There was once a time when managing a project at work was fairly straightforward.
Consider this hypothetical scenario: a partner in your professional services organization is trying to close a large deal that a competitor is also trying to win. The project costs and deliverable features are tightly locked, and the associate needs every advantage to close the deal quickly. When the associate meets with the stakeholders on a final sales call, she pulls her mobile device out and shows up-to-date analytics displaying how many resources the delivery team can commit, the predicted timeline for project completion, and resource availability down to the skills required for advanced customization. The potential customer is impressed with the details and closes the deal.
While this scenario may seem too good to be true, it doesn’t have to be when you use Polaris PSA. It integrates with your Salesforce CRM (or any other CRM you use) to empower both your customer-facing and project delivery teams with a single source of truth for all project-related data. While our comprehensive time and project management solution enables efficient delivery of projects, the strong bidirectional integration with Salesforce ensures that the sales and billing teams have all the information they need to streamline their workflows.
Here are a few benefits to integrating Salesforce with the Polaris project management tool:
Proactively Alert Project Delivery Teams to Schedule Resources as Deals Near Closure
Resource planning is critical for a project’s success. According to a PMI survey, insufficient resource allocation is one of the common reasons projects are at risk. When asked about the primary causes of their past projects’ failures, 23 percent of respondents named “inadequate resource forecasting” and “resource dependency.”
With the Polaris and Salesforce project management integration, project managers can start resource planning even before the deal is closed. As a deal moves towards closure in Salesforce, a corresponding project is automatically added to the pipeline in Polaris. Project managers can then start adding placeholder resources ahead of time to ensure the right staff is locked in.
This visibility allows project managers to better manage the allocation of resources with high-demand skills, cost, and profitability by project or by client. Managers can even initiate upskilling/reskilling, hiring, or subcontracting of resources to ensure there are no project completion delays due to staffing inefficiencies.
Better Manage Dynamic Changes in the Project Scope
Polaris and Salesforce integration brings agility into project management and enables project managers to respond quickly to changing requirements. For instance, as sales teams engage with clients, they may find opportunities to improve the project with additional functionalities or by making a few changes to the agreed deliverables. With the integrated applications, project managers have full visibility into the changing requirements, allowing them to turn scope creeps into new business opportunities. With upselling, managers can bring in more time or resources to complete the project with delays or cost overruns.
The visibility into the changing project requirements also enables project managers to request, keep, and release resources appropriately. For example, a tight deadline may mean project managers have to retain a high-cost resource. But if they know the deadline has been extended, they can release the high-cost resource and retain others to complete the project in the most profitable way. Then the project can be delivered successfully — on time, on budget, profitably, and with high customer satisfaction.
Gain Better Control Over Your Project Pricing and Billing
With standalone PSA and CRM solutions, your sales team won’t have real-time visibility into delivery status, resource availability, or estimated project cost. As a result, sales executives might commit to unacceptable contract terms — leading to scope creep and exposing the project to unwanted risks that jeopardize the profits.
Polaris acts as a conduit between the sales, project delivery, and billing teams, syncing project and time information in real time. This information exchange helps in three ways: firstly, it gives project managers a comprehensive perspective of their project pipeline, helping them make necessary adjustments to their budgeting and resource plans while creating accurate cost estimates. Secondly, the sales teams can set the right expectation with potential customers to avoid any cost overruns caused by underestimated project scope. Lastly, the precise project time and cost tracking in Polaris allows billing teams to create and send accurate customer invoices in a timely manner.
Streamline the Bid-to-Bill Lifecycle
Today, in these unprecedented business conditions, professional services organizations feel the need to complete projects faster and generate invoices accurately more than ever before. Businesses are looking for ways to decrease account receivables cycles and increase cash flow to drive business growth. This can be possible only with complete visibility and real-time handoffs between sales and delivery teams.
When you integrate Salesforce with Polaris, you can automate common workflows between the teams, eliminating unnecessary administrative tasks and ensuring better communication. Polaris harvests data from different applications your business uses to create a single source of truth for all your enterprise time, which enables you to gain control and streamline projects, resources, costs, pay, and billing workflows. Polaris lets you execute complex billing rules and expense approval workflows to create accurate invoices that can be easily imported into Salesforce.
Powerful Alone, Stronger Together
A project and time management solution like Polaris and CRM software like Salesforce are core applications of any enterprise’s tech ecosystem. While many professional services organizations use these applications separately to plan, sell, and execute services, the highest performing organizations integrate these solutions to drive better results. Integrating Polaris PSA and Salesforce provides visibility and streamlines operations of the entire bid-to-bill lifecycle of project and service-driven organizations.