The foundational concepts of every sales team are upselling and cross-selling. They’re the strategies that help every sales representative reach their quarterly goals and quotas. Better yet, they’re a win-win for both the customer and for you: the customer gets a more complete set of products that they find useful and interesting, and you get to help the customer and benefit your company.
Sadly, though, these concepts are often poorly used, making customers wary and making you frustrated. Here is everything you need to know about upselling and cross-selling to reach all your goals.
There’s a fine line between upselling and cross-selling. Upselling is offering a customer purchases that can be added onto their original purchase, make their original purchase more valuable, or give the customer a more luxury version of the product—like ink with a printer or an upgrade to a credit card. On the other hand, cross-selling is offering a customer a product that can complement the one they already purchased, or it might be a product that’s related in some way. For example, you could cross-sell chips with salsa or an ACT prep book with a book on surviving your first year of college. Understanding the difference between upselling and cross-selling will help you know when and what to offer your customers.
Know your goals
Every company has a different selling structure, and you’ll likely have different sales goals at different times of the year. If you’re simply trying to spread awareness about a new product and build MQLs (marketing qualified leads), then cross-selling is probably your best bet. However, if you’re really trying to define an SQL (sales qualified lead), then you know that your customer is already seriously interested in your product and upselling is a great idea.
Gather data about your target base and understand their habits. Once you’ve done that, you can create user personas and build a realistic customer journey. If you can identify a customer’s budget and priorities, you’ll know if they’re more likely to be interested in your upselling or cross-selling.
When you are cross-selling or upselling, don’t just offer the product. Make sure that the customer sees how it could be useful to them and relevant to their original purchase. Each offer you make should clearly add value to the customer. This means that you’ll have to be prepared with the customer’s background and with the products you’re selling because you’ll have to be able to match the product benefits with the customer’s needs.
Make your customer do some of the work
Sales most effective if there is an equal partnership between sales agent and customer. When you’re discussing products with a customer—whether you’re upselling or cross-selling—you can sometimes feel like you’re just throwing suggestions into a void. The way to solve this is to help customers figure out exactly what they want. Make sure to help your customer realize his or her needs and show how your product can meet that need. Instead of being pushy and looking for the biggest sale, let the customers choose for themselves what their budget limits are. By establishing your value and offering options, your customer gets to be a more active participant in the transaction and can leave feeling more empowered and satisfied with their decision.
One of the most effective forms of upselling is having brackets of product choices. Like storage limits, customers can choose how much of something they want from a set of options. However, as each bracket of choices increases, decrease the price difference. This is the whole concept behind, “I was going to buy a medium soda, but a large one is only twenty cents more.” Highlight these extra benefits and their decreased costs so that the higher end offers are clearly the best deal.
Timing is everything. If you make too many upselling suggestions too soon, your customer can become overwhelmed and flustered. If you make suggestions too late, it feels like a forced afterthought and a gimmicky annoyance. Make sure you understand the customer’s wants before you tell them any pricing so that you can give an accurate estimate of what their solution will really cost.
Understanding these principles of upselling and cross-selling will hone your strategy and skyrocket your sales. For more information about how ROI Solutions manages and improves upselling and cross-selling for your company, get a free consultation. We’ll show you exactly how we can capitalize on your products’ strengths to create the best upselling opportunities for your company, and we’ll give you a free quote as well. Contact us here to learn more.