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 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

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

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

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 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

LSA Global demonstrated expertise in the sales leadership subject matter, spent the time to make sure the objectives were clear, and showed flexibility in shaping the session and sustaining it. Their facilitator “MEDRADized” the session, looked beyond the obvious, was enthusiastic, was able to keep people’s attention, made it enjoyable, and got the key points across.

Doug Stantial
North America Sales Training Manager

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

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

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

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

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 engaged with LSA Global to help our team identify opportunities to accelerate our commitment to sales excellence as “The Service Revenue Performance Company” in our market place. The facilitator’s shared passion for our goals created a foundation for sales skill adoption, as did LSA’s keen understanding of our unique business environment. This insight allowed LSA to deliver customized business sales training workshops which were adapted to reflect our specific business dynamics and provided our employees with the models and tools to leverage on every call with customers.

Grant Clarke
Director Client Delivery

Service Source

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 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 two strategic actions to improve overall sales performance and then designed and delivered world class sales training across the globe to help increase revenue and margin.  I’m so happy we took a more strategic approach to sales performance.

Kim Benson
Director Human Resources

Trimble

We selected LSA over a handful of other experts to assist with a key sales leadership imperative. LSA added value every step of the way throughout the entire engagement. 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 Strategy-to-Results approach is an added game changer.  I recommend them to anyone looking to get high quality results when it matters most.

Eric Mugele
Executive Director Global Learning

Grant Thornton

Seagate has always found LSA to be a valuable resource. LSA delivers top quality solutions when we need them with just one call. The recent business sales training programs they’ve delivered for Seagate University have been the right solution, highest of quality and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company interested in offering top notch learning solutions.

Tammy Dujmovich
Sales, Marketing & Customer Service

Seagate

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