There is no better way for B2B organizations to drive growth than through selling to their existing accounts. Despite the potential returns, most organizations leave this strategy almost entirely in the hands of their sales teams without putting the rigor and discipline to be really successful. Unknowingly, they are leaving a huge opportunity on the table…
The best companies have built and run plays which explicitly target cross-sell in a programmatic way, combining resources from marketing and sales to dramatically improve performance.
These cross sell programs generally fall in one of four categories:
1) Traditional Cross-Sell – sell more of the portfolio bundle or products set to existing buyers.
- Why this works: What is easier than selling into a buyer who uses your product/service and values you? For multi-product business models, selling across your portfolio drives immense revenue
- Why this can be hard: Sometimes the perceived risks in selling to an existing buyer get in the way of the obvious opportunity. Often the buyer sees you as a “one-trick-pony” and questions the value proposition of a new offering.
- Secret sauce: Creating a complete profile of each existing customer and building trigger events around their buying moments can help inform your team to when and with what product/value proposition to cross-sell.
2) Divisional Cross-Sell – sell across multiple divisions, regions, or functional areas within an existing account.
- Why this works: Nothing is more powerful than a referral, except an internal referral with a case study that has worked in the business. And maybe Superman.
- Why this can be hard: Too often organizations focus on selling across all potential buyers with using the same value prop instead of customizing their approach — focusing on the right buyers, those that are ready to buy, and personalizing the offer or solution.
- Secret sauce: Understand the structure and buying groups within your existing customers, and focus on those who can actually buy from you, with an offer that reflects their business needs.
3) New Product Cross-Sell – seeding the success of a new product launch by positioning and selling to existing buyers.
- Why this works: When new products are developed the right way, they naturally align to specific buyers who will benefit from its features. When these are positioned to existing buyers, the combination of the products value and your existing relationship can produce incredible results.
- Why this can be hard: The hardest part of launching new products to an existing customer base is helping sellers develop confidence in the new product, in terms of understanding the product and its value, accessing the right information to share, and also confidence on its fit for the existing customer.
- Secret sauce: While you must target the right customers for each new products, enabling sellers with the right collateral and knowledge is often the main driver of success. This includes making case examples and product brief easily accessible to the team for more efficient and effective outreach.
4) Upsell of An Existing Contract – growing the value or features within an existing contract with an existing buyer.
- Why this works: Adding features to a solution or product should add value (and thus price point) to grow the relationship with an existing buyer.
- Why this can be hard: If incremental value is not positioned effectively (or well understood by the seller or customer), there is often major resistance around price increases with customers. Further, there is often organizational pressure on the customer side to reduce total cost, independent of incremental value delivered.
- Secret sauce: Using analytics to figure out which customers have a higher propensity to spend and which would value the incremental functionality is key. This information will allow you to prioritize where to drive price increases and how to position new features.
Understanding the type of cross sell you need to execute should influence the program you design and the play you run. Organizations who are really defining the right cross sell play for their business and systematically running these plays are seeing significantly better results.
Are there cross sell plays that you are running that are not in the four we have highlighted? Would love to hear from you on this or other topics related to this post!