“In Sales Differentiation, Lee delivers a fine addition to his line of outstanding sales reference tools. It’s straight forward, packed full of real world examples, and presented in a fresh unique way as only Lee can. He not only addresses many common sales myths and barriers but provides examples and detailed processes to help you differentiate your products and services in a way that will catch a buyer’s attention.”
— Larry Reeves, CEO, American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (“AA-ISP”)
Simple and effective
“Sales Differentiation is full of ideas that will immediately help you win more business. For example, Lee’s Sales Crime Theory – do your investigating before you make the sales call – is so simple and effective yet a large majority of sales executives think that doing one’s homework is finding a phone number or at best, visiting a prospect’s website. Lee gives you easy-to-implement ideas that will ensure you are relevant, that give you permission to ask challenging questions, that give you an edge in negotiations, and that separate you from just about every salesperson in every sales call, every time.”
— Sam Richter, World’s Leading Expert on Sales Intelligence and CEO SBR Worldwide / Know More
“Salespeople know that differentiation is a best practice but have been left to their own devices to figure out how to do it… until now. Sales Differentiation presents strategies that salespeople can quickly put into practice.”
— Verne Harnish, founder Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)
Entertaining writing style
“In today’s sales environment where buyers are subjected to more sales ‘noise’ than ever, Sales Differentiation is a must-read (and must-implement) for any salesperson who wants to stand out and excel. With Lee’s engaging, entertaining writing style, peppered with numerous stories and examples, you’ll find yourself reading the book quickly. But, you’ll want to go through it again several times to absorb, highlight, and write down the many valuable how-to’s to use on your own calls.”
— Art Sobczak, Author of “Smart Calling”
“I find many salespeople forget that they have an opportunity to stand-out from the competition in the way they sell so instead they fight to win sales on price. Lee’s book will help ensure that doesn’t happen to you.”
— Brandon Steiner, CEO and founder of Steiner Sports Marketing
Actionable and easy
“In a sales world with so much noise, Lee’s book stands out just like his teachings. It’s actionable and easy to read, made for any level of sales professional.”
— Max Altschuler, Max Altschuler, CEO Sales Hacker & Author of "Hacking Sales"
“Lee Salz says it’s not just what you sell, but how you sell it. His 19 sales differentiation strategies are a surefire way to drive profitable sales.”
— Harvey Mackay, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller 'Swim with The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive'
Refer my clients
“Lee Salz is the E. F. Hutton of customer acquisition. When Lee speaks, you should listen. In an over-crowded, over supplied world, Lee’s insights into differentiating yourself by how you sell ring fresh and true. I regularly refer my clients to Lee and wait for the accolades to come streaming in – which they always do. Lee Salz’s methods are practical and they work!”
— Bill Mills, CEO, Executive Group, Inc.
Opening doors to winning
“Sales Differentiation shows how salespeople are more important than ever in terms of adding value and differentiating their product or service from the competition. The concepts presented by Lee Salz will help you in every phase of the sales process – from opening doors to winning deals at the prices you want. Make sure you have a pen, paper, and highlighter in hand when you read this book.”
— Paul Nolan, Editor, Sales & Marketing Management magazine
Comprehensive and compelling
“Everyone agrees that sales differentiation is a good thing, but no one has ever explained exactly what, why and how to truly become differentiated. Until now. Sales Differentiation is a comprehensive and compelling look at an often-overlooked strategy for sales success.”
— Deb Calvert, author, Stop Selling & Start Leading and DISCOVER Questions®
Fantastic and strategic
“In a sea of businesses and salespeople competing in the same spaces for the same dollars, being different is the only way to get an edge on your competition. Lee Salz has penned a fantastic and strategic book that gives salespeople the formula to do just that. Simply put, this book is not only incredibly useful, it’s different.”
— Ken Kupchik, author of The Sales Survival Handbook and creator of Sales Humor
“When I was creating the Rainforest Café, I sought to create a differentiated diner experience. In Sales Differentiation, Lee Salz provides you with the strategies to create a differentiated experience for your clientele. I highly recommend it for anyone in sales.”
— Steven Schussler, creator and founder of Rainforest Cafe, T-REX, Yak & Yeti and The Boathouse all featured at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL
World sales success
“Here’s the path to no longer hear the price objection ever again, as well as rendering your competitors as irrelevant. Lee Salz, in Sales Differentiation, shares his decades of real world sales success so all can now reap the rewards. Don’t read this book – DEVOUR it!”
