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Most business experts agree that there are several distinct categories that managers fall under. Depending on where you work and what your team is like, some of these might be more effective than others. Which management style matches yours?

  • Autocratic: A manager with this style often makes decisions without a lot of input from the people around them. It often leads to faster decisions and is good in times of crisis, but it can be ultimately alienating to employees.
  • Consultative: Consultative managers allow for more discussion, often soliciting or allowing opinions, but they remain the final decision maker. It can sometimes cause division in a team if a decision is based on input from some but not others. It can be a good method for managers who have more specialized teams.
  • Persuasive: Decision making control remains with the manager here as well, but a persuasive manager is often more open to listening to evidence and hearing pros and cons from the people they manage. It’s harder for this style to be effective if the team doesn’t support or trust management.
  • Democratic: Managers with this style allow employees the opportunity to engage in decision making and create an environment where decisions are based on the input of the majority of the team. It’s a more open style of management communication but can slow down decisions during the collecting and consideration of input from an entire team.
  • Laissez-faire: This hands-off approach to management means that employees make the majority of decisions with management only stepping in when necessary. Their role is more of a mentor. This management style is popular in businesses that need employees who are willing to take risks. It can lead to difficulty in creating change and actually making decisions in some cases.

Understanding how you manage employees is a good way to identify if you’re connecting with your team and why – or why not. It gives you room to understand where you can make improvements and changes that help you be more relatable and more effective.

Congrats on making the decision to implement a CRM platform at your business. This is a wise decision not only for the financial future of your company, but for your organization as a whole. Used correctly, the data you gather about your clients and customers allows you to better serve them and address their unique concerns.

It’s important to remember however, that even the best software won’t solve your problems if you don’t know how to use it. Salesforce is incredibly versatile and can track hundreds of metrics, but you have to be able to interpret the data you collect. That’s where we come in. Our expert Salesforce consultants will work with you each step of the implementation process, ensuring you’re in full control of your CRM system.

Focused. We pride ourselves in giving our customers one-on-one attention. We’ll never put you on hold or have you troubleshoot over the phone with an automated voice system. We’ll schedule a complete one-on-one training session, for you and your team, in your office or via web meeting. Plus, we’ll answer any questions you have and troubleshoot any challenges that crop up in the weeks or months that follow.

Understanding. Even user-friendly software can be daunting, and challenges will inevitably arise. We understand. Our consultants are friendly and compassionate; you can rest assured they’ll never judge or condescend to you. We believe anyone can use Salesforce, even business owners who aren’t “technologically savvy.”

Trained and certified. All our Salesforce consultants are trained and certified in Salesforce-approved practices. They’re familiar with the ins and outs of the software interface and have extensive experience setting up organizations like yours for success.

Ready to begin? Call (801) 245-0500 and request your free consultation today!

Work appraisals and performance reviews are key to helping keep employees on track, growing, and motivated. Historically, this kind of review has been conducted between the employer and the employee annually, usually around an employee anniversary date or near the time of year that a company will be issuing bonuses. While this kind of communication is important, it has tended to be a one-sided conversation, driven my managers or supervisors. Sometimes employees are encouraged to fill out a self-evaluation, but largely the review is for managers to make sure employees understand whether they are meeting expectations.

This is not always the most effective way to create better employee relationships or drive productivity. As employee expectations and motivations change, the review process may need to change as well. Here are some ideas for how to think about reshaping your employee review process for the better.

  1. Weekly check-ins: More regular conversations can give you better insight into an employee’s work quality. Hard data, like projects completed or deadlines met, doesn’t always tell the whole story. Weekly or semi-regular meetings give employees more regular opportunities to talk about challenges, ask questions, and more.
  2. Different feedback approaches: If an annual performance review is still necessary, you can change the way you give employee feedback. Capturing data not just from a management perspective but also including feedback from co-workers or even clients can be valuable to shaping an employee’s progress. Asking people from different departments who work in a capacity that’s different from the employee’s, as well as close team members, for thoughts on the employee’s work can give both you and the employee a lot of valuable insight.
  3. Separate compensation conversations: An annual review is usually associated with some kind of raise or pay increase, with the conversation around performance justifying the compensation change. This can still be a part of employee assessments, but shouldn’t necessarily be the only time employees receive formal, constructive feedback on their performance.

An annual performance review isn’t the only way to track employee progress or share performance related feedback. It’s become more important for managers to have more regular conversations with employees about expectations and goals. Managers are often already busy and have full calendars and a lot of business responsibilities, but making time for these conversations and different feedback approaches is critical in helping to guide and motivate employees towards their best work.

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