The Best Ways to Cross-sell and Upsell Your Products and/or Services
Categories: Sales Conversation
Accelerating growth is not always about closing new opportunities. It’s also about getting more out of the opportunities you have. That’s why the most successful companies are focused on cross-sell and upsell strategies, as well as net new business.
How do you create and capture continued value for your customers? If you’re responsible for cross-sell and upsell opportunities within your organization, here are some key steps you can take to improve your ability to cross-sell and upsell within your customer accounts.
Always Be Discovering
Discovery doesn’t stop once you sign the customer. As you work to help the customer reach the PBOs and success metrics you identified in the original sales process, it’s important you continue to demonstrate positive business intent. What’s changed in your customer’s business or landscape? Are they offering new solutions, facing up against new competition, gearing up for an IPO? Are they considering a competitor (including a do-nothing or do-it-internal option) for a challenge your additional solutions can solve?
Continue to work to identify business challenges and negative consequences that map to your solutions. Check in regularly to look for ways to provide value to your buyer, not only when you have something new to pitch them. Nurture that relationship you’ve built. That relationship will support you as you work to cross-sell or upsell, but may also provide you new opportunities as your contacts move to new companies as well.
Leverage Your Differentiation
Don’t leave room for competition to creep in after the initial sale. Once a competitor closes a contract with your customer for one service, it’s that much easier for them to take the entire account. Use your differentiation to cross-sell, upsell and reduce the threat from the competition.
Identify what your company does better than anyone else, particularly when it comes to additional services. Use those differentiators as opportunities to upsell, cross-sell in your current accounts. Consider:
- What other operating partners or internal solutions are your customers using that you could provide a solution for instead?
- Are your customers getting the results they need from those partners/solutions?
- How could your additional products/services help your customer achieve their PBOs in a way that’s different or better than their current partners?
- Can you prove it?
In your original opportunity, you may have trapped the competition around your solution's differentiation to win the deal by aligning your solution's technical capabilities to your customer's required capabilities of a new solution. Execute similar steps as you continually work within that account and open up cross-sell, upsell opportunities. Execute discovery with current customers to identify new or shifted challenges. During the process, work to help them identify the required capabilities of a solution implementation. Help your buyer strategically define their required capabilities in a way that aligns with your solution’s differentiation. Stack those requirements in a way that favors your solution over competition, including a do-nothing or do-it-internally decision.
Provide Proof of Success
Validate solution success in the QBR. When it comes to convincing clients that investing further in your solution will have a major impact on their business, the best way to support your case is by using proof of success. Did you set yourself up for success in the initial sale by getting your buyer to agree on particular metrics that you can now validate six months later or a year down the line?
In your next business review, validate that your solution achieved what you said it could. Use that success as your opportunity to dig deeper on other business problems your customers may be facing.
If you’re struggling to validate solution success in your deals, assess how you establish required capabilities for a solution implementation and metrics in your initial sales. Here are some actions you can take to adjust your approach.
Keep Multiple Decision Makers in Mind
When adding on new services, there may be additional stakeholders you need to involve that may not have been part of the original deal. Remember, you have to do the appropriate discovery with each decision maker. Identify their business challenges, positive business outcomes, metrics and their required capabilities. When you account for the various inputs, creating a compelling business case for additional services is much easier. As you make the shift to selling to more decision makers in your customer accounts, leverage these best practices for commanding your message when there are several people involved in the opportunity.
Plan to Make Your Plan
You’ve got a number to hit. Whether you’re at the top of your game or need to significantly increase your ability to achieve your quota, focus on your plan to make your plan. Think about your most critical customer accounts. Do you have an effective plan set up around your top accounts? How are you going to improve and/or expand your organization’s position within those organizations? Evaluate your critical accounts as you define opportunities to cross-sell and upsell within them.