Updated: Nov 16
Precursive is a solution developed with Salesforce for Professional Services Automation (PSA). Before we get into this, here's a quick definition of Professional Services Automation.
WHAT IS SALESFORCE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AUTOMATION?
Professional Services Automation, also known as PSA, refers to software that aids project and services delivery processes. It is designed for businesses that rely on such services as a primary driver of revenue, providing a real-time overview to manage workload and monitor the health of the business.
Typical elements of Professional Services Automation (PSA) include but are not limited to:
WHY YOU SHOULD USE SALESFORCE FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AUTOMATION (PSA) TOOL
By using Salesforce as the basis for your Professional Services Automation you can streamline your workflows and organize your data into a single manageable system, helping your business to increase its efficiency and optimize its organizational structure.
Do Professional Services (PS) form a large part of your product and/or service? When your business scales, the teams managing those services will inevitably require a tool that connects to their data so they can collaborate effectively with each other and their customers. Read more about customer collaboration and why it is important to your business. Typically in early-stage businesses, this will be managed in spreadsheets.
By moving out of spreadsheets and into a Salesforce native PSA tool, you can automate key components of your PS delivery and manage workload, capacity and KPIs in real-time and in a systematic fashion.
So, you understand how a single source of truth can help you refine your PS delivery, but what makes Salesforce the most strategic and intelligent choice of platform for your PSA?
1. SALESFORCE IS ALREADY YOUR CRM SYSTEM
No surprises here. You're most likely to be interested in adopting Salesforce Professional Services Automation tools if you're already using the Salesforce platform. Given that Salesforce have upwards of a 19% market share, over double that of its nearest competitor, it's very likely that you are already using Salesforce as your CRM system.
If you are already using Salesforce then we recommend adopting the Salesforce-native PSA tool as it can more easily integrate with your existing system, meaning it can support your needs better and more quickly. The beauty of a PSA tool like Precursive is that it aligns symbiotically with Salesforce tools so there’s no doubling up on features and information passes seamlessly from one to the other.
By adopting a tool that plugs into your existing CRM you can easily connect your data so the silos between teams are reduced or eliminated, and customer demands are captured effectively in one place.
2. GANTT / CALENDAR / RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
When scaling up a business you need the right tools and resource management plays a crucial role. The calendar apps of this world simply don’t reach the required standard when it comes to the wider features that our Salesforce professional services automation tool can offer:
Go beyond scheduling and task management with features that map your forecast work versus your actuals for effective workload planning.
Monitor and fix capacity and skill gaps ahead of time so you can plug them effectively.
Give managers access to a real-time view of work so they can recognize burnout before it happens.
Let managers identify free space within their team's time and quickly find the right expertise in the business. By automatically assigning the right team members to each task, Salesforce PSA can ensure that any issues are dealt with quickly and that all work is done to the highest standard.
An easy-to-use and interactive Gantt view and the calendar now works for you and your project.
3. PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Not just project management but managing multiple projects. As you scale, that spreadsheet you relied on so much in the early years will have to evolve. The automation tools in Salesforce PSA will provide that high-level overview of all your projects, meaning you can handle an increased workload and manage in-project dependencies and KPIs with customer data being fed from Salesforce (so you only have to enter it once). With customer, resourcing and project data all managed in one system, those dependencies will be tracked and monitored by every stakeholder so that no one is left out of the loop.
4. COST TRACKING
It’s easy for projects to go off the rails through inadequate management and this can lead to delays, the undoing or redoing of work and providing free services. Therefore costs can spiral upwards and the profitability of your project starts to spiral downwards. Salesforce professional services automation tools can not only identify these risks (even as early as the scoping phase) but also track performance to monetary goals.
Having a cost wrapper across people, time and materials (T&M) and further factors important to your stakeholders means you’ll be on top of metrics like time-to-money. Plus, with pre-built rate-cards like those in our PSA software, no time is lost on spinning up a project budget dashboard. There are also hidden costs you’ll want to track like billable versus non-billable. With PSA plus Salesforce you can map these costs in from the opportunity stage.
5. GET OUT OF SPREADSHEETS
Spreadsheets aren’t just clunky and slow, they are behind the project curve. They rely on constant and manual inputs to be operative and often provide a static, singular view of the project that has to be fed by other systems. With spreadsheets, you’ll never get a truly comprehensive view of your workload, your people, your costs or your effectiveness - and they also take considerable time and effort to maintain. As your organization uses Salesforce, you’ve already exited spreadsheets in favor of a CRM system - why not do the same for your Professional Services?
6. TIME TRACKING WITH SALESFORCE PSA
Put simply, if you’re not using an automation software here, the process of time tracking is incredibly time-consuming, with accuracy likely also being an issue. PSA in Salesforce can automatically map hours worked into pre-populated timesheets and further templates can adapt to the way you measure time in the business. This system works across forecasting, planning and execution to the eventual submission; the time data can run through the whole project from pre-sales to delivery. By making these processes automatic you no longer have to rely on your employees manually filling out their own time sheets or registers. Instead, the data is ready to view at any time so you can have an accurate view of your entire workforce’s time tracking in an instant. For more help with time tracking, you can read our blog on the top ten time management apps.
If you’d like to understand more about Precursive Professional Services Automation Tools, book a demo with one of our experts here. Our Precursive Playbook, Traditional Services Delivery is Dead, profiles how high-velocity services teams are driving value for the customers.