If you run an owner-managed business, who dabbles with accounts and also runs the operation, this probably won’t matter to you, as you wear all the hats.
On the other hand, if these hats belong to separate individuals, the process of winning new business can prove a challenge.
Let’s break the problem down into its parts:
- If this is a new customer, they need to be set-up in possibly a number of different systems and depending on how you control customer data, maybe a number of different times, done by different people
- If this is a service contract, the terms will need to be modelled somewhere, possibly a spreadsheet if you don’t have a mature flexible contract modelling system. The terms stated on the order will need to be recorded correctly - great if you have standard terms, a nightmare if the sales team bent the rules to deliver the order
- Pricing will also need to be modelled and invoices raised
- The contract will need to be configured in your service desk software, together with any SLAs that are applicable. If it’s a pre-payment fund, that will also need to be set-up in your PSA tool
- The customer will also need to be included in the system you record time against
So, as a minimum, 2 or more people will be involved in getting the customer ready to actually become a customer once an order has been signed. This is all without any consideration of purchase orders - requiring modelling somewhere else.
Meanwhile the sales person is off hunting new business.
Non-transactional CRM systems do this to your business. They are great at reminding sales people to call leads and for showing activity. They can even prove useful for delivering pipeline reporting. But, when you analyse it, they do nothing to help your business “flow” as at the end of the day, everything needs retyping in one or more systems once the work has been won.
On a perfect day, this is all fine: everyone does what they need to do to set the customer up correctly and off you go. But when people are on holiday, or engaged in solving some crisis or other things can get forgotten or set-up incorrectly. This can lead to lost productivity, missed or late billing, new customers getting upset when not recognised etc.
Surely no one would chose to work this way. It’s inefficient, error prone and a waste of valuable staff time. People only work this way as they believe there is no choice…
But they're wrong! Harmony models the complete flow from sales through operations to finance without any re-typing. Data is added only as and when it is needed to progress business. With Harmony there is no hand-off because the information never leaves the system and notifications alert people to the small amount of set-up required to process an order.
You have a choice. Choose the better way.
About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. HBS is an independent company based in the UK. Follow HarmonyPSA on Twitter or LinkedIn