Author: 17grapes

A recent study conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that about 42% of Americans are currently working from home. While this helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, it can also feel isolating and take a toll on your mental health.

If you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, you aren’t alone. 65% of Americans say they’re working longer hours than ever before and 7 in 10 Americans say they’re struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

In order to submit high-quality work and avoid burnout, it’s important to invest in self-care. Setting aside time for breaks throughout the day can help you stay focused and on-task. Unsure where to begin? Here are a few simple suggestions:

1.) Workout. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to relieve tension and anxiety. Moving your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. Endorphins reduce feelings of pain and encourage a positive outlook. Any type of exercise is good for you. Choose an activity that aligns with your current level of physical fitness. Take a walk, jump rope, shoot hoops or do some aerobics. Get your heart rate up and break a sweat.

2.) Get outside. Scrolling through social media or reading news headlines is enough to stress anyone out. Instead of doom scrolling, unplug and get some fresh air. Getting outside and into nature relieves stress almost instantly. Studies show that being outdoors eases muscle tension, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes brain activity. Exposure to sunlight can also boost the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of happiness.

3.) Connect with people virtually. Working from home can leave you feeling isolated. You might not be able to visit friends or family in person, but you can connect with them virtually. Having a phone call or Facetime session with loved ones is an easy way to lift your spirits. If you aren’t in a rush, you can even watch a movie together or play a game.

4.) Listen to music. If you have a deadline coming up and are unable to take a break, put on some of your favorite music. Listening to artists you love can motivate and inspire. Plus, there’s scientific evidence that listening to music releases neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and melatonin.

We hope you find these tips helpful. Hopefully, by the spring or early summer, vaccines will be widely available and we can all return to some semblance of normalcy. In the meantime, make sure to take frequent breaks and do things that you enjoy.

Does it seem like every time you turn around, someone needs something and that pile of work on your desk only grows? Do you wish you could put out a “Do Not Disturb” sign just to finish your responsibilities? Interruptions are a fact of life. But research shows too many office distractions can dramatically reduce productivity. The good news: It is possible to limit and manage workplace interruptions. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep track of your time for one whole week. If that seems overwhelming, keep track of it for a couple days. Simply document how much time you spend on each task and action, and how often and why you are interrupted. Once you have an idea of your most common interruptions, you can plan how best to protect your time.
  • If you notice that some interruptions are consistent in nature and time, consider creating specific meetings for those needs.
  • How many times has someone asked, “Got a minute?” Does it ever really take one minute? Instead, reply that you are in the middle of something, ask their need, and then set a specific date and time to talk about that need.
  • Turn off any instant notifications on your devices. Do you really need to be notified every time you receive an email or social media update?
  • Let your phone calls go directly to voicemail to be checked at a designated time. The same goes for replying to any text messages and e-mails. Just because you can respond immediately doesn’t mean you should.
  • Consider working remotely one day a week. This only works, of course, if you have a quiet place to work and don’t have to worry about interruptions.

Congrats on making the transition to Salesforce. In doing so, you’ve joined more than 150,000 businesses, including Fortune 500 companies.

Salesforce is an amazing platform, but like any software program, there’s a learning curve. If you want to get the most out of your investment, it’s important to master some basic skills. Every Salesforce user has an opinion, but there are three steps you can take that we’d highly recommend.

1.) Take the Salesforce tour. If you’re technologically savvy, sitting through a virtual tour might seem like a drag. But when using Salesforce, it’s one of the best decisions you can make. Salesforce is a HUGE program with dozens of add-ons and plug-ins. The tour provides a step-by-step walkthrough highlighting many of the features you can use to improve your customer relationships and sales conversions. It also covers frequently asked questions and makes suggestions to improve your efficiency and use.

2.) Create list views. One of the great things about Salesforce is that it collects large amounts of data. This makes it easy to track customer preferences, warm leads, onboarded accounts and more. However, data is only useful if you know how to break it down into digestible chunks. List views allow you to do just that.

Salesforce comes with generic list views already installed, but you have the option to create lists of your own, too. Once you create a new list, you can select, filter and value criteria. This makes it possible to interpret vast amounts of information quickly and efficiently.

