How to capture lessons learned by your sales team

How to capture lessons learned by your sales team

Erroneously, being busy is seen as a sign of progress, nothing can be farther from truth. Most teams are busy in doing one thing or another. In case you have a sales team of more than five members, you will very well appreciate my comments. Once a company grows beyond a certain size, the number of projects and their membership swells automatically. Team members love to work on improvement projects, for they can showcase their superior talent and make a visible contribution.

In the race to participate in more and more projects, the lessons learned take a backseat; your company may not be creating a repository of organization knowledge. The lesson learned are limited and constrained to the participating team members only. Unless they share, which is rare, the larger audience is devoid of the learning’s. Due to lack of sharing, your company will keep on making the same mistakes again and again till all the members have gone through the learning phase. This is a waste of time and energy; by using a simple lesson learned template, you can make the learning’s universal.

Before you jump into implementing this, make sure that you set the stage right; we learnt it the hard way in Platformax. When I first started doing this activity, people were nervous, and anxiety ran high, they were worried that I as a CEO am looking for what went wrong and who was responsible for it. Most of the team members didn’t open up in the sessions, It’s only after two-three failed attempts that I started retreating that these sessions are not for finding faults or evaluating the performance of individual team members.

It’s an opportunity for them to look at the collective experience and build the organizational knowledge so that others don’t make the same mistake in future assignments. These are the steps that I tend to follow at Platformax.

  • I start with thanking all the team members for their contribution to the project and clearly explain that the session is for recording learning and has no connection to evaluation.
  • Ask leading questions to understand the project, at the end of this section there are sample questions for guiding the process.
  • Pick a flipchart and record the responses from members for each question.
  • The team members may have a differing opinion on some issues; I tend to highlight these matters for further discussions.
  • Ask for team volunteers and assign the task of consolidating the group’s responses to each question in one or two sentences.
  • Collate all the responses and publish it on your intranet or SharePoint so that all your colleagues can leverage it.


Here are the questions that I ask for documenting the lessons learned

  • In your opinion, how has this project performed on cost, quality and time metrics?
  • Are there any tools or techniques that we used on this project, be used in future assignments?
  • What were the unforeseen challenges that we encountered on this project?
  • What have we learned from resolving these challenges?
  • In which areas did this project fall below our initial expectations?
  • What unique skills did we bring to this project and can we leverage them in future too?
  • In hindsight, if you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
  • What steps shall we take to share the lessons from this project with our colleagues?
  • What unique skills did we bring to this project and can we leverage them in future too?


By asking these questions in a structured way you will be able to cement the learning across the company, making mistakes is part of the journey but making the same mistakes twice is a sure shot sign of downfall.

2018-02-25T22:34:27+00:00 0 Comments

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