Have you ever taken notes in a sales meeting only to realize you were too busy writing to hear something? Been unable to read or understand what you jotted down? Or left a meeting only to realize you can’t remember a single thing you or anyone else needs to do? This article is for you. What is useful is to have a good note taking app, and have a good template for your next meeting and to follow some useful advice, and we provide all of this. We discuss several tips for effective online note taking, and give a template example, all of which is particularly useful for sales managers. We also let you know what note taking software can help you focus more in the meetings and be certain nothing is missed.
Why you need to take meeting notes
Meeting notes take the highlights of meeting’s, but also, unlike meeting minutes, can go a bit further in what is discussed. They may not be quite as structured as meeting minutes, although they absolutely should be organized in a useful way (more on that later).
Generally, if you are the meeting notes taker, you take down important information, interactions, and anything that requires logging, from action items, to votes, to demands, to challenges ahead and much more, depending on the meeting.
Effective note taking is vital when we have so many meetings. In 2015, according to attentiv there were approximately 11 million meetings taking place every day, so by now, it could be more, and with the increase of digital work, more and more of these are taking place online.
Meeting notes are useful because it provides a log of interactions, and information that can be summarized and shared. This means that everyone who attended the meting, and those who didn’t, can refer back to the meeting to check any action points they need to do, check what was agreed, and if there are any lingering questions.
By having this log, it means the meeting was not a waste of time, and there won’t be need for extra meetings to catch everyone up again, which can lead to people getting fed up with meetings all together.
Sales meeting notes are particularly useful to refer back to what your clients have stated, or what a lead wants to be demonstrated before they will go any further, or can give you some valuable information for your next call about the client, allowing you to create a better rapport and questions in any future meeting.
Additionally, as a sales manager, being a smart note taker will help you stand out and demonstrate your value to the organization. These notes will be appreciated by everyone, and are crucial, although it is a task that many take for granted, or fail to do all together.
Tips for better notes
To be a smart note taker follow these tips! They will help you to have more effective notes and allow you to get all the important information down that you need.
Start before the meeting
Before you begin to take meeting notes, you should prepare. Have a template ready, have an organized structure of the notes, any online note taking software or any other program you require ready, and try to find out what you can about the meeting beforehand, to have an idea of what to focus on. For example, have a space for the date and time, the agenda, attendees, goal, action items, deadlines and anything else, and if you know anything prior to the meeting, write these down to save yourself time, and you will have more effective note taking.
Use a note taking app
Note-taking software will considerably make your life easier. A good online note taking software can record the meeting, transcribe the conversation, and in the case of Notiv, can summarize the meeting for you. You may still want to take extra notes, to be on the side of caution, however, note taking software is useful to have a back-up, and it can help make sure you don’t miss anything.
Have a good note structure
Even if you are using a note taking app, you should have a template to organize the notes into relevant sections. There are various methods to help you take meeting notes, however.
- The Cornell Method means that you take general notes on the right-hand side and key points on the left, and has five steps, record, reduce, recite, reflect, and review.
|Key points (with examples)||Notes|
|Client received the introduction pack since last meeting as agreed|
|Client is concerned about ROI||I explained previous clients as examples |
ROI increases by X% on average
|I will share with the client the previous results of others using our service next week|
|After, I will provide a demo of our software|
|Next meeting will be on 15.02.22||Client is on vacation next week|
- Another method is to have quadrants, for example one section for ideas, another for action items, another for to-do’s for you, and another for other tasks.
|Action items |
Send lead reviews of former clients
What are the lead’s long-term goals?
Let’s provide a free trial if feedback is good
|Personal tasks |
I will get a trial version of the software to send
- Mind mapping is a different approach, where you have central ideas shooting off each other with subsections.
After using these methods, you should rewrite in a more official and structured manner. This not only allows you to identify what is important, but it makes it easier for others to follow and show off your skills as an effective meeting notes taker.
Focus on key information
Regardless of the structure of your notes or template, or if you are using your hand or a note taking app, you need to know what to listen out for before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). This will give you more effective note taking. These are things you most likely need to take notes of:
- Action items
- Strategy for execution
- Difficulties and concerns
- Achieved milestones
Don’t write down everything
A common mistake people make when being the meeting notes taker is to write down notes on everything. The trick is to focus on key areas. Write in shorthand as well, and you can re write later into more comprehensive notes. A good note taking app will also help you capture everything if you need to review.
Finalize and share notes after the meeting
Rewrite the notes, reflect, rewrite again, and finally review and share.
It may be useful to have a collaborative document with any relevant persons, so take the data from the online note taking software or your notes and put it into a document.
Once you have the notes finalized, it should be put into a good structured format for dissemination.
The notes also should be logged somewhere for others to review, and shared via some other application, particularly with those who were in the meeting or couldn’t attend but were meant to. Notiv note taking app can be integrated with Slack for example, allowing you to share with anyone necessary.
Sales meeting notes template
Here is a template, to help you have more effective note-taking. This is based on the Cornell method, but it can be adjusted to suit you.
We have covered some tips that are useful for effective note taking. Whether you are doing handwritten or online note taking, they will be of use. We also provided a template, for you to fill in for future meetings, you can use alongside any note-taking app. In terms of note taking software, consider learning more about Notiv and how recording your meetings will help you considerably.