Monday, March 31, 2014

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Marc Benioff's tips for being a top CEO, overcoming your biggest sales challenge, 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. 

Starting your workday off right isn't just a cliché. It can actually  make your day that much better and productive. Here's a list of quick and easy things you can do every morning to make your day a great one.

Marc Benioff is consistently one of the best employee-rated CEOs in not just the tech industries, but across all businesses worldwide. How does he stay there? Well, he tells us right here.

If want to implement a successful CRM for your enterprise...well then, don't wait any longer and call SkyPlanner. We'll help you get started with Salesforce, the world's #1 CRM application, right away. But if the general idea of CRM scares you these three keys for a successful CRM will help put your mind at ease.

When running a business or trying to convert sales, the task and to-dos can add up quickly. Keeping everything in line so you can max-out your productivity can be challenging. The GTD method might take a little time to get used to but it could potentially be the most effective productivity-enhancing method out there.

Salesforce.com is constantly rolling out improvements to all its products. While those changes can be both big or small, they can all help improve your day-to-day business processes. Follow these steps to stay on top of the changes for fast and easy implementation.

Selling your product or service in a competitive market place is tough. But many times what you're competing against isn't another salesperson. Your biggest challenge could be overcoming your potential customer's fear of change.

Finally, we'll finish this week's Parachute with a short video we think you'll all enjoy as much as we did (especially if you regularly find yourself in meetings with "big picture" people).



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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Being a good boss: a key to having a successful business.

A business is only as strong as its weakest employee. At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting and customization company, we have built the strongest group of certified Salesforce developers of any Salesforce Partner in Florida.
How did we accomplish this? A major part is the culture of cooperation, transparency, and honesty we've cultivated; and that culture isn't just limited to how we treat our customers. All employees at SkyPlanner are treated the same way we treat our customers. Your business can develop a company culture like ours and all it takes is simply trying to be the best boss you can be.

Here are some tips SkyPlanner has found through our never-ending mission to improve as South Florida's top choice for all things Salesforce:

  1. As mentioned above, as a boss you are most successful when you realize that said success is directly related to the efforts of your employees. While you lead and make sure everything is going according to strategy, the bulk of the work is done by them.
  2. Delegate responsibilities whenever possible and then stay hands-off. Employee can't truly be at ease under a micro-manager. If you hired them, and most likely spent time and resources training them, let them put their skills to use. Get to know who you hired and learn their strengths, then maximize those strengths.Trust your employees. It will make everyone's job, and life, easier. 
  3. If you've put an employee in a position to make decisions then empower them to make decisions. And if one of those decisions ends up being a wrong one don't scold the employee. All that accomplishes is forcing him or her (or any other employee charged with making decisions) to second guess being creative and possibly finding a better deal, a more efficient way of accomplishing a task, or any other way of making your business more money. Find out why the employee made the decision they did and use it as an opportunity to teach him or her how to make a better decision the next time.
  4. Wisely choose when to intervene in inter-employee issues. It's one thing when there's an employee who isn't pulling his or her weight, doing something illegal or detrimental to the company, or worse, is mistreating or possibly putting other employees in danger; in these cases you must step in immediately. It's another thing when two employees just aren't getting along. Let them sort it out amongst themselves. This will teach them to work better or else, and also keep them from coming to you for every little thing which in turn frees up more time for improving your business. 
  5. When the issue with a sole employee, then as a boss it is your responsibility to handle the issue quickly and with as little fanfare as possible. If you feel an employee is not performing less than idealy or is doing something you don't like, then quietly call the employee into your office to find out what the problem is. It might be that the employee has a personal issue or simply didn't know a certain workplace rule. Either way, the employee wouldn't want it announced to the entire office that you had to speak with him or her. 
  6. When an employee speaks, listen carefully. If the employee has a complaint or suggestion don't already reject it before he or she even finishes speaking. And even if you already know you're not going to act on it when he or she does finish, thank him or her for taking time to approach you. It will build employee trust, and keep them willing to come forward with possible suggestions for making everyone more successful. 
  7. Publicly acknowledge the good work that your employees are doing, especially if there are customers in the office, worksite, store, etc. Not only will it make the employee feel accomplished and eager to work even harder, but it will give the customer more confidence in the decision, or potential decision, to do business with your company. At the same time, occasional private acknowledgement is a great thing, too, as it lets employees know your praise is sincere. 



Monday, March 24, 2014

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! This weeks edition is packed with a ton of great content that will make your morning feel fulfilled!


