Centralising regional sales meeting notes with customers / business partners
using Microsoft Teams and OneNote notebooks
At an international client the sales organisation wanted better insights from meetings held with large customers or resellers of their products. The sales organisation is spread out across EMEA, divided into 5 regions, each of which consists of sub-regions and/or countries:
- Germany& North-West- and Eastern Europe
- Middle East and Africa
- Southern Europe
- Turkey, CIS & Poland
Better sales meeting notes required
To help the organisation’s sales team be more efficient and effective, the Centre of Excellence decided they needed more alignment between the regions and countries sales meetings with customers and business partners. The current practice entailed many different forms of meeting notes taking. So each regional or even sub-regional team had their own way of working. Also, sales meeting notes were taken in many different formats (Word, Excel, paper-based, or other forms), and in many locations (laptop hard drives, shared network drives). Consequently there was no single place to be able to find all sales meeting notes. Therefore it was hard for executive management to get insights into all of these scattered meeting notes, done in many different formats.
This organisation had already started using Microsoft Teams for the day-to-day collaboration. But rather than having many teams who shared their meeting notes in their team (per region or country), they started a Sales meeting notes team, of which all people from all regions are members, including senior management. Because there was a specific requirement to not let the regional sales people see eachothers files and notes, the standard Teams and OneNote setup would not suffice. Only senior executives should have access to all sales meeting notes (across regions and countries).
Using OneNote notebooks in each channel in Microsoft Teams
The team has (besides the General channel) a channel for each region, where sales people share their meeting notes in a OneNote notebook for that region. Subsequently each regional notebook is setup, with section groups, sections and pages. Especially relevant is that meeting notes are standardised by template pages, for more uniformity.
We love Teams, and we love OneNote as well. First of all, it allows for note-taking that fits the way our brain is wired. A research article ‘The pen is mightier than the keyboard‘ explains that taking notes by hand is superior because the mental processes involved requires the learner to summarize, imagine, and conceptualise what the speaker is trying to communicate. Where people who type their notes into a device focus primarily on transcribing.
Most of all, OneNote allows us to not only type, but also write, draw and record audio. It’s very free-form, meaning you can scribble everywhere on the ‘paper’, not just from top to bottom as in Word. Learn more about using OneNote in these training lessons.
Restricted permissions for channel’s Files and OneNote notebooks
Since the team only allows for simple membership management (access to all the team’s channels and tabs), we tweaked the membership a little on the SharePoint back-end. While everybody can access the team, and view the channel’s conversations, the Files tab showing the SharePoint document Library is limited to members that have permission to edit that folder in the library. Instead of having one central OneNote notebook, a notebook is created within the channels Files folder, therefore inheriting the access rights from that folder. The executives get access to all files and folders in the team.
OneNote notebook setup
Each Channel’s Files folder (with restricted permissions for sales of that region only) contains a OneNote notebook. Therefore only the sales people for that region (and the executives) have access to these sales meeting notes.
This is how we setup the OneNote notebook:
- Instructions page on how to create meeting notes
- Section groups for regions that have sub-regions
- Sections for countries within (sub-) regions
- Page for each customer (name), and Sub-page (based on template) for each customer meeting.
- A template page for each customer / Business Partner meeting
Read more about the productivity scenario Smarter Meetings.
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