There is the excitement that every business owner feels when he/she finally realizes the organization has outgrown their disjointed spreadsheets. The excitement stems from the fact that their hard work and growth has led to the need to unite all processes under one program to invest in a Professional Services Automation tool that will organize and account for all your sales, service and financial interactions. For many businesses, the choice to invest in a PSA is a mixture of hope for better internal processes and a desire to establish accountability throughout the organization. Most businesses believe their investment into a PSA will be turn-key, seamless and will bring about a flurry of change that in turn, will create streamlined processes and increased billing. But this is almost never the case.
Looking at Your PSA Implementation Through Rose Colored Glasses
A tool at the end of the day is still just a tool. While CRM, PSA and ERP tools have greatly accelerated a business’s ability to streamline processes, project trends and use report outputs to predict profitability, these tools all share one thing in common: they are only as effective as the data inputs. The disconnect for many small business owners resides in the fact that their own internal processes are underdeveloped, inconsistently executed and/or have never existed. Without solid processes, good leadership and a commitment from everyone in the organization (including the business owner), the implementation of a PSA can only bring confusion and frustration.
Internal Deterrents that Erode Your PSA Investment
- The “Managing” Business Owner(s)
A PSA is for the implementation of business processes into an automated environment. Most of the processes in place were probably written by the owner themselves. Many owners hope that the investment into a PSA will allow them to manage the process rather than participate in the day-to-day execution of that process. The hope and (false expectation) is that the PSA as a tool may provide desired processes and best practices that staff will be able to absorb and adopt into their current workload. Consequently, many owners expect the tool to absorb the processes they built in the past into a new system that will provide greater clarity and efficiency. The reality is that tools like Connectwise are designed around a set of software rules and designated roles of accountability that unless entered properly into the PSA will system will not be able to provide the reports and output expected. New processes are required and the leadership to build those processes begins with the owner.
- The Belief that the PSA is Turn-key.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Most businesses operate behind a veil of chaos. As your business grows, so does the lack of documented and well-communicated processes. Often, we are busy working in the business and fail to embrace the time to work on the business. As a result, the hope and belief that a Professional Services Automation tool like Connectwise, Autotask or SalesForce gives hope to process, order and data that will help you, as a business leader make better decisions. Each of these tools promises greater productivity, increased sales, and faster billing. What they don’t promise is to adapt to your environment. In fact, each of these tools expects you to adapt to the way they are designed and coded to perform. Going into this investment with the expectation that it is turn-key usually means that you drank the marketing Kool-Aid and will have to invest time into building out your processes.
- Failure to Adopt.
Failure to adopt is the last and biggest barrier to getting the most out of your PSA investment. Change is hard and is often resisted. Once the shock of a PSA system not being “turn-key” wears off, the reality sets in and the team realize that they must evolve their processes to fit into the PSA. Without clear leadership and outside consulting to guide the processes, we often see what we call the “Cascading Effect” …
…and the power of the PSA vanishes without the data that drives critical decision making.
If you are still reading this it is likely that you relate to some or all of what is being written. Read our next blog on 3 Features that Must Be Implemented to Be Profitable.
Need help implementing and utilizing your ConnectWise investment? Your Professional Services Automation (PSA) package is your most important business investment. No one knows your PSA like we do. With 100’s of ConnectWise implementations and 1000’s of hours spent configuring, customizing, and mastering, we are the most experienced integrators in the world. We have traveled the world physically and remotely helping IT and MSP Providers gain every ounce of value out of their investment.
We can help you jump start your use of ConnectWise or help you with that final push to discover its full potential. Schedule a time to talk. Schedule a time to talk.