Is it time for your agency to switch to PSA tools?
by René de Jong on December 24, 2021
Updated on February 22, 2023
Marketing agencies have tons of tasks to balance on the daily. Between managing projects, clients, sales pipelines, resources, and finances, those lucrative billable hours can easily get lost in the shuffle.
If you’re experiencing friction, bottlenecks, or silos with your current tech stack, it may be time for a change.
That’s where PSA tools come in.
PSA tools are geared toward the professional services industry, so they address common problems and provide intelligent solutions that more basic project management platforms won’t.
We’ll explain what PSA software is, the common project management conundrums it addresses, and the benefits for digital marketing agencies. That way, you can see if switching to a PSA tool may be the right move for you and your organization.
What is PSA software?
The ‘PSA’ in PSA software stands for Professional Services Automation. That means that PSA software will inherently automate much of your processes to help you get a leg up on efficiency.
The overall purpose behind PSA tools is to organize and bring to light all facets of project management for the professional services industry. This way, marketing agencies and other professional service firms can get a better grip on the moving parts they have to deal with to run the business.
PSA software provides solutions that leverage automation, when applicable, to help marketing agencies manage:
Whereas you can go out and find a separate solution to deal with each segment of your project management, PSA solutions are more holistic in nature.
PSA software serves organizations like marketing agencies, IT firms, and more by streamlining processes in the digital environment. Because these tools leverage automation, they tend to keep more of your data in one place, so that they can ‘learn’ and become ‘smarter’ to give you more of an edge on productivity and profitability. In short, PSA software helps agencies cut costs and increase their billability, aka revenue.
How do digital marketing agencies use PSA software?
Marketing agencies specifically are apt to benefit from PSA software to help promote operational efficiency, especially for globalized and/or remote teams. These businesses leverage PSA software to automate the entire customer lifecycle, so no stone is left unturned.
From time tracking and sales, to project management and resource planning, PSA software keeps it all together under one digital roof. Especially when paired with a powerful CRM for marketing and sales, PSA tools help agencies uncover new revenue opportunities by streamlining processes and offering two-way integrations with other tools.
Benefits of PSA software
To state the obvious, challenges abound with agency project management and connecting teams. It’s imperative to engage in efficient and profitable work, without losing sight of the big picture. Luckily, that’s exactly what PSA software is designed to do. Check out the more obvious benefits of adopting a PSA tool:
With real-time updates, anyone on the team can easily see where their coworkers are on a project. Everyone who needs to can see the overview of a project, including the status and what tasks are needed in the appropriate timeline. PSA tools are perfect for remote teams and asynchronous work, since everyone can more easily be kept on task and in-the-know about important updates.
Less administrative work
Menial-but-necessary admin tasks add up fast. Manually entering invoices, hours, etc. takes up a lot of time; it’s costly and can quickly get overwhelming without a solution in place. Plus, things can easily fall through the cracks.
What we’ve seen is that small startups that begin with manual invoicing realize relatively soon that some kind of invoice management needs to be in place. Otherwise, it’s a pain to set up a ton of alerts and keep track of what’s been paid, not to mention what’s been paid correctly. As a business grows and scales, it takes on new customers. More payments are going in and out, and it’s frankly dangerous not to have your invoices in a secure digital environment.
Why not make things easier? In addition to invoicing, PSA software can automate a lot of admin processes for you, freeing up more time and energy for you to grow and scale your business.
Effective resource management
Bottlenecks and burn out can easily take over an agency. The #1 way out is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Enter resource management courtesy of a PSA tool.
Not all project management software solutions offer resource management. But PSA tools almost always include resource management with a slew of tools that can help you dial-in on your team’s billable utilization, the profitability of your projects, and more.
When you know exactly how your resources are being allocated, you can ensure no one person is taking the majority of the work. PSA tools offer capacity planning that is automatically updated in real time, so you’ll be able to see for yourself if someone is overwhelmed or could use a little more work.
You can also make certain work isn’t getting stuck at critical stages throughout the process. This is the kind of constant visibility into the life of your projects that PSA software is designed to provide.
Increased visibility and control
Information with global marketing teams can easily get siloed. Therefore, things become less and less transparent the deeper the silo goes. What’s going on with each team gets stuck with one team or in one software platform and often stays there. This creates a ton of miscommunication and makes it harder for teams to collaborate effectively.
To solve the problem, PSA software provides a singular point of info with real-time updates that let you see your entire organization. With a dramatically higher level of transparency, business leaders and managers can pinpoint weaknesses and address them quickly.
Also, one of the features that gives PSA tools their technological prowess is their analytics capabilities. Most PSA tools will let you easily create reports for the information you want to see and splash your metrics on custom dashboards. No matter what you want to keep your eye on, PSA tools provide you the analytic capability and metrics you want to look at and puts them in a quickly digestible visual.
Better business decisions
More transparency means better decision-making. Making business decisions as a leader of an agency is a big deal, and you can’t just trust your gut or go on incomplete data. Increased visibility with a PSA tool means that project managers and team members alike can make better decisions thanks to the available insights, particularly concerning time tracking and budget.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed with projects that end up being huge but aren’t actually that profitable for your team in the end. It’s really important to do a profitability analysis for your projects/service contracts to figure out your profit margins. You can go about that on your own with a spreadsheet, but a lot of PSA tools already provide these metrics for you with integrated data and their powerful analytics.
Plus, PSA tools can automatically track your project profitability over time. This empowers managers and owners to quickly spot when profitability is lower than it should be. Or inversely, if profitability is increasing, these roles can reflect on what’s going right for the agency and how they can maximize the positive momentum.
Last, when you can properly forecast your resources and timelines with PSA tools, you can make budget estimates that allow you to stay profitable. Visibility alongside better resource management from PSA software empowers you to see what projects you have that are the most profitable for your team. This means better future decisions for your sales department and your creative team.
PSA tools can help your agency do more!
If any of the frustrations we discussed here sound familiar, and/or the benefits are what you want, PSA tools may be a lucrative fit for your marketing agency. A global leader in the PSA software space, PSOhub integrates with the tools you already use and ensures a smoother transition between sales and project management. PSOhub is now in over 40 countries around the world and continues to make their solution better with updates and new features based on user feedback.
And you can try it out for FREE, so there’s nothing to lose :)