Saturday, February 7, 2015

Upsell, Cross-Sell & CRM: How They Work Together

Bill Faeth for Business2Community writes: A lot has been said about the value of cross-selling and upselling when it comes to the bottom line. It’s Marketing 101. It is easier and a lot less expensive to cross-sell to existing customers than it is to find and woo new clients. In “Marketing Metrics – The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance,” written by Paul W. Farris, research has shown that it is 50 percent easier to sell to an existing client than to someone who has not bought from you before. If you get it right, you can really add value for your client and further cement the relationship.

Cross-Selling & Upselling

You cross-sell when you identify a different product that will suit your client’s needs. The products should be in some way related to your product. An example of this would be selling a client who has just bought a Web hosting package additional website building software as well.
The term upselling refers to the offering of additional features or a more costly version of what a client is considering buying. An extended warranty is one such example of upselling.

Getting It Right

The key here is to try and create a win-win situation. You have already developed some kind of bond and trust with the client, so you are in a good position. You do not, however, want to turn into a pushy sales person, that will ruin the relationship.
If the client feels that you are just trying to make money, they will no longer trust you and they will be less likely to return in future. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, 70 percent of buying decisions are based on how the client feels at that very moment.
If the client feels that you are looking out for their best interests, that will strengthen the bond of trust already created. You need to identify a need that the client needs fulfilled and match the product accordingly. Remember, at the end of the day, everyone wants to feel as though they have been properly listened to.
According to a study conducted by Bain and Co., around 80 percent of companies surveyed believed that they were offering superior service. According to the clients surveyed, only 8 percent actually did deliver superior service.
80% of companies believe they offer superior service; only 8% actually do. -Bain and Co. 
Let’s look at an example. Say that you sell a client a laptop, it would make sense to sell them software and possibly a laptop case as well. It is important here to listen to the client properly and identify cues from them as to what software they would find useful. If the computer is for home use, for example, it would not make sense to try and sell them an accounting program. However, photo editing or anti-virus software would be likely to be well-received.
It is all about reading the cues properly. You need to gauge whether or not the client would be receptive to the upsell or cross-sell and be prepared to back off if they really do not seem interested. Put your value proposal forward and then leave it up to the client. If they are interested, all is good and well. If they are not, let it go.
Even if they do not take you up on the offer, the seed will be planted and there is a possibility that they will come back at a later stage. By not trying to push the sale, you are letting the client know that the relationship with them is more important than making that last sale.
This enhances the customer’s experience and creates a positive connotation with you and your company. The same McKinsey study also found that 85 percent of clients who had positive experiences with the company would in turn, return and buy more products or services. On the other hand, after a bad experience, 70 percent would actually decrease their commitment to the company.
Positive client experience is worth a lot more than simply making another sale. That client will reward excellent customer service with increased loyalty and will certainly recommend your company to their friends.

Communication is Key

Key to this process is providing enough information to the client prior to the sale and to also give them after-sales support. Your client wants to be able to contact you when necessary and you need to make this as simple as possible.
Not everyone is happy to send in questions via email or online contact forms. Sometimes clients feel that real-time communication is essential. You can facilitate this by offering multi-channel communication. Give your client choices when it comes to being able to communicate with you. This could include a help line, live chat, email or contact forms allowing the client to choose the format that they are most comfortable with.
70% of buying decisions are based on how a client feels at that very moment. -McKinsey
The upside of enabling them to contact a call center directly, whether through live chat or via phone, is that the consultant is better able to understand what the client’s needs are. This increases the chances of creating a favorable client experience and also increases the chances of being able to upsell or cross-sell products.
That is where a service like Zipwire becomes invaluable. The cloud-based contact service can coordinate inbound and outbound communication on your behalf leaving you free to concentrate on the day to day running of the business.
The system can be set to assign calls to consultants based on the skills necessary to achieve resolution. This is an important process in the customer service game. For excellent client service to be a reality, the client’s contact with your company has to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. As far as possible, this should mean resolution at the first point of contact.
The efficient management of calls will also lead to an increase in employee productivity. If you allow your consultants to stick to the areas that they know best, there will be less time wasted overall and more time that can be spent on furthering the client relationship. 
Bill Faeth is President of Inbound Marketing Agents, an innovative Hubspot Gold partner based in Nashville, TN. 

1 comment:

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