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    Logging Calls, Tasks and Notes – what is the best tool?

    • Salesforce Call Log, Chatter, Task, or Note – Which Salesforce record system is best?

      Salesforce provides a myriad of ways to record interactions with customers. You can log calls, create tasks, add notes or use Chatter.

      Not to mention some amazing tools that make taking customer notes a breeze such as Evernote, Google Keep and Onenote which are all great (and largely free) options. With so many tools available, it can be confusing to decide on which to use.

      Internally, this is a frequent topic of debate for the SalesFix team. To date, different members of the team have been using different tools based on their personal preference. We have been finding that this can hinder collaboration as well as leading to important bits of customer information being hidden in hard to find places.

      What follows is how we are moving to standardise the SalesFix approach to recording notes and set out some best practices. Hopefully, this will prove useful to you on your own quest to record your customer interactions in the best way possible.

      Remember – our goal is to achieve and maintain one single source of truth for our business, our peers and our customers.

    • Immediate actions -v- discovery/notes

      To best analyse these tools, we are going to split customer interactions into two types:

      1. Immediate Actions – these are most frequently logged sales, service or account management activities and may include physical interactions with a customer such as phone calls – really any task which needs to be tracked and/or followed up.
      2. Discovery/Notes – these are usually detailed notes taken during workshops or discovery sessions with customers and may provide supporting detail to immediate actions.
    • Immediate Actions

      Logging immediate actions is as important as the detail (almost). The idea is to provide a quantitative way of tracking and collaborating on customer interactions and any key tasks. A CRM at heart, Salesforce is the natural home for these types of interactions and provides some great tools to help out –

      1. Log a Call Action
        1. Log outbound/inbound phone calls with a customer. Record calls against customers/opportunities/contacts/leads
      2. Tasks
        1. Any actionable task with a due date and a clear owner. Tasks are the perfect way to make sure you follow up on action items with a customer. Perhaps you promised a follow up call? Or you need another team member to send them a report by a certain date? Log a task and make sure it gets actioned. Salesforce reminds users from their home screen of any tasks due as well as the new “Tasks’ tab which can be added to navigation menu. This provides an awesome place to review and manage your assigned tasks. Salesforce tasks shouldn’t be considered a project/task management tool, but rather a place to log and track immediate customer actions that need to be followed up.
      3. Chatter
        1. Easily collaborate with team members when there is no actionable item with a due date. Maybe you have a question about a customer? Or are looking for some ideas from the team? @mention team members and get some answers in a way that is searchable and visible to other team members of the team who may also work with the customer
    • Discovery / Notes

      This is where is gets trickier. There are so many great tools available to take notes –

      • Evernote
      • Google Keep
      • Onenote
      • Google Docs
      • Salesforce Notes

      They all have great features and will get the job done, so which to choose? To help decide, let’s try to define the criteria for the perfect tool –

      • Usability – It should be easy to use and have a rich feature set
      • Availability – It should be accessible on the go and preferably have offline access
      • Searchability – It should be easily searchable, to everyone
      • Shareability – It should be easy to share notes with other team members
      • Simplicity – not simplicity in use, rather simplicity of life. There are so many apps and tools available these days, it’s easy to end up using too many, making things convoluted and hard to find
    • Here are some tools scored out of ten for each criteria (note I am referencing the free, not business version of Evernote):

      Usability Availability Searchability Shareability Simplicity TOTAL
      Evernote 9 9
      Available on desktop, mobile and offline
      5
      Great searchability for individual users, no visibility across a team
      5
      You can share notebooks and notes individually, but not across a team
      5
      Yet another app to login to and update
      32
      Google Keep 8 9
      Available on desktop, mobile and offline
      5
      Great searchability for individual users, no visibility across a team
      5
      You can share notebooks and notes individually, but not across a team
      5
      Yet another app to login to and update
      32
      Onenote 8 9
      Available on desktop, mobile and offline
      5
      Great searchability for individual users, no visibility across a team
      5
      You can share notebooks and notes individually, but not across a team
      5
      Yet another app to login to and update
      32
      Google Docs 8 7
      Available on desktop and mobile. Limited offline capability
      6 8
      Good shareability across individuals and teams
      7
      Depending on whether your company uses the google suite
      36
      Salesforce Notes 7 5
      You can take notes offline, but not search existing ones
      9
      Searchability across the whole team
      9
      You can share to groups, individuals as well as to anyone with access to a related records
      10
      You already have Salesforce
      40
    • So, Salesforce Enhanced Notes has emerged victorious! You may be a bit sceptical, after all, I do work for a Salesforce consultancy. Given my personal choice, however, I would pick Evernote nine times out of ten. Indeed, I use it to organise all sorts of things outside of work.

      If you are looking to streamline your Salesforce productivity or need a helping hand in getting the most out of your CRM investment, SalesFix offers a variety of services to amplify your Salesforce platform.

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