3.) Save your favorites. Regardless of the type of business you run, there are certain pages within Salesforce you’ll reference frequently. If you want to save time clicking through various tabs and menus, you can establish favorites. Favorites allow you to access areas of the software with one single click. What’s more, you can access all of your favorites via a single drop-down menu.

If you’re new to Salesforce and are struggling to take advantage of all it has to offer, get in touch. At 17 Grapes, we help businesses of all sizes maximize their Salesforce understanding and use. Call (801) 245-0500 today or visit our website.

Most workplaces are set up and run in a way that is much more accommodating of extroverted employees. But introverted employees could have just as much value to offer as their more outspoken, social colleagues. To avoid letting your introverted employees slip through the cracks or feel uncomfortable in the office, here are four useful strategies for managing introverts in the workplace:

Embrace Different Forms of Communication

Not everyone loves face-to-face communication. While there are numerous advantages to interpersonal communication, constant meetings with large groups of employees can be exhausting for introverts. This isn’t to say you should get rid of interpersonal contact entirely just to accommodate the introverts. Instead, look for other ways you can more successfully communicate with introverted employees;

Be Mindful of Public Speaking Anxiety

Almost everyone suffers from public speaking anxiety to some degree, but introverts typically find public speaking to be more terrifying compared to extroverts. Although public speaking may be an inevitable part of their jobs, you can lessen their speech anxiety by offering modest accommodations, such as shorter speech times, allowing them to use visual aids like PowerPoints, limiting the number of audience members, and reminding other employees to remain respectful during presentations.

Create Opportunities for Feedback

Introverts in the workplace are often silenced by extroverted colleagues who are more than happy to voice their opinions and verbalize their ideas in meetings. With limited timeframes for meetings and conference calls, the extroverts might unintentionally dominate conversations, leaving little to no time for introverts to contribute to the discussion.

While the extroverts might have some great ideas, you won’t be able to maximize your team’s creativity and efficiency if the introverts never get a chance to speak up. As a leader, it’s your job to create opportunities for every member of the team to offer input. This may be as simple as directly asking some of your introverted employees for their opinions.

Make Socializing Optional

All too often, companies host social gatherings and parties with the assumption that everyone wants to attend these functions. Unfortunately for introverts, these non-work-related events can be mentally exhausting to deal with, as small talk with colleagues and schmoozing with new people from other departments simply doesn’t come naturally to them.

Does your business use customer relationship management software?

If not, you’re missing out. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. Just look at these statistics:

At 17 Grapes, we regularly help small- and medium-sized businesses transition to Salesforce. Salesforce is the world’s leading CRM platform. The cloud-based software makes it easy to improve customer service, increase automation, track data and analytics, develop apps, and more.

As your business grows, so do your day-to-day challenges. We refer to these challenges as “the whirlwind of chaos.” Growth is exciting, but the obstacles that come with it aren’t. That’s why we tailor a custom Salesforce program to meet your business’s unique needs. It’s a three-step process that provides long-lasting and tangible results. Here’s how it works:

1.) Initial consultation. Our Salesforce implementation begins with a one-on-one meeting over the phone or online. During this appointment, we get to know everything there is to know about your business. We ask you questions about your personal goals, the direction you see yourself going and any challenges you face on a daily basis. After gathering this information, we craft a custom CRM solution that aligns with your budget and needs.

2.) Build and implement the solution. Once we establish what your business needs, we get to work building a customized solution. No two businesses are exactly alike, but some of the products you might benefit from include Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Pardot, CPQ and Field Service Lightning. We develop a dashboard within Salesforce that allows you to forecast sales and grow your business with confidence.

3.) Regular tweaking. Using Salesforce isn’t a static process. As your business grows and evolves, so will your software needs. Throughout the course of our partnership, we meet and discuss your results. We make updates and adjustments as necessary, ensuring you achieve your goals.

To learn more about the benefits of Salesforce, visit our website or call (801) 245-0500. We look forward to collaborating with you!

How trustworthy are you? Research shows that high levels of trust between a leader and his or her team can provide a significant boost to employee engagement, productivity and company performance. When there’s trust, great things can be accomplished. But how do you show your employees that they can trust you?

