In today’s service landscape, it’s not uncommon for a business to regularly use multiple applications and software throughout the course of a single workday in order to reap the benefits provided by each.
However, this means that service team members may continually be switching back and forth between multiple solutions throughout their day and attempting to learn the ins and outs of a multitude of functionality and different processes, which can lead to significant time lost while navigating between applications and tools.
How much time are service team members really losing and what is the impact on the business?
Research into the state of the services economy has shown that 73% of service companies report stating they spend more than one hour per day on average navigating between different applications and software. In a 7-8 hour workday that’s roughly 12-14% of the day wasted maneuvering between solutions that are supposed to be increasing efficiency.
The impact this can have on the business may vary greatly, but always results in time taken away from other more effective work.
In addition, with more systems being used on average by companies than ever before, the result is even more time spent in navigation and employees becoming less acquainted with the systems they are using. Struggling with systems that they do not completely understand will only increase navigation time and the total time spent attempting to complete tasks.
All of this boils down to a loss in potential billing time for your services team, and for your company – the outcome is less productivity and less profit.
The Solution: With the right PSA, your service team will have everything they need in one application.
A Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution is a tool built to maximize efficiency for a services team and eliminate the need to switch back and forth between time and expense software, project management tools, team collaboration applications, invoicing and accounting software, CRM applications, and more.
Kliend PSA, built 100% native on Salesforce, offers a complete application for every step of the professional services lifecycle. From time of sale, right through to successful completion of service delivery, Klient PSA can manage every aspect of your project from start to finish.
Features and functionality built directly into the Klient PSA tool include, but are not limited to; project management; team collaboration; time and expense management; resource management; project accounting; services CPQ; survey and feedback functionality; customer and partner communities; and more.
What’s more, is that Klient PSA seamlessly integrates with the software and applications the rest of your business relies on so that all of that data is available for your service team as well. Here’s just a few of the applications that Klient PSA can integrate with:
By integrating applications with your PSA tool, your team will have everything they need in one place and there will be no need for time wasted learning multiple applications and navigating amongst them.
Bottlenecks are an inevitable challenge faced by services businesses of all types.
In both the sales and services lifecycles there are areas where progress is likely to slow down as teams wait for information to be transferred and decisions to be made. These bottlenecks must be overcome in order to increase cash flow and improve project completion rates.
Studies have shown that decision-making bottlenecks have a major impact on project failure rates — the difference between making a decision in one hour and making it in five translates to a 23% increase in project failure and 40% decrease in the probability of successful project completion.
The best-in-class services organizations are ones that overcome these bottlenecks and think about how they can leverage services to drive the best possible customer experience while also optimizing for profitability.
These businesses become more efficient and scalable in decision-making, and leverage technology to help them do so. Professional Services Automation (PSA) software is often the key to their success.
PSA Software For Breaking Through Bottlenecks:
Professional Services Automation is taking mundane or inefficient processes in the services industry and bringing them into the future. PSA helps you complete tasks better and faster than ever before by digitizing and automating different stages of a product or sales life cycle.
Time-Tracking is an important but pesky task to remember to do. There are many different tools that will help you automatically track time as you work, but having a tracker right within a PSA tool like Klient Software, would save you time hopping between apps and cause less confusion down the line by keeping all information tracked in one spot.
Project management is a large part of professional services automation. By digitizing project management stages all in one spot, you are ensuring all of the data and information is centralized and available to those who need it. The right people will have immediate access to the information they need at any point in time. Utilizing professional services automation software geared toward project management will also help you save time as you will be able to track a project’s lifecycle and easily see where bottlenecks are.
A PSA tool will also allow you and your team to collaborate and share documents easier than ever before. Team collaboration is an important part of speeding up decision-making, ensuring everyone is on the same page, and smashing bottlenecks that may occur.
To learn more about the features of Klient PSA and see how your services business can use a PSA tool to break through bottlenecks, visit: https://klient/product/
So you made the decision to adopt a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution for your organization? Great choice! But the work is not over. Once you’ve decided which PSA tool is right for your business, you now need to approach the implementation process strategically in order to unlock the full potential of the solution. That strategy must include processes and practices that will encourage employee adoption of the solution, since a tool is only as powerful as the people who wield it.
