The VoIP Sales After Action Review: Aim, Fire, Adjust

I learned a pretty cool concept in the Army that I’ve carried into my VoIP Sales life: the After Action Review (AAR — it’s the military, of course it became an acronym). After every training (or real life) mission, the leaders would gather and learn the lessons presented by asking three key questions:

What was supposed to happen? This is the original plan. In VoIP/UCaaS sales, you would line out what you proposed, what were the key points learned in the Discovery, and who the competition was. You would look at the solution offered, the pricing, and how you positioned the solution.

What actually happened? Here, you walk through the presentation of the proposal, who was in attendance, what questions they asked, what objections they raised, and your responses to each, including the final decision. You would ask yourself if you followed your sales process, or if you skipped some steps assuming the deal was an easy win. Look at the final proposal as signed/accepted, versus what you originally proposed.

What needs to be fixed or repeated? Finally, you identify the key lessons: what went right, what went wrong, and what can we do to improve this process next time. You’ll often find, even in a lost deal, that something went really well. Capture that and repeat it! Look at all the differences between your original plan/proposal and what was either signed or rejected.

Now, don’t assume you only do this when you lose a deal. This AAR process should be conducted as a sales team after every significant opportunity, win or lose, or other opportunities that obvious lessons presented themselves.

Do this now. Go over your last proposal presentation for each rep, and conduct an AAR. From that first AAR, create some standard forms that can be used after each opportunity closes. Standardize it, make it a habit. From that, you’ll see continuous growth and improvement in your VoIP/UCaaS Sales and Marketing efforts.

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