Every time you connect with a potential client on the phone, you share a dialog that you hope will lead to a meaningful relationship. Sometimes it happens quickly. Other times it can take months or even years. Person after person you’re building the promise of tomorrow’s success, not unlike the purpose of telesales companies. So having had these great calls, your database notes must be artfully illustrative of each unique discussion, or you could end up with an assemblage of faceless names.
B2B sales usually involves some kind of relationship, so potentially the buyer, once won, stays with you as a client for a long time. Telesales companies will be crafting these interactions one by one, day after day and the sheer number of calling records in their databases will need to be illustrative of the value created by this process of iterative calling. Where the value isn’t clear, the effort is wasted. Because when you come round to that record again, in weeks or months to come, the magic of the discussion is lost and you end up with your faceless faces again.
Making sure your database notes reflect the conversations you’ve had is even more important in the case of shared company databases. If only you understand, or remember, that fantastic enthusiasm you generated with a buyer weeks ago, anyone following up that record will pass it by, and the lead could be lost forever. For telesales companies, this failure could result in the haemorrhaging of projects, and inevitably clients.
How medics move notes
At Blue Donkey, we found a way to produce notes in superfast time, but which contain precious detail that is easily understood and passed around. Telesales companies are generally the first in a chain that goes from caller to client marketing, to client sales and client front line user. The nature and detail of discussions must be robust so they can be interpreted with exactly the same meaning from one person to another. So we looked at the medical industry where it’s critical for information to move between multidisciplinary functions from GP to Consultant, to nurse and so on.
Pass the S – O – A – P
The SOAP note originated from the Problem Oriented Medical Record by Dr Lawrence Weed. Dr Weed was a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Yale, where he spent most of his time doing research on microbial genetics. On occasion though, he would accompany students on their hospital rounds and watch as they struggled to interpret the often chaotic patient notes left by doctors.
Dr Weed designed SOAP as a means of moving information from one person to another with absolute accuracy. Blue Donkey adapted SOAP tool with the remit of telesales companies in mind. Blue Donkey notes follow the format below
S Subjective. This is the personal, particular or individual information the buyer gave us. What they say they like or dislike. What they said they want and why. Their personal opinions, feelings or values expressed
O Objective. This is the factual, information uncovered such as turnover, number of sites, or staff. What they say they need, use or currently do. What they said about sector or business requirements.
A Assessment. Information about how they could be supported or their needs met. What services were suggested? What we discussed for meeting their needs. What particular things were of interest.
P Plan. The outcome, next steps or what they understand will happen next.
So next time you’re writing up a call note, use SOAP to clean up your act. Over time you’ll help build the company database into your best business asset yet.