Choosing PSA Software For Your Business: 5 things To Look For
The ingredients to becoming part of successful services firms in the 20th century have changed drastically. When studying for a degree in finance, people often look at things like the difference between an accounting vs finance degree, what kinds of jobs they can land after graduation, and so on to become a linchpin and stand out in the workplace. But technology is rapidly changing industries, separating those who add value to the workplace and those that drown in the crowd. To stand out in today’s hyper-competitive workforce, understanding these technological advances can be a great edge.
One kind of software that’s changing the service industry landscape is professional service automation, a tech-based sector that has quietly grown into an $877.93 million industry in record time. PSA or Professional Service Automation is a term not many people in the consulting or agency sphere have heard of yet, but it has been growing in popularity. Understanding it and knowing how it can help a firm or business will bring a competitive advantage. What is PSA software and how does it work?
Mainly, PSA tools help firms and agencies work more efficiently. It brings together a suite of features that allows for better collaboration and execution by automating repetitive tasks like notification, information dissemination, billing, and so on.
What to Look for in Professional Service Automation Tools
By looking at some PSA software examples, it’s hard to determine what makes the best professional service automation solution. The context around applying PSA tools in a firm or agency may vary depending on the kind of service a company provides, size of the firm, affinity to tech, and many other factors. But there are some deliberations that should be present in PSA tools when applying them.
Here are some features you must watch out for if you plan to deploy PSA software in your organization.
1. Integrated CRM Pipeline
When implementing a PSA solution, one must-have is a CRM or client relationship manager. This feature gives users a pipeline or workflow, allowing them to see what part of the journey a potential client might be in and assign tasks to each that are necessary to turn them into clients. The best PSA software will have a CRM pipeline that helps staff track lead acquisition. It provides a place to log important notes to return to when hopping on follow-up calls with these clients.
A good CRM should be easy to use and have a customizable journey. This ensures that firms can lead prospective clients through a process that will leave a lasting impression. This kind of experience has a higher chance of closing the deal.
2. Billing and Invoicing
Any growing consultancy firm should try to lower its amount of accounts receivables. It’s often a growing pain in the service industry to have collectibles that fall through the cracks because someone failed to follow up on an invoice or retainer fee. A PSA solution automates that process by putting automatic alerts when a payment goes overdue. It also sends a templated follow-up email to the client to remind them of their overdue payment
A PSA solution’s billing and invoicing capability must also have a dashboard to view all past payments so that the company has a log of transactions with every client that they can refer back to.
3. Task and Project Management
A PSA solution should also help with a firm or agency’s project and task management activities. As your business grows, you will also have to increase your overhead, particularly your human resources. In turn, your processes need to be adjusted to organize the flow of your projects and ensure you can maintain your operational and strategic goals.
Professional services automation software can streamline project management by providing features such as time trackers, project timeline dashboards, task lists, and project calendars.
Ensure that all project managers and team leads in your organization use these task and project management dashboards to have one place where deliverables and completed tasks go.
4. Analytics and Reporting
The key to growing a firm is understanding where your company’s resources go — that includes manpower work hours, finances, and other assets your company might have. You will need an analytics dashboard that integrates various parameters to track variables like expenses, personnel work hours, project completion rates, customer retention, and other tools which help you stay on top of your processes.
A PSA tool should help with standardizing firm practices by providing an analytics and reporting dashboard that will give partners, stakeholders, and managers a glimpse of the company’s performance through measurables.
5. Mobile Responsiveness
Another of the more necessary Professional Services Automation software requirements is to either have a mobile-responsive website or a mobile app. Most firm employees today will do some level of work on a mobile device, like updating tasks, adding leads, or accessing files and contact information. A PSA software that adapts to smaller devices allows teams to be mobile and flexible, working when they’re on the go.
Remote Work in Professional Services
In the next five years, managers believe that 26.7% of employees will be working virtually. PSA tools will allow for that flexibility as firms and agencies adapt to the remote work lifestyle. Using digital solutions will not only allow your team the ability to telecommute but will set your company up for future growth by allowing it to stay relevant in the changing work landscape post-digital disruption.