“Oh, yawn”, I hear you cry! Yes, pretty much, but writing a call report is a necessary tedium Account Managers endure to maintain superstar status. Here’s how to take some of the pain out of writing your next call report.
Notice how the report shifted from a boring admin task to a useful tool that will - just maybe - one day save your bacon? The pain of writing this type of report lessens if we understand just how useful the report can be.
How often have you sat in a meeting, not taking any minutes, then a couple of hours later have already forgotten what you needed to action? How about that meeting where there was back-and-forth debate, but you couldn't remember what the final decision was? Or the meeting where various people needed to action tasks but no one took notes - do you think they will remember what to do?
Call reports help to:
Call reports are also considered (in some countries) to be legal documents and can be called as evidence in court actions!
A call report for an agency Account Manager is somewhat different from a salesperson’s call report. A sales call report is usually for internal use only, has a strong CRM focus and is given to a team leader for review and pipeline planning. A cloud-based CRM system (such as Salesforce) is an efficient way to track sales-related calls, emails and meetings. If your Account Management role includes business development, then I suggest you use a purpose-built CRM system for your report records.
An Account Manager’s call report is more of a team and client-focused document. The report gets sent to all who attended your meeting as a record of discussion, decisions made and actions required. I prefer to use the term “meeting report” if the document is to be given to a client. “Call report” and “contact report” are sales-oriented, whereas “meeting report” is far more “client-friendly”.
Agency call reports usually include information such as:
A call report is most definitely not a transcript of the meeting. If you want others to actually read your report, then here are some tips on how to make the report digestible:
You may feel you need to add in a disclaimer to the end of your call report, such as:
This call/contact/meeting report will be deemed accurate after five business days from [date of report]. Any concerns or corrections are requested in writing.
Call reports. Yawn-worthy? Yes. A bacon-saver? Yes. Worth the tedium? Most definitely.
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Research activities are typically initiated and conducted by your client, as part of their marketing remit. However, there is another type of research that is advertising-specific and is more likely to be initiated (or at least recommended) by your agency rather than by your client. The two main areas of research that an agency would get involved with are ‘pre-testing’ and ‘post-testing’.
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