Sales Differentiation – Differentiating & Positioning Your Solution as “Different” from Competition

I recently read a great book called “Sales Differentiation: 19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want” by Lee Salz which is a unique book because it focuses on Differentiation by the Sales team rather than the typical differentiating messaging done by marketing.  The overarching point is that differentiation is not just Marketing’s responsibility and Lee Salz gives a lot of great insights on how sales can differentiate effectively.


My Takeaways:

  • According to Corporate Visions: 74% of buyers chose the first salesperson who adds value and insight.
  • Salespeople must be passionate about the companies they sell for and the products they sell.
    • but being passionate is not the same as making claims with no proof
  • Do not refer to your solution/product as the best or say that it is better than competition
    • instead position it as different in a meaningful way to your buyers so they arrive to this conclusion that you are the best without you saying that
      • Example: “I’m not going to tell you that our product is the best – I’m sure every other company tells you that. Instead, I will share with you some differences that our clients find beneficial and you can decide for yourself whether those are meaningful to you.
  • Differentiate with a “Story”
    • Instead of using one unique aspect, position a complete differentiated story
  • Do not use a single scripted elevator pitch
    • position your solution for each Target Buyer
  • Do not leave the differentiation to your buyer’s interpretation
    • you must control it and make it clear
  • Differentiate through your selling approach and through the experience and process
    • and shape the buyer decision criteria
  • The most important differentiation is Expertise
    • prospective buyers want to know how you help others like them achieve their goals an solve their problems
  • 6 components of Sales Differentiation:
    • Company (ex: Financial strength; Key clients)
    • People (ex: Expertise; Key employees and certifications)
    • Products (ex: Attributes; Quality; Customization and configuration)
    • Service (ex: Customer service; Performance metrics; Safety)
    • Technology (ex: Integrations; Security)
    • Contract (ex: Flexible terms; Guarantees and warranties)
  • To help you identify your Differentiation:
    • Select your top competitors – create a table and for each answer:
      • Why do we win?
      • Why do they win?