Here are three strategies to ensure that the people who will use your PSA solution are not only excited about the new tool and eager to make use of it, but will also be equipped with the knowledge and training they require in order to use it wisely and maximize your investment into the product:
Get buy-in from your team early by outlining the benefits of adopting the new solution
In order to achieve wide-spread adoption and support of the new solution, getting employee buy-in right from the start of the process is key. Clearly identify and outline for your team the reasons why your organization is investing in this solution and how its functionality will be of benefit to them and help solve problems or challenges they currently face.
Be sure to establish and share the business benefits you are expecting to achieve after go-live. This can include benefits such as achieving scalability, reducing overhead, or increasing business predictability.
Allow your team an opportunity to describe current challenges they face specific to their individual departments, and explain to them how they can use the new solution to help them overcome those challenges.
Start by training a few select people on your team, and make sure you have representation from every department that will ultimately use the solution
Approach your implementation with a select team of employees that are excited to try out the new solution and that represent different stakeholders in your organization.
A PSA implementation team that includes stakeholders from only the services team, for example, will miss critical requirements from sales, resourcing and the back office, which will slow down adoption across the organization. If you run a consulting organization, involving someone who understands the needs of your consultants in the project planning will go a long way to ensuring consultants will use the tool when it goes live. Take time to understand who will actually be utilizing the tool and include representatives from those different areas of the organization in the actual implementation process so any potential challenges can be raised in a proactive manner.
Encourage feedback and check-in regularly with your team to address concerns
Once you’ve gone live with the solution, don’t just sit back and hope that your employees are adopting the tool to its full capacity. Schedule monthly check-ins where you sit down with various departments and ask questions about how they’re using the tool, where it’s benefiting them most, where it isn’t solving their challenges, how it could be used better, areas where they could use some additional training, etc.
Doing so will encourage your employees to test new features of the tool and find new ways to use it, and they will trust that their feedback is being taken seriously and that the organization is interested in helping make their jobs easier by maximizing the effectiveness of the solution.
As your Professional Services Organization grows and evolves, the software and tools you use to be successful will inevitably change over time as well.
Eventually the time will come when your simple time and expense or basic project management software will no longer be sufficient for running your business effectively, and you will need to consider implementing a more robust and comprehensive project management tool such as a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution.
However, changing the tools your employees have come to know and be comfortable with can often be challenging. It usually helps if you can encourage your team to be excited about the new software by showing them how valuable it will be in helping them do their job more efficiently.
Here are 6 strategies to consider when introducing new project management software to your team in order to gain their support and make the transition as frictionless as possible:
#1. Talk about it early and get your team’s buy-in
It’s important to remember that you never want to blindside your team with new project management software. Make sure they know new software will be coming as early as possible (even before you determine which software to purchase). It can also help to get team members’ feedback on features they’d like to see in the software. These conversations can help warm them up to the idea of a new software solution while getting them excited about the new functionality they’ll be able to take advantage of.
Be wary, however, about asking your team which software they’d like you to implement. By doing so, you’re likely to receive a wide range of responses making it nearly impossible in the end for you to select one that will please everyone. Instead, ask your team members ahead of time which features they’d most like to see. You can also offer them a list of potential features to rank in order of importance. Let them know you’ll use that feedback to find the right project management software for the team as a whole.
#2. Make sure the software you select is a true replacement for existing tools that are important to your team
Make sure your new software is an ample replacement for whatever tools your team currently uses to manage similar tasks. If a team member doesn’t feel that the software fulfills his or her needs, they’re more likely to continue relying on their old project management methods instead of making the switch.
You may be trying to replace 2 or more tools with 1 new and more comprehensive tool, but be sure to double check that the new tool will have all of the functionality that is crucial to your team’s success and that you aren’t taking away any important capabilities from them. Adding new functionality and creating easier ways of doing things is a plus, but be careful that you’re not eliminating capabilities by sunsetting software that is imperative to the team’s performance while offering no suitable replacement.
#3. Have the basics set up before you introduce the software to your team
The setup process for a new project management tool can be time consuming. Having basics in place, such as team member logins, project information, client information, etc., before introducing the software to the team can help things go more smoothly. It will make the migration process to the new software seem less daunting and will also provide real-world examples for your demo/training instead of hypothetical ones.
Remember that the less tedious setup your team has to do before they dive in and start using the software, the more likely they are to quickly adopt it and begin using it to its full potential.
