What is worse than not talking with a customer? Talking with a customer and then forgetting about it.
Some of the most crucial communication between your team and your customers is not even recorded. That is exactly why you need to make sure your team members write notes about them and share with each other:
- Most notes require follow-up actions: Once you write down the contents of a conversation with a customer, you can quickly identify who needs to do what to go forward. These things are easily overlooked, unless they are put into writing.
- Sharing notes informs other team members and allows them to contribute. If you do not share with your team, you cannot expect them to help you succeed.
- Emails are private. Nobody knows what vital information is in them, except for the sender and the recipients. Sharing emails in internal notes informs other team members, and allows the company to take action.
- It is very difficult to build a complete picture of your overall relationship with a customer, if relevant information consists of phone calls, meetings , and emails scattered into different people’s mailboxes.
- Sharing notes facilitates building up a better sales team by letting coworkers see what works and what doesn’t. Team members can view, comment on and learn from the work of their colleagues.
- Sharing notes is an excellent way for sales professionals to show their work to managers, and get appreciated for it. Without notes, a salesperson’s performance can only be measured with actual sales. But there are times when even if an deal is masterfully handled, a sale cannot be closed. Sharing information throughout the sales process allows managers to understand the reasons behind lost sales, and still appreciate the effort.
You can place a value on your customer relationships only if you can store them in an easily accessible way, so that they can be acted on. Writing notes about your dealings with a customer is a simple but very effective way of doing this.
When should you write a note?
Sales teams must write notes every time they communicate with a customer. This includes every meeting, phone call and most emails. It is also good practice to write notes to share customer intelligence, opinions, and ideas. Here are a few typical events which need to be described in notes as soon as possible:
- You had a meeting with your customer.
- You called your contact to follow-up on a quote you sent earlier.
- You heard that one of your customers may be in financial difficulty.
- One of your customers called and asked for a discount.
Do not wait for the end of the day or week to write your notes. Writing notes is even easier than writing emails. Do it right away, even on your mobile.
Keep it short
Bear in mind that notes are displayed in the news feed. Keep them brief and to the point. Put the main points at the top, and go into the details afterwards. That way, readers can decide if they need to read the whole post by reading the first few sentences.
At the bottom of the note entry box, you will see a connections area. Enter the names of companies, contacts, deals, etc. mentioned in the note here. This will link your note with those records.
If you had a meeting with a customer about an deal, make connections to that company, the contact you met, and the deal you discussed. This will add this note under each of these records.
When you go to the contact’s page, you will see this note listed under it, along with notes of every other meeting with that contact.
When notes are displayed in the news feed, their connections are displayed too, and they are all linked to the connected records. While reading a meeting note, you can click on the connected contact’s name and read the complete dealings of your company with that contact.
This is a very powerful relationship management tool. Make sure you master it.
You can add files and pictures to your notes. Simply click on the photos & files tab under the note entry box, and select your files. Alternatively, drag & drop them into that area.
Use this feature to share contract documents, specifications, plans, brochures, price lists and more.
An easy way to convert an email to a note
Smart Email is a cool TeamGram feature that instantly creates notes form emails. To create a note from any email, simply forward it to your Smart Email address.
You can learn more about setting up and using this feature in the control panel.
Change who may read your note
Who may view your note by default is determined by the department sharing settings in the control panel (managed by your system administrator).
You can always override these settings by clicking on the access rights tab under the note entry box, and specify which departments or users may read it.
Users who are not authorized to view a note will not see it in their news feeds.
Add action items
Why write notes, if you are not going to act on them? You can easily create tasks and connect them to your notes. This can easily be done after saving a note, and tasks can even be assigned to notes created by others.
To add a task to a note, simply hover on it with your mouse. An add task link will appear at the bottom right corner. Click on it and create a task.
Tasks related to a note are listed under it, so you can easily view what action items are assigned under a meeting note. Hovering over each of these items will show you more details about that task in a popup box.
Now you know how to write notes about your meetings and phone calls, convert emails into notes, connect these notes with companies, contacts, and deals. You also know how to create action items (tasks) after these notes.
If those meetings are going well, your customer may ask you to send a quote at some point. Let’s see how you can get that done in TeamGram.
Next Topic: Writing Quotes