Boost Revenue with Cross- and Upselling – 5 ways to get it right

The number 1 difference between Top Performers and the Rest is the ability to maximise sales at existing accounts. Cross- and up-selling* tactics are undoubtedly highly effective and yet few organisations have them incorporated.


Many sales people often miss cross and upselling for three main reasons: they are afraid of loosing the current order, they don’t feel competent enough to sell products and services from other divisions or they are not even aware of products and services that could benefit their customers. However, when approached correctly and systematically cross-selling and up-selling processes can lead to a win-win situation for both your business and your customer and increases the relationship by delivering more value.

Unused revenue potential:

Only 34% of top-performing sales organisations report that their customers understand the full breadth of their capabilities. Imagine missing out on an extra order for this reason! Above all, it is a misapprehension to think customers do not appreciate more or value complementary offers. On the contrary, 73% are interested in learning about new products and services the company is promoting.  Once trust has been built then customers are generally happy to purchase more (as long as you are solving a problem or presenting an opportunity).

5 approaches for successful cross-/up-selling:

  • Increase the cross-/upselling potential: Make sure you identify and create additional products or services that add value to the standard version and create new offerings (product bundles, discounts, etc.). Segment the offers so your sales representatives can quickly identify and suggest appropriate solutions to customers.
  • Provide ongoing training: Train all your employees on your full product/service range and make sure you link up the cross-/up-selling potential. Keep them updated about future developments. Help your staff to understand when it is the right time to promote additional products and to whom. Help non-sales staff to think more commercially; everyone in your company can, and should, create new business opportunity.
  • Change your mind-set: Don’t think customers don’t want to be upsold. People want to buy, as long as it adds value to them and their business. The Sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer said: „help the customer win. When the customer wins, you win“.
  • Don’t be salesy: recent survey from AchieveGlobal found more than 40 percent of respondents get annoyed when employees upsell or cross-sell them during customer service interactions. In former blog post we explain how the Art of Selling has changed and give you tips on how to sell successfully.
  • Make divisions work together. Cross-selling potential often remains unused because different departments don’t work together or they work against each others‘ targets. When managing strategic accounts get relevant departments to work on mutual goals.

It is not surprising that the probability of selling more to an existing customer is much higher than making a first order with a new prospect. Trust has already been won. So take advantage of opportunities that show up every day.  Create more value based on your understanding of your customer’s needs – it’s unlikely you can be a Strategic Resource from day one but you can certainly think like one!

Do you have questions or comments? Contact us on 0191 481 3800.

Follow durhamlane on twitter @durhamlane, and join in their sales conversations via their LinkedIn group - ‘Selling at a Higher Level’.

* Up-selling: ask an existing customer to purchase a better version, extra features or add-ons to the product. It helps the customer to enjoy more benefits and to maximise usefulness of the products or services.

Cross-selling: sell products that are different, but possibly related, to the product the customer has already bought.


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