Product & Client Need Insights from the Road
Kirk Sadler is the Director of Product Management at Mitratech. With over 15 years of experience leading product management and cross-functional teams through the entire product lifecycle in the US, European and Asian markets, he’s an expert in driving product discovery and product strategy.
As part of his role, Kirk focuses on interacting with clients to uncover the issues they’re experiencing in the field of Legal Operations and translating that insight into solutions to help them drive success for their companies.
Recently, we sat down with Kirk to pick his brain about what he’s noticing from clients in the industry, and what their most pressing needs include.
Q: You interact with clients in the field all the time. Where was your most recent trip & why were you there?
I went to New York for the Sisense User Conference, which is our new Business Insights (BI) engine that just debuted in our latest release of TeamConnect version six. As usual when I visit a city, I also had the pleasure of meeting with a few clients.
Q: What do you love most about these interactions with clients?
I love learning the creative ways our clients use TeamConnect. This has ranged from risk management, incident management, AFA’s (alternative fee arrangements) and complex budgeting processes, to name a few. The summary is when you offer your clients a platform, training and documents they can build what they need to be successful regardless of their business complexities.
Q: What did you learn from this most recent visit?
One of the things our clients have been asking us about is the ability to create “what if” scenarios using the wealth of financial information stored in the TeamConnect transactional database. One example of a “what if” scenario could be calculating the average billing rate of timekeepers by timekeeper level on specific matter types or of a phase of the matter.
What is super exciting is that our new BI engine, Sisense, will support such calculations. Clients will be able to transform their data to answer questions of interest to them in ways that were not possible with our previous built-in reporting. Now they can get actionable insights in real-time to help them improve their legal operations. Super exciting!
Another use case we learned about was around volume AFAs. A volume AFA is when a client and firm agree to a tiered pricing structure where the rates decrease as the amount of work goes up. This can be done at the matter level or for all work done by that firm for a given year.
There are many types of AFAs in practice today and we are dedicated to making many available out-of-the-box. We also want to empower our clients to design AFAs with our Services teams when their needs become more sophisticated.
While out-of-the-box volume AFAs are not something we have in the product yet, this conversation has informed our product roadmap for the future.
Q: How does this help you and your team drive the product roadmap forward? In other words, why is getting this insight from clients so critical?
These insights are so critical to ensure our roadmap is steeped in solving customer problems vs. an inside out view of what is actually important problems for our clients to solve. The more visits we have, clients who come to Interact, or who are willing to come to Austin to educate us, the better. We always welcome them to provide us with a balanced view of the market.
Read about the latest TeamConnect release here.