Monthly Archives: April 2011

In my last post I talked about the benefits of a differentiated sales strategy. Now I will discuss what a salesperson needs to know in order to create a differentiation strategy.

Salespeople need to know their customers better than they do right now, and I have developed the Nine Elements-Know Your Customer (9E-KYC) framework to help them. My goal is to be viewed by the relevant people in the target company as a trusted advisor and not simply as someone with something to sell.

The Nine Elements of Know Your Customer (9E-KYC)

Element 1: Jumping-In Point
Change is required to seize an opportunity, so I’m going to approach my target company in the role of a change agent—but not just any change agent. I want to be viewed by my target company’s key people as an ally in making that change happen, whatever it is. So I need to discover the most significant challenge and/or the most significant opportunity facing the company. Together these form what Elias and Shanto, in their book , call a Trigger Event.

Element 2: Organizational Purpose

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Differentiation - list of reasons why it is important In my last post I talked the concept of sales differentiation . Now I will show you why you want a differentiated sales strategy.

  1. A differentiated solution will:
  2. Generate more and better sales for the company.
  3. Protect and possibly increase profit margins.
  4. Make certain that you have a competitive advantage.
  5. Increase your win rate since it will exceed your customers’ expectations and will be difficult for your competition to copy.
  6. Protect and possibly improve your margins because your solution includes a greater proportion of high-margin products or services.
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Differentiate your solution from your competitors

In my first blog I talked about differentiating yourself in a way that matters to your customer and baffles your competition . This post will describe the concept of sales differentiation.

To create a differentiated sales strategy, you need to know your own products and services, understand your competition and insights about your customer. Then you need to creatively develop a unique solution.

Your solution is a combination of products and services. As your solution becomes more differentiated, you start to distinguish yourself from the competition. A successful differentiation sales strategy will move your solution from competing based primarily on price to competing on non-price factors such as ease of use, simplicity of buying and rapid implementation. The differentiation of your solution will increase your sales and profits by reducing direct competition.

Differentiation is offering a solution to your customer that:

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