Research shows that the most profitable companies focus on their existing customers – the sales process definitely shouldn’t end with the first contract signed or the first invoice sent over, and the importance of liaising with account management to take it further.
The secret to cross-selling is simple: demonstrate value at the right time. Demonstrating value is less about blindly selling and more about continually solving challenges for existing customers. Building relationships for two-way communication is key to delivering on that, but here’s some of our other tips that you can use to boost your cross-selling game on the sales floor.
There’s two types of cross selling:
- Selling other products to existing customers
- Selling across a business or function
This is what they have in common: you’re selling products that complement one another. It’s about maximising your deal size in order to reach hefty revenue targets. There’s many secrets to effective cross-selling. There’s ways that you can work day-to-day on the phones with your customers or prospect customers, and there’s working with sales intelligence tools to do the heavy lifting for you.
With sales intelligence tools, you’re generating referrals by finding links in company structures – either to gather subsidiary businesses, franchises, or monitor changes in an existing customer.
Here’s how you can increase your cross-selling capabilities to be the best cross-selling salesperson.
The many secrets to cross-selling
- Get to know people’s challenges and suggest challenges they may have
One of the great benefits of yielding a two-way relationship is that you get to be on the ground with customer challenges. Developing sound knowledge of your customers’ wants and needs puts you in a position to suggest challenges they may have, so you’ll find yourself initiating conversations about potential solutions a lot more frequently.
- Free trials – give value for free for limited time
Why not demonstrate the value of other complementary products with free trials or cooling periods? If it’s price that’s setting your customer back, granting them free initial entry will give them time to reap some of the benefits, so they’re more likely to purchase. Knowing that they’re discovering how it works to solve the challenges they might not have known they had speaks far more than any sales material you could have sent them.
- Never let go of your customers
When was the last time you treated one of your relationships like a business transaction? You have a relationship with your customers, so use it to your advantage in a way that’ll make them appreciate you. The art of cross-selling is not to have a hard-sell attitude but about incremental moments that lead to them increasing their spend. Become an enabler, not a seller.
- Be specific about your cross-sell targets
Cross-selling to all your customers with the same products or services doesn’t work the way you think it should – cross-selling takes valuable time, resources and skill. When you’re putting time and money behind every cross-sell opportunity and not everyone bites, your cost per acquisition jumps up. Being specific about your targets allows you to reduce your selling time but maximise that conversion rate with the right sort of people.
- World of sales is changing
Take advantage of what’s happening around you – people use the internet to take the buyer journey into their own hands so most of the sell is done at their fingertips. Highlight product pages on your website or send over sales material to help them draw their own comparisons and conclusions – the secret here is to not be pushy and let your customers consume at their pace.
- Pitch promotions
If money is a challenge that’s often brought up, offer promotions. A great solution can be clouded by the monetary side, because customers are already subscribed to your service or invested in your product, they need that little incentive to buy more (even if they’re loyal customers).
- Map out the prospecting journey with their timeline in mind
The secret to cross-selling is pitching when there’s a real need for the additional complementary products or services. Striking while the iron’s hot increases your chances of making the sale, and introducing your customer to your cross-sell product might be detrimental to your whole relationship with them.
- Practise active listening
Really listen to your customers from the beginning. Matching products and services to their challenges will promote you as a partner as opposed to a salesperson – partnering to improve their business functions through solving their biggest challenges.
- Timing is key
We’ve eluded to this in our previous points but it’s important to reiterate that timing really is key. Introducing a cross-sell item can potentially cause a rift in the customer relationship – introduce it too early and you may come across pushy, but leave it too late and your customer may have gone elsewhere.
- Follow up
Last but by no means least, one of the secrets to effective cross-selling is to follow up. It’s part of the continual conversations you should be having with your customers, checking in with customer success and account management to follow where your sales conversations are taking them.
If you want to learn more about cross selling and how we can help you achieve your targets, consult our cross selling use case or book a demo with us.