Author: 17grapes

As a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Whether you’re developing new product lines, assisting your human resources staff with the hiring process or handling day-to-day operational duties, your work is never done. This is especially true when it comes to making decisions.

Every day, you’re required to make choices on the fly. And some of the decisions you make can have long-lasting consequences. Of course, there’s no way to do everything perfectly, but there are things you can do to make the decision-making process easier.

1.) Never stop learning. The more educated you are about your business, industry and competition, the easier it is to make the right choices for you and your team. Every day, try to set aside 30 minutes to an hour for reading industry publications, participate in an online course or interact with colleagues online. This may seem time-consuming or tedious, but it’s an investment in yourself. Running a business is full of nuance. The more you learn about budgeting, marketing, sales and customer service, the better your business will be in the long run.

2.) Set goals and stick to them. American culture is all about the quick win. We see it all around us. From jackpots on slot machines to mega-million dollar lottery games and reality TV show competitions, we like achieving success … fast. During the past few decades, the internet and other technologies such as smartphones have compounded this “need it now” attitude. Unfortunately, this mindset can seep into how we set and achieve business goals. More often than not, though, business goals require hard work, dedication and commitment to the long haul. Don’t get discouraged when things don’t work out right away. Keep fighting, and the rewards will follow.

3.) Implement Salesforce. Thanks to online tools, it’s easier than ever to get valuable data and information about your clients. But if you don’t know how to interpret that data, it’s going to waste. The same can be said about sales. You might have a great script, but if you don’t know how to execute or organize, it may be difficult to convert interested folks into buyers. Enter Salesforce. Salesforce is one of the world’s most trusted customer relationship management software programs. It’s also packed with unique capabilities that can help you take your business to the next level.

One of the easiest ways to improve your decision-making skills is by implementing Salesforce. We know exactly what it takes to help you get started. To learn more about the benefits of Salesforce, call us at 801-245-0500 or fill out an online contact form here.

How would you rate your workplace climate? Warm and engaging or icy and cutthroat? If you’re concerned about the state of your office and your employees’ satisfaction with their jobs, then implementing more positive communication strategies could be your ticket to creating a much more comfortable and dedicated team of employees. Here are 3 ways you can accomplish this:

Recognize the Achievements of Others

Do you have any “Employee of the Month” awards in your office? Do you ever email or speak with an employee simply to tell them what an awesome job they’re doing? If not, then you should consider creating new opportunities for outstanding employees to be recognized for their efforts. They’ll never directly tell you that they want recognition, but humans are psychologically driven to desire recognition and the approval of others, so this is an excellent first step toward establishing more positive channels of communication in your workplace.

Open Yourself to Constructive Criticism

One of the biggest obstacles to greater positive communication between employees and employers is the lack of genuine opportunities for criticism of the boss. In other words, a manager who is quick to lash out against anyone who dares to critique something they say or do probably won’t inspire their employees to be honest if they perceive that you’ll interpret their messages the wrong way.

As an alternative, explicitly remind your employees that they can be open and honest with you, even when the matter involves something you are doing. You may be their superior, but that doesn’t make you 100% infallible, either. Keep this in mind and your employees will feel more empowered by a form of leadership that willingly acknowledges the capacity to make mistakes.

Aim for Consensus, Not Control

As a manager, one of your central tasks is ensuring that your subordinates are performing to the highest possible standards. However, a control-oriented approach to management can put a real damper on your employees’ enthusiasm to come to work and get the job done. In fact, micromanagement is one of the top complaints among employees, which can lead to disastrous consequences like high employee turnover rates and low office morale.

Rather than trying to control everything your team does, generate more feelings of consensus by giving them more active roles in the decision-making process. If they think that every decision is solely based on your own opinions, then they’ll be less likely to contribute potentially revolutionary ideas in team meetings because feeling ignored can be extremely demotivating for anyone!

If you asked your customers or clients, what would they say about your company and the level of customer service it provides? Customer service is a vital part of any business —B2C or B2B — and plays a large role in creating satisfied and loyal customers. A company that provides great customer service is much more likely to have loyal customers than one that doesn’t. Bad customer experience can be a major hindrance to any type of company, in any industry.

