How to choose the right PSA tool for your SMB needs


It’s never too early to get a PSA tool for your small business. Here’s how to get the right one.

At a SuperSummit session, the fully virtual MSP summit organized by, the discussion took a turn towards the role of Professional Services Automation in managed services when someone asked who needs a PSA tool.

Anyone who derives revenue from billable hours and the projects they manage for their clients needs PSA, said every MSP expert and leading service provider without missing a beat.

Which is every MSP out there.

So if you are an MSP searching for a PSA tool to effectively track your billable hours and manage projects, with a little bit of business intelligence, you’re in the right place. We’ll make your buying process easier.

Setting expectations

PSA is a versatile tool. What started as a ticket tracking tool is now a full-blown resource planning mechanism capable of taking the hassle out of your operations. But as a small business, you only need a PSA tool that is advanced enough to get your process up and running fast and simple enough to do so without requiring an insane amount of customization. You need a tool that just fits the bill.

Fitting the bill

Some PSA tools can be quite broad, feature-wise and functionality-wise. These tools might have dozens of features you don't even use, cluttering the features you do use. Some of these features perform very similar functions, making your experience using the software all the more cumbersome. Ideally, you need a tool that has these standard features to start with:

  • Service desk to cater to all your ticketing needs,
  • Project management to visualize resource utilization and potential gaps,
  • Automation to replace chaos with predictability,
  • Client management to manage client information, invoices, and data in one place, and
  • Reporting to track process efficiency and performance alignment.
  • When you try out the tool, make sure these features are available and require little to no customization to get started. Also, it helps if you know what and what not to expect out of PSA software.

    Related reading: Why should your PSA and RMM be 'truly' unified?

    What a small business PSA does for you

    Ticketing at its easiest

    Ticketing will not be a pain anymore, as you can create, track, and manage all your tickets in a dashboard that is intuitive and easy to navigate. Your tickets are loaded with all the context your technicians need to resolve them quickly and effectively. 

    High-speed project delivery

    You are able to break down proximity bias and empower project managers with real-time insights on projects done, projects happening, estimated time of arrival, and potential roadblocks. This level of transparency will help managers take proactive decisions and drive improvement efforts. 

    Hassle-free client engagement

    With PSA that doubles as CRM, your technicians have information at their fingertips and are able to help your clients better with contextual communication. 

    High productivity and high performance

    Your technicians spend less time doing grunt work and more time nurturing client relationships. You can put workflows in place to turn recurring tasks into repeatable actions, saving insane money in the long run. Standardized processes also mean zero human error and continuous improvement. 

    Ultimate process visibility

    Reporting helps you stay on top of work that’s happening, how your teams perform, and where you are with respect to what your goals are. Reports are also fully automated, so you sit back and relax while work is constantly tracked in the backdrop.

    Related reading: Ticketing system and PSAs for new/small MSPs

    What a small business PSA doesn’t do for you

    Domain-specific requirements

    Small business PSAs may not come tailored for your specific industry requirements. Many tools like PSA, however, provide customization options and installation assistance for your specific needs.

    Extensive customer relationship management

    A CRM system typically helps you manage all your company’s interactions with existing and potential customers. The PSA you choose may not have as exhaustive features as CRM. But you’ve got the client management feature, which can help you map your customer journey effectively.

    Complex marketing and sales pipeline management

    Setting marketing and sales pipelines, which involve tracking the lead journey from start to finish, is not present in full capacity in many light PSA tools. But the existing features should help you find a way to manage your current requirements as a small business.

    Enterprise-level resource planning

    Some features like inventory management, warehouse management, and procurement don’t come with a small-business PSA tool. However, these are features you can pass for now as a small business with more intangible assets than tangible ones. 

    Final thoughts

    Empower your employees with the right PSA tool that makes their work easier, enabling them to do their best work possible. PSA solution is ridiculously simple to use and doesn’t nickel and dime you for features you don’t even need.

    Book a demo and see what the solution can do and how easily it can scale. Needless to say, that’s the most important thing about a PSA tool.

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