Salesforce Economy Will Create 9.3 Million Jobs by 2026!

Salesforce Economy Will Create 9.3 Million Jobs by 2026!

For those who have followed Salesforce through the years, they know the #1 CRM in the world always set ambitious goals in terms of growth.

Here’s some highlights:

  • Produce $1.6 trillion in new revenues for customers by 2026.
  • They Expect to grow partner revenues to 3.5 times what they were in 2020
  • IDC predicted the Salesforce Economy will generate 9.3 million new jobs by 2026

Salesforce realease their new research from IDC detailing how they will drive nearly 9.6 million new jobs (yes, you read that right) and more than $1.6 trillion in new revenues for customers by 2026. Following the pandemic, their focus is not only about the jobs and revenue growth, but also to provide support their partners.

The ecosystem of companies supporting Salesforce customersʼ implementations is five times as big as Salesforce itself today and will be more than six times as big
in 2026. With 2026 ecosystem revenue forecast to be 3.5 times that in 2020, the challenge will be finding talent.

The growth of cloud software2 suffered little from the pandemic, growing 22% worldwide
in 2020, while on-premises software growth fell to zero. This year, cloud-delivered
software will be 43% of the software market, and by 2026, it will be 61%.

Read the full article here.

Download a full copy of the IDC: Salesforce Economy 2021

3 Things to Keep in Mind When Evaluating PSA Software

3 Things to Keep in Mind When Evaluating PSA Software

Evaluating a new software for your business can be a challenging process.

Software tends to be a substantial investment for companies, and as such, requires a comprehensive evaluation process to ensure the right product is selected. Choosing the incorrect software can be costly for a business, so it is important to evaluate options thoroughly in order to make the best selection possible and choose a software that will maximize your return on investment.

When it comes to Professional Services Automation (PSA) software, there are numerous products on the market to choose from. However, the software evaluation process can be made easier with careful preparation and an emphasis on the 3 following considerations throughout the evaluation phase:

1. For each software you evaluate, ask yourself, “Will this software solve the business outcomes that I’m looking to achieve?”

You may evaluate software with a multitude of fancy features and functionality, but unless those features help you achieve the business challenges you’re trying to fix, all of the functionality in the world isn’t going to add value to your company. You may find that a simpler product with less overall features, is actually the one that has the right functionality to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.

Helpful Tip: Before you begin evaluating any PSA software, create a list of the outcomes your business is looking to achieve. Then make a list of must-have features that will help you accomplish your desired outcomes. You may also wish to make a secondary list of “nice-to-have” features that could add value to your business in other ways, but are not necessary for achieving your imperative business outcomes.

2. Include representatives from every department who will utilize the software in your evaluation process.

By including members of all teams that will utilize the software, you not only ensure that the final selection will achieve the outcomes needed by each team, but you also ensure you are getting buy-in from the people who will ultimately be using the software. If you select a software in a silo, you run the risk of certain departments choosing not to effectively adopt the software, which will ultimately affect your return on investment.

Helpful Tip: Select a key member of each department that will use the PSA software you select. Likely this will include at the very least a services team member, a finance team member, a sales team member, and perhaps an IT team member. Make sure that you clearly define what outcomes each of these departments hope to achieve with the software, and then evaluate options keeping in mind which ones have features and functionality that will be most beneficial to each team. To learn more about motivating employees to make effective use of a new PSA software, read our blog here, “Strategies to Encourage Employee Adoption of PSA.”

3. Know what questions you want to ask the vendors, and approach them with specific elements that you want their product demo to address.

If you don’t let the vendors you approach know what you’re looking for, they will likely overwhelm you with a flood of information about their product that isn’t relevant to your evaluation process. When you become overwhelmed with facts about products and find yourself reading through pages of information on various features and functionality, it can become difficult to determine what product is actually best for helping you solve your business challenges.

Helpful Tip: When you approach a software vendor, get right to the point. Tell them what business outcomes you need to achieve, let them know what functionality you’re looking for in a product in order to achieve this outcome, and ask them to set up a demo for you that will walk you through exactly how their product can help you achieve your desired outcomes.


If you’re evaluating a PSA software for your business and would like to see a comprehensive demo of Klient PSA, please contact us here: https://klient.com/request-demo/

What is Professional Services Automation Software Used For?

What is Professional Services Automation Software Used For?

Most service companies understand that project management is imperative and that having software to help keep tasks on track can be beneficial to delivering successful projects.

But many service businesses today are going a step beyond project management (PM) software and implementing Professional Services Automation (PSA) software instead, to manage the entire lifecycle of a project from sales through service delivery.

