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Why Your Team Can't Cross Sell (and How To Fix It)

February 4, 2016 / by Spencer Grover

cross sell tips and zips

Cross selling is among the best ways for a company to increase revenue. Not only is cross-selling to existing customers spectacularly easier than acquiring them in the first place, but it's also between 5-20 times less expensive.

 

And yet, cross-selling remains a huge challenge for B2B organizations.

 

In this post, we're going to look at how to help your sales team cross-sell more effectively, and how to implement each one.

1. Pick the Right Customers

Sometimes there is the rush to find ways to increase revenue, through any means necessary. Often the solution that is being cross sold has less value than the primary solution already sold to your target client. If the sales team feel like a solution is being forced upon them to their accounts and it is a not a great fit, you will start to lose the sales team. Identify the specifics for target accounts that make them a great fit for cross selling solution.

 

Cross sell tip: Choose your cross-sell opportunities so they truly add value to your customer. Second, identify what customers cross-sell the most, and work to fill your funnel with these high-LTV prospects.

2. Compensation

Finding the right compensation plan for your sales people is one of the big keys to making cross selling work. The compensation needs to be enough to get the reps’ attention and have them put effort into selling it.

 

But if the incentive is too high, you may face a situation where the sales person focuses more on the cross-selling solution than the core solution. This would be detrimental to the business in the long term, even if it means you hit your short-term objectives.

 

Cross sell tip: Make sure you're aligned in the behaviour you want to see and the behaviour you're incentivising.

3. Sales Enablement

The right kind of training will make or break the cross selling effort. An initial training session is a good start, but it will lose its effectiveness over time.

 

Inevitably, reps return to what they know, and start focusing their attention on either new deals or upselling existing products. Once that happens, cross-selling falls to the wayside and, inevitably, fails to happen.

 

Providing the training that the reps need, continuously reinforcing the value of your additional products to the customer will make them much more comfotable and inevitably, drive them to cross sell more.

 

Cross-sell tip: If you want your team to cross sell, give them the time, tools, and enablement resources to do it well. Otherwise, they won't make any money and leave.

4. Sales Support

Once the sale gets started, the sales person may need some additional help to get the opportunity across the finish line. This could mean having subject matter experts available for demos or for help on things like proposals. The easier you make it for the sales person, the more likely that the effort will be successful.

 

Cross-sell tip: Cross-selling, much like the original sale, is all about providing value to the customer. And often, the rep isn't the best-positioned person to do that. Executives, sales engineers, customer success, and more are all valuable resources you should call on to get cross sells across the line.

Cross sell tip summary

  1. Focus on adding value. Customers will only meaningfully purchase (and not churn) if they're getting value from every product that they're buying from you.
  2. Align your compensation and the behaviour you want to drive in your reps so that they're incentivised to do what you want them to do. Too low, and cross selling isn't worth the effort. But too high, and cross sells are pushed on customers who have no need, causing huge problems down the line.
  3. Make sure you're giving your team the tools, resources, and time to learn how to cross sell effectively. This should be a continuing program to keep your reps focused and learning, so they can identify and execute on opportunities when they present themselves.
  4. Support your reps. Cross selling is a team effort. Make sure your team has all the resources / people they need to get the cross sell over the line.

Image credit: Tomas Sobek via Unsplash


 

Spencer Grover

Written by Spencer Grover

Spencer is the product marketing manager at LevelJump. He comes from the world of content and loves helping B2B SaaS companies find exactly the right people who love a product, and figuring out exactly how that product story so it resonates and compels action. You can find him on LinkedIn.

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