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

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

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

We partnered with LSA to help custom design, deliver, and measure an advanced new employee on-boarding and measurement process. The process 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 pilot program in EMEA was a big success and the solution quantifiably improved new employee and hiring manager satisfaction and increased the speed to sales quota for new hires. We are continuing to work with LSA Global to scale the program in other GEOs and expand to cover more roles at VMware.  I would 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 across VMware as we continue to scale.

Rochana Golani
Director, Global Field Readiness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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’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

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

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