Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More space for bigger ideas: SkyPlanner expands its office.

"There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder." - Ronald Reagan 
We just can't stop growing here at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Saleforce consulting company, and things were getting a little cramped. When the office next door became available we jumped at the chance to tear down that wall, and more than doubled our office footprint. And we're by no means done. There's great things in store for SkyPlanner so stay tuned. 






Monday, October 28, 2013

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Are you ready for a heavy dose of Dreamforce '13 and Sales knowledge?


It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from in the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content. 

This past Thursday saw TED, one of SkyPlanner's favorite sources for knowledge and inspiration, make its way to South Florida, and naturally we were there to take it all in. The full TEDxMiami experience included a networking reception, and speakers sharing their knowledge of topics ranging from entrepreneurship to running and health.



Dreamforce '13 is less than a month away and here at SkyPlanner we couldn't be more excited at the prospect of joining thousands of other cloud computing experts in San Francisco. And how exactly does Saleforce coordinate its more than 1,500 staff members to ensure a great experience for us and all the other attendees? By using a custom Salesforce app called Boothforce, of course.

When you're a small business it could seem like a good idea to pursue any and all leads in the hopes of making a sale, but that tactic usually leads to the unnecessary stretching of resources like time and motivation. While it can be difficult to let some leads go, here's how you can start to figure out which ones are worth pursuing.

Speaking of sales, hiring the right type of salesperson is of the utmost importance. While a salesperson in the mold of Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross might have been successful in the past, today's marketplace requires a different kind of salesperson.

And we can't end a SkyPlanner Parachute without mentioning another Dreamforce '13 event: the $1 Million Hackathon. Salesforce will give that huge prize to the team of developers who can come up with the best mobile app, and SkyPlanner's contingent definitely has its eyes on the prize.

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions for future content.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Buidling A Strong Talent Pipeline: A Key To Keeping Your Business Running Smoothly.

Miami Salesforce, Miami Salesforce consultant, Miami Salesforce consultants, Miami Salesforce consulting, South Florida Salesforce, South Florida Salesforce consultants, South Florida Salesforce consulting, Here at the SkyPlanner offices we know that whether you're a growing business like us or a well-established corporation, the key to success is having the right people in place at every position within your enterprise. The problem lies in finding those people, which can be an incredibly difficult and expensive process. To help you out LinkedIn has created a thorough list of steps to take when trying to create a successful talent pipeline to minimize the amount of time and resources spent recruiting the very best (the original document from LinkedIn can be in .pdf form found here:  

Prioritize where you pipeline
Focus on skills your business recruits for repeatedly and roles that are hard to fill. This will
increase your chances of filling these roles quickly, reducing cost per hire and time to fill.
Pre-screen for top performers
Save time: before placing a candidate in your pipeline, find out from mutual connections
whether they are a cultural or performance fit.
Get hiring manager commitment
The best pipelines are built in partnership with hiring managers. Get buy-in by explaining the
benefits of pipelining in terms they can understand - instead of talking “time to hire” use
metrics such as “getting x people to sales productivity y weeks earlier.” 
Stay organized
Create one “source of truth” to keep your team on the same page. Use it to keep track of
candidates contacted, responses, and interest levels.
Treat your pipeline with respect
Consider your pipeline a community, not a database. Respect the candidate’s time by asking
him/her, “How often would you like to touch base?” To deliver what you promise, send
yourself calendar reminders to continue the conversation.
Personalize your message
Have a real reason to message someone – for example, an article that reminded you of a
conversation or a work anniversary congratulations. Encourage your recruiters to brand
themselves and personalize their messages.
Stay visible and accessible
Rather than hounding prospects relentlessly through labor-intensive conversations, stay
top-of-mind by using indirect channels like LinkedIn status updates and Twitter. Post articles
about your company and industry to keep them interested.
Embrace a culture of networking
Encourage your team to get out of the office to attend industry events. Set up a referral system
for passive candidates even when jobs aren’t available. 
Set clear targets for your team
Know your ratios of screens to hire to estimate how many people to engage to reach your goals. Create a plan for how many of each skill set they need to find, shortlist and submit each week.
Measure progress
Create a pipelining strategy that pulls in talent from multiple channels like Job Applications,
Employee Referral Programs and Direct Sourcing. Measure which ones produce the most hires
over time.
Recognize success
Provide special public recognition for every hire resulting from your pipeline. Acknowledge  recruiter-hiring manager duos who successfully collaborate to fill your pipeline with quality candidates.
SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, knows the importance of having only the very best personnel ready and able to provide the best service to our customers. And we take necessary steps every time we look to add to our already stellar team. It's one of the many reasons we take pride in everything we do and in continuing to grow as a Costumer Company!

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Another SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! How Salesforce has changed lives, how to improve your company's self-service support, and much more!


It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from in the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content. 

When you think of technologies that can change lives you might generally think of medical or rescue technologies. But technologies like cloud computing can also make an impact.