Researchers say many leaders fail to employ the most simple and effective trust-building strategies within their organizations, such as connecting with employees on a personal level. Do you show genuine interest in employees’ personal lives as well as their professional ones? You don’t have to pry to show a genuine interest in those who you spend your workdays with. Do you talk with each member of your team on a one-on-one basis periodically about work-related issues? Make an effort to get to know them and help them succeed professionally? In a poll conducted for Harvard Business Review, not having time to meet with employees, not knowing employees’ names and not asking about employees’ career goals and lives outside work were among the top complaints employees have about their company’s leaders. Surprised?

David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University who has studied the concept of organizational trust, has found that the more power a person has in an organization, the less trustworthy and caring they often appear. That’s why personal connections are so important. Finding common interests and showing genuine interest in other people is a great way to help create a connection and build from there.

Showing your employees that you trust them can in turn encourage them to trust you. But many leaders fail miserably at trusting their employees and micromanage them rather than delegating and granting employees as much autonomy as possible. For too many leaders, the concept of teamwork means telling their team what to do and how to do it. That diminishes rather than builds trust.

Do your employees know that you will follow through with what you say and what you commit to? Make sure that you are delivering as much as you expect your team to. Ever admitted that you were wrong? Surveys show that many employees have never heard their boss admit when he or she was wrong. Or admit when an employee’s idea is better than their own. Admitting when you’re wrong or that you are mistaken is a simple way to foster trust with your team.

Your job performance depends on many factors. Education, training, and experience are the basics on a high-performer’s resume. But there are plenty of other contributors to success, including sleep, diet, and exercise.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your performance by hacking your diet, here are some foods to consider:

  1. Wild salmon: Whether it’s canned or fresh, fatty fish like salmon and sardines, are chock full of healthy fats like omega-3 fats that reduce inflammation and support heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help combat the effects of high-stress careers by improving heart health.
  2. Aloe juice: More than just a sunburn remedy, aloe juice is a healthy drink that provides antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, plus vitamin B12, folic acid and choline. It’s also a good source of magnesium, calcium, and zinc —which all in all contain 20 out of 22 of the amino acids your body needs.
  3. Brazil nuts: These delicious nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral your thyroid depends on to function properly. Your thyroid is tied to your energy levels and your metabolism. Supporting it through your diet can benefit your overall health. It also helps boost your immune system and prevents nerve and cell damage, as an antioxidant. And the best part of Brazil nuts is that a few go a long way towards supporting your health goals.
  4. Watercress: This underrated veggie is full of both phytonutrients and antioxidants, both of which can help prevent disease and slow aging. Rich in beta-carotene, watercress can also help to prevent eye disease and even some cancers.
  5. Sauerkraut: Naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut and other foods with live cultures — like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha — can help relieve constipation, bloating and gas. That’s because the friendly bacteria that caused the fermentation, called probiotics, are still alive. When you eat them, they help break down certain parts of food, making it easier for your gut to absorb nutrients. Nutrition coach Andrew Moss told WebMD that research “shows regular consumption of fermented foods supports long-term health, helps prevent disease, and boosts our immune system.”

Be choosy about what you buy, however. If the product has been pasteurized to preserve it, the high temperature has killed the probiotics. Other jars and bottles on the shelf may have used vinegar rather than bacteria to pickle the food. Fermented foods can also have a lot of salt and sugar, so read the labels.

Does your sales team still use notebooks, sticky notes or loose pieces of printer paper to track sales leads, customer communication and other day-to-day tasks? If so, it’s time to make the transition to the 21st century.

Although implementing new software can be intimidating, with a little bit of training and dedication, you can master Salesforce in no time. Once you do, the benefits quickly add up, including increased sales, happier customers and a better grasp of your client relationships and data.

Still not sure if Salesforce is right for your operation? Consider the following.

1.) Lead information all in one spot. Salesforce CRM allows you to collect important client information in one location. This includes phone numbers, email addresses, position titles and past conversations. Instead of looking through mounds of paperwork, you have all of this information right at your fingertips. This allows you to answer customer questions, make contact as necessary and update your sales strategy at a moment’s notice. What’s more, all of this data uploads to the cloud. That means you can access it from anywhere: at home, in the office or on the road.

2.) Data capture made easy. Did you know that Salesforce makes it possible to capture lead information on anyone who visits your website? It’s true! When paired with a Web-to-Lead form or the Cardlasso Application, it’s possible to gather location data and contact information without any additional work on your part.

