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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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