December 19, 2014

U.S. News

LegalShield’s Executive Restructuring Brings New Focus on Digital

In his first six months at LegalShield, CEO Jeff Bell has restructured the company’s top leadership and created an Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) to streamline communication between key areas of the business. The legal services provider is gearing up for future growth, particularly with enhanced digital support of its sales associates and clients.

The OCE comprises LegalShield’s new COO, Kathy Pinson; CFO Steve Williamson; Don West, Vice President of Human Resources and Leadership Development, and two newly created roles: Executive Vice President of Network and Business Development, Darnell Self; and Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and General Counsel, Keri Norris. The company is also actively searching for a chief technology officer who will oversee internal support of LegalShield’s associates.

“We’re 43 years young. We’ve got a lot of legacy systems that need to do a better job of letting sales associates know where they are in their career, how they’re advancing, and what are we doing today in terms of helping them achieve success,” Bell told DSN.

In addition to strengthening internal databases and systems, Bell and his team are working to build out more web and digital tools. To head up that effort, Bell recently brought on Chris D’Alessandro, formerly of interactive marketing agency Razorfish, as LegalShield’s first chief digital officer. One item on D’Alessandro’s agenda was the company’s MyLegalShield member app, which launched this week for iOS and Android.

“In our world, because we’re a direct selling organization for a service, it’s a little different. If you’re selling lipstick or vitamins, you can carry it with you. We’re selling an idea or a service,“ Bell said. “…Now we have the ability to tap on our member app and say, ‘No really, when you join our family for $20 a month, you push this button and you’re talking to a lawyer.’”

LegalShield’s digital team is also refining its strategy for managing leads, which will include a stronger hub site to ensure no potential customers or associates fall through the cracks. Lead management is familiar territory for Bell, a former executive at Ford and Chrysler, who described automotive sales as a “massive lead management business.”

“It’s all about being able, when people raise their hand—whether they do it over the phone, on the Web, in writing—to funnel that lead to an individual in their community who is actively engaged in the business,” Bell explained.

Through more robust digital offerings, the company aims to provide a better explanation of its competitive legal plans and identity theft protection. It represents a means of generating awareness and supporting LegalShield’s associates in the field, as Bell emphasized, not a substitute for human interaction.

“Our Chief Commercial Officer, Alan Fearnley, has said technology is direct selling’s friend, and he’s right,” said Bell. “The whole concept of speaking person-to-person doesn’t need to be replaced, but enhanced.”