What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is a sales strategy that is based on selling additional products or services to current clients. It can be an efficient way of increasing sales and retaining clients rather than acquiring new clients in order to increase sales. However, sales reps tend to forget it. Think of the situation where your sales rep comes home from yet another meeting with a current client and has sold them the same product as last year and the year before – even though there might be an obvious promotion in another product category i.e. an opening for cross-selling.

The example illustrates that cross-selling often is an overlooked opportunity that sales teams do not use strategically to have more effective client meetings. As Matt Heinz from Heinz Marketing points out, the end of the sales funnel is indeed the beginning, when incorporating activities such as cross sales.

We have done some research and found three useful client meeting themes that sales reps can utilize to boost cross sales.

#1 Cross-selling that benefits the client

A cross sale should complement the product or service that a given client has already bought from you and benefit their business as well as it benefits your revenue. Like Sophia Bernazzani from Hubspot suggests, cross-selling must make sense, you should be honest about it and be able to demonstrate value.

If your cross sale becomes too sales focused and pushy, the client will probably see right through it and back off. Therefore, figure out how the cross sale benefits the client, and convey this experience to the client by providing them with transparent, relevant options. Then you will ease and improve the sales process and make it a win-win for the both of you.

#2 Confirmation of value creation

“Solid value confirmation messaging is the prerequisite for additional business with this customer.”

- Tamara Schenk, CSO Insights

As mentioned, the sales process is far from over when the client signs the contract. This implies that communicating the value of your product or service to the client is a continuous process as well. Make it clear to your clients that they have made a good investment to make them more prone to buying additional products or services from you. Ensure that those additional products and services also create value for your client by solving a serious challenge, and that they are not just icing on the cake.

In a newsletter, SiriusDecisions points towards customer advocacy assets like case studies and testimonials as particularly effective in this regard. These resources can help confirm to clients that the additional product or service that the cross sale revolves around supports value creation and might even enhance it. This is more evident to the client, when it has proven to be true for similar companies.

#3 Incentivizing cross sales

After taking the two client meeting themes above into careful consideration, there are of course some sales tactics that you can utilize in cross sales. The purpose of these is to make the cross sale extra appealing to your clients and incentivize them to act. Neil Patel refers to these as persuasion lessons in a blog post about learnings from Amazon. We will highlight a few of them that you can utilize in your cross-selling efforts.

  • Bundling: You can utilize bundling by offering the product that the client chose together with a complementary product at a discounted price. This need not to be only physical products. Industries like banking, insurance and software also bundle services, as Investopedia points out.
  • Limited offers: You can make limited offers to create a sense of urgency that will speed up the cross sale. That can be e.g. an offer within the first three months or an end of the year offer.
  • Recommendations: You can make product recommendations of relevant products that other clients liked and maybe recommended or reviewed. This approach is used a lot in e-commerce business e.g. when viewing your cart and product suggestions are presented below or next to it.

Summing up, your sales reps should only present clients with a cross sale that benefits them, they should clarify how the cross sale creates value for the client, and use incentives to further the cross sale, if needed. These are client meeting themes that can boost the cross-selling mindset of sales reps so to say. In many regards, sales enablement software can also play a part in strengthening cross sales by helping your sales reps pick up these themes in client meetings. If you would like to hear more about how sales enablement software like Napp can help improve your cross-selling efforts, then contact us and learn more.

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