As you scale your business one of the challenges you face is to leverage the trust you develop with each customer, to sell him more products and services that he needs. It’s clearly much easier and cheaper to sell more products to existing customers than find new customers to sell to. Theoretically your existing customers should be “all ears” to another of your propositions. Right?
Words of caution
- All of your service offerings need to be best in class. An existing happy client buys your world class service A. You might sell a weak service B once to an existing client but the collateral damage is huge!
- Your sales process should be telling you which issues are a priority for your client. Only then should you be looking at the other service offerings you sell to see if there is a match. Serve first, sell second.
- Trust is very hard to win. Attempting to introduce another product under your trusted brand should only be attempted when you know it would improve the life of your customer.
- Ensure your sales talent really understand what you do. Remember to teach your sales team in three big silos – Sales Process, Customer/Market Knowledge, Product Knowledge.
- Identify the problems that your family of products solve. Think in terms of business results and deliverables. Now identify 20 clients in your portfolio that would benefit from these results.
- Establish a Relationship Manager who understands the client AND your products. People buy people. Work out the most appropriate, low risk way to introduce the new service to your client.
- Establish a simple incentive scheme from the start that rewards both the sales team that introduce the opportunity (finders fee) and also the sales team that closes the new service deal. Consider fun team incentive prizes for the top team that cross sells the most.
- Consider resetting the importance of Cross Selling by holding a workshop to outline your new objectives, playbook and training.
- Measure progress by considering the Market Share approach. Say you deliver six main service lines or product lines. Your client currently buys only one from you. Let’s say you estimate that your client spends $2m per year on those service lines. You estimate your market share at 5% or $100k. The question posed by IBM and other large groups? How can I increase my market share to 30% or more?
- Use white boards to show how successful some teams are at cross selling.
- Consider a “C” level summit between CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, CMOs to review how both you the supplier and the client could collaborate more. Perhaps even establish a framework agreement across a mix of services.
The key to successful cross selling has three components, strong personal relationships, deep understanding of your clients and how they will succeed and finally the ability to translate what you offer to match your client’s need.
As part of our Sales Process Services we establish our Cross Selling Playbook as an efficient way to scale your business.