Marketing automation – New pitch development system from Iphelion

Posted on: August 3, 2015

I saw a demonstration of PitchPoint software – a new pitch development system – by Andy Driskell of Iphelion.

Module to make pitch data capture easy

The demonstration started with the administration part of the system where fee-earners or business development team are tasked with a “to do” list to go through their matters and indicate whether and how the material can be used in pitches.

They are then guided through a customisable process where they apply various codes to support searches (value of case/transaction, team members, industry sector, practice area, inclusion in league tables etc) as well as enter additional marketing information.

The  system is fully mobile responsive so that both fee-earners and marketing/BD administrators can use it from whatever device they use. This interface can be customised with, for example, your own logos, terminology and lists. Soon  there will be a cloud version so that the material is not restricted to the firm’s servers.

It also appears that it can be integrated with case management, document management and CRM (like InterAction) systems so that information can be easily imported. I didn’t see how CVs (long and short and multiple versions are supported) and testimonials are loaded into the system . Although manual information can be added and there are numerous built-in guidelines on how to do this.

Module to assemble pitch documents

This uses Iphelion’s well-established Outline system – designed for legal template management.

There are various routes to pitch document assembly – by answering a series of questions and selecting material from different categories, by pulling up a template and adding information as required or by a combination of these approaches with various wizards to assist with creating tables and new sections or adding other graphic elements.

Naturally, you can add your own templates and, unlike other systems, users can be trained to create and modify their own templates which keeps ongoing costs down and flexibility up.

As it is a relatively new system there are only a few existing users – and these appear to be mostly large and mid-tier law firms e.g. Farrer & Co. But the potential is there for the system to be used by accountants and property firms.

Comparison with similar systems

I didn’t see whether the system manages the statistics for measuring pitch performance – number of pitches submitted, conversion rate etc.

The two main benefits of this system, as far as I can see, are:

  1. The very reasonable pricing –  There’s no big upfront cost as you do the data loading yourself, templates can be maintained in-house removing the need for ongoing vendor consultancy
  2. The administrator part of the system to enable fee-earners (whether lawyers, accountants or surveyors) to go through their matters or projects and decide whether each can be used in the bid system (and on what basis – with prior permission from the relationship partner or anonymised) and easily apply the relevant codes for searches and supporting text

While the systems’ producers indicate that the point of the system is to do 90% of the pitch assembly process, my caveat with all such systems remains the same. It’s great that there are productivity tools like this – I spoke to a property firm the other day that is producing 1,000 bids a year. Think of all the time invested by both marketing/BD people and fee-earners to support that level of activity. So systems like this make it easy for people to select the relevant information about the firm and place it into a beautifully formatted document BUT you need people with a deep understanding of the buying and selling processes to :

  1. Make the focus of the document about the client (not the firm) and include information about the client organisation and its needs – both those specific to the particular project or case and general for their function, type of organisation and sector
  2. Develop a sales strategy that sets out a compelling sales proposition that identifies the clients’ needs (both that the client is aware of and those that the adviser thinks might also be relevant – the creative element of pitching) and explains the benefits and value (the value proposition) that the firm brings to the client and the difference in their approach (differentiation)
  3. Craft a suitable pricing strategy that addresses the client’s needs, has enough transparency to earn trust and yet positions the firm in a different place to its competitors

Further details: http://www.iphelion.com/

I reviewed Enable’s PitchPerfect in 2014 https://www.kimtasso.com/marketing-technology-automate-automate-legal-pitch-tender-documents-enables-pitchperfect-system/

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