How to turn Brainstorm Meetings into Meaningful Results

brainstorm meeting

Introduction

When you’re faced with the task of coming up with the next big idea at work, it may seem like the logical next step to organize a brainstorm meeting to get some help from your colleagues.
However, brainstorm meetings can sometimes be stressful because a lot of different ideas get thrown around, someone ends up dominating the conversation, while others just remain silent. But if done properly, brainstorm meetings can be an effective way of gathering input from lots of people from varying perspectives.
But brainstorm meetings don’t have to be stressful! Follow our tried and tested tips to hosting a successful brainstorm meeting that is sure to bring you effective results.

1) Come Prepared

Like any successful meeting, your brainstorm meeting should start with an agenda. Participants should be able to understand the purpose of the meeting and what they’re aiming to accomplish so they can come prepared and be ready to jump in when the time comes.
Before bringing everyone together, send out an agenda ahead of time so that people can get familiar with the topic and definitions, and have some time to think before the brainstorm meeting starts.
Additionally, having an agenda will allow the meeting facilitator to make sure you are staying on track and that all topics and discussion points are getting covered. We will talk more about facilitators later!
Check out our previous blog post that outlines the many benefits to having an agenda, and how you can create a meeting agenda that you will actually stick to!

2) Define the Problem

At times, we go into problem solving mode without fully understanding what the problem actually is. The first step in an effective brainstorm meeting is to outline the problem you are trying to overcome. The question should be clear and easy to understand. Lay out the context and any definitions that may come up. The more information you can give about the problem, the more likely you are to come up with a great solution.
Like we mentioned in the first point, sending out contextual information and reading materials ahead of time will allow participants to have a better understanding of the problem before the meeting even begins.

3) Have a Facilitator

In a room full of people throwing around ideas, it is important to have someone in charge to maintain order and make sure conversations don’t get sidetracked. The role of a facilitator is to keep everyone on topic and make sure that time is being spent productively in the meeting.
When picking a moderator, pick someone who is impartial and will not be afraid to redirect the conversation if needed. They should also make sure everyone has had the chance to speak their mind and that no single person is dominating the conversation as this can be both distracting and discouraging to others.

In the brainstorming session, there will definitely be a lot of innovative suggestions that may not be related to the topic. The arbiter may acknowledge these ideas but put them aside for future consideration so as not to stray from the main agenda. There’s no need to forget about them entirely, but rather, set them aside to come back to at a later date.
The facilitator should be encouraged to keep track of the conversation and take notes of all the points being discussed. Without a record, it’s easy for the ideas to get lost and forgotten. What’s the best way to do this? By using Notiv, of course!

Use Notiv’s AI Notetaker to record, transcribe and summarize your brainstorm meeting in just minutes! 

meaningful results

Notiv will take down everything that was said, word for word, so there is no room for confusion about outcomes and deadlines after the meeting. To learn more about how you can convert your conversations into meaningful outcomes, click here.

4) Encourage Participation

It can be intimidating to let go of your worries and come up with ideas in front of a group of people, at the risk of saying the wrong thing or your idea not being well received.

brainstorm meetingIt is important to remember that everyone who is at the brainstorm meeting is there for a reason, and so they should all have a chance to voice their opinions and ideas. Encourage participants to speak up by letting them know that all ideas are welcome.
People come from different backgrounds and have different experiences so they will all have different solutions to the same problem, which is why it is important that everyone has had the chance to speak their mind. This is why a diverse group of participants is key!
In our opinion, the best combination is a group of people with different perspectives and skills big picture, details, process, etc to be able to get the most varied set of ideas in your brainstorm meeting.

5) Quantity over Quality

Yes, you read that right! It may seem like you should be zooming in on a couple of great ideas instead of spending time coming up with loads of different ones, but this is actually not the case.
We recommend setting a 5-10 minute timer and having each participant write down as many ideas as possible, to then discuss afterwards. Note down your suggestions, no matter how crazy or out of the box they sound. You’d be surprised but there will most likely be someone at your brainstorm meeting who has thought of the same crazy idea as you.
After that’s done, you can focus on the best ideas and build on them. Most likely you will find that patterns begin to merge and there will be similarities between ideas.
This is why teamwork is important in brainstorm meetings – it allows us to take ideas and make them stronger. When everyone has the opportunity to contribute, it is easier to work together to find a solution. Additionally, people are more receptive to the ideas they helped develop.