#4. Make sure everyone receives appropriate training in advance of migrating completely to the new software
Each member of your team likely has different levels of comfort with technology and differing abilities for learning new software. Tailor training experiences based on the comfort level of your employees. Some may prefer to attend a web-based training with a support rep or a detailed in-house training session. Others may prefer to watch a couple of online tutorials then explore the software themselves. Whatever the method, what’s most important is ensuring each employee gets some form of real training. This helps to create positive first interactions, enables them to more effectively use the tools, and helps them to hit the ground running when it’s time to migrate to the new software.
It may also be beneficial to select 2 or 3 people from your team who are eager to learn new software, and generally adopt to new technology easily, to become in-house experts on your new project management software. These individuals can help the implementation process by answering questions that your other team members may not otherwise have reached out to support to ask, and can assist you in training the rest of the team.
#5. Allow a sunset period with the existing tool and give enough time for your team to switch over to the new software comfortably
It’s important to fully detach from the previous tool(s), but not immediately and not without warning. It can take time to fully move all of the information over and to migrate to the new system. It can also take time for your team to adjust.
However, as much as it’s important to allow time for adjustment, it’s equally important to have a hard stop date. With advanced warning, your employees can adjust and transfer information without feeling rushed. They are also less likely to hang around in the old system for their own convenience.
Set this stop date while in advance and make sure everyone on the team knows that they should ask the necessary questions and request additional training if they need to, in order to ensure they are comfortable with the new software by this deadline.
Is your team considering a more comprehensive project management tool?
Services organizations depend on team collaboration for success.
Between connecting the Services team members themselves, to cross-departmental collaboration with other teams in the organization (Sales, Support, Accounting, etc.), to ongoing communication with the client, there is no shortage of people that need visibility into a project and its status.
A Professional Services Automation (PSA) software with functionality that fosters team collaboration can make it easier for Services organizations to support open communication with internal and external stakeholders throughout the entire lifecycle of a project.
Communication Among The Services Team Members
Services teams need to communicate and collaborate amongst themselves in order to manage projects efficiently and effectively.
PSA software offers features that make it simple for Services teams to create visibility within their department and increase communication. Some of these features include project management, resource planning, and time and expense management. A sophisticated Gantt chart with functionality including full inline editing, rapid task creation, drag-drop of task sequence, quick predecessor creation by wbs or task name, task scheduling directly from the Gantt, configurable columns display, split-pane, and much more deliver an exceptional experience for managing projects and ensuring teams are on the same page when it comes to project deadlines.
In addition, choosing a PSA solution that integrates with the tools that organizations are already using to communicate can drastically improve team collaboration. Integration with Slack for example, is becoming increasingly important for organizations selecting a PSA software, because it allows teams to manage projects and services directly from within Slack. A PSA like Klient Software, for instance, allows users to view projects and tasks, drill into project and task details including project profitability and financials, create new project and tasks, as well as enter time worked against projects and tasks directly from within Slack.
Communication Across Departments
The most successful services organizations also work hard to improve communication across various departments within the business. Repeatable project delivery success relies on close collaboration between the sales team, the project delivery organization, the finance function and the client. PSA provides a single, trusted platform to manage deal scoping, deliver projects and track financials that improves outcomes for all parties and builds stronger customer relationships.
A PSA built on Salesforce, for example, can boost communication and transparency between your Sales and Services teams. This can drastically improve project scoping and estimating. And, by integrating with various accounting and ERP applications, a PSA software can succeed in aligning the accounting department with sales and services as well.
Communication With The Client
Perhaps most importantly, communication with the client is imperative to driving repeat business and creating long-term customer relationships.
PSA software enables better client collaboration throughout the life of an engagement, significantly improving the likelihood of the project being delivered in line with customer expectations. PSA formalizes the process of engaging the services team in the sales cycle, which promotes confidence on both sides that the project will be delivered as sold. During the delivery of the project, customer communication can take place in real-time, quickly resolving issues as they arise.
Krow Software, recently announced survey functionality for their PSA solution which goes a step further in fostering collaboration between the project team and the client. With Krow PSA, you can now create and deliver project and customer surveys including NPS, CSAT, or free-form surveys to analyze client feedback and sentiment, learn from project engagements, and help build long-term customer advocacy to increase retention and expanding selling.
Why A Customer-Centric PSA Is Best For Team Collaboration
A Customer-Centric PSA is designed with customers at the core, providing a way for project teams to work with each other, and hand-in-hand with customers from sales through service delivery.
