Are you and your team spending too much time on unimportant tasks? Whether you're inputting financial information or tracking client communication, you can’t afford to waste too much time on administrative work. Luckily, you have options that will help you automate much of that work.
The professional services automation industry is growing at a rapid pace. It’s expected to reach a market size of $1.6 trillion by 2026. That means you have plenty of options when finding a product to handle the job.
Of course, that also means that you’ll need to do the work to find the best professional services automation system for your business. Below are seven tips that will help you choose a professional services automation system.
You have a lot of options when looking for professional services automation software. Even if many automation services provide similar features, each will most likely have something that sets it apart from the others. The question is, which one of those features will make the most significant impact on your company?
Before you start your search, make a list of every essential feature you want in your software. Once you have this list, compare those features to the feature lists of your options.
The next thing to consider is your future requirements. Your company will grow and you need your automation software to grow along with it. Look for software that will scale with your company in the future.
Running a business requires a lot of software. While this greatly improves productivity, it does come with a few problems. One of the biggest concerns is transferring data from one piece of software to another one.
Most professional service automation systems can integrate with the other software you use. Look at the integration list of a software package before you decide to try it. You will want it to connect with whatever business applications you use in order to help your automation software run better.
Even if a piece of software doesn't have the integration you need, it might be possible to develop a custom integration for your company. You can look into the cost of hiring a developer to see if it's a project worth pursuing.
If the automation program you choose doesn't have great training material, you'll spend extra time trying to learn the program. Look at the documentation of your product choices to see how detailed the instructions are.
You will want to find tutorials for every part of the software. If a company doesn't care enough to inform their users how to use their software, how can you expect them to provide excellent customer service?
A big part of running a business is teamwork, which means that your employees need to collaborate. The same is true when you use an automation system for your professional services.
Look into the communication capabilities of an automation system before you buy. Your system should provide your team with an easy way to work together.
Your need for collaboration is even more critical if you're looking for the best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for professional services automation. A salesperson doesn't work with clients on their own. Your sales system won't work if your CRM automation system doesn't let your team communicate well.
Reporting is one thing that many businesses view as a task they have to do instead of something they want to do. That's because creating reports can easily eat up a lot of time and energy if you aren't using a professional services automation system.
When choosing your software, look at the reporting tool available. Find out if it offers the type of reports needed for your business, and see just how simple it will be to use.
It's also smart to see if your system lets you create custom reports. You might have a specific insight you want to see in your data. A custom reporting system will let you pull any data and view it however you need.
Do you have employees that spend a lot of time on the road or working remotely? If so, it can be challenging for them to get updates from your automation system when they don't have a mobile-friendly version of your software.
Make sure your automation software has a mobile app that works for everyone. It should run smoothly for all mobile devices. This makes it possible for your team to access the data they need anywhere there's a reliable internet connection.
In a world filled with cloud apps, it's easy to forget that not every piece of software runs in the cloud. Whether it's because of security concerns or a need to control their own data, some companies will decide to host their automation system in-house.
The question is, which type of deployment do you prefer? Hosting your software in the office does give you more control, but there are also more up-front costs. You'll need someone available to get your system up and running and keep everything maintained.
A cloud solution, on the other hand, is available right away. Your provider does the hard work of maintaining their software themselves so you can work without any extra hassle.
Finding a reliable professional service automation system is essential to stay in the game in the professional services market. These systems won't only handle a lot of the manual work your team does but will also free up time for your employees to work on more critical projects.
If you’re looking for an automation system for your professional services, Accelo can help. Sign up for a free trial to start exploring everything Accelo can offer your business.