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. 

Much like most things save roaches and sharks, business has evolved over the years. Modern business has gone from snail mail to phone calls to emails to tweets; all in the span of a couple dozens years. But that doesn't mean that the core principles of business have changed. These 8 basic principles are timeless.

The Cloud isn't slowing down. This great infographic from SkyHigh (via CloudTweaks) shows the many ways the Cloud is being used to make businesses more efficient.



Tax season is a stressful time for everyone. Here's how you, as a boss, can make it a little easier for your employees so tax season doesn't tax their productivity.

If there's someone who knows a thing or two about working passionately, it's Mike Rowe. As the host of Discovery's Dirty Jobs, Rowe sees first hand how people can make even the worst jobs into profitable enterprises. SkyPlanner loved this video interview of Rowe by Entrepreneur magazine.



Last week we announced that SkyPlanner has officially been named a Silver Partner in the Salesforce Cloud Alliance program. In case you missed our post, you can find our announcement here.



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, March 19, 2014

SkyPlanner is now a Silver Cloud Alliance Partner!


 At SkyPlanner we never stop working to become the very best choice for South Florida businesses looking to implement or enhance the world's #1 CRM platform, Salesforce. We are proud to announce that we further solidified our position as South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting and customization company when SkyPlanner was elevated to the level of Silver Partner in the Salesforce Cloud Alliance program. There are over 670 Cloud Alliance registered partners in the program but only 87 are able to call themselves a Silver Partner. To become a Silver Partner a Salesforce partner company has to meet certain criteria set by Salesforce.
Among those criteria is having a minimum number of certified Salesforce developers . SkyPlanner can proudly boast the largest team of certified developers in South Florida with 13, and that number looks to only grow in the coming months. Another criteria is customer satisfaction. Due to our tireless commitment to building long-lasting relationships with customers that extend beyond simply completing projects, SkyPlanner currently holds a perfect 10.0 out of 10 customer satisfaction rating on the Salesforce AppExchange.

What is the salesforce.com Cloud Alliance Partner Program?

Per salesforce.com:

Salesforce.com Cloud Alliance Partner Program was created specifically to help our partners meet today’s requirements for success. It offers a mix of resources and benefits designed to drive specialized capabilities, unprecedented collaboration, and profitable business growth. It also helps companies of all sizes and focus areas—strategic business consulting, software implementation and integration, training, and custom application development services—capitalize on the explosive growth of cloud computing.   

What does being a Silver Cloud Alliance Partner mean for SkyPlanner?

Rene Garcia
“Reaching the Silver Alliance Partner status is a major achievement for a couple of reasons. As a member of the South Florida community it means we are growing as a company, and providing better and better results for our customers in the region,” said SkyPlanner co-founder Rene Garcia. “ It is also recognition of SkyPlanner’s growing reputation for excellence within the Salesforce community.”

Jorge Fernandez
“We are continuing to build an experienced, talented, and hard-working team of certified developers, business analysts, and system architects at SkyPlanner; and our roster of customers is rapidly growing,” added SkyPlanner co-founder Jorge Fernandez. “This is only a first step in getting to where we all want SkyPlanner to be and that's being a Platinum Partner.”


Rene Rodriguez
SkyPlanner co-founder Rene Rodriguez added: “The future is bright at SkyPlanner. Being able to put Silver Partner next to the SkyPlanner name is another way we can show customers that their own future is brightest when they put their trust in SkyPlanner.”

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Game changing, mindfulness, birthdays, birthdays, birthdays, 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. 

Social media has become a game changer in the world of selling. Here are some interesting statistics and tips on using social media to improve your company's sales.

Mindfulness, a strong sense of awareness of oneself and your surroundings, has emerged as a great indicator of successful leaders. Here's how to live mindful to become the best leader you can be and take your company to another level.

The last few weeks have seen some pretty important birthdays:

And we leave you this week with the unveiling of the very first compact disk at the very first TED conference in 1984.

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, March 12, 2014

The big 0-3! SkyPlanner celebrates its third birthday with a day of good food and great fun!

On February 28th SkyPlanner celebrated three great years serving as South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting and customization partner. We took a little break from all our hard work and instead took over Dave & Buster's at Dolphin Mall as a little treat for ourselves. After a good meal, the team got its competitive juices flowing with some racing, basketball, air hockey...and even some dancing.











It's been a good three years. And we expect many, many more as we continue to grow and continue providing the very best in Salesforce consulting and customization to all businesses in South Florida...and beyond!

