Taking Notes Builds Competence

Published on 2013-08-06

Source: ClarkMorgan
MY SALES TEAM all carry a ‘Sales Companion’. What is this, you ask? It’s the blue book that you can see in the picture above, designed by our sales team and given to all sales professionals in our company. Its purpose is to aid in the accurate collection of information. But it also has an additional benefit – it builds competence.
Let me first describe the Sales Companion in its information collecting capacity. The book is divided into 10 identical chapters, with each chapter beginning with a ‘pre-meeting’ questionnaire, and a ‘debrief’ questionnaire, and then followed by four pages of space for notes. Prior to the meeting staff are expected to complete the pre-meeting questionnaire, which includes the usual – time, date, contact name, company name, competitors, country head quarters, as well as, previous training, language of meeting and the goal. They then write notes on the four spare pages and then, once the meeting is complete, they fill out the debrief questions. The debrief questionnaire is more detailed, and includes idiosyncratic language used by the contact, their needs, the features that match those needs, the next time the sales person will make contact, and the deadline for any proposal or contract. The pre-meeting and debrief pages are back-to-back, so they can be torn out of the book, together.
The final set of questions on the debrief page is based on Michael Hewitt-Gleeson’s ‘GBB’ – or Good, Bad and Better. That is, what was good about the meeting, what was bad about the meeting, and how can we make it better. As you may have guessed, the GBB feedback is contacted by the line manager who is supervising the sales person.
Over the past five years ClarkMorgan has been using the GBB to build competence in our sales teams. The GBB methodology of improvement is so popular in our company that it is also run at the end of NetworkHR Forums, and more recently, our 2013 team building in Shenzhen. I like to think that it is one of the reasons why ClarkMorgan has been so successful over the years, and now you too can use this technique.