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 Global’s sales negotiation training and assessment process provided the 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 and would highly recommend LSA to others looking to improve their sales negotiations results.

Jeff Bizzack
President

Service Source

We evaluated 6 well known sales development partners in the market. We ended up selecting LSA global because of their unique ability to get results selling solutions.  They also had the strongest assessment, implementation, measurement, coaching, and global capabilities .

We’ve had such strong feedback from the executive selling program that there are requests to roll it out within the Marketing, Product Management, and our Leadership teams.  Thank you LSA!

Stephanie Lucey
HR Manager

We partnered with LSA to help custom design, deliver, and measure an advanced new employee on-boarding process. It 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 solution quantifiably improved new employee and hiring manager satisfaction and increased the speed to sales quota for new hires.

I would highly 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 as we continue to scale.

Rochana Golani
Director, Global Field Readiness

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped us elevate our presentation skills to the next level. I personally 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 definitely recommend LSA Global to anyone for whom business or sales presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

The sales negotiations training program was awesome. The facilitator was excellent. We are immediately able to see the relevance and apply it to our specific. The preparation and energy was very apparent. The facilitator did a great job keeping everyone engaged 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

Originally, we launched a RFP to partner with a sales training provider to improve the sales skills of our global distributor network.

LSA Global challenged our thinking by suggesting we focus on the systemic sales strategy, culture, and talent factors that create sales success before we invested in the more symptomatic needs of sales skills and knowledge.

LSA Global identified the critical strategic actions to improve overall sales performance and then designed and delivered world class business sales training across the globe to help increase revenue and margin.

I’m so happy we took a more strategic approach to sales performance with LSA.  Thank you for making this fit our culture.

Kim Benson
Director Human Resources

Trimble

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 definitely met my high expectations and were very responsive to my specific objectives.  Thank you!

Olivia Flach
Americas Retail Sales

Sandisk

We turned to LSA Global to help us take our executive selling and solution selling skills to the next level.

Their ability to formally assess our sales 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.  I 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

Seagate has always found LSA to be a highly valuable consulting, training, and coaching resource.

The recent business sales training programs they’ve delivered for Seagate University have been the right solution, of highest of quality, and highly customized to our unique business and culture.

I would highly recommend LSA to any company interested in offering top notch learning solutions that make a difference.

Tammy Dujmovich
Sales, Marketing & Customer Service

Seagate

We wanted our Channel Managers to get sales 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 sales partnership with them.

Chip Whitman
Channel Excellence Manager

Thermo Fisher

We engaged with LSA Global to deliver a custom sales territory planning and management workshop. They have a unique ability to quickly understand our business and needs. This keen understanding allowed for a solution that was specific and impactful.

Their facilitators were well prepared and ingrained themselves to become one of us. We’ve come to see LSA Global as a true sales partner.

Pratiksha Patel
Assistant Vice President Talent

L'Oreal

LSA Global has been a great partner in helping us move toward being “the leading developer of talent in the service performance management industry.”

I have engaged LSA to help develop best-in-class programs in the areas of: Executive On-boarding, Manager Training, Sales Training and Coaching, Employee Engagement, and Instructional Design.

They have consistently met or exceeded my (very) high expectations and are always responsive to my needs to increase performance, engagement, customer satisfaction, and sales growth.

Mike Normant
Senior Director, Training & Development

Service Source

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 value the relationship we have with LSA Global. They customize and deliver top quality sales solutions when we needed them. They pay special attention to ensuring the solution fits our unique needs, 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

ServiceSource has relied on LSA Global’s expertise for a variety of core initiatives, from strategy design and implementation, to business 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 critical 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

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