8 tricks on how to sell more to your current customers

Do you think you’re doing everything that’s in your power to help out your sales reps to hit or maybe even exceed their sales targets and objectives? We’ve already mentioned in a previous article the multiple benefits and advantages that a CRM integration can offer you, and cross selling and up-selling were both on that list. So let’s explore this side of the problem and figure out how exactly does this type of software help you out.

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What are cross-selling and up-selling?

In today's business world everyone is a sales person. Most businesses have caught on that they need to use their entire team to sell their products and services. There are many opportunities to sell, which is why it is important to train your team on selling techniques.

Considering that it’s 4x more expensive to acquire a new dollar via upsell vs. through a new customer and that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 300-1,400% higher than selling to a prospective customer, obviously that raising the bar with the current customers is what we should all be aiming for.

Upselling is the sales technique where additional products or services are added to the original purchase. So it’s clear that the products are clearly going to be related in one way or another to the already purchased products or services.

For example, Tom just bought a new cell phone and the salesperson suggests that he also buys a cell phone case. This is an example of upselling. Cross-selling is a sales technique where the salesperson will suggest a different product or service based on the buyer's history or preferences. For example, while Tom is buying the cell phone, the salesperson could suggest also buying a tablet. This is the cross selling technique, proposing a different product to an existing customer.

Both techniques are important and can be maximized by using your CRM solution.

But let’s take it a step at a time and figure out how a CRM can support your sales team at selling more to existing customers.

Clearly the first step you’re going to take is by identifying your client’s needs. After that you start by making efforts to either cross sell or upsell.

Let’s see how you can do that.

1. Keep an eye on the purchase history

The information in your CRM system will include things like purchase history. That can be used to generate recommendations for additional purchases. If the customer has purchased dog food at the same time they bought tennis balls, you're probably not going to sell the customer a tennis racket, but you might well we able to sell that customer an upscale dog collar.

Remember that not all Cross Selling and Up Selling take place at the time of purchase. You can analyze the information later and provide timely follow-up offers by email or regular mail. The trick here, in addition to targeting, is to strike while the iron is hot. Your sales or marketing team should follow up quickly while the purchase is still fresh in the customer's mind.

2. Synchronize sales & support efforts

Have you ever called to upsell a customer only to find out that they’re not happy with the purchase they’ve already made? Your contact currently has an open ticket with support and has been trying to get her issue resolved for a week. That’s clearly not a situation you’d try to upsell in.

These are the types of situations that occur when sales and support teams have limited visibility into customer conversations – it’s nearly impossible to provide award-winning experiences. The worst outcome could even result in customer churn.

Ensuring that important information like open and closed tickets is made visible to your reps in your CRM enhances team agility as well as helps reps enter conversations with greater context. Spot an open ticket? Now probably isn’t the time for an upsell. Did an issue just get resolved in an efficient and timely manner? Make the call to make the proposition.

3. Know exactly how your relationship with the customer has evolved

One of the keys to upselling and cross selling is to try and create a win-win situation. Actually that’s what selling is all about, right?

You have already developed a relationship and a bond with the client and we assume that they trust you, so that puts you in a good position to make some further recommendations. The customer needs to feel that you’re watching over his best interest, not just trying to make some more money off of his back.

Remember, at the end of the day, everyone wants to feel as though they have been properly listened and catered to.

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 he buys the computer to use it just for basic, at home stuff, it sure wouldn’t make any sense to try and sell them an accounting program. However, photo editing or anti-virus software would be likely to be well-received.

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.

4. Communicate better with your customers

Key to the whole process is providing enough information to the client prior to the sale and to also offer them even more support after the sale’s been made. Your client wants to be able to contact you when necessary and you need to make this as simple as possible.

This is another situation where having a CRM software proves to be priceless and not only for the sales team, but for the client support team as well. Support tickets can be created for any type of situation, you’ll get notifications about them and you’ll be able to keep your client posted on how his request is progressing.

5. Use customer feedback to sell some more

You can and should use every piece of information coming from your clients in order to pitch more features and upgrades.

Every business has a feedback column, form or tool where customers can input their opinions and ideas. A CRM makes it easier for you to look at and filter that feedback. Analyze the data and look for opportunities where you can cross-sell or upsell by pitching related features/upgrades.

If any of your customer’s products or services are ready for renewal, you can send a renewal email and pitch new upgrades or features at a minimum price plan.

6. Identify opportunities by looking for patterns

The standard dashboard of any CRM application creates charts and reports across your entire database, but what you really need to do is listen to your reps and figure out what the buyer patterns are by looking at what a CRM tells you.

Get your team together and ask them to describe what tips and tricks they find most useful before approaching a customer.

Have they noticed that repeat orders happen best in the first week of the quarter? Do up-selling orders rise after an important event? This type of knowledge can be considered your secret weapon. Many of these tips and tricks can be hardened into reusable cross-selling and up-selling techniques.

Imagine how great your people would feel if they knew their little insights could benefit themselves, their colleagues and most importantly, their customers.

7. Target customers with specific campaigns

Another use for CRM is to develop highly targeted campaigns aimed at specific customer segments. This is a very successful technique – if you have correctly identified your target market and their interests. The downside of such campaigns is that they will miss utterly if you haven't correctly identified the market segment. With CRM you can analyze the sales patterns. A customer who purchases high-end synthetic motor oil by the case isn't likely to be interested in your cheapest brand of tires. Neither is the customer from a high-income zip code who buys off-road accessories.

8. Listen to your team members and their knowledge

Out of the box, a CRM application will segment your database by standard factors: sector, company size, turnover. To make your people fanatical about the CRM solution and how marketing could help them in their sales, segment differently. These different approaches can include ways in which your staff are united by their own personal knowledge about customers.

The trick is to test their hunches! If they believe there are always easier conversions in the first week of the quarter, test that assumption against actual data. If it checks out, you’ve got a smarter sales plan and resource allocation plan in the making. More importantly, you’ve turned salespeople on to the concept that CRM is the path to personal success.

Customers don’t divide themselves into sectors and sizes: databases do. Start looking at your data in terms of human factors, generate relevant reports based on what you know about your clients and as soon as you know it, you’ll be on your way to success.

CRM solutions help to overcome the barriers of cross-selling and up-selling at lower expenses. However, you should establish a comprehensive strategy that will count marketing and sales departments needs equally. Furthermore, you should set up employee training and data management policies to keep it clean from copies, accurate and relevant.