Identifying Key Sales Competencies and Gaps: Technology

Identifying Sales Core Competencies and Skill Gaps

Client Case Study

Situation

This fast-paced technology company knew that to position ourselves for a successful fiscal year that they needed to quickly and accurately identify the mission-critical selling skills within their sales teams to combat an ever-changing competitive landscape.

The company wanted to conduct a performance-based assessment of their sales professionals to have executives and their 200+ person sales force agree upon the top “money making” sales skills required to execute their new go-to-market strategy.  

Complications

  • Increased Pressure: Although the company had a substantial install base, revenue, cost, pricing, and competitor pressures are increasing.
  • Changing Landscape: While the company once dominated their market, recent product quality and acquisition challenges have opened the door to competition.
  • New Strategy: To respond to these pressures, the company introduced a new product and sales strategy to expand the product portfolio, position solutions vs. products, and to move up the value chain.
  • Executive and Solution Selling: To support the new strategy, the company would like to increase executive and solution selling skill sets to beat the competition and drive larger deal size.

  • Looking for a Partner: The company has met with other sales providers and was not satisfied with their levels of flexibility, approach, depth of solutions, ability to customize, or reinforcement and measurement offerings.

  • Geographical Differences: Europe, Asia and the Americas all face different customer, market, employee, and competitor challenges.

Approach

  1. Identified key metrics to move: Days to Proposal and Days to Close
  2. Identified target audience: 218 sales reps
  3. Interviewed sales executives and staff in North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America
  4. Created a customized Leader Assess Survey for executives and leaders to prioritize the key sales competencies required to succeed both now and in the future based upon a database of 150 behavior-based sales questions
  5. Created and administered a customized Team Assess Survey to identify the proficiency levels of the sales force across teh core sales competencies
  6. Correlated high and low proficiency levels to Days to Proposal and Days to Close
  7. Created customized training and development plan
  8. Designed, implemented and measured experiential sales learning solutions across four continents to drive sales success

Results

  • 96% response rate
  • 8 key solution selling competencies agreed to by leadership out of a list of 150 behavioral-based sales competencies across : Solution selling, Business and Financial Acumen, Qualifying, Positioning and Presenting, Negotiating and Closing, Managing Accounts Receivables, Sales Performance Coaching Skills, and Team Alignment
  • 53.1% difference in Days to Proposal between high and low proficiency levels across the 8 key skills
  • 17.9% difference in Days to Close between high and low proficiency levels across the 8 key skills
  • Identified Top four major skill areas to reinforce: Positioning and Presenting, Negotiating and Closing, Managing Accounts Receivables and Team Alignment
  • Identified bottom four skills areas to develop: Sales Performance Coaching, Business and Financial Acumen, Qualifying and Solution selling

ServiceSource has relied on LSA Global’s expertise for a variety of core initiatives, from strategy design and implementation, to sales skills, to sales coaching. We recently engaged LSA Global to create a competency matrix for our inside sales team that will serve as our roadmap for employee on-boarding, development, succession planning and retention. This project had a tight timeline with high visibility. LSA Global completed the deliverable ahead of schedule and surpassed our expectations.

PMO and Outside Sales Operations
Senior Vice President

Service Source

We turned to LSA Global to help us take our executive selling and solution selling skills to the next level, which will ultimately help our customers succeed. Their ability to formally assess our situation, identify key sales skill gaps, develop a plan to measure the results, and fully implement a key sales initiative – has been outstanding. LSA delivers the full solution; not just sales training and I would recommend them to any organization looking to transform its sales force the “right way” to sell higher and wider.

Daniel Heckman
Director of Sales-Enterprise Accounts

Avid

LSA Global’s negotiation training assessment and workshop provided sales negotiation tools and practices that have significantly enhanced our negotiations process. Their facilitators understood our business, its challenges and framed the learning in a way that we understood. I am very happy with the value we have received from this program, and would highly recommend LSA to others looking to improve their sales negotiations results.

