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Is legal enablement the next frontier

Sales enablement is currently all the rage in large tech companies, and it is easy to see why. Sales enablement helps to turn sales teams into high-performing sales teams that meet their targets, with a charismatic grin. This is achieved through a trove of resources, workflows, and functions designed specifically to enable sales to better perform in their role.

As the legal industry continues to face disruption and innovation as a result of technology adoption, in-house legal increasingly mirrors a high-performance business function. The learnings from sales enablement will become more relevant as counsel strives to match the performance, efficiency, agility and impact of other modern business functions.

While sales enablement is focused on supporting an outbound sales team, the principles and methodologies have been successfully applied internally to resources such as HR.

The methodology of sales enablement or HR enablement is usefully contained within the title. The goal is to enable key stakeholders within an area to better perform by identifying not only the resources that are needed but crucially when and how those resources are required.

The core tenet is to enable individuals and teams to function at their maximum effectiveness and efficiency. This is achieved through a careful canvassing and analysis of the pain points of any given area and examining what support, resources, or changes in process can be made to enable that function to operate in a lean way.

For instance, in an onboarding context, HR enablement would split intro packs into push and pull data sets. Push data is information you need to learn that is vital to the everyday function of your role or the wider business. Pull data is data you pull when required – more akin to using a thesaurus when you need to find a synonym for a word.

If we place sales enablement into a ‘legal enablement’ context, there are pain points where real value can be added, such as triaging internal legal requests.

By creating a single source of truth database or resource you can enable individuals to simply pull requisite information or precedents. This effectively removes small and repetitive tasks while empowering other individuals to engage with some aspect of legal, better connecting legal to the rest of the company.

Legal enablement can not only be used to increase legal engagement within your company, but also to improve the performance of your team. For instance, legal enablement can help to identify underperformers in your team, creating the opportunity to pair them with higher performers to rapidly upskill them.

There is a veritable plethora of implications for legal enablement which will arise as in-house legal becomes increasingly entwined with data and analytics. However, one thing is abundantly clear: legal technology will play an integral part in enabling legal teams across the world.

Legal tech solutions are already enabling in-house legal functions to perform better than ever before. Matter management products are decluttering emails and bringing clarity to counsel’s lives. Workflow tools and automation are enabling in-house legal functions to scale at breakneck speed.

There has never been a more exciting time to be an in-house counsel, with disruptors innovating at light speed. Legal enablement and legal technology will be vital and synergistic pieces of modern legal teams. It is exhilarating to imagine where the profession will go in the future considering how far it has come in such a short time, especially if it continues leveraging learnings from other functions, and applying them within.

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