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Creating a sustainable marketing and business development team

Written by: Frosso Miltiadou & Simone Timcke, Anthem Consulting
Published on: 24 Jun 2014

Sustainable marketing and business development

Retention of employees in marketing and business development jobs can be a real issue within law firms. Many roles, particularly at the junior level have a life span of only two years and many people move after this time for career progression.

So, what can law firms do to ensure they are effectively managing people’s careers? It is crucial for hiring managers to develop a clear career path for their teams. A proper appraisal with an action plan which is measurable against a competency framework gives employees a clear goal to work against. This also helps line managers to navigate unrealistic progression expectations from their staff.

It is appreciated, however, that career management processes in some firms are not so robust, so what else can be done to retain good staff?

Since the recession, many firms have shrunk their support teams and often not replaced leavers, particularly at the junior level. This has led to senior people taking on administrative tasks, which is not good for career development. It is essential that feedback from exit interviews is taken on board. Recruiting juniors to support senior business development managers is also vital to creating a stable team.

Adding some hierarchy into teams can also help motivate staff in legal marketing and business development roles. There is often a large gap between an ‘Executive’ and ‘Manager’ or ‘Manager’ and ‘Head of’. It is worth considering the introduction of a ‘Senior Executive’ or ‘Senior Manager’ title to give employees realistic aspirational goals.

Finally, it is important to consider salary when promoting employees. A nominal salary rise causes resentment and could still leave you exposed to losing a good member of the team. Don’t wait until you have a resignation on your desk to show people they’re valued.

The legal sector has come a long way in recognising the value that business development teams can add but following some of these simple steps could be the key to success in recruiting and retaining the best people.

If you have enjoyed this article, written by Anthem Consulting, on the importance of creating a sustainable marketing and business development team, then why not check out how to secure a pay rise as a legal marketer, what Partners really want from a business development team, and more on TotallyLegal.