Did you ever wonder how some people can take meeting minutes in a blink of an eye? In this weekly blog, we’re going to reveal some tips with meeting minutes and tell you why it is important to your organization. Check it yourself!
Last week, I read a very interesting article about how to capture meeting minutes in Salesforce effectively. Throughout the Partner Portal of Salesforce.com, there were also many requests about taking notes and saving meeting minutes in Salesforce. I thought this is something I should share with you, because too many companies and organizations using Salesforce CRM out there.
Here are a couple of milestones we need to achieve today:
- Why meeting minutes are important?
- What’s involved with meeting minutes?
- Pre-planning or agenda creating
- Notes capturing
- Tasks and follow-ups assigning
- Distributing and sharing meeting minutes
Why are meeting minutes important?
Needless to say, meeting minutes are crucial not only in the sales meeting but also in many other business meetings. It should clarify at least the followings:
- Attendees, date and time, the purpose of the meeting
- What has been discussed
- What are the next steps
In some industries such as telecommunication and financial services, typical salespeople and experts usually handle hundreds of meetings and phone calls. You can imagine how challenging it is to remember what they have gone through with clients and go on with the next steps. The information which is recorded during a meeting may have a great impact on the decision making process regarding purchasing, revenue, timeline, et cetera.
Hence, it is compulsory for those who work in a contact center, inside sales or field sales position to capture meeting minutes. An ideal place to store those notes is, of course, their company’s CRM system (for eg. Salesforce.com)
What’s involved with meeting minutes?
To capture meeting minutes effectively, it’s wise to get to know what’s involved with meeting minutes. A good read from wildapricot.com has given me the same ideas about which stages might be included and I adjusted it based on what Meeting Assistant offers.
Pre-planning or agenda creating
Prior to the meeting, it’s wise to plan what you want to discuss and go through it with your client. Salespeople and experts will know what they want. However, sometimes it’s hard to ensure that they will cover all aspects in order. Traditional companies may provide them with a template on paper or an excel file. It’s fine! But the problems come when they have no place to store those meeting minutes in their CRM system (Salesforce.com for example). Manual data input is a burden then.
As I mentioned above, a spreadsheet of agenda or milestone provided by your company may be helpful. In general speaking, those agendas may include:
- Date and time of the meeting
- Names of the attendees
- Acceptance or corrections/amendments to previous meeting minutes
- Decisions made on each agenda item, for example: actions taken or agreed to be taken, next steps, items to be held over, next meeting date and time
Here are some tips that I learnt through taking notes:
- Follow the timeline – you have a consistent presentation and sales meeting for, let’s say 30-45 minutes BUT some client have limited time. Remember to adjust your speech, questions and conversation within the timeline.
- Keep it simple – yes, I mean it. Don’t try to make your notes complicated with long texts. Capturing every words and sentences is not a good idea. Instead, let’s keep it simple, clear and understandable.
- Confirm with your client – you may get it wrong with some sayings so always clarify it together with your clients. Avoid misunderstanding!
- Record it (if allowed) – prior to the meeting, you may need to ask client permission to record. Well, it simply makes sure you have all information correctly.
Tasks and follow-ups assigning
An important aspect with meeting minutes are assigning tasks and creating follow-ups. In many meetings, people do this step when the the conversation ends. However, it’s bad if you miss some important words and tasks which haven’t been assigned at the time of saying. Therefore, let’s try to assign tasks and follow-ups as soon as possible, during the meeting preferably.
Distributing and sharing meeting minutes
To make it easy for yourself and your team to follow up, remember to distribute and share your meeting minutes internally. It helps the whole team review and revise or approve the minutes. Basically there are many ways to share your meeting minutes: Online sharing, Cloud sharing, Paper sharing (the most traditional method).
As this blog post is about meeting minutes in Salesforce, there is a way to share it by utilizing the syncing and exporting functionality of Meeting Assistant. This Salesforce-based solution helps users save and export meeting minutes into PDF files within their Salesforce Org. You can also easily share the PDF file externally with your client so they will be updated with the last conversation.
In conclusion, meeting minutes are important and to some organization, it’s a compulsory work that customer-facing employees should follow. It helps facilitate the sales activities and make the conversation with your clients meaningful. I hope the above advice will give you some insight how to take notes and prepare meeting minutes effectively in Salesforce. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts in the section below. We always appreciate your feedback!
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