The Difference Between Project Management (PM) Software and Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software:

There are many similarities between project management software and PSA software. In fact, a PSA software will include project management features and functionality. The real difference is that PSA offers so much more, and helps service businesses manage all the ins and outs of their projects, including resource planning, scheduling, utilization tracking, time and expense tracking, cost management, approval process management, task scheduling and completion, team collaboration, client feedback and surveying functionality, and more.

To learn more about distinguishing project management software from PSA software, read our blog here: What’s the Difference Between PSA and PM Software?

Breaking Down The Use Cases For Professional Services Automation:

PSA is used for a wide variety of reasons and helps service businesses accomplish a number of things:

1. Managing Project Details

With PSA software, as soon as your sales team gets involved with the deal, they can start entering important details about the project requirements into the CRM. By choosing a PSA software that integrates with that CRM, or that is built native on the CRMs platform (i.e. Klient Software is built 100% native on Salesforce), your Services team will then have access to all of the project details as soon as the project is sold and handed over to them for implementation.

2. Task Scheduling and Completion

When it comes to successful project implementations, tracking tasks is one of the first things that typically comes to mind. That’s because there are usually a lot of moving pieces and steps that need to happen between the project start date and the go-live date. By using a PSA tool to track tasks, it’s easier for project managers to assign the different steps in project completion, set due dates, and track progress.

3. Creating Estimates and Identifying Timelines

When you’re preparing a quote, timeline, or project overview for a client, a PSA tool will help you give an educated prediction of the resources—time, employees, budget—needed to complete the task. When used properly, your PSA software takes the guesswork out of your projected timeline and instead leaves you with a blueprint from start to finish. This means more accurate estimating for budgets and profits as well as timelines. And, satisfied customers.

4. Employee Planning and Scheduling

An intricate part of project management is tackling resource allocation. It takes several moving pieces to take a project from start to finish, and the planning process requires identifying and assigning the best possible resources to the job. A great PSA Software will help you not only to plan who will be tasked with what—and when—it can also help you coordinate schedules between multiple team members who may need to work together on certain parts of the project. With Klient Software’s resource planning functionality, you can also select resources for a project based on assigned skills, geographical location, and more.

5. Forecasting and Reporting

Having data on hand about your projects is key to their success, as well as the success of future projects. Forecasting and reporting allows you to identify problem areas before they arise and keep projects on track and on budget, helping your service business be as profitable as possible. Detailed reporting in a PSA software will help you see where projects went off track in the past and help you learn from your mistakes moving forward.

Why Your Services Company Might Need PSA Software?

Why Your Services Company Might Need PSA Software?

Selling services is not like selling products…

When you sell a product, all you have to do is deliver it. As long as you have stock on-hand, you can fulfill the sale immediately. Sell a service and your work has only just begun. For example, let’s say you sold a 2-day consulting package to a client in another state. You have five consultants on staff. You (or someone in your organization) will have to find a time that works for both your client and for one of your consultants. Travel arrangements will have to be made. Lodging, meals, and a hundred other details will have to be sorted out. All to fulfill that one sale.

How PSA Software Is Different than CRM, ERP, and Project Management Software?

CRM software stops once you’ve made the sale. It’s great at managing a pipeline and estimating revenue. But if you sell services, a CRM system doesn’t help you schedule your human resources after a sale has been made. Project management or ERP software can help with the scheduling side of things. However that means you’ll be managing the same clients out of two completely different systems. When you make a sale, someone at your organization will have to transfer data from your CRM system into your project management or ERP system.
That’s a process that’s inefficient and likely to have errors. Professional Services Automation (PSA) software gives you one system to manage both prospects and clients, without having to transfer data between systems. It doesn’t mean you have to drop your current CRM provider. If you use Salesforce.com, you can simply add a service like ours, which works natively on the Salesforce platform.

Is PSA Software Right for My Company?

Here are 5 questions to ask:

1. Are “People” Required to Fulfill Your Product Orders?

The first thing is to be clear about what you’re selling. If you sell services directly, people are your product. In that situation, having PSA software will help you better manage both the sales process and the delivery of your services. If you sell products, you still might need to manage human resources to deliver those products. Do you have an install team? Do you require a certain number of hours of training or consulting for new customers? If so, your company could also benefit from Klient PSA Software.

2. Does Your Company Try to Accurately Predict Revenue and Expenses?

It’s not easy for a services company to accurately predict revenue and expenses. There are often many costs that go along with delivering a service, and those costs can vary widely depending on the client you’re working with. PSA software includes the ability to more easily predict both your revenue and expenses.