Jeff Bizzack
President

Service Source

This was our first experience working with LSA, and we were not disappointed. From beginning to end, they were as invested in making sure the program succeeded as we were. They not only met the needs of our organization, but they helped us meet our very tight launch deadline. The consultant operated with the sense of urgency necessary to ensure that by the end of the training the trainer sessions we were ready to roll the program immediately out. Without their dedication and expertise we would not have been able to launch the program with the success that we did. Thank you LSA for being a valued business partner!

Erin Surprise
PHR, Manager - L & D

Plato-large-gray

LSA is a great and high quality training and consulting resource. In less than a week turnaround time, they were able to design and deliver a ‘best in class’ inside sales solution to meet my team’s unique needs. They met my high expectations and were very responsive to my specific objectives.

Olivia Flach
Americas Retail Sales

Sandisk

For the past 5 years LSA has consistently delivered top notch value to Seagate’s Corporate University Program. The level of facilitator involvement and continuous program evolution has kept the sales negotiation training content and lessons engaging and relevant. We look forward to working with LSA in the future.

Geoff Purnell
Sales Executive, Seagate Data Recovery Services

Seagate

We recently hired LSA to help us take our client delivery methodology to the next level as we continue to grow and help our clients succeed. The custom strategy and design session exceeded my expectations. They really understood our business and turned around the project within a tight timeframe. LSA’s consultants were the best I have seen for this type of project. LSA’s ability to get a group of 20+ executives from around the globe on the same page, push their thinking to new heights, and ensure an executable plan was excellent. I would recommend LSA to anyone looking to take their plans and execution to the next level.

Rob Sturgeon
EVP Client Delivery

Service Source

We selected LSA over a handful of other experts to assist with a key sales imperative. LSA added value every step of the way throughout the entire sales, design, implementation, and follow-up process. Their customized approach to sales presentation training exceeded expectations, and we are excited about global implementation across our offices in more than 100 countries. LSA’s unique approach is an added game changer, and I recommend them to anyone looking to get high quality results.”

Eric Mugele
Executive Director Global Learning

Grant Thornton

We value the relationship we have had with LSA over the years. LSA has delivered top quality solutions when we needed them. They pay special attention to ensuring the content fits our current needs and that the facilitators are familiar with our business and culture. I would recommend them to anyone looking to greatly improve the skills of their sales force.

Carol M. Harbin
Manager, Worldwide Sales L&D

AMD

One of the most dynamic sales training programs I have had the pleasure of being involved in. Nothing I have experienced comes close to them. The sales principles are unique to contact centers and can be applied effectively in sales and customer service-oriented operations.

Software Company
Director of Sales Development

We needed a way to improve training with our customers. We had to reach a disparate group of people in a very short period time. LSA gave us a new training methodology and a way to go to market with our training that improved our customer touch. LSA delivered what we needed in the time we required.

Hinda Chalew
Vice President of Marketing

Valchemy-large-gray

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

The sales negotiations training program was awesome. The facilitator was excellent. We are immediately able to see the relevance and apply it to specific needs at Blackhawk. The preparation and energy was very apparent. The facilitator did a great job keeping the class engaged for the entire day and focused on what mattered most to our success. I am very pleased with the results and like the very relevant and applicable sales negotiations tools. Great job.

Jack Lord
Vice President of Sales

Blackhawk Network

We originally engaged with LSA Global to help our subcontract administrators and buyers develop better negotiations skills. As manufacturers of satellites, we have many sole source companies to procure the required parts.

Our teams must be able to interact effectively with international companies. This environment uniquely challenges our team in their ability to create equitable contracts, while preserving and strengthening our supplier relationships.

LSA Global not only provided our team with the skills to negotiate effectively and consistently, but we further expanded our relationship to include consulting around our negotiations’ process, measurement of our negotiations, and one-on-one coaching for our team members. We are very pleased with the result of our partnership with LSA Global.

Vivian Mackintosh
Vice President of Materiel

Space Systems Loral

We wanted our Channel Managers to get strategies and tools that would increase partner revenue and strengthen partner relationships. LSA Global’s ability to quickly understand our business and to bring experienced and proven resources to the table created credibility with both the executive and sales team. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them.

Chip Whitman
Channel Excellence Manager

Thermo Fisher

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