How to Increase Cross-Selling to Grow Faster

How to Increase Cross-Selling to Grow Faster
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Why Increase Crossselling?
Cross-selling involves purposefully marketing and selling additional value-added products and services to existing customers that complement what they have already purchased or are considering buying. Cross-selling is an effective business sales training technique designed to:

Success at cross-selling requires that a salesperson has the confidence, competence, and conviction to help customers see the value of adding on complementary products or services.   

Examples include a car salesman encouraging you to buy a cargo liner after you have chosen your dream truck. Or a fast-food employee asking if you want fries with your burger. Or an eCommerce website recommending personalized additions to your cart before you check out. 

A Mistake that Too Many Sales Leaders Make
Intuitively, cross-selling makes sense.  Once you have won a new customer, why wouldn’t you try to sell them more stuff?

Unfortunately, too many sales leaders over emphasize the importance of winning new clients.  The research makes it pretty clear that growing wallet share of existing customers is better, faster, and cheaper than acquiring new customers.  According to Invesp:

  • Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer.
  • Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%.
  • The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%; while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.

So, smart sales leaders focus on how to increase cross-selling to grow faster. 

How to Increase Cross-Selling to Grow Faster
Every sales team would like to realize the increased revenue potential of cross-selling. The research and our sales management training point to five factors to do it successfully.

  1. A Value-Added Complement
    The additional product or service must actually enhance or complete the purchase and provide a clear benefit that the buyer can recognize and appreciate. It must be easy to try, easy to buy, and be seen as a natural and value-added extension of the core purchase.  Great cross-sellers understand what matters most to their target clients and are able to clearly articulate (in a “non-salesy” way) how key additional services relate to their success.
  2. A Strong Customer Relationship
    Trust is the basis for any meaningful relationship. Certainly, the stronger the bond of trust between a buyer and seller, the better chance the seller has of influencing the sales process.  Strong relationships allow your sales team to present additional insights, products, and solutions early in the game to expand the purchase and to help your client succeed.
  3. Bandwidth, Offerings, and Executive Support
    Do your salespeople have the competence, confidence, and bandwidth to focus on selling more than their core offerings or product? Sales teams need expertise, time, and options to cross-sell effectively. As sales leader, provide your team with a variety of products and/or services that fit well together and the knowledge of how they work. Then ensure that company executives are committed, both with intention and resources, to supporting a customer-centric cross-selling program.
  4. Consultative Selling Skills
    Successful cross-selling requires advanced consultative selling skills.  Sellers must understand their buyer’s business priorities and how to fulfill them more completely in a way that makes sense.  Top performing sellers focus on the customer’s unique situation and needs to help define value in the eyes of the customer.  They then use the customer-defined value to design a unique combination of performance and price to give the customer exactly what they want and need in order to succeed.
  5. Motivation
    Compensation that truly incentivizes sellers to change their pitch is complicated. Presumably, they already have a sales quota. What would encourage them to add in cross-selling? It may be more money, or it may be special recognition, or perhaps membership in a prestigious organization. Tailor the incentive to the individual for best results and look for any areas of misalignment that would hinder your cross-selling efforts.

The Bottom Line
Successful cross selling reflects a synergy for your buyers where one offering enhances another. Just like referral selling, cross-selling is a great opportunity to increase revenue. Are you ready to increase cross-selling to grow faster?

To learn more about how to increase cross-selling to grow faster, download Are Your Sales Reps Leaving Money on the Table?

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