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

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

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

In an effort to establish a solid foundation of consultative selling skills for our client-facing teams that can be built on over time, we engaged with LSA Global. By understanding our business and our markets, LSA Global was able to develop and deliver the relevant skills, tools and processes that have established the foundation for our future success. We are very satisfied with our decision.”

Kevin Wiley
Chief Operating Officer

Nelnet

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 engaged with LSA Global to deliver a sales territory planning and management workshop. LSA Global had a unique ability to quickly understand our business and needs. This keen understanding allowed for tailoring of content that was specific and impactful, which created a new awareness of how one’s role and how and with whom one spends their time, can directly influence sales success. Their facilitators were well prepared and ingrained themselves to become one of us. We’ve come to see LSA Global as a partner.

Pratiksha Patel
Assistant Vice President Talent

L'Oreal

The sales strategy and goal setting session was right on target. It was a very valuable process that I highly recommend to any sales team.

Phil Rosenberg
Senior Vice President of Sales

sonycomputer-large

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 partnered with LSA to help custom design, deliver, and measure an advanced new employee on-boarding and measurement process. The process was well thought out and bought into by sales leadership. The combination of targeted sales tools, technology, coaching, performance plans, training and reinforcement made all the difference.  The pilot program in EMEA was a big success and the solution quantifiably improved new employee and hiring manager satisfaction and increased the speed to sales quota for new hires. We are continuing to work with LSA Global to scale the program in other GEOs and expand to cover more roles at VMware.  I would recommend LSA Global for any sales enablement team looking to increase the engagement and speed to productivity of their sales force. We are excited to implement the program globally across VMware as we continue to scale.

Rochana Golani
Director, Global Field Readiness

vmware-large-gray

LSA was instrumental in making our worldwide sales meeting a success. They saved me a ton of time by recommending ‘best in class’ vendors to meet our business objectives. Whenever I’m in a pinch, I can count on LSA’s dynamic team of sales trainers and consultants to really go the extra mile. They truly understand the meaning of customer delight.

Amy Walker
Manager

Seagate

Originally, we launched a RFP to identify and partner with a sales training provider to improve the skills of the sales teams in the distributor network. However, throughout the process, LSA Global challenged our thought processes and engaged with us by suggesting that we focus on the systemic factors that create a high performance environment first, before we focused on the more symptomatic needs of sales skills training. LSA Global has identified the two strategic moves that will enable us to create a high performance environment and we continue to seek their guidance on implementing those moves, as well as other key needs.

Kim Benson
Director Human Resources

Trimble

We evaluated 6 well known sales development partners in the market. Late in the process we discovered an organization called LSA Global. We ended up selecting LSA global because of their unique model (bringing together best-of-breed organizations under 1 umbrella to deliver the best solution to meet a customer’s needs). Additionally, LSA had the strongest assessment, implementation, measurement, coaching, and global capabilities combined with an excellent program focused on true executive selling. We’ve had such strong feedback that the program has developed a buzz and there are requests to roll it out within the Marketing, Product Management, and Executive teams.

Stephanie Lucey
HR Manager

avid-large

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 an 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 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

LSA custom designed and delivered the best sales training session that I have ever attended. They focused on our industry, our customers, and our competitors. The materials and facilitators were world class. They were passionate about helping our global sales force understand the fundamentals necessary to be successful and not leave money on the table. I recommend them to any sales force looking to drive profitable revenue and beat the competition.

Carl Dickenson
Sales

Cutera

The reception for the solution selling training, sales coaching, and implementation plan has been so positive that the entire sales management team has been re-energized and challenged to step up their leadership for both application and impact. The facilitator is a great fit and a true pro regarding the content and her ability to make it relevant to the sales force.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Senior Program Manager, Learning & Development

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