6) Get Out the Bad Ideas First

As mentioned earlier, people often feel afraid to say the wrong thing in front of a group of people but it is important that they feel comfortable enough to speak their mind openly and really say what they’re thinking.
At some point during the brainstorm session, participants will look to each other for approval. This is only natural. However, you should put an end to this as soon as possible. If participants feel they are being judged, they will stop sharing their best and most unusual ideas. A word of caution: there’s a very fine line between saying “no” to bad ideas and making people feel discouraged from contributing, so be cautious!
By getting out the bad ideas first, you’re encouraging people to get creative and to think outside the box. This creates a more comfortable environment where people feel more relaxed and willing to participate.

7) Keep an Open Mind

This ties in to our previous point about bad ideas. Keep an open mind to other people’s ideas, even if they sound unusual at first.

new ideasBe receptive to other participants’ thoughts and try to build on them. Not only is this good manners, it is also going to make you look like a team player. Many good ideas are inspired by other people, so let your teammates draw suggestions from one another to bring more ideas to the table.
Remember, brainstorming is not a time to get into specific and “ideal” solutions. If you try to perfect ideas prematurely, you may turn the brainstorming meeting into a meeting focused on a specific idea. Instead, encourage everyone to continue to come up with their strange and creative ideas.

8) Follow Up

Usually, brainstorm meetings don’t just end there, there is a process that comes afterwards on how to implement the ideas that were discussed. You will most likely need to meet again at some point to talk about the details of putting one or more ideas into action, and to review the ideas that are not high on the priority list.
Make a habit of following up after all of your meetings, not just brainstorm ones specifically. Send an email after your gathering to share the documents you discussed, agree on action items and outline each participant’s responsibilities.
One way to do this effectively is to use Notiv. Remember we mentioned earlier that Notiv can record and transcribe your meetings? Share the recording with your team members so they can refer back to what was discussed at the meeting in detail – from action points, to highlights, to deliverables. To learn more about how Notiv can help you, click here.

Types of Brainstorming Tactics

Now that we’ve covered our main tips for a successful brainstorm meeting, it’s time to outline specific techniques that will allow you to conduct a productive brainstorming session. There are many methods out there, but we will focus on the ones we think produce the most effective results.

 1) Brain Writing

Brain writing is simple – it’s when participants take a few minutes to write down ideas that come to their head about a specific problem or topic. After a few minutes, you pass the piece of paper to the person next to you and they add on to it. This process repeats several times.
Brain writing is particularly great when there are people in the group who might be too anxious for traditional brainstorming and would find it more comfortable to work together in a group.

2) Rapid Ideation

We briefly touched on this already. When using this technique, the meeting leader provides information on topics, budgets, deadlines, etc. or the context of the problem in advance. Then a time limit is set and the individuals have to write down as many thoughts or ideas as possible on the topic. This is not the time to narrow in on specific ideas, this is the time to  get creative and let your mind roam free.

3) The Stepladder Technique

This type of brainstorming encourages team members to contribute individually before sharing their ideas. The session begins when the host shares the topic or question with the entire team. Once the topic is shared, everyone leaves the room, except two team members. Then the two colleagues will discuss the topic and their thoughts on it. After that, an additional team member is added to the group. This new member will contribute their ideas before the other two discuss their ideas. This process is repeated until everyone from the original group is back in the room again.
This technique is useful because it allows participants to share their thoughts without being influenced by others’ opinions. This technique should ideally be used by groups of 15 people or less, as when the group gets too big, the process can take a lot longer and be less productive.