3. Does Your Company Use Salesforce.com?

Salesforce CRM is the world’s most popular CRM system. It’s AppExchange is also the leading enterprise software platform in the world. Companies using Salesforce CRM have access to thousands of applications that work natively on the Salesforce.com platform. That includes PSA software that works directly with your existing CRM database. Native Salesforce apps use the same infrastructure and database as your Salesforce CRM. They also have the same reliability and security standards.

4. Are Staffing and Turnover a Challenge?

Staffing and turnover are often sources of frustration for service providers. It can be difficult to know whether you really need to hire a new consultant or provider for your team. Will you have the work to justify the new hire? Or will you just be paying for someone to sit around all day while your sales team tries to fill the schedule? The best way to make good decisions about staffing is to have good data. PSA software can give you a comprehensive view of how many resources you’ll need in the coming months compared to what you have on staff.

5. Have Customers Ever Expressed Frustration While Trying to Schedule Delivery of Your Services?

Finally, there are your customers to consider. Is “scheduling” a constant headache? Have customers ever been frustrated trying to find a time that works for both their schedule and your team’s schedule? From a financial standpoint, logistics frustrations also kill referrals, which is usually a big driver of client acquisition for service companies. If scheduling is costing you referral business, PSA software can help your team deliver a smoother experience for everyone.

Conclusion

Ultimately, selling services is just like selling anything else—your customers have to see value in the service you deliver to them. PSA software can help your team deliver a great experience to all your clients. It can also help your management team make data-driven decisions about staffing and scheduling, instead of just trying to guess.

If you’d like to learn how to deliver more value for less expense in your service business, we’d love to show you more about how PSA software can help.

Project Management Tips For Best-In-Class Consulting

Project Management Tips For Best-In-Class Consulting

Time is money, especially for consulting firms.

This means that project management isn’t just a way to track what is or is not completed; it is also the best way to make sure resources are being used strategically, that output is maximized, and that progress is in line with projections and commitments.

In a consulting company, project management can help improve profitability and productivity by improving timeline and budget management, maximizing resources, optimizing processes, and ensuring consistent and timely deliverables. 

Here are some of the best project management tips for achieving best-in-class consulting services:

Scope Thoroughly And Specifically

If there’s one thing that every consultant dreads, it’s a mid-project change in scope. One of the biggest threats to a project’s profitability is when the scope changes partway through a project and timelines and budgets get thrown out of whack. 

Taking the time to truly understand a project and include a detailed scope of work in the contract can help to prevent the scope of work expanding without compensation. It gives you the opportunity to create change orders—including an updated budget—if a client comes back with additional changes not included in the initial scope of work.

But scoping a project should be equally as important in terms of your project management. Being specific about what is included in each stage of a project will enable your employees to do exactly what is required—no more, no less—for a more controlled output. Being specific about project scope within your team means you’re ensuring additional resources aren’t being used where they won’t result in actual productive business impact.

Don’t Start From Scratch When It Isn’t Necessary

Efficiency is key to productivity and profitability. Most consulting companies have aspects of their deliverables that are repeats in whole or in part of products already completed for other clients. Whether this is templates of documents, programming code, presentations, or other projects, it can be highly productive to prevent redundancy in your consulting company. This allows you to produce similar output with decreased input.

A helpful tip is to make it part of your project management process to identify what aspects of completed tasks may be reusable, and to have these items readily accessible to your team. It can also be helpful to tag tasks in your project management software or Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution that can be completed using one of these reusable documents.

Regularly Update The Client And Check-In On Their Satisfaction

Don’t initiate a project and then fail to check in until the deadline is approaching. Healthy project management requires regular check-ins to make sure the project is developing on time, on budget and most importantly, to the customer’s satisfaction. 

A good tip is to identify which points of the project have the highest risk of throwing the project off course and the earliest points you’d be able to detect these threats, and to set—at minimum—check-ins at these points. It can also be helpful for consultants to choose a PSA solution that allows you to see at a glance the health of your current projects. A tool with surveying capability to routinely request client feedback and gauge their satisfaction level is an added bonus as well. 

Keep Everything In One Central Location

Our next project management tip for consultants is to keep everything in a central location. Many consultants have fallen into the trap of using multiple file management systems including multiple messaging platforms (such as email, chat, or Slack) as well as CRMs to track conversations, DropBox and/or Google Drive to store documents, different file versions unintentionally saved on multiple devices, and so on. This can lead to confusion, inconsistency, and lost productivity.

