5 Best Ways to Use Salesforce for Professional Services Automation (PSA)

Professional Services Automation is taking mundane or inefficient processes in the services industry and bringing them into the future. PSA helps you complete tasks better and faster than ever before by digitizing and automating different stages of a product or sales life cycle. Salesforce itself is the perfect platform to allow for professional services automation at multiple levels. Here are 6 ways you can use Salesforce for Professional Services Automation to start completing projects of high quality more successfully today.

Manage Your and Your Team’s Calendar With Ease

If you haven’t digitized your calendar management needs, your team is making scheduling and keeping track of events much harder than it has to be. A digital, collaborative calendar is almost vital today, as everyone has their own busy schedule yet meetings and events still need their participation. To help, Salesforce offers their own calendar feature that lets you track meetings with clients, team members, manage events, and more. You can sync your Google calendar with Salesforce to ensure that your calendars are always accurate and up to date too. With integrated calendars, information related to events will be consolidated in Salesforce allowing for reps to avoid switching back and forth between systems to try and find missing information. This saves time and headache for all parties involved.

Professional Services Automation

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Automate Time-Tracking and Keep It All In One Place

Time-Tracking is an important but pesky task to remember to do. There are many different tools that will help you automatically track time as you work, but having a tracker actually integrated into Salesforce would save you time hopping between apps and cause less confusion down the line by keeping all information tracked in one spot. Although Salesforce itself does not have a time-tracking feature, project management app Inspire Planner does. Inspire Planner natively integrates with Salesforce and runs with the platform, allowing you to utilize the time-tracking feature to compare “Actual” time spent on projects with “Estimated” and see the difference. Automating time tracking and keeping the recorded information all in one place will help you actually track time and use the results effectively.

Upgrade Your Project Management Process

Project management is a large part of professional services automation. By digitizing project management stages all in one spot, you are making all of the data and information centralized. This will allow the right people to have immediate access to the information they need at any point in time. Utilizing professional services automation software geared toward project management will also help you save time as you will be able to track a project’s lifecycle and see where bottlenecks are. Using this information, with future projects, you will be able to practice risk mitigation and only increase the success rate of your projects. Although Salesforce itself doesn’t offer native project management features, there are many different project management apps that do fully integrate with Salesforce which can fill this void.

Manage Documents With Salesforce Files

Paper documents are a thing of the past, yet so many firms still rely on them. With Salesforce, you can step into the future with robust digital document management using Salesforce Files.

Files allow you and your team to collaborate and share documents easier than ever before. The documents can be made public or private to different Users, as well as can be “followed” so you never miss out on an update. You can even use Version Control to see how many past versions of a file exist and ensure files are always up to date. Using Salesforce files to automate your document management process will make you and your teams’ lives easier and you’ll never lose or accidentally delete an important document ever again!

Professional Services Automation

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It’s a CRM! Reach Clients Quickly And Easily

Salesforce is a CRM – a Customer Relationship Management System. Their main focus is on customers and clients. Having a CRM is a vital piece when making the most out of professional services automation software. Salesforce enables Users to reach clients quickly and easily through the different ways to track information. With field options to track email address, street address, phone numbers, and more, you will always have a way to reach your client. Additionally, you can track all messages between a User and a client on a client’s Salesforce record.

Inspire Planner is a user-friendly project management app for Salesforce

4 Ways Custom Salesforce Fields Can Keep Your Data Clean

Salesforce Fields are the building blocks to data tracking in Salesforce. There are two main types of fields in Salesforce: Standard Fields that come already pre-built into Salesforce and Custom Fields that you build yourself to track any specific data you want regarding your customers, sales, team, and more. There are over 20 custom field types to pick from, ensuring that you can customize your Salesforce org exactly how you need to. However, an important but sometimes overlooked function of custom fields is that they can help keep your data clean and error free. Clean data is vital to any business that wants to have accurate business predictions, complete more projects successfully, and run smoothly in general. Here are 4 ways that you can use Salesforce custom fields to keep your data clean and minimize human error.

Use Picklist Fields to Restrict Values

Picklist fields are one of the simplest yet most effective ways to ensure that only clean and accurate data ends up in Salesforce. Picklist fields consist of a list of pre-created values that a User picks from to populate a field. The user cannot write their own values in; they must select from the list. Picklist fields are easy to create and since Users cannot write in their own values, the field stays consistent and error free!

There are different types of picklist fields:

Local Picklists have a set of values unique to just that picklist field. Shared Picklists can be populated with values from a global picklist value set. You define these values in Setup. Finally, Multi-Select picklists can contain more than one value. You should create your picklist field keeping these different field types in mind so that you pick the type that suits your business need best.

Salesforce Fields

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Use A Checkbox To Answer Yes/No Fields

If you have a field and the value should only be answered with a “Yes” or “No”, change that field to a checkbox field ASAP! Checkbox fields can only be checked or unchecked, which correlates directly to a “Yes” or “No” (or a “True” or “False” when filtering). By using checkbox fields, you’ll take out any human error that comes along with having to input “Yes” or “No” text directly into a field. For example, Users may input a negative answer to a field by using text like “No”, “no”, “False”, “Incorrect” and more. Too many different negative answers will make actions like reporting hard. If you wanted to see every record with that field answered with a negative term, based on the above example, you’d likely miss some records by not knowing how exactly each User marks the field as negative. Checkbox fields will make your life easier by restricting your Users’ data inputs and keeping messy data out of your Salesforce org.

Salesforce Fields

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Automatic Formatting Will Save You From Headaches

Many custom fields automatically ensure that field value inputs can only be recorded in a certain format specified. This ensures data cleanliness and prevents for future confusion. For example, you do not want your Users entering a Time field with both 12 hour time and military/24 hour time. This can lead to misinterpretation in the data, such as whether or not the field referring to 9 am or 9 pm. Other than time fields, fields that have automatic formats include:

  • Currency Fields
  • Date Fields
  • Names
  • Phone Numbers
  • Times

The formats for all of these fields can be changed in your Locale settings.

Salesforce Fields

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Hide Unused Fields With Profiles or Page Layouts

When you have a lot of information to track, you may find yourself in a situation where one object has a large number of fields. If you have many different fields that not all Users need to have access to, you should hide those fields from them. This will keep Users from getting overloaded by seeing too much information on a single record. It will also help prevent Users from accidentally filling out the wrong field. One way to hide a field from a User is by removing it from the page layout that the User sees. A User will not see that field on a record, BUT they are still able to see the field and its values in other places in Salesforce, like in reports. You can also use field level security to control User access by hiding the field from the Profile of the User. Then, that User and all Users with the same Profile will not be able to see that field on records or in other places in Salesforce.

Determine If Your Custom Fields Are Underutilized

Even though custom fields can help you have better data, having too many isn’t great. Unused fields can confuse Users and take up extra space on page layouts that could instead be used for important information. Additionally, there are limits as to how many custom fields you can have on an object, depending on your Salesforce edition:

Salesforce Fields

This means that unused fields could potentially be taking the place of other fields that may track more important information. Luckily, there is a Salesforce app called Field Trip that allows you to create reports of all of the fields in your Salesforce org by the object and see if they are or aren’t being utilized. You can see statistics like when the field was last touched and on what percent of records is the field actually populated. After running the report, you can determine which fields you don’t truly need, delete them, and free up space for actual important data tracking. This helps to keep your data cleaner as deleting the fields will, in turn, get rid of extra saved data that you don’t actually need.

Inspire Planner is a user-friendly project management app for Salesforce