Conclusion

Brainstorm meetings don’t have to be a painful experience if they’re done properly. You shouldn’t expect to make any big decisions during your meeting, but rather see it as the first step to an ongoing process.
Give your colleagues some time to let their ideas and meeting discussions settle for a few days before moving onto the next steps. Putting the ideas into action will come at a later time, which is why it is important to draw a series of conclusions that are clear to all participants at the end of the brainstorming session. Make sure everyone is in line for the next steps and add some milestones to the development of ideas that arise during the problem-solving process.
Don’t forget this helpful tip – keep your brainstorm meetings organized by having an agenda and a facilitator to keep everyone on track and let the ideas flow!
Are you planning on hosting a brainstorm meeting soon? Why not sign up for our 14 day free trial and let Notiv take your meeting notes for you!

How To Eliminate Time Wasters at Work and Increase Your Productivity

distractions at work

How often do you stop working, even when you try your best to focus on a task? Does the sound of a notification, someone’s voice, an email, or another meeting regularly ruin your productivity? There are many distractions at work, whether you work in an office or at home, and they come in many different forms. This article will help you accomplish more tasks and beat these time wasters effectively

A study on the consequences of interrupted work shows that workers usually overcome this issue with speedy compensatory tasks, leading to a stressed-out workforce.  So it is something that needs addressing if you or your team are struggling to be as productive as you’d like. Another study by Gallup found that on average, workers in the office are interrupted every 3 minutes, so that is a lot of distractions!

Knowing what the distractions are, and how to deal with them, will help you overcome these time wasters much easier. We explain the types of distractions you and your colleagues face every day, list the top time wasters, and give you some advice on how to beat them, increasing productivity.

Most Common Distractions from Work

You may think that a chatty colleague, or your lack of willpower to not check your phone are the only time wasters at work you need to worry about. While these are big time wasters, and we’ll get to them, there are many types of distractions, some of which you may never think about. We list the main categories of distraction:

types of distractions

Technological Time Wasters

This one isn’t a surprise, we’ve already mentioned it twice! However, it comes in a few forms. Phones are the main distraction, with over 46% of people in one U.S survey spending 5-6 hours on their phone a day. Generally, the rate of people using their phones is increasing year over year. Technological devices help us in many areas of life, but there is so much on there which, in the context of work, could be a waste of time.

It’s not just phones though, these distractions can come on other tech devices. Sitting facing your computer, it’s very easy to get distracted, whether by social media, emails or even by other work-related messages on slack. We will come to all of this in more detail later on.

managing distractions

Working Space

How your workspace, whether a home office or otherwise, is set up is another major factor in how productive you are. If there are lots of people walking around and talking to you, and if you have a lack of personal space to get your work done, you will most likely be interrupted a lot, and lose out on productivity. 

how to accomplish tasks effectively

Lack of Self-management

These types of time wasters can be the result of poor working methods, but also from poor organization on behalf of the company. One study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that due to Covid-19, the number of meetings and emails sent increased significantly, leading to a long workday, and a more stressed workforce. When there is a lack of coordinated communication within the company, too many meetings, and a constant stream of conversations which could be done via much more efficient communication, rather than letting workers get on, then productivity will suffer. 

Personal Habits

The final type of time waster is more about personal choices. Unhealthy habits, like a bad diet, lack of sleep, and too much sugar, for example, can lead to a lack of concentration. A lack of exercise can mean you sleep poorly, leading to bad concentration at work. Too much caffeine as well can lead to an inability to focus on your tasks. 

Also, are you a tidy person? An untidy work environment has been proven to cause a lack of productivity as well and can lead to distraction. A study by Princeton showed how order is preferred by the human brain to be productive. 

The Biggest Workplace Time Wasters

We’ve explained the types of time wasters you may experience. Here are the top three distractions at work you need to overcome and some tips on how to do so. 

Smartphones and Social Media

We already mentioned electronics, and smartphones are the top distraction. Of course, phones can be used for work and just because you or your colleague are looking at their phone when sitting at their desk, it doesn’t mean no work is getting done. However, it can still cause a lot of interruptions. 

When you’re on a phone, notifications may come in, and it’s very easy to get sidetracked. This is why social media is a real distraction, as are emails, and other forms of communication that have little notifications, as your brain instinctively wants to react. 