Klient PSA offers a modern and seamless customer experience, fully transparent communication between the project team and client to ensure alignment of expectations with real-time two-way communication, integrated customer feedback through survey tools and project health check statuses, and real-time integration with back-office systems for more successful project implementation and greater customer success.
For small businesses, choosing a CRM can sometimes be a difficult task.
Many will want one that can effectively manage their pipeline and keep records of leads, opportunities, and closed won deals, but without requiring all of the complex functionality that comes with a larger CRM. Most small businesses considering a CRM will also say it needs to be easy to implement and without the hefty price tag that generally comes along with a more comprehensive CRM application.
Here’s a list of the top 5 CRM we recommend considering if you are a small business, and some suggestions for narrowing down which one is the best fit for you:
Most people are familiar with Salesforce CRM, but what many don’t know is that Salesforce also offers a light-weight CRM solution called Salesforce Essentials, which is geared towards smaller businesses looking to get started with a simple and easy-to-use CRM application. With Salesforce Essentials you can get started with using Salesforce for sales and customer support for up to 10 users for $25 USD/month. With Salesforce Essentials you can automatically pull data from your email, calendar, spreadsheets, multiple support channels, and more to get a single, 360-degree view of every customer and your whole business. It also offers a simple setup assistant and in-app tutorials to help you get up and running and become a Salesforce Essentials pro.
Another benefit of Salesforce Essentials? When your business grows, it’s an easy transition into the complete Salesforce CRM application where you can take advantage of the full functionality the Salesforce platform has to offer.
When people think HubSpot, they often think of a powerful Marketing Automation tool. But, HubSpot also offers a CRM that makes a great option for small businesses. And, it’s 100% free! HubSpot CRM is everything you need to organize, track, and nurture your leads and customers. It allows you to automate the tasks salespeople typically hate doing, and takes minutes to learn, rather than months like other CRMs can. That means doing more deals and less data entry. With HubSpot CRM you can enjoy up to 1,000,000 contacts, users, and storage for free, without any expiration date – whether you’re a team of 1 or 1,000.
One of the benefits of HubSpot CRM is that you can sync it with HubSpot’s marketing automation software so you’ll always know which content your lead has consumed and can take a more personalized approach with your sales strategy.
Zendesk products let customers connect with businesses on the channels they prefer. And it’s all managed in one place—so teams can track conversations and never lose the thread. The result is a better customer experience, right from the start. Zendesk also offers seamless integration with CRM software. The Zendesk Suite offers everything you need to let customer conversations flow seamlessly across channels, creating a better experience for both your business and your customers. It provides simplified workflows through an easy to navigate, contextual interface, regardless of the channel.
A great thing about Zendesk is that it easily integrates and connects with other applications your business is using: https://www.zendesk.com/apps/
Pipedrive is a sales CRM built around the concept of simplicity. For small businesses, it’s a win because of its simple design and refined elements that make it easy to double down and zero-in on actions that improve sales. Rated the easiest CRM tool to implement on technology review site G2Crowd, Pipedrive offers a simple solution without all of the complicated functions of other CRMs which tend to require a lot of training and education in order to use.
The main benefit of Pipedrive comes down to how simple and fast it is to set up and get running. And, for a small monthly fee, small businesses can use Pipedrive to manage their sales without spending big bucks on a CRM with functionality they do not need in order to be successful.
Zoho is a multichannel sales CRM with functionality ranging from email, live chat, telephony, social media, and more. Similar to Pipedrive, Zoho CRM is a lighter weight CRM for a small monthly fee. Small businesses love Zoho because of its breadth of features at an affordable price. With Zoho you can connect in real time with customers and prospects, across all channels. SalesSignals notifies you when a hot prospect is browsing your site, reading your email campaign, or engaging with your brand on social media, allowing you to close sales using helpful insights and data.
Pipeline management with Zoho allows your team to identify quality leads, decide who to assign them to, discover the right deals to follow up on, and exceed revenue targets. Plus, you will get much better visibility into your sales pipeline.
Did you know?
Klient can integrate with these CRMs that small businesses are choosing, as well as a wide range of other applications including accounting systems.
For small businesses that sell professional services, Klient PSA can be the perfect addition to your team. You can use your ideal small business CRM for marketing and sales, and seamlessly integrate with Klient PSA which will manage your projects from sales right through delivery.
Learn more about Klient Software’s integrations here: https://klient.com/integrations/