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5 Must-know Tips to Make Sales Call Notes Work for Your Deals

Anastasia Sokolova
10/1/20 4:53 PM

“Talking notes” sounds like a #throwback to a high school classroom, where you scribbled away frantically while the teacher lectured on and on.

You didn’t like it back in then, you don’t like it now. And we get it.

I mean, who likes to hang on a person’s lips 🤷‍♀️, especially if you are having a long-winded verbose conversation. 

That's why in this blog, I will attempt to show how really, really good note-taking can benefit your deals, and the right way to do it. 

Already sounds cooler than school, right?

In this article:

Bad notes can cost you good deals

Seriously, if you are scribbling those lines just for the sake of it, let us warn you beforehand: bad notes make it harder to close deals.

Take notes for yours, your team’s and your client’s sake: Life just throws more and more stuff at you and you can’t hold everything in your head. Take, for instance, it’s the middle of the month and the sales target is looming over your head. You look at your prospect list whom you approached earlier this month. Without sales call notes, you’ll surely start mixing up who’s price-sensitive and who needs more follow-up. At this point, scribblings from your sales notes can be the silver bullet — if you know what to say and how to say it, you'll win your deals. Why lose out on such seemingly unimportant but crucial details?

If you don’t need it today, it’ll also help in the future. Sales notes improve the sales process for your company and can spark additional ideas and help the whole team create better pitch decks.

Thus, just by taking strong sales notes you can improve collaboration, boost productivity—and even increase sales revenue.

There’s another giant reason taking notes is non-negotiable: clients forget! However, if you have it written black and white in your sales note, you can always be the one they can fall back on –– and that’s definitely a huge browny point in terms of service.

Now onto the secret sauce of effective note-taking.  

How to make your call notes work for you - 5 tips + 1 sales note  template

To ensure you don’t waste your precious time, you must develop effective note-taking practices. The trick is to be selective in what should be there in your sales notes.

Here are 5 things to include in your sales notes template – during or after a sales call – to ensure that you have everything required for closing deals.

Sales notes during the call

  • A concise summary: This includes basic details about your deal or contact like contact details (including name and title), pain points, key discussion topics, readiness to buy, purpose, the result of the meeting. If you are using an automated call tracking app, some of these basic data can directly be logged from your phone to, say a dashboard or an excel sheet, whichever format is more convenient to you.
  • Notes on action items, commitments and timelines
  • Key bits of business information: While communicating with sales prospects, there’s a good chance you’ll hear about various ‘buying clues’ — the prospects might speak about their expectations, business challenges, bad experiences they had with your competitors. So, stay attentive and make a note of all those crucial details. This can come in handy while building strategies or plans of action for follow-ups and converting the deal.
  • Focus on what’s important, actionable and insightful. Sales call notes aren’t supposed to be verbatim transcriptions of the whole call. Some reps produce pages and pages of writing that no one has the time to read. “Important,” “actionable,” and “insightful” – use these three words to judge whether it’s worth jotting down or not.
    • Did you say that you would do something before you called back?
    • Did you commit to giving a discount?
    • Has the prospect asked you to call them after a certain time?
    • Did the prospect ask for a product demo or details of the pricing plan?
    • Did the prospect say they would take a decision on something? By when?

Without taking notes, both parties are likely to forget what they committed to do. So, take notes of what was promised, who promised it, and when it’s supposed to be done.

Pro-tip: Add it to your calendar immediately: When you or your prospect decides on a date, sync it to your calendar and set it as a reminder. This way, even if you don’t look at your notes every day, you’ll know when the follow-up action is due and never miss a deadline. After all, research shows that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience.

Pro-tip: Personalize your notes. Make concise notes of the conversation. But don’t forget to take note of personal connections or interesting facts that can help you or another rep establish a better relationship with the prospect. Did they mention an upcoming vacation? Hobby? Favourite sport? These little things can make all the difference.

Remember, in sales, you're not just selling. You're constantly building relationships too, so treat every conversation as if they're with someone whose relationship you truly value. (You do value them, don't you?)

Notes after the sales call

  • Digitalise your notes: Are you a fan of the old pen and paper way? Don’t worry, we won’t tell you to change your habit. However, we do insist that you immediately transfer your notes to a digital format –– for its obvious benefits. And while you are at it, don’t forget to finish those half-written sentences on the note pad while your memory is fresh. You’ll thank us later 😅
  • Post-call analysis (in short): Add a quick line on where your solution fits in and what should be the natural next steps for this case. Also, there’s always something to learn from each conversation. Make a note of things like:
    • Was the call successful?
    • Did the client have any negative remarks?
    • Did you cover all the strengths of your product?
    • Is there anything more that you could do to improve communication with your prospect?

So that you remember all these things, we’ve added a Free Sales Notes Template that you can download and start right away!.

sales call note-taking template

Best apps for sales notes

Record the meeting, conference session or keynote speech to make sure you don't forget what was said and exactly how it was said later on.

  • Note-taking apps: If you like plain and simple go for something like Evernote, Simplenote, QuickNotes or Dragon Anywhere. These are very simple to use apps with intuitive UI and come with features to keep text, audio as well as handwritten notes. 
  • Call recording apps: For more verbatim recordings, you can always rely on call recording apps like Automatic Call Recorder, Blackbox Call Recorder, Boldbeast Call Recorder or any other call recording app to get a back-up of the whole conversation. In case you missed to note something, you’ll have it here. However, don’t forget to ask your prospects permission before you start recording the call.
  • Also, you can always automatically capture mobile phone calls with Salestrail (but you already know about this :P) and log them to a system of your choice.  

Earn your spot in the sales hall of fame with our Sales Call - From Good to Great bundle, or learn how Salestrail can help your remote team do better sales calls

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