Strategies To Encourage Employee Adoption of PSA

Strategies To Encourage Employee Adoption of PSA

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. 

5 Project Management Best Practices for Service Organizations

5 Project Management Best Practices for Service Organizations

Project management is challenging in any environment. But it’s even more challenging in service organizations.

When you’re involved in professional services, you’re working with limited resources, tight deadlines, and tight schedule commitments.

There’s travel to be considered, vacations, coverage, program development, and a hundred other variables not faced by companies that sell more traditional products.

The Two Functions to Every Successful Professional Services Organization

Every professional services organization has two essential functions:

  1. Sales
  2. Service Delivery

Other teams such as accounting, HR, or marketing exist to support the activities of the sales and service delivery teams. Unfortunately, in many organizations, it is difficult to sync the activities of the sales team and the service delivery teams. This results in all sorts of problems, including:

  • Sales reps who make promises the service delivery team can’t keep
  • Service delivery professionals who are either constantly over scheduled or sitting around waiting for work.
  • Scheduling headaches for both the sales and service delivery teams
  • Constant “fire drills” and shifting of priorities.

To combat these problems, do all you can to ensure your teams are in sync and working toward a common goal. Here are five specific steps you can take to help your sales and service teams work well together:

1. Let Sales Reps See Your Service Team’s Availability

The easiest thing you can do is to provide your sales reps easy visibility to the schedules of your service delivery team. This lets sales reps see exactly what human resources are available at what times. Most project management and CRM apps do not have the ability to show sales reps the schedules of your service delivery team. They leave your sales reps to give their best “ballpark estimate” when a customer is going to receive a service.

If you’re using Salesforce CRM, however, Klient Software can provide your team with professional service automation tools that provide the data you’ll needs to share this information successfully.

2. Have Service Teams Use Standard Packages Whenever Possible

Projecting the amount of time needed with a client is always a bit of a guessing game. But if you have standard packages to sell, it helps in a variety of ways. Sales reps can often sell a package easier than something generic such as “10 hours of consulting.”  Your service delivery team will save time in preparation; they’ll already have a standard set of services to deliver for each package. Managers will have a better idea of how long each engagement will take. That gives them better data for scheduling and sales projections.

Accountants can better project revenue, expenses, and profit, since they’ll have historical data around the finances for each type of project.

3. Track Standard Financial Indicators for Each Project

Not every sale is equal. Some services are more profitable than others. Ideally, you want your sales reps to focus on selling the service packages with the highest profit. To do this, keep track of standard financial indicators for each project fulfilled by your service delivery teams. The two biggest measures to track by project are:

  1. Revenue
  2. Expenses

4. Create Dashboards for the Executive and Management Teams

Dashboards help managers understand a large volume of data at a glance. Make sure they can see stats such as:

  1. Sales
  2. Deals in the pipeline
  3. Revenue
  4. Expenses
  5. Profitability
  6. Labor utilization

Giving managers good data enables them to make good decisions. Plus it gives leaders in both the sales and service delivery organizations a common set of data to work from for day-to-day decisions.

5. Communicate Expectations and Timelines with Customers, Then Deliver What You Promised

Your sales reps’ job to set and manage expectations. Your service delivery team’s job is to meet those expectations to the best of their ability. If you’re in a service delivery role, there’s nothing worse than showing up at a client who’s not happy with your company. You become a punching bag for complaints rather than a strategic consultant.

To avoid these problems, make sure you’ve given your sales team the tools it needs to set realistic expectations with customers.

The Payoff

In too many organizations, there is a communication gap between the sales and service delivery teams. Sales reps are doing everything they can to sign up new business.

Service delivery teams are scrambling with one fire drill after another, trying to keep up with the changing demands created by their sales reps’ efforts. All of this is caused by a lack of communication between these two vital departments.

Getting CRM and project management tools that talk to each other is one of the best ways to help ensure everyone is on the same page.

When your sales reps make promises your service teams can actually deliver (on time and on budget), it’s good for everyone, including the customer.