Dreamforce '13 is inching ever closer. Meeting, networking, and learning from experienced Salesforce Partners is a big part of getting the most out of the Dreamforce experience.

Helping others help themselves is always a good motto to follow in life. But did you know it's also a good way of doing business? Good self-service support is not only cost-effective but keeps customers happy and loyal.

Windows 8.1 is here. PC World has written out a good comprehensive guide to the upgrade.

If you own a business you will inevitably have to host or be a part of an event as a way of pushing your business forward. And to promote your event you'll need a solid social media strategy.

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions for future content.

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Help us continue achieving our dreams, 10 reasons you should attend Dreamforce '13, and more!


It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from in the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content. 

We at SkyPlanner recently decided to throw our hat in the ring for the 2013 version of Chase's Mission Main Street grant contest. And while we think we have a great shot at winning we need your help to get to the next round. All it takes is following this link and vote for us. All you need is a Facebook account. We have 110 votes at the moment and need your help to reach 250. Thank you sincerely in advance from the entire SkyPlanner team!

Dreamforce '13, the preeminent cloud computing event in the world, is rapidly approaching. SkyPlanner will have a great presence there with 5 of us going to soak up as much knowledge as possible. We sincerely endorse attending Dreamforce but if you still need a little more convincing here's 10 reasons why you should attend for the first time.

Halloween is right around the corner, which means the Holiday season is in full swing and people will soon caught up in the merriment of the season. Here's a couple of ways to keep your sales from lagging in the home stretch of the year so you can end '13 strong and begin '14 even stronger.

Modern society tends to believe that government is the only thing that can fix social ills because they do it on behalf of the people. In reality, as Michael Porter points out in this Ted Talk, approaching issues from a business point of view can do a much better job..and that's because using that approach means expecting to gain something from it.

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions for future content.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

If you want your business to grow you have to learn to let go! Why micromanaging will hurt your business and how to make sure it doesn't.

When you take the plunge and decide to start your own business, it's natural to want to be involved in everything. After all, you're the one taking the risks and have everything to lose. But there comes a time when trying to micromanage every aspect of your business will start you on a path to failure, rather than success. Bottom line: If you want your business to grow, you have to learn to let go.

Miami Salesforce, Miami Salesforce consultant, Miami Salesforce consultants, Miami Salesforce consulting, South Florida Salesforce, South Florida Salesforce consultants, South Florida Salesforce consultingEvery wonder how a select few people can start not just one successful company but multiple high-growth businesses. It's because while these "serial entrepreneurs" might have an innate ability to create, they also know the secrets to building a successful company don't lie only within themselves. SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, recently came upon an article by Kerrie MacPherson of Ernst & Young in one of our favorite sources for business knowledge, the Harvard Business Review. 

In the article MacPherson lists three tell-tale signs that a new entrepreneur might be too invested in running his or her business, and not in growing said business. 

  • Spending too much time concerned with the problems within the office (accounting, supplies) instead of outside the office, which is where growth happens. 
  • Having no one ever question your decisions because there's no one around that will question your decisions. 
  • Not having enough challenges and becoming stagnant. 

MacPherson then goes on to outline how a delegating daily responsibilities can help a new entrepreneur evolve into a high-growth powerhouse. 

Miami Salesforce, Miami Salesforce consultant, Miami Salesforce consultants, Miami Salesforce consulting, South Florida Salesforce, South Florida Salesforce consultants, South Florida Salesforce consulting

  • Figure out what you want to handle yourself. Whether it's selling or R&D, establish what you want to concentrate on and hand other responsibilities to people who know what to do. 
  • Keep your focus on growing the business. After figuring out your main focus your secondary focus should be on growth. 
  • Make sure your new team members have a clear understanding of what you want from them. The worst thing that can happen is to hire people only to have them have no idea what they're supposed to be doing. 
  • Hire people who will grow in with the company. Instead of hiring someone who can only do a task that's necessary at the moment, hire someone who can learn to accomplish that goal but also grow with the company. As their responsibilities evolve along with the business, the easier it is for everyone to be successful faster. 
  • Keep everyone grounded. Don't over-inflate egos. Keep the tasks assigned to people relevant to their experience coming into the fold. 
  • Keep a circle of people you trust to keep you improving. Don't think you have to be the only person bringing anything new to the business at all times. A group of trusted advisers will keep you on your toes. That being said, be wary of involving friends and family in what you're trying to build. Just because you trust them outside the office doesn't mean you can trust them to be good at what you assign them to do. 
If you're just starting out and follow the tips SkyPlanner has provided above, you should be that much closer to being successful. We at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, are quickly growing thanks to not only our continued dedication to our clients and potential clients, but because of the team of trusted Certified Salesforce Developers that we can rely on for new ideas and hardwork. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! This week's content includes surprising statistics on how criminals use social media, how to better use enterprise social networks, and a legend's take on negotiation.


It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from in the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content. 