Consider this:

Poor customer service costs U.S. businesses more than $75 billion a year. According to NewVoiceMedia’s Serial Switchers report, U.S. consumers and businesses today will readily switch from one company to another if their needs aren’t met. In fact, 67 percent of respondents indicated that they have become “serial switchers,” meaning that they are more than willing to switch companies — and often do so — because of a single poor customer experience. Main reasons for switching: Not feeling appreciated, not getting answers to questions, rude/unhelpful employees and being passed around to multiple (and unhelpful) people, being presented with an inferior product or service or otherwise not having their needs met.

Once they leave, they won’t be back. All it takes is one bad experience to ruin a relationship with even the most loyal of customers or clients, and it’s not very easy to win them back. According to one study, 91% of unhappy customers will never come back to the companies they left. This is especially true in industries with many competitors.

Even if they don’t leave immediately, you’ll have to work hard to keep them over the long term. Research shows that it takes about one dozen positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative experience. It is possible to work things out with an unhappy customer or client, but that initial experience can never truly be erased.

Bad experiences are shared at twice the rate of positive experiences. When someone has a bad experience with a company, they often share it with other people in person, over the phone, on social media or in industry circles. Word gets around. The key is to identify — and change — anything that’s creating a negative experience for your customers.

At 17 Grapes, we can help you easily increase customer satisfaction and loyalty with Service Cloud customer support software. It’s an incredible way to take your company’s customer experience to a much higher level. Visit our website to learn more:

Innovation is a hot business buzzword. Companies need to be innovative to stay competitive against other brands, to meet customer needs, to attract and retain the best talent. But is innovation necessary for management, or is it restricted to business owners, C-suite executives, creative marketers and product design teams?

Here are two important reasons to cultivate innovation in your career as a manager.

1. Innovative people are good problem solvers.

Innovation is just a way of doing something differently. The reason some of the most successful businesses – whether from an employee culture perspective or sales and revenue perspective – are described as “innovative” is because they don’t stop to get distracted by what other people are doing. They see a need and they work to fix it. Companies like Apple and Tesla don’t ask “Why won’t this work?” Instead they ask “How can we make this work?” and turn difficulty into opportunity. This same trait is extremely valuable in all levels of leadership and can help you manage everything from deadline challenges to interpersonal team relationships with an open mind and positive attitude.

2. Innovation nurtures creativity.

Creativity and curiosity are valuable in any business or industry. They help keep individuals from getting bored and complacent and businesses from getting stagnant. Creativity, fed by an innovative spirit, can help people bring a new perspective to a project or help transform a business process to help a department run more efficiently and effectively.

Managers have the responsibility to supervise work quality, delegate tasks, track project deadlines and keep teams running smoothly and efficiently on the day-to-day operations that make a business work, so it can seem like innovation has no place in the time-honored techniques that make managers successful at meeting their goals. But innovation is important for personal growth, as well as flexible and authentic leadership. Whether it’s reading a new business book every month, joining an art class to push you outside of your comfort zone or going away on an annual inspiring conference, make cultivating innovation a part of your work life.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned life as normal upside down. Many businesses are already having to make the difficult decision to shut down entirely or downsize by letting go of employees. As long as social distancing measures continue, the economy will experience further challenges.

These are uncertain times we’re living in and even the most prepared business owners are finding themselves in new territory. Given the current business climate and the rapid rate of change, you may be wondering if your sales team should continue conducting business as usual. After all, your business relies on sales to keep the lights on and doors open, but in this environment, it’s normal to wonder about the optics.

Fortunately, you don’t have to stop selling to show your customers and fellow business owners you care about them. This is an excellent opportunity to use your CRM software to build relationships, show support and meet your clients where they’re at. This means keeping open lines of communication and working to meet very specific needs.

Of course, whether or not you’ll have success with sales depends on the type of business you’re running. If you provide telemedicine software to hospitals and clinics, business may be booming. But if you’re a restaurant owner who has had to shift to take-out options only, you may not have extra funds to spend.

Instead of running down your list of warm prospects to try and seal a deal, take these next few weeks to check in on your current client base. Reach out to every business or client on your system and see where they’re at. Lend a listening ear and a shoulder for support. Is there a way you can support them somehow? This is the time to let others know you care.

CRM software doesn’t just allow you to connect with partners, it helps you keep in touch with members of your own team as well. Take advantage of your data and tools to better navigate these times. Working together and utilizing these technologies can help us better prepare for what lies ahead.