— Jack Daly, CEO / Entrepreneur / Coach and Best Selling Business Author
Implementing the concepts
“I. Love. Everything. About. This. Book. Lee Salz not only powerfully describes why DIFFERENTIATION is so critical, but he shows you exactly how to differentiate yourself, your sales approach, and your messaging. Implementing the concepts in Sales Differentiation will get you more meetings with the right buyers, elevate how they view you and your solution, and help you close more business.”
— Mike Weinberg - author of the "New Sales. Simplified." and "Sales Management. Simplified."
“A treasure chest of practical, tactical, and doable ways to differentiate yourself from the competition! Read it… Use it!”
— Anthony Parinello, author of "Selling to VITO, The Very Important Top Officer"
Compel your dream
“If you want to compel your dream clients to change, you have to be different in a way that makes a difference. Lee Salz has written a comprehensive guide to differentiating your offering in a crowded, me-too marketplace. More importantly, this book will help you do the critical work of differentiating yourself!”
— Anthony Iannarino, Author of "Eat Their Lunch: Winning Clients Away from Your Competitors"
Filled with dozens
“Filled with dozens of proven concepts as well as highly-relatable stories, this book shows that salespeople who differentiate themselves not only win more deals, but they also win at higher margins. It is a brilliant and practical how-to guide for salespeople at every level. If you want to escape the high penalty that comes from the buyer’s perception of sameness, this book is your key to success.”
— Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO, Selling Power magazine
Deals at the prices
“Lee Salz’s sales differentiation strategies are just what you need to stand out in a crowded market, create more meaningful conversations, and close more deals at the prices you want.”
— Jill Konrath, author of "More Sales Less Time" and "SNAP Selling"
“Finally a book that addresses differentiation in a step by step manner that allows salespeople to apply what they learn, immediately. The practical easy to read format and examples to drive the point home are exceptional. Get this book in the hands of every salesperson you know.”
— Alice Heiman, Founder and CSO at Alice Heiman, LLC
“Sales Differentiation is filled with great examples that are perfect for both beginning salespeople looking to develop their skills and experienced salespeople seeking to take their sales results to the next level!”
— Dawn Deeter, Ph.D., director, Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute
“Lee Salz has written a different sales book about how YOU can be a different sales professional to help you sell more. It’s a common trap that a lot of salespeople fall into, all saying the same things, trying the same strategies and selling in the same way. The problem is that doesn’t often work and it’s usually those who do it differently that win. This book is brilliantly written and talks you through how you make WHAT you sell different and the WAY you sell different to win more deals. I’ve read a lot of sales books over the years, but none have given such a great process that I know I’ll be able to use straight away.”
— Daniel Disney, Founder of The Daily Sales and Leading Social Selling Trainer
Detailing multiple strategies
“Finally, a definitive approach on what it means to differentiate yourself and what you sell. Lee Salz has done a masterful job of detailing multiple strategies you can use now to genuinely set yourself apart in the eyes of your customers. The value in the book is in his examples, which allow you to understand what you need to do to create a sales differential your customers will notice and, more importantly, pay for! This isn’t a book to simply read. It’s a book to read and apply. You won’t regret it!”
— Mark Hunter, CSP, “The Sales Hunter,” author of “High-Profit Prospecting”
“As I’ve traveled around the world over the past several years working with companies and their salespeople, I’ve been amazed to find that they do not know, and cannot articulate, their competitive advantage! How can a company or salesperson expect prospects and customers to give their time and attention if they do not understand,clearly and concisely, what that company can do for them that no one else can do? So, how can you demonstrate your competitive advantage? Buy Sales Differentiation by Lee Salz, read it page by page, implement its 19 strategies and you will then be able to set yourself apart from your competition and clearly show your customers what your company can do for them that no one else can do.”
— Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of "Collaborative Selling: How to Gain the Competitive Advantage in Sales"
Thinking back to one of the great cult films of the 1980s…Caddyshack. There is a conversation between Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Judge Smails (Ted Knight) in the locker room after Ty has just finished a round of golf. Judge Smails asks Ty what he shot that day and Ty responds by telling the Judge that he doesn’t keep score. Puzzled, Judge Smails says, “How do you measure yourself with other golfers?” Ty responds by saying, “By height.”
