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 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

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 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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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

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 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

We needed a way to improve training with our customers. We had to reach a disparate group of people in a very short period time. LSA gave us a new training methodology and a way to go to market with our training that improved our customer touch. LSA delivered what we needed in the time we required.

Hinda Chalew
Vice President of Marketing

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

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

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