Instead, part of your project management process should include managing documents, revisions, client feedback, customer information, and communication in a central location. A robust PSA solution like Klient Software can manage your entire services business on one platform. And by integrating with your existing CRM, ERP, and other applications, you can ensure that all of your processes are in sync. 

Learn From Past Successes And Failures

The final, and perhaps most important part of your project management strategy should be a project debrief at the completion of every project. This debrief will help you and the rest of your company to understand what went well, what went wrong, and what processes can be improved in the future.

If you managed your project effectively, you should have analytics that show the progress of task completion, information about when budget was used and whether it was in line with projections, resource use compared to projections, and reports from any risks or changes that may have manipulated output. A PSA solution can be especially helpful in making sure you have this data available at the completion of a project. 

The information from each debrief should then be compared to previous reports. Is there a part of your projects that your company predictably underbids? Resources that aren’t being used efficiently or that aren’t being given enough time to complete tasks? Steps of the process that tend to go slower or faster than expected? Analyze your data, adjust processes accordingly, and repeat what is working well.

How PSA Software Simplifies The Month-End Close

How PSA Software Simplifies The Month-End Close

At Klient, we speak to professional services organizations of all sizes day in and day out. By doing so, we’re no strangers to hearing about the many day-to-day challenges that services businesses are facing and striving to overcome.

One such frequently-raised issue has to do with month-end close. Or more specifically, the fact that month-end close isn’t always happening by month-end. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some companies to finish closing their month 2-4 weeks after the month has finished.

What is the problem with a late month-end close?

Just because it’s common for companies to have a late month-end close, doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges that this presents for the success of the business.

By closing month-end late, the efficiency of the business is affected in several ways:

1. Invoicing

Firstly, it makes it difficult to send out accurate invoices promptly. And if you don’t send out invoices, you are not going to get paid. The payment terms start from the day the invoice is received – so you are compounding the problem of late payment. Adding a month to what may already be a 60-day cycle affects cash flow. That means you don’t have that money available to invest and scale – it may also mean you have to borrow money, which creates an unnecessary cost for the business.

2. Compliance

If you are leaving periods open – or worse still, reopening them after closing them, it is difficult to ensure that the data you are relying on to run your business is accurate. This problem is actually compounded if you introduce a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution to automate your business. PSA is an automated system, and it builds revenue forecasts and so on from the data that has been put in. Without accurate and timely data, your forecasting will be shoddy at best.

3. Planning For The Future

The main issue with failing to close periods sharply, is that this affects your ability to look forward. If you don’t get the data from last month until half-way through the next month, that affects your ability to make smart decisions for the future success of your business. Problems get pushed forward and only compound. It also makes it hard to share accurate and timely information with customers and key stakeholders. This affects your ability to build long-term relationships with your clients and increase your repeat business, both of which are important to the future success of your business.

The good news: A PSA solution can simplify month-end close

By adopting a PSA solution, an organization can greatly improve their month-end close process and resolve the aforementioned problems.

Here’s a few ways that PSA can help:

1. All your data in one place, for everyone who needs it

One of the important points to remember here is that your business data is not only the property of the finance team who want to use it for accounting purposes. It is also important for operating the business at every level, meaning your sales and services teams need access to it as well.

With a PSA solution, every team will have access to real-time data that will allow them to do their job as efficiently as possible.

2. PSA simplifies timesheet completion

A well-built PSA solution, like Klient PSA, enables services teams to easily enter their timesheet data anytime, anywhere.

This will empower your services team to keep their timesheets up to date, rather than having to chase your employees at the end of every month to fill in their time, often delaying the month-end close process.

3. PSA helps share responsibility for month-end close across departments

We recommend as good practice sharpening the month-end cadence by getting project managers to help close the weeks. Project managers know what is happening in their engagements. If there is a difference between what was supposed to happen and what has happened, the project manager should be aware of this.

When project managers are responsible for closing the weeks, they will make sure that timesheets are filled in and available. The same goes for milestone dates, resourcing requirements, etc. This all means that closing the month is less onerous and can happen within a day or two of month end.

4. PSA can be integrated with your back-office

We recommend looking for a PSA solution that can be integrated with the solutions that drive your services business. This includes pre-built integration with your back-office accounting or ERP application.

By integrating your PSA with your back-office, you can ensure that invoices and other important billing data makes its way into the accounting application in real-time, enabling your accounting team to collect on outstanding balances efficiently, and close the month in a timely manner.