Professional Services Automation (PSA) software has lived at the heart of service business for decades, but it’s plagued by a number of major shortcomings that stunt growth and prevent profitability. These products are overpriced, hard to use, and rely on consistently inconsistent professionals to enter data. But these people in service businesses – skilled, expensive people – have better things to do than update databases, copy and paste emails, or do any of the other painful things that PSA technology forces people to do.
The solution? Service Operations Automation (or ServOps for short), which was born out of a common frustration with inefficient software. It is different, smarter and better than PSA software because it embraces your creative, chaotic reality and works for you – not against you.
In order to fully understand ServOps technology, take a moment and think back to the time you started your service business – be it a digital agency, consulting firm, or accounting practice – what did you imagine you’d be doing with your time? Designing websites? Developing software? Leading workshops? You were likely daydreaming about doing this kind of work you love: the work that generates revenue. But as you began to grow, where did that time go? It was probably spent doing the work you really don’t like, or heck, work you hate! This includes tasks like manually updating client records, filling out timesheets, and making sure your team is doing the right thing at the right time. Why? Because PSA software has failed you. That is, until now.
Introducing Service Operations Automation
The most efficient way to run, scale, and automate your service operations with ease. The ubiquity of the cloud created an opening for this new category of technology, which runs the delivery and operations function of a service business or team. ServOps is optimized to meet the specific needs of service businesses and brings together client management, sales & quoting, project management, service tickets, retainers, timesheets, expenses, and purchases & invoicing into one integrated platform to run all of your client facing, revenue-generating work, and service operations.
In effect, ServOps helps you scale and recover majority of the lost revenue and time that’s being wasted on inefficient tools.
By uniting your team, clients, and data in one place, understanding the health of your business becomes a simple task. Answering common questions like “what happened today?” or “what do we need to do now?” will no longer take hours or days, and the time you would have previously spent searching for those answers can now be spent doing revenue generating work. To further save time, seamlessly integrate your ServOps platform with the tools you’re already using–your Sales & Marketing tools like Hubspot & Salesforce and your Finance & Accounting systems like Xero and Quickbooks–so that you can deliver great client work and manage your operations all from the same place.
Everything in one place
If you’re someone who is using a separate tool for sales, another for time tracking, a third for invoicing, and a CRM and PSA on top of all of that, then it might be time to consider implementing a ServOps solution that unites everything from prospect through to payment in one platform.
With ServOps, selling is as easy as A-B-C. You can set your own workflows based on the various stages of the sales process – such as lead, qualified, won or lost – and progress your clients seamlessly through each status. More importantly, you can see all the communication that’s ever been made between you and your clients in one Team Inbox without having to login to your email account or CRM.
From within the same dashboard, you can automatically send a quote to your client with just one click and get notified every time they interact with it. If you’re someone who likes to change up the look and feel of your quotes, you can do that too, because a ServOps system lets you easily customize your quotes – roll-up line items, hide certain details like rates, hours or materials, and set an expiration date – giving you complete control over what your clients see.
For the sake of this debate, let’s assume that the previous quote was approved and it was your job to convert it into a project using your existing tech stack. How long would that take? With a ServOps system it literally takes seconds because you can go from a sale, to quote, to project in just a few clicks. With intelligent project management software you can create flexible project timelines using drag and drop gantt charts, forecast profitability, and monitor budgets, in real-time. From the same dashboard, you can even assign or reassign work you no longer have time for to someone on your team who does, based on their their schedule, skillset, or division, to ensure all of your projects stay on track.
But because each project comes with it’s own set of unique challenges, a ServOps system is built to handle change. With intelligent triggers you’ll get notified whenever a project looks like its going off track to prevent busting your budget before it’s too late. Then, once all the work is said and done, the last thing to do is bill for that work, and with a ServOps platform billing is a breeze.
Instead of having to jump out of your PSA and into a separate accounting tool, you’ll be able to bill from the same place you’ve been working out of… and the options are endless! You can bill at the start of a project, in the end, by percentage, hourly rate, or by a fixed retainer fee. You can even template retainers and reuse them for clients whom you do similar work for on an ongoing basis so that you spend less time configuring workflows and more time doing the work you love!
Tara Callinan is a Marketing, Content and Communications strategist at Accelo, the Service Operations Automation platform for growing businesses and teams. Tara is passionate about multi-platform content creation and getting professionals back to doing the work they love! If you’re ready to learn more about the power of ServOps technology and start driving your business forward with ease, click here to start your free trial of Accelo today and see the benefits in motion.