Before you buy professional services automation (PSA) software, you need to identify the available solutions and draw up a shortlist of your best options.
Test driving every candidate would be a waste of your resources, so you’ll want to narrow the field as much as possible before you request a detailed software demo or proposal.
Here’s a rundown of the 4 key criteria for choosing the right PSA software to suit your business.
Do you want a customisable solution? Bespoke or customised PSA software can be designed to precisely meet your needs, and may be easier to adapt to the ongoing evolution of your business.
How important is it to have access to your PSA software via the internet or on the move? Cloud PSA solutions may be convenient if your team spends a lot of time out of the office, and you might want to check the mobile device experience offered by your shortlisted options.
Integration is a key issue with PSA software, so find out how well each candidate works with other technologies you use or expect to use in the future.
List the features and capabilities that are most important to your business, then look for technology that provides everything on your checklist.
2. Intended Use
What to do you want your PSA software to do for you? Options range from simple time tracking and project management to full-featured analytics and customer relationship management.
Who’ll be the end users of the PSA software you choose? Will it be deployed enterprise-wide, or only in specific departments? How scalable a solution do you need? It’s important to grasp not only how the new software will be used, but also much process change is involved and how this affects the end user.
Before you get involved with demo sessions or trial accounts, decide on a few specific application must-haves. Then you can ask for a discussion or demonstration of how those needs will be met.
3. Vendor or Service Provider
Check your vendor’s reputation. An impressive website is no guarantee of implementation success, so examine their track record and verify references independently by requesting direct communication with the source.
The vendor’s fit with your company culture is important, too, so strike from your shortlist any candidates that don’t mesh well with your company values.
Implementation and maintenance budgets for the technology; training budgets for the intended users; ongoing subscription costs for SaaS solutions; immediate expenditure for licensed software and associated hardware…
Your budget is the ultimate constraint on your PSA software selection, so filter out unaffordable options immediately and be wary of options at the upper limit of your budget.
Price may be the ultimate constraint, but that doesn’t make it the ultimate deciding factor. Consider the relative value of your shortlisted options carefully, as ease of use and fitness for your purposes are just as relevant as price to your return on investment.
Once you’ve established your needs with regard to technology, intended use, provider and budget, eliminating all but the most suitable options should be simple. The next step is to take a free trial or request a live demo so that you can explore your top candidate in greater depth.