines purpose and pragmatism: define the business case, clean up the data, and socialize new systems so that staff can adjust accordingly.

During the webinar, we discussed the specific challenges around timekeeping data. Some commentators believe that it’s impossible to change behaviors around time capture; we disagree because we have witnessed significant improvement resulting from campaigns that changed policies, measurement, governance, and awareness.

We also discussed the evolution of governance; it has expanded from a control at the point of billing or the pitch to provide guidance throughout the client journey, ranging from panel review discussion, key transaction points, and post-engagement reviews. Once the foundation is in place, AI can help quickly move the needle for continuous improvement.

Selecting the Right Pricing Technology

To maximize profitability, firms need to start with smart scoping, pricing, and visibility across the engagement. Using the AI features that Intapp Pricing offers, firms can leverage existing data and outcomes to improve accuracy and efficacy in all of their pricing endeavors.

With the right technology in place, firms are poised not only to win more business through competitive pricing measures, but also to achieve the flexibility to explore fee structures that align with client expectations and budgets. Tracking budget to actuals empowers firms to allocate resources more strategically and improve profit margins. In the same vein, enabling teams across the organization to achieve accurate, repeatable pricing processes and strategies allows firms to operationalize and scale the pricing function.

Building Business Agility to Meet the Moment

Uncertainty during this crisis behooves agility and decisiveness. Clients are looking for a trusted partner to help them with matters that could not have been predicted a mere 4 months ago, and firms are doing back-flips to provide the counsel and support they seek. Firm management will find value in the potential to expand matters, increase margins, and improve pricing decisions in ways that makes sense to the lawyers.

Our message is that the window of opportunity to garner attention and enact these measures is wide open, although it’s not easy to take. Solid pricing protocols will always be profit drivers, and refining these measures meets the demand of the moment.


Register to watch a recording of this webinar on demand.

Learn more about how Intapp Pricing can help your firm adapt to the changing business climate.

Learn more about how LSC services maximizes the client matter lifecycle for global law firms.

Written by:

Karen Conway


Legal Success Consulting

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Kevin Bear


Legal Success Consulting

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Laurence Milsted


Legal Success Consulting

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Jill Nelson

Senior Director, OnePlace Operations & Finance

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Alan Conway

Practice Group Leader, Operations and Finance

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