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Salesforce celebrates 15 years, sales tips from Girl Scouts, 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. 

Salesforce celebrated its 15th birthday last week. From humble beginnings it has grown into a company that is recognized as one of the most innovative, employee-friendly, and socially-aware organizations in the world:



Also, some of the biggest names in Salesforce recall their fondest memories from the company's first 15 years.

We all know the value of hard work. But that doesn't mean that we couldn't be a little more efficient in our work and make life a little easier (or free up more time for more time work if that's what you'd prefer). Follow these tips to make it happen.

Every year millions of people can't wait for them to go on sale. But we're not talking about the newest iPhone or Jordan sneakers. We're talking about Girl Scout cookies. Few salespeople are as successful as a motivated girl scout. Here some scouts share their sales secrets.

If you've read past Parachutes you already know that SkyPlanner is a huge fan of TED Talks. And we were extra excited to see that Salesforce is also a fan. Read on for Salesforce's take on better public speaking derived from its own infatuation with TED.

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.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Learn to give customers what they want (even if they don't know they want it).

It happens to all of us. Every month we get random credit card offers or "discounts" for new cars even though you haven't applied for a new card in over a decade and just purchased a new car. At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we get dozens of unsolicited cold-calls every week. Bottom line is if you're sick of it then your potential clients and customers are sick of receiving blanket messages from your company, too. And that's not a good thing. 

Customers, regardless of whether they're B2C or B2B, are looking to be hit with only relevant messages customized based on their unique needs and desires. That is, customers are looking for what is known as "next best offers" (or NBOs), even if they don't know they want them. Unfortunately, many companies fail to tailor their messages to create NBOs customers can't refuse. And that will lead to those customers leaving to other companies because they're bombarded by dozens (if not hundreds) of promotions and "special" offers daily, and will only heed those that are relevant to their needs and desires.

So how does a company create NBOs that will catch the eye of potential customers? New technology, such
as SoMoLo (social, mobile, and locational), can be leveraged to store and analyze customer preferences, purchase history, and purchasing context among many other factors. Having information like that readily available makes it easier for successful NBOs that can provide a competitive advantage and increased sales opportunities. Conversely, neglecting this kind of information in favor of generic messages could lead to the reverse effect of driving customers away.

Through our research on NBOs, SkyPlanner has learned that four simple steps can be taken to assure that your company's marketing messages are going to penetrate their targets effectively.

  • Establish the objectives and map out the plan to reach them. Does you company want to gain a certain amount of new customers and increased revenue in a year, or maybe improve retention of existing customers?
  • Collect pertinent information. Data can come from many sources. Internal sources such as your existing customer demographics and purchase histories; and external sources such as the previously mentioned SoMoLo data.
  • Analysis and execution of the NBO. Accomplished through thorough analytics of the best ways to reach the intended target audience, this involves getting different offers using different methods. 
  • Learning from successes and mistakes. Things change. Even after all the diligent work and careful execution, something that worked once, twice or a hundred times might stop working. Thus companies have to continue to experiment with their tactics and evolve the NBOs they offer.  

The good thing about perfecting effective NBOs strategies is that they are effective for both B2B and B2C marketing. All you need to worry about is how your company is going to be able to handle all the new business it'll receive with effective NBOs. Luckily, SkyPlanner will be right here to provide you with all the help you need.

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Learn how to make sure a lead returns your phonecalls, combat negative SEO, 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. 

While it's easier to email, an email doesn't hold a candle to a phone conversation. But it can be frustrating when you leave voicemail after voicemail with no response. Follow these secret steps from Salesforce to ensure your voicemails are answered.

Few things can hurt the website you've worked so hard to build for your business than a rash of negative SEO spreading throughout the web. Here's all you need to know about negative SEO and how to combat it

It is no mystery that a fit body leads to a fit mind, and both are essential in order for a person to learn really optimize his or her potential in the business world. CrossFit, the sport of fitness, goes one step beyond that and not only creates fit bodies and mind, but also the fittest leaders

Though it doesn't get a large amount of publicity, Salesforce's Woman of the Month program helps bring attention to some of the women who make great strides towards advancing salesforce.com as one of the world's most innovative and best companies to work for. Check out this great interview with Shawna Wolverton to see how she's juggled family, career and fun, and still accomplished so much.  

Below is great video from best-selling author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss. The author of the hugely celebrated 4-Hour Workweek and 4-Hour Body books, Ferris is widely regarded as one of the most innovative thinkers in recent years. 



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.