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

The introduction and continuous reinforcement of the MEDRAD objectives, vision, and mission was very impressive. By the end of the session, a large majority of the audience understood and was openly able to verbalize these items. LSA did a wonderful job introducing the importance of sales coaching and reinforcement and was able to keep the groups focused.

Cindy Steffen
National Manager, Telesales

LSA is an excellent training outsource partner! They listen to our needs, are responsive and work at a pace that keeps up with ours. We have found LSA to bring strategic and innovative solutions to meet our business problems by partnering effectively with our staff. I consider them to be an external extension of our team.

Wendy Chinn
Sr. Director, Global Sales Enablement

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

LSA always helps us provide the right sales, management, and leadership programs at the right time to meet the unique needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to deeply understand our business and our culture so that they can recommend the appropriate solutions.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

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

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

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

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 our expectations. They really understood our business and delivered within tight time frames.  They were the best I have seen for this type of complex, visible, and strategic work. 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 strategy and strategic execution to the next level.

Rob Sturgeon
EVP Client Delivery

Service Source

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

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

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, Employee Engagement and Instructional Design. They have consistently met or exceeded my (very) high expectations and are always responsive to my needs.

Mike Normant
Senior Director, Training & Development

Service Source

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

We recently hired LSA Global to help take our sales team to the next level. Specifically we focused on targeting the ideal client, differentiating our solutions, getting more qualified leads, and closing a higher percentage of our pipeline through a proven referral selling methodology.

So far, the results from the business sales training have been great. We were pleasantly surprised with the results-oriented approach and thoughtful follow-through plan to ensure that the new sales practices “stick.” We look forward to a long-term relationship, and I would recommend LSA to anyone looking to increase the effectiveness of their sales force.

Patrick Arnold
President

Filice

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