Social media has been found in some studies to be a major cause, if not the main cause, of distraction in the workplace. People spend a lot of time on them endlessly scrolling, but also, even if they aren’t on the apps themselves when workers just know that people are available at any time at the press of a button, they cannot focus on their tasks well. 

How can we overcome this, when we rely so much on our phones? The best solution, aside from deleting those distracting apps which obviously would be the most effective, if a bit drastic solution these days, is to turn off notifications from non-work-related apps during working hours. This way, nothing will disturb you, and you can avoid staring at your phone too much. 

Noise 

Noisy neighbors and workplaces can be disastrous to your concentration. Whether it’s a colleague constantly bothering you or some construction in your neighborhood as you work from home, noise is proven in various studies to be a major source of stress and distraction. Due to the rise of open-plan offices, this is made worse, not better. In addition, if your home office is full of noise, you may well also struggle. 

Few people would rather work in tiny cramped cubicles, so open, or partially open offices, are most likely going to stay. Therefore, the best solution to this is to wear headphones and listen to something that is not too distracting. Music can help you at home or the office and can drown out any distracting noises. Find what music is right for you as it shouldn’t be anything too overwhelming or stimulating itself to enable you to focus! 

Overload of Communication

time wasters at work

This factor is a combination of the previous two but needs discussing. Notifications, emails, and offline or online meetings constantly getting in the way of work are major sources of distraction.  If you are having to stop your work every ten minutes to have another chat with a manager, and have days full of meetings, it’s very hard to get your work done. 

This requires an overhaul of how communication is done in the company, for channels to be properly organized, and for meetings to be productive and only when necessary. We will come to what you or your management can do to fix this shortly, as it requires a bit more detail. 

Eliminating time wasters

We’ve got a few other tips to ensure you get the most out of your workday, manage distractions and utilize your time more effectively:

Time management

It is rare that workers actually work each and every minute of their working day. We all need rest, not just to be more productive but for our well-being. Allocate time for specific tasks, give yourself a plan of what you will do so you aren’t multitasking, and give yourself time to breathe and relax as well. This will allow you to focus better when you do need to work, allowing you to be far more productive, than overwhelming yourself with 100 things to do at the same time. Very few people can successfully multitask, so don’t overburden yourself. 

time wasters

Workspace

Environment dictates and a messy desk is a major distraction to your work, even if you don’t think so. So, clear your desk, have a quiet environment or use headphones, and also close all useless programs and applications from your computer and phone. Try to take a more minimalist approach and you will find yourself being more productive

managing distractions

Keep yourself healthy

This isn’t always easy of course, but trying to make some improvements to your health will help you be productive at work and less liable to be distracted. 

Regular hydration has been shown in studies to massively increase concentration. Not only this but hydration can help reduce appetite and benefit your health in many different ways. It can also substitute drinks full of sugar and caffeine (maybe not all of your coffees of course.)

Exercising can lead to better sleep, better mood, and more energy, allowing you to be more focused. 

A good diet as well will lead to better energy levels, so think about what you will have at lunch when you’re working if you want to be productive. 

distractions at work

Productivity Management Software

There is a wealth of apps you can use to boost your productivity and manage distractions. In addition, they will help you and your company achieve more effective communication.  These can really help with the problem of too many meetings, messages and poor communication.

Productivity Management Tools that Helps You Avoid Time Wasters

waste of time

We gave you some tips so far to help you get on with your work with ease. To further help you, we have collected some of the best tools available to you to increase your productivity and overcome distraction when working. Here is a list of the types of tools you can utilize:

Distraction Blocking Tools

When you use these applications which block out sites, social media or whatever else is a big time waster, you can be considerably more productive. You can block out certain sites and other apps while you work, keeping yourself from going into wormholes on the internet. Free browser apps such as Leechblock, Freedom, or Serene (among many others) can do this, and you can usually specify certain times, days etc, that you want to block a list of particular sites on your browser. 

how to accomplish tasks effectively

Time Management Tools & Productivity Software

 

