Not Investing Enough Time in Business Development – Survey Reveals

Partners needing to juggle their time better?

Partners needing to juggle their time better?

Benchmarking Study on BD Practices in Law Firms – Main Findings

Here are some initial and somewhat disturbing findings from a survey amongst 30 partners in law firms.

Firstly partners admit that they are not spending as much time as they should on business development activities, such as profile raising, networking and client entertainment. Approximately half the partners thought they should be spending more than 8 hours a week, but only 21% were doing so.

Furthermore, 41% of partners admitted to spending less than 2 hours a week on business development activities! Here are the results:


Should be spent on BD activities

Actual time spent on BD activities



Less than 2 hrs



3-4 hrs



5-7 hrs



8+ hrs





I then asked partners how easy or challenging they found various aspects of their business development role. It seems that most are comfortable knowing what to do and about half think they have the skills. The biggest challenges are:

  • Being organised to do the follow up
  • Finding the time to carry out their BD

Here are the results:

Business Development Activity

How challenging

Score (out of 4)*

Being organised to do follow up BD activities


Finding the time to do BD


Finding someone to support them


Remaining enthusiastic after setbacks


Knowing what to prioritise


Knowing what to do


Knowing how to do BD


*1=easy – not a problem, 2 = not much of a problem, 3= some problems, 4 = I find this really challenging

These findings suggest to me that partners still don’t see the importance of investing their time in business development to generate a sustainable flow of future income. Are they too distracted by current matters? Can they delegate more responsibility to senior associates to free up some time? Surely the average partner could find at least 10% more time by doing this.

Furthermore, is there anything further that the internal BD team can do to help partners design longer-term campaigns to develop future work streams?

If any representatives from the BD functions are interested, I can send a copy of the questionnaire. More findings from this survey to be published soon.

This entry was posted in Business Development and Selling, Leadership and Management and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Not Investing Enough Time in Business Development – Survey Reveals

  1. Pingback: Small Business Owner Weekly Review (Week of January 13, 2014) | Soltis Consulting, Inc.

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