In January, I posed a question to the attendees of a law firm marketing conference about the barriers they face in improving effectiveness. 

Those attendees responses are featured here.  I asked the same questions of my blog readers. Here's what you said:

What is the most difficult barrier your firm faces in improving marketing and business development effectiveness?

None/not enough measurement of programs or people: 28.6%
None/not enough incentives and rewards: 28.6%
Poor/less than optimal systems capabilities (i.e. contact databases, intranet): 0%
None/not enough communication, training and/or professional development: 42.9%

One respondent said: "We are working on this and it goes hand in hand with #3

[systems capabilities], but it's a long, slow road to Rome." Another said: "Leadership….our leaders are not in tune with M&BD activity, needs, etc, they are focused laser like on short term financial numbers. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!"

From these and the law firm conference respondents, it's clear there's not enough talking and learning underway between revenue-generating practitioners and marketing/business development professionals.  These findings echo two articles that appeared in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, "Law Firms Embrace Business School 101," and "Lawyers Often Lack the Skills to Draw, Keep Clients," (Subscription required on both).

I'll have a lot to say about this topic in my upcoming book,The Integration Imperative: Erasing Marketing and Business Development Silos — Once and For All — in Professional Service Firms (Professional Services Books, 2009).