Salesforce goes a step further, too. The software uses the information you collect to track lead performance. This means you can determine those leads that result in sales and leads that don’t. With this information in hand, you can rework your strategy to improve conversion rates.

3.) Customized dashboards. Salesforce takes all of the information you gather about potential leads and converts it into a customized dashboard. This dashboard shows you graphs and charts. It also allows you to set goals. Once you establish a goal, the dashboard tracks your progress, changing color (red, yellow or green) based on your progress.

Finding prospects and converting them to customers is challenging for any business, but Salesforce CRM can make the process much easier. If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch today. (801) 245-0500

Being a workplace leader doesn’t guarantee that you’re an excellent communicator, but if you’re a great communicator, then you’re likely a solid leader. Communication is one of the most important skills any leader must possess, but all too often, we spend little time developing and enhancing this vital soft skill because it doesn’t offer immediate, tangible value.

However, communication plays a role in nearly every aspect of your job —from negotiating with clients to delegating tasks to your team, there’s probably not a single day that goes by in which you’re not actively communicating with other people. Even if you never took a class on communicating however, there are a few ways you can still brush up on your communication skills in a leadership role:

Listen to Others

One of the most important aspects of leadership-oriented communication doesn’t involve speaking at all: it’s listening to others’ ideas and feedback, even if you disagree with them. The best leaders are good at active listening, which means genuinely engaging with what another person is saying, demonstrating interest and concern for them, posing thoughtful questions, and waiting for them to finish before injecting your input into the discussion.

It’s the ability to engage with employees (without interrupting them) that separates the average leaders from the truly great leaders. Just because you’re in a position of superiority doesn’t always mean your ideas are the best, so take the time to listen to your employees to see what new ideas and strategies they might come up with.

Be Specific and Clear

There’s nothing worse for an employee struggling to complete a task than to have too little guidance from their manager. If they don’t know exactly what objective they’re striving towards and how to fulfill that objective, then chances are they’ll be pretty inefficient in the process and might even produce flawed results. To avoid this, it’s your job as a workplace leader to clearly specify your expectations and respond promptly whenever your employee seeks additional guidance. “Just do it” might work for Nike, but it isn’t a good leadership motto.

Avoid Indefinite Uncertainty

Similar to the issue of lacking clarity, shrugging off your employees’ questions or concerns can lead to serious problems down the line. Phrases like “it doesn’t matter,” “I’m not sure,” “that’s not my job,” and even “maybe” should be eliminated from your leadership vocabulary so you can emphasize consistently clear communication above all else.

Instead of saying “I’m not sure,” briefly explain how you’ll try to resolve the issue. Instead of saying, “it doesn’t matter,” explain what the most important goals of a project or task are and leave the rest up to your employee’s discretion, so long as those key objectives are fulfilled.

A 2017 study conducted by Forbes Magazine found that 53% of companies are investing in big data analytics. The same study found that those numbers are expected to rise even more in the coming years. There’s no doubt that big data can provide fascinating insights, but if you don’t know how to sort it or translate it into actionable information, you’re collecting data for nothing.

It’s important you take the information you’re collecting and turn it into actions, like sales or email subscribers. That’s where Salesforce comes in. There are several tools that Salesforce uses to translate data, including Reports and Dashboards and Analytics, but we usually recommend people start with the Data Import Wizard tool. This feature makes it easy to upload data from many standard Salesforce objects as well as custom objects. It also allows you to upload up to 50,000 records at a time.

Once you upload that client information, you can go more in-depth. Enter Reports and Dashboards.

Reports and Dashboards comes with your initial Salesforce installation. It’s a powerful tool that lets you cut and slice data into actionable info. Analytics, on the other hand, is Salesforce’s more powerful data tool. It allows you to do everything Reports and Dashboards can, but can also include data from outside sources and dive deeper into data insights.

If you’re just starting out with Salesforce, it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry, our customer support team will be happy to walk you through the backend, so you fully understand what you’re reading and seeing in real-time.

To learn more about data crunching and translation with Salesforce, get in touch. You can call us at (801) 245-0500 or you can fill out an online contact form here.

To learn more about Reports and Dashboards, click here. To learn more about Salesforce Analytics, click here.