Obviously, height doesn’t tell you anything about a golfer’s performance which is what makes the dialogue humorous. Yet, there is nothing funny about a sales organization that is using meaningless, arbitrary data to assess the performance of their sales team. Even worse is if the only number tracked, measured, and monitored is revenue quota attainment.
When I conduct workshops on building a sales metric management system, the first metric that the group usually mentions for inclusion is revenue. Revenue is not a metric. It is a result. There is nothing that sales managers can do to address revenue. They can, however, work with a sales person on specific activity levels that lead to quota attainment. In essence, the statistical components of your sales metric management system create a success roadmap for your sales people. If they are achieving the metrics in the system, they will be blowing out their revenue targets.
There are four steps to identifying the metrics for your sales metric management system.
1. Measurable. If the area of the business you want to affect cannot be measured statistically, then how will you know whether or not it is working? This seems like circular logic, but I often hear about “trusting your gut” as a measurable statistic. Needless to say, gut instinct does not belong in a sales metric management system. There needs to be a way to track the data easily and efficiently.
For example, if you wanted to track the number of outbound calls made by your sales team, but that data was not tracked anywhere, you would not be able to measure it. Thus, outbound calls would not be part of your sales metric management system as it is not measurable. Identify other data points that reflect performance that is measurable. If you find that many of the areas you want to measure are not measurable, you may need to address your CRM. It may need to be reconfigured or replaced altogether.
2. Meaningful. Just because you can measure a data point, it doesn’t mean that it belongs in your sales metric management system. Like sports, there is no end to the data that can be measured in a sales organization. Sportscasters commonly use a series of statistics to present how well or terribly a player is performing. Easily, a set of counterpoint data could be presented showing the opposite point of view.
I recall my time as a sales management executive where on any given day I could put together a series of data that would support promoting or firing any member of the sales team…including myself. The key is to select the most critical activities that drive the sales person’s success and include those in your sales metric management system. For each metric, ask yourself what that data tells you relative to the sales person achieving their revenue goal. The meaningful ones go in your system while the others are cast aside.
3. Goal-oriented. Statistics without goals tell you very little about performance. Each statistical component of your sales metric management system needs to have a corresponding goal. When performance discussions take place with the sales person, their performance versus goal achievement serves as the focus of the agenda. This is a significant change from the typical discussions that are focused on whether or not sales quota was attained.
When setting the goal-levels for your sales metric management system, there is an important consideration. Remembering back to report cards from school, students achieved a letter grade based on their performance. A few kids received an “A” which meant they had delivered stellar performance. However, average performance reflected a “C” on the report card. If your sales person achieved the goal for a particular metric, what does that mean? Was their performance exceptional? Or did they perform at the mere minimum acceptable level to keep their job?
If you set your goal levels so that they mean A-level performance, you should expect few of your sales people to hit them. If you set them at the C-level, you are establishing the baseline for minimum acceptable performance. There isn’t a right or wrong approach between the “A” and “C” philosophies. The key is to select one, understand its meaning relative to performance, and handle achievement accordingly.
4. Trainable. The final component is to identify the mentoring that can be provided to a sales person who is not achieving a defined metric in the system. Since the metrics that you are managing are critical to a sales person’s success (meaningful), deficiencies cannot be left unaddressed. When you identify each metric for the system, if a sales person is not achieving it, what potential weaknesses does it expose in their arsenal? As a sales manager, you can then begin digging to determine the root cause and help the sales person improve.
Just like many think that revenue is a metric, many think that if a sales person is failing to achieve their revenue quota that they cannot close. It’s possible that closing is the issue. However, if you have your sales metric management system in place, you may find that closing isn’t the issue at all. Perhaps, the sales person doesn’t have enough activity in their pipeline. Or, that they struggle to move prospects through the buying process. Or, any of countless other possible deficiencies. Managers who have their sales metric management system in place can quickly identify the problem area and address it.
Designing your sales metric management system well-positions you to create an effective sales compensation plan. Remember, your sales compensation plan tells your sales people where to invest their selling time. Thus, the compensation plan reinforces your sales metric management system. If you would like my sales metric management system worksheet, click here.