Should You Switch from Excel to PSA Software? (7 Questions to Ask)

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PSA software is designed to help service organizations with project management and resource management for client projects.

Most service organizations start small. One or two people might run the company for years.

At this stage, it's normal to use pre-existing applications to manage your work.

Word, Excel, Google Docs—these are all common organizational tools for small services companies. It's also common to communicate informally through email, text messages, or chat applications, rather than using a dedicated project management system.

When a services company grows—however—keeping everyone organized becomes a challenge.

For companies that have more than a handful of people, using tools like Word and Excel is almost certainly holding back the team's ability to be productive.

Business owners and executives can usually feel the breakdowns.

If you feel any of the following symptoms, it might be time to think about upgrading from your existing tools to a PSA software system.

1. You're Always Onboarding Someone New (or Thinking About It)

Growth is essential. But it's also a challenge—especially for services companies.

When you're growing, it can be difficult to ensure everyone is following your company's set process for client projects.

Inconsistent processes lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings. Those, in turn, lead to all kinds of problems. Reports might be wrong internally. Or a major sales deals might fall through because no one knew who was supposed to follow up with the prospect and close the deal.

2. You Feel Like You Don't Know What's Going On

When a company has just two or three employees, everyone is involved in every project.

In that context, the company doesn't have to establish communication and reporting processes. Communication happens naturally as the team works on current client projects.

At a bigger company, however, the owner and managers can’t be personally involved with every project or every client.

If your company has grown beyond a few people, you know the pain this can cause. Using clear, easy-to-follow communication and reporting processes and tools are the answer.

3. You're Routinely Surprised by The Work Being Done by Your Employees (Both Good and Bad)

The more people you have working for you, the less you can be involved with each individual person.

That means when something big happens with a client (both good or bad), you might feel a little blindsided by the news. This is a symptom of a growing services company. It's a good thing. But it also means it's probably time to move beyond the communication methods you used when your business was small.

4. You're Overserving Some Clients and Falling Short with Others

Each of your consultants will have a slightly different way of delivering services to your clients. There's nothing wrong with that.

It is a problem—however—if clients feel dramatically over or underserved.

Clients who feel underserved are unlikely to purchase from you again. And they're not likely to recommend your services to others.

Clients who feel overserved can turn into fantastic customers for the long term. But you might find your consultants are spending far more time with that clients than they should be—given the price of the service.

This mismatch between the price paid and value delivered can be just as problematic as underserving a client.

5. You're Hearing Customer Service Complaints

Listen closely when you get a complaint from a client.

Is the complaint about the core service your company sells? Or is it a true customer service complaint?

In other words, is your product the problem? Or are the people who delivered your product the problem?

If it's truly a product issue, address it with your core strategy team.

But usually, client complaints are symptoms of customer service problems. Examples include:

-- Scheduling problems

-- Poor communication/customer didn't know what was going on

-- Services delivered were not the same as the customer thought he or she was purchasing.

These types of customer service complaints are symptoms internal communication breakdowns—exactly the kind PSA software is designed to help resolve.

6. You Review Word and/or Excel Documents in Your Status Meetings

Using Excel or Word means someone has to create, update, and manage your project tracking sheets—manually

When you only have three or four clients, it's fine to keep track of things with an Excel sheet. When you have more than 10 clients, however, tracking everything in Word and Excel will take hours a week. Grow beyond that and you'll probably need a full-time person just to create and manage your reports.

PSA software can create your management reports automatically—no Excel documents needed.

7. You’re Always Worrying About Your Staffing Levels

Finally, services companies are always trying to optimize staffing levels.

There will always be ebbs and flows to the consulting and services business.

Sometimes you'll have consultants who are fully booked for months. Other times you'll have a few that are sitting around watching training videos waiting for a sale to close in their areas.

The problem is knowing when to ramp up your staff or cut back.

If you're constantly worried about staffing levels, it's probably because you're making staffing decisions based on your gut feel of how much work your team has coming in the next few months.

PSA software can greatly simplify this process. It can't make staffing decisions for you of course, but it can give you clear, reliable data about sales trends. By using data instead of your gut, you can decide what sales thresholds justify adding or decreasing staff.

Conclusion

If any of the above symptoms resonated with you, it's probably time to take a look at PSA software for your business.

When implemented correctly, PSA software will make everyone's life better. This is especially true for managers, executives, and CEOs trying to make good business decisions based on real data.

Krow Software's PSA solution will help any company that sells professional services, especially companies already using Salesforce as their CRM.

For details, visit the Krow Software product page.