In addition, you can use timekeeping apps such as Toggl, Due, or Toptracker, to help you keep track of how long you spend on a task. Using this kind of software can also help you plan and manage what tasks you have to do for the month, week, day, hour, so you can ensure you stay on top of everything you need to do.

time wasters

Collaborative Software

Using collaborative apps, particularly ones that integrate well with others and can be all found under one “roof” really help coordinate communication, leading to less pointless meetings, fewer interruptions, and more efficient communication. You can place work tasks, pin vital information, and send messages to individuals or groups. For example, Slack is a great place to have different channels for conversations between relevant team members. Trello is a good place to share work tasks in real time, especially for small teams. As well, Notion is an excellent collaborative software, combining tasks, key company info, and communication in one place.  

managing distractions

Meeting Management Software

You most likely will have online meetings. Software such as Zoom, or Microsoft Teams can be good ways to host these virtual meetings with multiple attendants. In addition to having better communication, it’s good to make the most of any online meetings, no matter what platform you host these meetings on.  

For example, you can use Notiv to ensure that all meetings, on any software, are recorded, transcribed, and the key information is noted, so that everyone knows what happened in a meeting and, what to expect in future meetings.

By doing so, meetings won’t take too long to recap information, and everyone knows what to do afterward. It can be integrated with other apps as well such as Slack, to ensure all communication about any meetings is stored and done effectively. No more going through notes or repetitive questions about previous meetings, no more pointless meetings as time wasters, it’s all in one virtual space. 

Conclusion

We hope this article has given you some useful advice to ensure you overcome distractions at work. There are three main things to focus on, the workspace, personal habits, and how communication is done at work. There are a range of tools out there to help you with a lot of this, so no matter where you work or what you or your team do, we can all be more productive.

It is also vitally important to recognise the disruption too many meetings can have at work and try to focus on reducing this load.

sales call tips

By removing distractions in the workplace, increasing concentration abilities, and generally creating a better environment for working in, you will greatly improve productivity and allow you and your team to get on with what they need to do.

How To Make A Sales Call: Tips To Win Big In 2021 (with examples)

sales call guide

How to make a good sales call? It’s a big question, and one you should always think about. 

The sales call is a core component of business, but cracking them is not easy. 

You or your team may be nailing the cold calls, and generating interest from potential clients with your solutions, but you’re maybe still struggling to get many people to the next step and actually wanting to buy or trial your product. Even if you do not have this problem, you should always want to brush up your skills, and make sure you are doing all you can to achieve the goals you have set. Regardless of how things are going for you, we can help.

Whether for you, or your team, we have a list of tips, tricks, and tools which can guide you from before to after the sales call, to get the best results. 

Prepare for the Sales Call

sales call tips

Getting the most from your calls, you need to prepare in advance, which may require some time.The more you prepare however, the easier it will be in future calls.  Have a sales call plan and follow the next few tips, and you will achieve a lot more:

Schedule well

sales tricks

Did you know that calls that take place too early in the mornings are generally less effective?  Or too late in the evening? If calls are being arranged by you or your team, make sure it’s picked at a good time. The best time to make sales calls is around 4pm in the afternoon. Failing that, around 10/11am.

If you are dealing with clients in different time zones, it is important to keep track of the time difference. Tools such as the time zone converter can show the time in two different countries, so you can ensure your clients, no matter where they are, are being contacted at the best possible time. 

Have your research ready

Sales calls are generally scheduled rather than a cold call, and therefore, the sales rep should try to be as prepared as possible with the details of your client. Have all the relevant information ready, and ensure they have any useful information in advance, so they don’t have to be overloaded with information, rather have a conversation. 

This information you can use about the client may be from your previous conversations, but also check out:

  • Linkedin 
  • Your CRM and marketing system
  • PR releases
  • Customer reviews 

Know your goal

best time to make sales calls

What is the purpose of the call? This is the focus of your interaction with this client, and should help you plan what you will say, what information you need to give them, and what answer you want from them. This can also help in any future calls with the client, to know what has been done and what needs to be done next. 