From burglary to identity theft (or worse), more and more criminals are turning to social media to find their victims. This infographic from Social Media Today reveals some frightening statistics about cyber crime and how irresponsible social sharing can make anyone vulnerable.

Everyone works hard for a living because without it we wouldn't be able to provide for ourselves and our families. That doesn't mean a little extra motivation doesn't come in handy every now and then, especially in sales-driven industries. Salesforce, continously named one of the best companies to work for, outlines how to create a culture that can keep your sales staff motivated. And that means more success for everyone.

Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric, was known as a tough negotiator. But according to his take on the current state of the art of negotiation, being a tough negotiator isn't about being stern and unyielding, but instead about being flexible and open with others.

Using "enterprise social networks" is a great way of keeping all of your company's employees connected. But while companies like Salesforce strive to make their ESNs easy-to-use, the way they are implemented can't just be plug-and-play. Here is a checklist of things a business should take into consideration when implementing a service like Salesforce Chatter.

The Salesforce AppExchange has officially hit 2 million installs. The AppExchange allows companies upload their own unique applications that can be used to better serve the Salesforce community and all its clients. Be on the lookout for SkyPlanner's own great additions to the AppExchange in the near future!

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions for future content.

Friday, October 4, 2013

There's a fine line between success and failure in CRM. Here's how to stay on the right side.

SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, takes a closer look at the line that separates success and failure when implementing a customer relationship management solution...and how to stay on the right side of that line. 

According to an article in CRM Magazine, 50 to 80 percent of CRM implementations in the late 90's and early into the 2000's resulted in failure. You might think that could be attributed to the novelty of the technology at the time but the reality is that that number hasn't really fallen, even as late as 2012. SkyPlanner decided to delve into the reasons for these failures. Here is what we learned.

Customer Relationship Management, CRM, CRM consulting, Miami Salesforce, Miami Salesforce consultant, Miami Salesforce consulting, South Florida Salesforce consulting, South Florida Salesforce consultants, The foremost reason for failures in CRM adoption is that all too often systems are convoluted and eventually become a burden for the peopel whose lives they are supposed to make easier. This is usually the result of poor planning and lack of input from the people who will actually be using the system. Choosing and implementing a CRM solution should be a company-wide process and not limited to just a couple of high-ranked decision makers.

SkyPlanner has compiled a checklist of steps an enterprise should take when first implementing a CRM solution:

  • Consult members of every department that will be affected by the implementation of a CRM solution. Ask them to list what features they believe would best help them perform their roles most effectively. 
  • Plan out the process of adoption. Keep the process as simple as possible with an emphasis on only the essential features. Also begin phasing out previous measures that are made obsolete with the introduction of new technologies. 
  • Keep the end goal of the solution in mind when planning the implementation. This helps you figure out exactly what you need from your chosen CRM solution.  
  • Set a budget. Setting a firm budget will keep the planning process on track and the imagination from running wild as you learn more about add-on features and capabilities of different CRM solutions. 
  • Research, research, research. Figure out which CRM solution will be easiest to use compared to its effectiveness, which solution best accomplishes what you want it to, and which can be customized to cover changes as your enterprise evolves. It is also very important to know which CRM company provides the best support once the solution is implemented.      
  • Set intracompany goals. These goals are essential for making employees feel comfortable with the change, and usually include timeframes from training and collection of data for migration (most importantly when moving from a paper filing system to the 1's and 0's). 
  • Make a final decision. Once you have all your information compiled, pull the trigger. When you decide to pursue a new solution don't second guess yourself. As time goes on you can always make necessary changes. 
  • Have patience. It is critical to understand that despite all the careful planning and research there will be unforeseen problems that arise when implementing a CRM solution. Be confident in your decision but never stop evaluating to make the necessary improvements and changes to the system. 
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The second reason for many failures is that the CRM system doesn't accomplish what it's supposed to do: help salespeople close deals. This is because the data that is compiled into a CRM is too myopic and company-centered. This results in salespeople having very limited knowledge of their potential clients, and the resulting sales process is very cold and less likely to end favorably. SkyPlanner has learned that businesses are most successful when using their CRM tools to gain a 360-view of their customers instead of just the bottom line. Collecting information on your existing or prospective clients' priorities helps salespeople form relationships that are much more likely to result in quick and profitable deals.  

Here are some insights a CRM solution should make readily accessible to salespeople: 
  • How a customer has reacted in previous interactions. This lets salespeople know how to approach them in the future. 
  • Customer goals and challenges, and company news. Sales relationships are much more intimate when there's a certain level of empathy from a salesperson towards a customer. 
  • An understanding of the decision-making hierarchy. Know the ultimate decision maker but also how his or her support staff influences the decisions. 
  • The culture of the company. Is it formal or laid back?   

SkyPlanner hopes we've helped make your CRM journey a little easier after reading our thoughts on the subject. And we want to remind you that once you decide to make the move, SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, is here to help you every step of the way.