Author: 17grapes

According to IGI Global, the definition of collaborative synergy is: “an interactive process that engages two or more participants who work together to achieve outcomes they could not accomplish independently, in an open, integrated process (operational, procedural and cultural) that fosters knowledge collaboration, influenced by a transformational leadership that encourages participants to expand connections beyond typical boundaries and achieve required… outcomes.”

In a nutshell, synergy is the most ideal form of collaboration among members of the same team. To achieve synergy among your employees, it’s important to foster that “open, integrated process” by giving them opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills required to succeed both on their own and on the team. Here are some ways you can create a more synergistic workplace environment:

What Types of Collaborators Are They?

First and foremost, it’s important to determine what type of collaborator each member of your team is, because not all collaborative styles are the same, and you can tailor your management strategies to meet each employee’s unique needs. Central Desktop developed a typology of 9 different collaborative styles, ranging from more introverted Stealth Ninjas, Siloists and Dinosaurs to the more outspoken and extroverted Ringleaders, Socialites, Taskmasters and Skeptics, to name a few.

Central Desktop offers a quiz that you and your employees can take to figure out what each of your collaborative styles are. Once you understand how each person on your team approaches collaborative situations, you’ll be much better equipped to help them succeed in your organization.

Equalize Contribution Opportunities

On a typical workday, you don’t have a lot of free time to sit around and throw out ideas in an endless meeting. The problem with team meetings limited to an hour or so is that not everyone will get the opportunity to contribute ideas, especially those who are more quiet, introverted, or need time to mentally process their ideas before verbally offering them up for the group’s consideration.

In order to level the playing field for team members who might be more hesitant to immediately throw out ideas or offer criticism, you should expand your feedback channels so ideas, criticism and other discussion-related matters aren’t limited to a single meeting every day (or even once per week). To accomplish this, you must reaffirm to your employees that you’re always open to new suggestions and that they should either email you about anything they come up with after the designated meeting time or they should contribute their suggestions to a dedicated comment box (which can be a digital space where you accept feedback or a physical box where they can leave handwritten suggestions – it’s up to you).

Open Yourself to Criticism

One of the primary reasons collaboration suffers in some workplaces is that people are overly sensitive to criticism, which either leads to people silencing their thoughts in fear of backlash or amplifying conflict among coworkers. To overcome this obstacle, it’s your job as a leader to serve as a role model for receiving criticism.

You can start by explaining the difference between constructive and destructive criticism, then directly tell your employees that you’re always willing to listen to criticism (even if it involves you). For best results, follow through on this promise by directly addressing how you’ll resolve your employees’ complaints, or explain why you can’t or won’t do anything about it – clear communication is vital.

You’ve heard about all the amazing things Salesforce can do. You’ve seen colleagues benefit from using and implementing CRM software, and you want to do the same. Unfortunately, you don’t know how. Rather than giving up on SalesForce all together, why not ask for help?

Here at 17 Grapes, we’ve developed three RapidReady™ Packages, specifically designed to give businesses a fast, easy way to implement Salesforce into their daily operations.

Sales Cloud. Your sales team is only as good as their data. Our Sales Cloud RapidReady™ Package is specifically designed to help you streamline your client information. Navigate warm leads, sales funnels, call-backs, and more with one convenient login. You can also track monthly sales quotas, take notes, and make internal memos. It’s your one-stop shop for all sales operations.

Service Cloud. Our Service Cloud RapidReady™ Package is all about helping you provide the ultimate customer service experience with an easy way to manage customer communication, recommendations, and feedback. It also adds a layer of transparency to the work you’re doing, helping you maintain the spotless online reputation you’ve worked so hard to earn.

Communities. Salesforce makes team-building convenient and fun, but without training or know-how, getting where you want to go is nearly impossible. Our Communities RapidReady™ Package guarantees complete setup, providing you and your crew with an invaluable tool in communicating tasks, delegating responsibilities, and more.

Implementing Salesforce into your business can provide amazing benefits. We know just what it takes to help you get there. Call us today at 801-245-0500 to request a consultation.

It’s not easy trying to accommodate two vastly different groups of people, but when it comes to working parents and child-free employees, you might find their concerns and desires more similar than you might expect. While child-free employees sometimes feel cheated by a system that seems to accommodate parents’ concerns (e.g., leaving work early to pick up children from school), it is possible to address both groups of employees without hindering your team’s productivity or your workplace’s family-friendliness. Here are some useful strategies for managing both working parents and childless employees:

Equalize the Flexibility Factor

This is important for working parents and child-free employees alike. For working parents, flexibility is crucial because life happens. Sometimes, kids get sick or injured, schools have emergencies, and a screaming toddler who doesn’t want to get dressed for preschool one day prevents even the most patient, dedicated parents from getting to work the minute they’re supposed to be there. Child care is also expensive, and many child care facilities have rules about dropping off kids too early or picking up kids too late (some centers charge a fee for parents who arrive late!), so harping on employees for infrequent incidents or leaving on time instead of staying late to complete a project isn’t a wise move for any manager who wants to maintain employees’ job satisfaction and team morale.