How are you using your CRM software? Visit our Facebook page and let us know!

Does your company have a positive emotional culture? A feel-good place to work can be a powerful business development tool, according to a 10-year study of the culture of companies in a variety of industries and locations.

Researchers Sigal Barsade and Olivia A. O’Neill found that companies that focus on creating positive ‘emotional’ cultures often have a competitive advantage over those that don’t focus on how their employees feel at work. The pair found a strong correlation between a positive employee culture and strong company performance, a high quality product or service and excellent customer service — and this has held true across a wide variety of industries.

Many companies focus their efforts on creating a corporate culture based on concepts such as innovation or top-notch customer service. But the researchers say that focusing solely on a so-called cognitive culture can mean a company never fulfills its true potential. Here’s how several of the companies that the pair studied work to achieve effective emotional cultures:

Vail Resorts has worked to create an emotional culture of joy, with ‘have fun’ being one of the company’s core values. The company’s managers are trained to create an upbeat and quality environment for their employees with special activities and events. Employees are allowed special skiing events and other perks designed to make them feel special. Managers also ask employees to ‘go out there and have fun.’ As a result, it’s not unusual to see employees cracking jokes or dancing around with guests.

Cisco Finance created a companywide initiative, ‘Pause for Fun,’ which encourages employees to take a break and, well, have a little fun. Fun videos are created to document the frivolity at the financial services firm. The company also surveys employees regularly to help gauge how they feel.

Censeo, a consulting firm, works to create a positive emotional culture by careful hiring and by letting employees know that negative interpersonal behaviors aren’t acceptable in the workplace. The company’s executives said they have passed on some otherwise highly-qualified employee candidates because they had difficult personalities and weren’t able to fit into the company’s positive emotional culture.

Ubiquity, a retirement plan administrator, studies what makes employees feel a sense of belonging and excitement to be at work. Company executives place a top priority on making the company a great place to work.

Interested in creating a more positive emotional culture at your company? The good news is that it’s an attainable goal — even in companies that have a lot of negativity woven into their cultures. Research shows that people easily ‘catch’ feelings from others. That means that your efforts to create more joy in your office can gain momentum much faster than you may think.

If you’re a business owner of any type, you’ve undoubtedly heard of customer relationship management (CRM) software. Though there are dozens of options to choose from, many modern businesses use Salesforce.

Chances are good you’ve heard of Salesforce, but you may be wondering how can it benefit your business. The short answer is lots of ways. But let’s break it down. In this blog post, we’re putting Salesforce under a microscope.

1.) Build better customer relationships. Salesforce allows you to keep tabs on all of your current customers. Whenever you onboard a new client, Salesforce allows you to take extensive notes on that relationship. Not only that, it can remind you to keep in touch or follow up. Salesforce also saves you time and energy. Instead of sorting through files of customer paperwork, you can simply input the client’s name and account number and access all of the information you need.

2.) Manage leads. Your business relies on warm leads to stay afloat. Are you someone who keeps track of your potential leads on a sticky note or piece of printer paper? Though there’s nothing wrong with this per se, these pieces of paper are easy to lose, trash or misplace. With something as important as leads, you don’t want to risk it. Salesforce lets you track all types of leads. It can also help you organize a list of businesses you’d like to contact in the future.

3.) Grow your businesses. When your customers are happy and you have an easy way to manage all of your leads, your business operates like a well-oiled machine. When your business operates like a well-oiled machine, it’s easier to expand your influence and your reach. Simply stated: you grow your business.

If you’re interested in learning more about the business benefits of Salesforce, we can help. Visit our website to request your FREE demo today.

If you’re new to Salesforce and haven’t done much research, you might be under the impression that the software has only one capability: customer relationship management. Believe it or not, CRM is only one of the many aspects of running a business Salesforce can assist with. The company offers dozens of services specifically designed for different industries and purposes.

Feeling overwhelmed? We get it. That’s why we wanted to use this blog post to provide a brief overview of some of the Salesforce products we can help you implement. Let’s dive in.

Sales Cloud. Sales Cloud has one mission: help you close more sales. The program gathers all of your company’s data points and translates them into easy, actionable steps you can use to grow your business quickly and effectively. Even if you’re happy with the growth you’re experiencing, Sales Cloud can ramp things up even further.

