The pipeline is a great tool to keep track of the progress of your matters in Lawmatics. You can have a pipeline for any of your firm’s processes, including intake, case management, or a flow specific to a certain practice area. The pipeline gives you an at-a-glance view of the steps in this process, and where your matters fall on those steps.
One of the most important processes you will be managing with pipelines, is your firm's intake. When you go to the Pipeline Settings page, found by clicking the gear icon near the top right and then selecting Pipeline Settings on the left sidebar, you will see that the Intake Pipeline is already created in your account. It will be up to you to add in your firm's intake stages to that pipeline.
Begin by clicking the Add New Stage button, shown below.
You'll give the stage a name, and select a color if you would like.
Naming your Stages
You may want to take some time brainstorming the milestones in your firm's intake process with your team, since your process will likely be unique compared to other firms, or compared to our examples.
Each stage should represent the completion or indication of a milestone in your process. A matter doesn't necessarily need to go through every stage, they may skip over a stage such as "Follow Up Needed" if they do not need follow up, in this example.
Keep in mind when creating your pipeline stages that you can trigger automations when a matter enters a certain stage, or you can also move a matter to a given stage via automation. For example, you may have a stage called “Consult Scheduled”. You can use an automation to move a matter into this stage immediately when a consultation is booked on your calendar.
As you are adding stages, you can always come back and make edits to the stage names, and you can also drag and drop to rearrange the order of the stages if needed.
Below you will see a sample intake pipeline:
It is a great idea to think about automation potential as you are creating your pipeline. With the pipeline above, a few stages stand out as having great automation potential:
- New Lead: Use this stage to trigger an automated drip campaign. This workflow may contain a sequence of calls-to-action for the lead to schedule their consultation, since that is our next milestone. Once they schedule the consultation, the New Lead automation can stop.
- Missed Consultation: Place a matter into this stage and an automation can automatically send them a sequence of booking links to reschedule their consultation. It can continue sending these reminders until they book.
- Intent to Hire: Perhaps this stage triggers the firm's fee agreement to send to the lead automatically for e-signature.
- Fee Agreement Signed: Once the matter has signed their e-signature document, you can use an automation to automatically place them in this stage. This can then trigger any new client tasks, a welcome letter, a thank you email, etc.
Of course you can use the pipeline to automate much more than just these examples, but these are just a few examples to help get the automation juices flowing.
Intake Pipeline Toggle Option
Click the edit pencil on each of your pipelines, shown below, to select whether or not that pipeline is an "Intake Pipeline".
Since the goal of an intake pipeline is to convert leads into clients, ultimately bringing revenue into your firm, selecting this toggle will include financial data on your pipeline for the leads' estimated and expected values. See these numbers shown on a section of a sample pipeline below.
In the pipeline image above, you will also see both Total Value and Expected Value listed under each stage heading. The Total Value is a sum of the "Estimated Value" of all of the matters currently in that pipeline stage. The "Estimated Value" is a field which can be entered on each matter, as shown below. This dollar amount represents your estimation as to what this client will bring in for revenue if/when they convert. Depending on the nature of your practice, the case value may be fairly standard, or it may require some guesswork.
The Expected Value calculation shown on the pipeline is a bit more complicated to calculate. This is a revenue prediction, based on your firm's historical data in Lawmatics. This calculation looks at your historical conversion rates for matters that have entered each pipeline stage, and how likely each stage of the pipeline is to convert. For example, the first stage of your pipeline may have a fairly low conversion rates, so the expected value may be a lower percentage of the total value. On the other hand, if you have a "Verbal Commitment" stage later on in your pipeline, the expected conversion rate will likely be much higher for that stage.
When editing a pipeline on the Pipeline Settings page I see a toggle labelled Intake Pipeline, what is this?
Toggle on this option to include financial data, total estimated value and expected value, for each stage of your pipeline. If you have additional pipelines that are not being used with a goal of conversion, you may not want to include that financial data on the pipeline, since it would not apply.
Can I use one pipeline to include both my intake and case management steps all together in one long process?
Yes, you are welcome to organize your pipelines any way you would like. From an ease of use standpoint, we have seen success when firms separate intake onto its own pipeline, and then use a separate pipeline for case management or other processes, but you should feel free to set up the pipeline(s) in a way that makes the most sense to you and your firm. If you do want to create just one pipeline, make sure you take the statuses into account, learn more about that here.
Should I create separate intake pipelines for my different practice areas?
Unless the process for each practice area is very different, we do not recommend separating them onto separate pipelines. As long as the practice areas follow a somewhat similar process, it will make sense to keep them on one intake pipeline. Remember that not every lead will necessarily go through every single stage on your pipeline, so it is perfectly ok to have a stage (or several) that only apply to a certain practice area, and matters will simply skip over that stage if it does not apply to them.