At the December 2012 NALP/PDI Conference in Washington D.C., Emily Leeson, Director of Attorney Development at Alston & Bird and Julie Savarino, Managing Director of Business Development Inc., presented a popular session on the topic of "Maximizing Your Firm's Investment in Business Development Training & Coaching Programs." The use of instant audience voting technology during the program produced some interesting results as described below. The session attracted approximately 75 directors of professional development, including those in equivalent and related positions. Based on the instant audience responses, approximately 80% of the attendees work for large to mega-sized law firms:
While approximately 42% of the attendees said their firms offer both business development training and coaching programs, approximately 39% responded that their firm only offers business development training (without coaching) and approximately 14% of respondents said their firms offer neither business development training nor coaching programs:
When asked, "How do you know whether your firm's business development training program was successful?", approximately 47% − by far the largest response − cited input "from formal participant evaluations":
Importantly, no respondents selected "tracked and measured actual $$ results," even though when asked what the most significant factors are when selecting and hiring a trainer/coach, the majority selected "results/track record." Given that very few attendees said their firms were actually tracking and measuring $$ results from any/all new business generated through business development training and coaching programs, the presenters discussed various ways that such results can be tracked, measured and reported. One way to get more buy-in, support and resources for business development training and coaching programs is to create a tracking/measuring process up front – before even offering the programs themselves − so that the actual revenues, value and return on investment generated by such programs can be tangibly reported back to firm leadership/owners.