Here’s some things to consider: 

  • Is your goal to get them to understand what you offer?
  • Is your goal to get them to demo the solution?
  • Do you want them to have another meeting after considering your solution? 

Most likely, you are not expecting them to buy today, as it’s generally better to give more time. However, what you want exactly will determine the call, and will change the questions you will ask them (more on that in a bit).

Have a script, but be flexible

Sales reps need a script, but they should never read, rather be adaptable and present in the conversation. No one wants to hear a robotic voice listing off information, so it should be treated as a guide to convey key information, while allowing communication to sound like it’s from a normal human being!

How to start a sales call 

The moment has arrived, and the call needs to be made. So, how can calls get started to make sure the client doesn’t hang up or say no straight away? There are some sales call tips that should be followed: 

1. Start with friendly small talk

“I know you’re based in Austin, I actually used to live there myself, how’s the weather?”

“What’s it like at your office today? Ours is pretty crazy”

“How do you like working from home? I enjoy it, but I miss social interactions”

“I saw you studied in Chicago, so did I, how did you find it?” 

This sort of opener, which of course should be adopted to the relevant and true information, can help establish some natural rapport. This could be information about their company, talking about some recent work the company has done, or any info that can help establish some simple bond between the rep and the client. 

Small talk is the best way to start any sales call. People say they often hate it, but when it’s done right, it’s a vital way to build a relationship, ease into the conversation, and learn about the client. 

2. Explain the call

“I just want to explain what is on the agenda for us today. How does that sound?” 

“So today I’m going to give you the chance to tell me a bit about your company’s challenges, and we will let you know how we can help. Does that work for you?”

“We are going to give you a chance to speak, and we will explain how we can help working from home be more productive for you. Is this alright with you?”

Explain what the call will be about so they know what they are listening for, and what they should expect. This way, they feel secure in the call and that you will not be tricking them with anything at the end.

Also, ask if the goal of the call is okay for them, because this makes them feel more involved in the conversation. This isn’t like a cold call, the sales call should have a conversation here between two people as it gives the rep the ability to learn more, and the client will feel more engaged. By having the interactivity the conversation will facilitate better and a sale is much more likely. 

3. Be upfront 

sales call reporting

“What i want today is to know if you’re interested in having a further conversation about using our product and what we can arrange to help you”

“I’m hoping that by the end of this call, we can arrange something to help you with those problems you mentioned before”

“We want to be able to conduct another meeting later after today, based on what we discuss, and talk about having a free trial”

Don’t wait until the end to get the yes or no, get them thinking about it at the start, and they will listen more attentively, rather than wait just to give an answer. It makes them more comfortable knowing what to expect, and doesn’t put too much pressure on them. Honesty is a very effective thing and allows for reps to be more confident. 

During the sales call

1. Speak the correct amount

In cold calls, reps will generally speak more and get a better rate of success, and reps need to communicate and convince them to keep listening. In a sales call, reps need more interaction. Give them the chance to speak, explain their thoughts, and have a more interactive conversation, and reps will get a more positive response. 

sales call reporting

2. Use the right language to be persuasive

The sales rep in this conversation needs to lead the conversation not follow it. If they are positive, the client will be more likely to be enthusiastic about going forward. Here are some sales call tricks to be more persuasive when speaking. 

Try to use “I” more when building a personal relationship, but use “we” to build credibility. 

“We have been working with (a competitor) lately and they had a lot of results. We were wondering if you would be interested in such a service?”

This gives a sense of professionalism, and shows the rep as part of a bigger whole. “We” will be more effective at the start of the conversation, to represent the company, but then switch towards “I” later on. 

“But I am hoping that you will want to talk to me about this further”

This builds a connection between the rep, not the company, and the client. This can help foster better communication. It’s all about knowing when to use the right language.

Some other tips: control speech so as not to mimic the client, as this gives a sense of authoritativeness, and use downward intonation to sound more confident, otherwise everything will sound like a question! The client may not see the rep, so the voice  is a vital tool to utilize well.  Generally, using these kinds of things in speech will lead to greater results. 

