Your after-call sales notes are crucial to closing deals and starting new business relationships – there’s no argument there. Notes let stay on top of accounts, even when you handle tons of them. You are updated regarding changes and challenges. You know where to pick things up. You even know that your contact’s birthday is coming up.
Problems arise when your agents spend too much time note-taking, when they should be on the phone making calls. In his book New Rules of Sales Enablement, author Jeff Ernst even asserts that post-call notes are factors that keep sales reps from doing actual selling, 65% of the time.
You need sales notes so don’t stop taking them. However, it is also important to develop efficient note-taking practices. Strip down your notes to just the essentials. When you can, make the most of your sales automation tools to help keep records without taking too much of your time. Here are 5 crucial sales notes your reps should take after each sales call.
Sales Note 1: Time and Date of Calls
Apart from noting when contact started and the circumstances of the initial communication, it is important to record the time and date of all calls. This is your way of tracking the progress of your account. Are you getting closer to sealing the deal? When should you follow-up? When you follow-up, it is always a good idea to remind your prospect of your last conversation.
The good news is that this is something you can automate. There are desktop and phone apps that sync call activity with your CRM system.
Sales Note 2: Actionable Follow-up Tasks
After your call, what’s next? Are you supposed to call back the next day? Should you submit a presentation or proposal by the weekend? Did your lead ask for an online meeting or presentation?
Take note of actionable tasks as a reminder to yourself to get them done. Plus, this is also where you’ll pick things up the next time you call.
Sales Note 3: Information About Your Lead or Contact
The business relationships you build between you and your client companies start with your contact or lead. So, take notes about them: their position, role in the company and even some personal tidbits, like hobbies, hometown, relationships and the like. Adding them to your Facebook is a case-to-case basis, of course…. The point is that you shouldn’t be afraid to get personal. After all, personal connection is the foundation of a strong relationship, even those in business.
Start with something basic, like greeting them on their birthday or by asking about their day. People are naturally drawn to those who show interest in them. Be genuine and build from there.
Sales Note 4: Key Sales Information
In the course of conversation, it is natural for your lead to give you “buying clues” here and there. These are clues on your prospective client’s actual needs, pain points and readiness to buy. This could come in the form of out-of-the-ordinary comments. Or, you might want to ask them directly.
However way you acquire this information, take note of it. It comes in handy in the long- and short-run. You can tailor-fit proposals based on their specific situation, budget and needs. This is also a way to start building historical data on your clients. You will need this in the future, especially when sales reps leave and others need to take over their accounts.
Sales Note 5: Where Your Solution Fits In
One of the most crucial information that you should take note of in your sales calls concerns the business processes wherein your solution fits. Know about your lead’s business. Be incisive when it comes to learning their processes and systems. This is the best way to provide a customized tailor-fit solution – an ideal start to a long business relationship.
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