Service Cloud. Customer service and sales are directly intertwined. The happier your clients are, the more likely they are to share your services and recommend you to their friends. Service Cloud helps you build strong, long-lasting customer relationships. It also highlights potential pain points so you know what to work on before a customer leaves you for good.

Pardot. What if there was a way to integrate your marketing and sales data seamlessly? Enter Pardot. Pardot enables you to automate emails, track customer data and provides daily notifications to ensure everyone who interacts with your brand has a positive, memorable experience. Plus, when your sales and marketing teams are on the same page, morale goes through the roof.

CPQ. CPQ stands for configure-price-quote. If you’ve been in business for a while, you know how long and drawn out the proposal process can be. CPQ helps you streamline this process, giving your sales reps a clear path to product selection, quote creation, and closing more business all within the parameters you set.

Field Service Lightning. When a client needs onsite support or service, you need a fast and easy way to dispatch a team member that has the right qualifications. Field Service Lightning provides mobile job management and helps you process work orders at lightspeed getting your team members to the right place at the right time.

These are just a few of the many Salesforce products we help businesses implement. If you’re interested in learning more, call us today at (801) 245-0500 and request a consultation.

It seems like there’s never enough time to get everything done. Constant emails, meetings, reviews, and deadlines mean that more and more, managers are eating lunch at their desk, staying late, and still feeling like they’re falling behind. Here are some ways to help you get more out of your workday.

  1. Move more: Studies show that people who are more active at work get more done. Sit-stand desk users, for instance, find that adding more movement to their day by simply standing to take phone calls or work on emails helps them not just feel better, but also get more done.
  2. Take a break: It sounds counterproductive – how can walking away from your desk to not work help you do more work? But the truth is that breaks are healthy. It gives your brain and your body some time to reset and come back to your desk refreshed. Build water breaks or office walks into your day to keep the productivity up.
  3. Automate email: Email is a huge time suck. It’s revolutionized the way we communicate and is certainly a necessary and useful business tool, but it’s also a huge distraction. We have our email inboxes open all day and a constant flow of new emails can interrupt progress on a project or just pile, slowing down effective communication. You can easily set up your inbox with filters so that emails from priority people or projects get sent straight to your inbox, while other email can be looked over later. We also recommend scheduling your day so that you can break up your time to feature designated email maintenance. An hour or two in the morning and an hour or two in the afternoon usually gives people enough time to get a handle on their inbox – some people even designate an extra hour of follow up and research time so that their email time doesn’t get taken over by just one message.

What are your go-to productivity hacks? Do you power through your afternoons with a coffee or a power walk? Do you lock your office door after 3 pm? Everyone has their secrets for balancing their days to help get more done. From more movement to better task delegation, the productivity possibilities are endless.

We all know that happier workers are more productive. But did you know that for most people, money can’t buy workplace happiness? Research shows that making employees happy is more than just paying them a good — or great — salary or giving them a raise.

According to one new survey, more than half of workers earning a salary of $75,000 or more consider themselves ‘generally unhappy’ at the office. Other studies show that higher-income workers aren’t necessarily any happier than those earning moderate incomes. So what does make people happier at the office? Here are three things that research tells us employees nationwide and in a variety of industries are looking for from their jobs:

Respect. One survey found that ‘respectful treatment of employees at all levels’ and ‘trust between employees and senior management’ ranked higher than compensation, benefits and job security among employees. Researchers say that creating a more ‘human-based workplace’ can pay a big role in employee happiness — and ultimately retention — in companies of all sizes. Employers who are genuinely interested and engaged in their employees and their unique goals and challenges are rated much more highly than employers that show less of an interest.

Less conflict. Studies also show that workplace conflict is a major reason why the best and brightest employees leave companies. That includes unresolved conflict among co-workers and between employees and management. Few of us like conflict and most workers find conflict at work a distraction or at worse, a reason for seeking employment elsewhere.

Flexibility. One study by global accounting firm PwC found that workers who have flexibility, such as the option to work at home at least one day per week, have significantly higher job satisfaction than those who are not allowed some choices in when, how and where they do their work. Even those who are allowed to work at home when they have a sick child — or take time off for family obligations without feeling guilty — are more likely to be happy at work.