3. Get the most from objections (and rejection)

When hearing an objection, the client should be able to voice their concern, and have it repeated back to them in a different way. The rep needs to show some understanding and sympathize with the client, so they can build that rapport again. 

“Do I understand that for you, it’s important to make sure this is worth the expenses?”

And use this opportunity to ask questions back. Keeping the flow of the conversation

“Why do you think this solution isn’t useful for you?”

Remember, if the client has an objection, this means they were paying attention.

If flatly rejected this should be used as an opportunity to learn. The rep should try to find out why they don’t think you can help them, and you and your team can use this in the future to improve. 

4. Get your questions right

how to make a sales call

Questions are a vital tool in business. A call needs to have both the right amount of questions and the right type of questions.  Around 11-14 questions is optimal per sales call, too many are overwhelming and annoying, too few fail to get enough information and don’t facilitate conversation sufficiently. Remember, this is a conversation not a monologue. 

But what sort of questions? The rep needs to find out:

  • what problems the client are having
  • what the client as a person thinks can be improved for them, their company, their work etc.
  • what they think about your company
  • their short term and long goals
  • what support they need from your company

and then finally, when the next call will be! 

How to ask these questions? Start with phrases such as 

  • “Can you help me understand”
  • “Can you explain to me”
  • “Lead me through”

These types of phrasing will make the client go into much more detail in their answers, so the rep will find out the most information. 

So putting this all together, consider these type of questions:

“Can you help me understand, what issues are you facing with productivity at the moment?”

“Walk me through a day at the office, what challenges do you face for example?”

“Can you explain to me what your current long and short term goals are?”

“Lead me through your thoughts on what needs improving at your company”

How to close the sales call 

1. Verify that the client understood the call

“So today, I asked you what you think about the challenges you’re facing, and you told me sometimes there’s problems with communication between management. And I explained how I think we can help you?”

“So, just to recap today, you explained how sometimes your customers are complaining a lot about service. Do you agree this is a problem? And you see how we can help you?”

Use the final moments to check if the client understands how your solution can help solve their problems, and why these problems need to be addressed. This will help them reflect on the conversation and see the necessity of what the rep is offering to help them reach their goals. Summarization is very important in the customer experience, and will help keep things clear and focused. 

2. Explain the next steps

how to start a sales call

“So next, we will arrange a further call, and we will talk about how trialing our service will work for you”

“After today, based on your feedback, we will go ahead and provide you with more information, and then we can have another call talk about implementation”

Once the call has been summarized, the rep then needs to spend some time explaining to them the next steps. Outline each step from here on, and ask when it is good for them to have another call. Among reps who spend more time explaining what’s next, you will find a higher rate of success in these calls, than by those who rush to the end or try to nail the sale then and there.  

Post Meeting

It is worth recording your meetings, and keeping everything logged properly. This process doesn’t need to be complicated, or slow, you can use software to automate this process. 

Ideally you will be able to review all the information, and go forward with confidence with the knowledge of the key takeaways of the meeting. Review notes, make a plan for the next step, and keep an eye out for how calls can be improved in the future. 

Sales call reporting (How to do it effectively in 2021)

Without a record of your important decisions and action items, you, your team, and your client can leave the meeting with different expectations and misalignment on next steps, causing confusion and disputes. 

This is why you should record your interactions, transcribe them, and keep track of all the key information. This can then help in any future meetings with the client, and you can confirm with them prior to any meetings any important information, to make sure you’re all on the same page. Also, digital records are a great way to check your sales team performance and progress. 

Notiv solves this issue, ensuring clarity with a meeting summary that can be shared with your client and team members. 

Notiv also turns your meetings into searchable digital notes that can be quickly reviewed to get the full context behind a decision. By recording, transcribing, and identifying the key extracts and action items from meetings, every meeting is now immeasurably more useful, and nothing is lost. 

sales call tips

Conclusion 

This guide provided steps for before, during and after sales calls, so you and/or your team can get better results. In addition to knowing how to conduct the calls, ensure the conversation is recorded, so that nothing is lost, and there is no misunderstanding between the rep and the client. Notiv can help with this. For those who want to know more about how Notiv works read more here. 

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