Author: 17grapes

With all the bad publicity facing social media giants like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, it’s easy to assume all tech companies are in it for themselves, focused on turning a profit and nothing else. Fortunately, things aren’t as black and white as the media would have us believe. In fact, there are dozens of tech companies out there doing their part and contributing to a better society.

Salesforce is one of those companies. Its broken the mold by asking entrepreneurs to take the Pledge 1%. The concept is simple:

“Pledge 1% invites all entrepreneurs and their companies to commit important resources (product, time, and resources) to support integrating philanthropy into their business from an early stage.”

This isn’t just lip service. Since founding the company, Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, has said, “The business of business is improving the state of the world.”

We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’re thrilled to bring Salesforce to small and medium-sized businesses just like yours. By implementing Salesforce at your office, you’re helping support the company’s 1-1-1 model.

How often do you get to change the culture of your company just by upgrading software? Until Salesforce came around, the answer was never. To learn more about the benefits of implementing Salesforce at your business, contact us!

Source: Salesforce

Whether you’re a lead account manager or an office manager, management requires a certain skill set and sense of self. If you’ve been thinking about taking on leadership roles or have aspirations about becoming the boss, here are some things to ask yourself before jumping into the talent pool for management consideration.

  1. Can you delegate? One of the primary responsibilities of management is overseeing other staff. This means being aware of all of the day-to-day business needs and overseeing them in your employees. It’s important to know how to dole out work and follow up on assignments without micromanaging.
  2. How do you deal with unpleasantness and disagreements? Sometimes management comes with having to be a mediator in disputes and being able to handle all issues diplomatically. It can also sometimes mean firing under-performers or not renewing contracts with agencies, which makes certain people feel like they’re failing their teams or letting people down.
  3. Are your organized? Even if you’re not a project manager, management needs to know about deadlines, timelines, and all ongoing projects. It’s important to be able to manage the pieces and track the work or your department or team.
  4. Are you resilient? Management can sometimes mean longer hours from fielding last-minute requests, attending more meetings, or filling in the gaps on a project if someone is missing or behind on their deadline. Managers need to be flexible, ready for anything, and able to bounce back from surprises.
  5. Does your industry have a clear-cut career path to management? Some industries or career paths don’t lend themselves as well to managerial positions as others. Sales, for instance, has more traditionally defined management roles in many organizations, while copywriters might lack a sense of direction towards advancement and responsibility in their roles.
  6. Does your organization support its managers? Another thing to consider when trying on the idea of management is how your workplace treats its managers. Do they seem burnt out or refreshed? Do they have opportunities for growth and an ability to give feedback? Are they supported by leadership so they can in turn support their teams?

Even if you don’t feel like your skills are up to par, don’t abandon your management dreams just yet. Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, it’s much easier to turn them into strengths. Take a class online or join a business association to help you gain the experience and skills you need to make it into management.

You know about Salesforce, but do you know how it can help you with your business? Sure, you might think, “Well, it can help me organize my client relationships.” That’s true, but is that all it does for you? No, not at all. It’s more than just a way to organize your client relationships.

Here are seven (more) reasons to use Salesforce.

1. Create a sales funnel

How many times have you or your team failed to contact a prospect and missed out on a sale? It’s probably more than you care to say. Salesforce helps you set up a sales funnel, which makes it less likely you’ll forget to reach out to someone a second, third, or fourth time

2. Improve client communication

One frustration that clients often report when working with a large organization is having to repeat the same details of their business, products, or services. When more than one person works on a client account, it’s imperative that each person know everything about the account. Salesforce makes it easy to store all client details, so they’re available in an organized way that can be accessed at any time by anyone.

3. Provide a business growth roadmap

The reporting features in Salesforce allow you to easily create reports on just about any data point in the CRM. So, things like sales, revenue, products, services, open opportunities, closed opportunities, and more can all be isolated to show where improvements can be made for better business success.

4. Meeting management

The meeting scheduling functionality in Salesforce makes it much harder to double-book or miss important client meetings. You just go into the client account, set up the meeting date and time, and any details you want about the notification, and then add it to your calendar. Any scheduling conflicts will show up immediately.

5. Updated client information

Most organizations encounter outdated client information. With so many accounts, it can be difficult to keep everything current, especially when several people work on accounts or speak to clients. Salesforce provides on-demand access, so if there are any changes to client information, it can be recorded as soon as someone is notified. This can save a lot of time and effort when there is conflicting information.

6. Easy to plug into other apps

Your clients are the backbone of your business, and you need to keep them organized. When all of your clients are nicely organized in a single CRM, you can use the contact information in a variety of ways to improve consumer relationships, and ultimately, manage retention. Salesforce allows easy integration with various apps, such as MailChimp, Xero, Quickbooks, DocuSign, AdobeSign, and more, so you can use all of the apps you’re used to in order to do more with your clients.

7. It’s all available everywhere

Salesforce’s cloud-based platform means your team can access information anytime, anywhere. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can access information in Salesforce. This can be incredibly helpful when traveling for business meetings.

Having the client information you need when you need it is what makes businesses choose Salesforce. If you haven’t tried it and are wondering if it could work for you and your business, contact us. Our consultation services can help you decide if Salesforce is right for you.

