Steven M. Bell Principal
Mobile: (202) 421.5988
A pioneer of law firm Sales and Business Development, in 2001, Steve created one of the legal profession’s first sales functions at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (now Womble Bond Dickinson) and has consulted with professional services firms around the globe on establishing and operating sales departments, navigating ethical requirements, and designing compensation systems for professional services salespeople.
Steve began his career as an advertising and corporate communications salesperson, and he adapted those skills to large professional services firms. At Price Waterhouse, he helped form that firm’s sales function, initiating meetings with clients and prospective clients, and leading teams of accountants on global sales junkets. An early student of Miller-Heiman, Steve is fluent in every major sales training language and process. At Grant Thornton, he became a sales partner and created the sales function at that organization. At Womble, in addition to overseeing the firm’s entire sales and marketing program, he conducted personal sales pursuits resulting in the origination of many new clients and substantial revenue. Steve led Womble’s nearly 20-year sponsorship of the Association of Corporate Counsel – at both the national and local levels. He is well-known by ACC leaders and staff nationwide, particularly in the National Capital Region.
Steve is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach, and he focuses on leveraging the strengths of his clients, as distinct from fixing weaknesses.
Steve has helped law firms navigate opportunities and challenges resulting from unforeseen global events including 9/11, the dot.com bubble burst, the “great recession,” and the global pandemic.
In addition to his accomplishments at Womble, Steve served for seven years as the Vice-Chairman – Americas of Lex Mundi’s Marketing & Business Development Committee, where he helped to steer the global branding, marketing, and business development initiatives of the 160-member-firm, 21,000-lawyer organization. He maintains an extensive global network of law firm leaders, marketers, thought leaders, and commentators.
Steve’s deep communications and marketing-management skills make him highly sought after by professional services firm leaders to provide counsel on forming, building, and managing sales forces; sales strategy and tactics; strategic account management; marketing automation; and business and executive communications.
- Book: Co-author “SAM-Legal: From Key Clients to Strategic Accounts” (2021)
- "Driving Law Firm Revenues: Quick Tips for Making Client Teams Successful," PinHawk Legal Administrator Daily (August 2020)
- "Little Things Mean a Lot," LawVision (Aug. 10, 2020)
- "Say What?! Topics to Keep Conversations with Clients Moving Forward," LawVision (June 29,2020)
- Book: "Guidance for Law Firm Leaders: The Legal Profession in a COVID-19 World," contributing author, LawVision (June 2020)
- "Law Firm Sales: Driving Revenue in a Post-COVID-19 World," Legal Executive Institute (May 2020)
- "How to Use Video Conferences to Strengthen Your Brand," LawVision (May 28, 2020)
- "In the Rush to Inform, Don't Forget to Differentiate," LawVision (May 5, 2020)
- "Advice to Law Firm CMBDOs - Thinking Beyond Today," LawVision (March 23, 2020)
- “Checklist for Pursuing Top Targets,” Lex Mundi Client Development Resource (April 2015)
- LMA Mid-Atlantic Conference, “Creating (and Sustaining) a Law Firm Sale Culture” (March 2020)
- Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute CFO/COO Forum, “Marketing Law Firm M&A” (Sept 2019)
- Legal Marketing Association Southeast, “The Vampires of Business Development” (with David Freeman), (Sept 2019)
- Legal Sales & Service Organization Raindance Conference, “The State of Law Firm Sales & Marketing,” Emcee (June 2018)
- Legal Marketing Association Mid-Atlantic,“Law Firm Alchemy: Transforming Lawyers into Salespeople” (Nov 2018)
- Lex Mundi Americas Marketing & Business Development Roundtable, “Fast Forward, Please: The State of Marketing Automation at Law Firms” (June 2017)
- Legal Marketing Association Virginias Continuing Marketing Education Conference, "Business Development: Digging Deeper” (Oct 2016)
- Lex Mundi Annual Meeting, “Top 10 Ways I Have Blown it on the Sales Trail” (Sept 2016)
- Association of Corporate Counsel – National Capital Region Chapter, “My ‘Aha!’ Moment in Law Firm Sales” (Sept 2015)
- DRI, "8 No-Fuss No-Muss Steps to Sales Nirvana" (Feb 2015)
Professional Associations & Boards
- Chair, Lex Mundi Global Marketing Committee
- NY Chapter, Association of Accounting Marketing Executives
- Indiana Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists
- International Association of Business Communicators
- President, Board of Deacons, Rye (NY) Presbyterian Church
- Scoutmaster and other volunteer Scouting positions, New York and Missouri
- Planning & Policy Committee, Mission Council, and other leadership positions, Centreville United Methodist Church
Awards & Recognitions
- Gold Quill Award (top award), International Association of Business Communicators
- Association of Corporate Counsel Sponsor of the Year (twice)
- Multiple LMA “Your Honor” Awards
- Two LMA Capital Chapter “Big Idea” Awards
- Two Marketing Partner Forum “Marketing Initiative of the Year” Awards
- LMA National Capital Chapter Hall of Fame