How to Take Sales Notes that Help Close Deals

Veronika Traublinger
November 16, 2021

Discover the secret to better note-taking that will streamline your workflow and improve your efficiency.

Salespeople hate taking notes. 

We get it. 

Good sales call notes drive better results. And they don’t just help you - they help your entire sales team, your management, and even your customer to stay on top of everything.

So be wise, and take notes during your sales calls.

In this article, we explain why sales notes are so important and share tips that help you take better notes that help you close deals.

The Importance of Sales Notes.

1. They help you retain information.

At its most basic level, sales notes help you remember essential details about your prospective customer that you need to close a deal.

Sales conversations are full of information that can help you seal the deal. And, unless you have a really outstanding memory, you can’t remember everything a prospect is saying during a 60-minute sales call. And chances are you might forget even more until your next follow-up meeting, making it highly challenging to tailor your product pitch to the customer’s unique needs.

2. They enable a smooth sales process.

Sales notes are not only for you. They are a valuable resource for your entire sales team. 

Imagine you’re an Account Executive getting a new lead from an SDR. Detailed notes help you understand your prospect’s challenges and needs before your meeting, allowing you to give a tailored sales presentation.

3. They help you build better sales and marketing collateral.

Detailed sales notes give insights into your target group’s challenges, goals, and objections. Those insights help your marketing and sales enablement team build highly targeted content, helping you address the right leads at the right time with the right message.

4. They make the customer feel important.

By taking notes, you demonstrate to your prospective customer that you’re taking in what they are saying and that it is important to you.

5 Steps to Better Sales Call Notes.

All right. By now, you should know that sales notes are essential for an effective sales process. So, let’s take a look at how to take good notes.

1. Have a game plan.

Avoid going into a call with a blank sheet of paper. This will lead to unstructured, contextless notes where you’ll probably have a hard time making sense out of them post-call. 

Instead, think through each stage of your sales process. Prospecting, qualification, demo - what key information do you need from your prospect to move the deal forward?

The number and type of talking points will depend on your product, target group, and sales process, but basics usually include:

  • Challenges
  • Goals
  • Result of the meeting / next step

You can use a tool like Ciara to build your sales call notes template to make things easier and save some time post-call.

Ciara Meeting Tool

This way, you’ll get perfectly structured, digital notes after every meeting that automatically get synced to your CRM. On top, you have your essential talking points always visible live in the meeting, ensuring you don’t forget to cover any important topics.

2. Keep your notes consistent and structured.

As stated before, your sales notes are not only a resource for you but for the entire company. So always take notes, knowing they’ll be read by someone else.

Make sure they are clear and concise and have a standardized structure so everything can look at the notes and understand them quickly.

By using a template as suggested before, structuring your notes will be a no-brainer.

3. Record your meetings.

We don’t recommend you to record your meetings instead of taking notes - it is always good to have a concise summary of your meeting. But having a meeting recording and transcript on top of your notes is a big plus:

  • It lets you get in-depth insights on a specific topic if something in your notes isn’t clear enough. 
  • You get the exact customer wording and don’t have to rely on notes which might be biased.
  • You ensure all details get captured even, for example, in a demo call where you can’t properly take notes while screen sharing.
  • A recording of, e.g., your sales demo, is a great resource for your customer too to show it to peers that weren’t able to attend the meeting.

4. Note down next steps and action items.

Always clearly note down all next steps and action items - including customer follow-ups and internal to-dos.

In Ciara, for example, you get asked for the next steps after every meeting so you never forget to set a concrete action item.

Ciara Next Step Feature

5. Update your CRM right away.

You might not always take your notes directly in your CRM. Some people still prefer pen and paper (although we don’t recommend it for several reasons, one of them is the time it takes to type your notes up again after the meeting).

No matter which method you choose, always ensure you put your notes into the CRM after your call.

Especially in large deals, the process can be very long, taking weeks or even months. There will be multiple demos and calls, and you need all the information in one place to ensure a smooth process.

(Quick reminder about Ciara at this point, which automatically logs your calls and sales notes in your CRM. )

Sales Notes Make you a Better Salesperson.

Taking sales notes might be tedious, but, in the end, they are a valuable tool to help you close more deals.

Notes help you build long-lasting relationships and impress your customers with your attention to detail.

A meeting assistant like Ciara can help you take more effective sales call notes. You can easily take structured and concise notes and automatically log them in your CRM.

Take a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) and see how Ciara can help you better document your sales meetings and sell more.