There are certainly traits that many companies will look for in managers, no matter where in the organization they’ll serve. Those traits include organization, good communication skills, ability to understand the scope of projects, able to meet deadlines, and being good at delegating and supervising.

But are there skills you can develop as a manager that will help set you apart at your company? Can you cultivate abilities that will help you down the path of your career? Here are some of the places to pay attention to you as you grow professionally.

  1. Never Stop Learning: Whether your strategy is to attend an annual conference, complete an online certificate program, listen to a regular podcast, or reading a best-selling business book, the key to continued growth is to continually look for opportunities to learn. If you make a point to both master your on-the-job skills and add continuing education into your schedule, you’ll be on track to excel. People will especially take notice if you share your knowledge with your team to help them grow, too.
  2. Creativity and Flexibility: Not every job is “creative” as we have come to think of it, and not everyone is a graphic designer or art director. But creativity is still a huge asset to businesses and should be cultivated to help create more opportunity for yourself. If you’re down a team member before an important accounting deadline, can you come up with a creative way to adapt and meet the deadline? Have you thought of any innovative ways that could save your business money or help streamline processes? This kind of thinking helps you stand out in your organization.
  3. Being a Genuine Team Player: People notice when your work isn’t just a checkmark on a list of to-dos, but a part of helping the business be better. Whether it’s sharing credit on an important, successful project or offering to help other teams meet their deadlines, being seen as someone who put the business first will make a huge impact.

Being a manager is hard enough. You don’t have to be super-human to stand out, but you can slowly work on ways to make an impression as part of your career journey, knowing that any small investment of time and effort is building something greater.

Since day one, you’ve been at the helm of your business. Over the years, you’ve seen the good and the bad and know how to handle just about anything that comes your way. However, just because you’re good under pressure doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to relax every now and again.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could relieve some of the pressure and count on someone else to handle day-to-day responsibilities like customer relationship management? By implementing Salesforce at your office, you can. Think about it this way: you’re a superhero and Salesforce is your loyal sidekick.

Track all of your data in one place. Acquiring and making sense of customer data is a critical component of your success as a business owner, but if your background isn’t in economics, you may struggle to make sense of all those numbers. Salesforce cuts through the mass amounts of information and helps translate everything into easy-to-understand, digestible chunks. We can set up reports and dashboards that will help you keep tabs on every aspect of your business from inventory and sales to human relations.

Get to know your customers. As a business owner, you’re always on the go. That means there’s very little time to research and study your clientele. Salesforce is incredibly valuable in that it collects and stores all of your client information in one place. With mobile and desktop access available from anywhere, you can do your research wherever you are, and at any time, day or night.

Never lose a lead. CRM software like Salesforce has made converting sales much easier. No longer do you have to worry about business cards getting lost in your piles of paperwork or cluttered desk drawers. Simply input your client’s contact information and take notes accordingly. Whether they’re a first-time buyer or repeat customer, everything you need to know is only a few clicks of a mouse away.

At 17 Grapes, we help business owners like you implement and benefit from Salesforce. Call us today to learn more! (801) 245-0500

Dishonesty is a common human trait and everyone has lied at least a few times in their lives. In the workplace, however, dishonesty can create serious problems. If you’re struggling with an employee who is dishonest with you and members of their team, here are some ideas for dealing with the situation.

Have a private discussion. Rather than making an example of your employee in front of their peers, ask for a private meeting with them (in-person is better than via email or over the phone) to discuss the matter with nobody else in earshot of what might be an uncomfortable situation.

Approach the situation mindfully. What if you discover in your private meeting that your employee has a good reason for his or her dishonesty? For instance, if your employee has been repeatedly showing up late for work or leaving early, they could be dealing with a family emergency (a sick child, for instance). Provide your employee with an opportunity to explain themselves.

Implement accountability procedures. Once you’ve had a discussion with your employee, it’s time to start implementing measures to ensure dishonesty won’t become an ongoing issue for that individual (or the entire team). Some accountability procedures that can help you improve communication with your team include: 1) reminding all employees (rather than singling anyone out) that they are always welcome to communicate any concerns with you, no matter how small that concern may seem, 2) offering flexibility to employees who might be struggling with a personal or family issue and 3) modeling honest and ethical behavior and highlighting that type of behavior among your team.

Asking for help isn’t something we Americans take lightly. From the time we’re little, we’re taught to be self-sufficient, adventurous, and willing to blaze our own trail. This type of messaging is particularly common in the business world.

After all, successful entrepreneurs are those who jump in without any prior experience and fight their way to the top, regardless of the obstacles that stand in their way. Independence, courage, and bravery are ideals we all strive for; yet, even with the best intentions, it’s easy to feel burnt out, exhausted, and left behind.

If you’re a business owner who’s wondering how to move forward, know that you aren’t alone. With so many available tools (and so little time), deciding which software to implement can seem like a nearly impossible task. Here at 17 Grapes, our goal is simple: introduce small and medium-sized business owners to the beauty of Salesforce and their industry-leading CRM platform.

Over the course of the last few years, we’ve helped hundreds of businesses just like yours install and implement Salesforce in their day-to-day operations. Not only can this software streamline efficiency, it can save you money, and help to build and strengthen long-lasting business relationships. Although it might sound silly or feel embarrassing, ask for help.

Together, we can do great things. Call us today to schedule a one-on-one consultation! (801) 245-0500

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.