On the other hand, employees without children might have outside concerns that warrant similar levels of flexibility, such as care for an aging parent, emergency trips to the veterinarian for a old or sick pet, unexpected housing repairs, car break-downs and other issues. To improve relations between working parents and child-free parents on your team, it’s important to offer the same level of flexibility to all employees when it comes to mishaps, unexpected incidents, and general desires to spend more time with their loved ones.

Develop Family-Friendly Policies for Your Workplace

To make your workplace more family-friendly, consider possible telecommuting options (even if it’s just working from home one morning or one day each week). As a manager, this might be more of an HR issue or company policy matter beyond your control, but you can still advocate for change on behalf of your employees. You can also try planning more family-friendly events so that employees who are parents can participate with everyone else.

CRM or customer relationship management software is as ubiquitous today as social media platforms and chatbots. With hundreds of providers on the market offering similar plans and competitive rates, knowing which company to hitch your wagon to can seem like a nearly impossible task. Are all of these companies really that different? Will I be making a mistake by selecting whatever’s cheapest?

The answers are yes and yes. If you truly want your business to be the best it can be, there’s only one CRM platform to work with: Salesforce. Instead of selling you on the service with empty platitudes, let’s take a closer look at Salesforce’s unique culture and attention to constant improvement.

Salesforce is a leader in SaaS Marketplaces. On December 6, Forrester Research announced that Salesforce’s AppExchange program was named the global leader in CRM. According to a press release, “Salesforce’s enterprise marketplace AppExchange received a score of ‘differentiated,’ the highest score possible in eight of the 10 criteria, including buyer interface, availability of applications, and intelligence and automation.” Since its invention over 10 years ago, AppExchange has become a must-have for successful companies. Research shows 89% of Fortune 500 companies use AppExchange Apps.

Salesforce cares about making the world a better place. Salesforce is a business, and as such their goal is to make money. However, unlike other tech giants like Facebook and Google, who are seemingly willing to sell private information with no care, Salesforce is taking steps to bring values and transparency to the technology sector. You can feel good knowing your money is being used to further initiatives that will protect your client’s data and information. CEO Marc Benioff has even spoken out, suggesting a National Privacy Law be developed.

Salesforce wants to see businesses succeed. Finally, Salesforce uses its size and reach to support small businesses here in the U.S. and around the world. The company recently developed the Japan Trailblazer Fund, dedicating $100 million to fund Japanese startups within the Salesforce ecosystem.

Your CRM software is more than just a tool to help you achieve efficiency and better relationships. It’s a foundational aspect of your company’s identity. By investing in Salesforce, you can feel confident knowing you’ve hitched your cart to the right horse. We’ll help implement the transition, ensuring your ultimate success. Call us today to get started!

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston S. Churchill

Walgreens is using one of its store locations to test strategies and product placement as it works to encourage shoppers to enter its doors instead of buying online.

Which of your manual Salesforce processes could you automate? Let’s talk about making your experience even better through automation.

Being the best manager you can be means bringing your best self into the office every day. Here are some things to remember to help you unlock your true leadership potential.

  1. Never stop learning. Whether it’s an annual conference and seminar, a new on-site training, a graduate certificate or just finishing a new business book every month, learning is key to growth. Environments where learning and knowledge are fostered connect you with different viewpoints and help you generate new ideas.
  2. Take time out. What motivates you? What makes you feel refreshed? What’s something that taps into a sense of peace or productivity? Make sure to do more of that. Does running before work make you feel more clear-headed? Make sure to get in your run before you get to the office. Does traveling help you feel more centered? Use your PTO and have your staff step in more while you take a break. Does reading make you feel energized? Start a book club at work or read on your lunch break. Whatever makes you feel more focused and helps you come back to work rejuvenated should be a priority.
  3. Set goals. You need more than just sales quotas or hiring goals. Your goals should be unique and personal to you. Having a goal helps you define the “why” behind your work. Maybe it’s something small, like introducing yourself to someone from a different department or pitching a new idea to your boss, but having goals to work towards keeps us from getting stuck in the daily grind and gives us a growing sense of accomplishment and confidence that can make us better leaders.

Doing your best work is fueled by being your best self. It’s not always easy to find the time in our busy lives to keep stretching ourselves, but it’s one of the best ways to journey towards our leadership potential.

“The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.” – Anonymous