Cross Selling is the practice of selling additional products or services to existing or new customers. It can be used in conjunction with its close relative Up Selling that encourages the purchase of higher value products or services than originally considered. The benefits of Cross Selling are well proven in larger companies and UK SMEs can also use this strategy with excellent results.
Cross Selling is an effective method to increase:
- Profit margins
- Customer loyalty
If your company designs, manufacturers or sells products, services or solutions to B2B or B2C customers via direct, indirect or digital channels it can benefit from cross selling to drive growth and profit.
Cross Selling Nine Point Check List
1. Establish your objectives: Sales, profit margin, customer loyalty etc.
2. Understand what your customers buy from you and what they don’t buy from you and why (sales analysis + Customer Relationship Management information). Do typical customers buy other products and services that are related to your portfolio?
- Identify customers who could buy your existing portfolio but don’t.
- Can you fill any identified portfolio gaps organically?
- If not, can you identify partners to complete the package?
3. Tailor your propositions for established customers and new customers as appropriate – different approaches and timing are often needed. Consider simple add-ons, complimentary offers, up sells, packages etc.
4. Do your cross selling propositions truly benefit the customer as well as your business? They should – one sided wins result in dissatisfaction. Build on and don’t abuse existing trust.
5. Consider the timing and frequency of your cross selling and/or up selling (key factor to improve loyalty or conversely to annoy existing customers):
- At the time of sale
- At a chosen relevant time
- At steps over a period of time (Account Management v. Sales)
6. Think about different approaches for your channels to market:
- Direct, indirect and digital
- Think about how to get your channels working with you
- Identify if your channels cross sell against you and if so why
7. Plan communication carefully
- Internal communication to staff and partners is key
- Consider appropriate internal incentives and training (retain culture)
- Ensure you inform your existing clients about your relevant portfolio
8. Can you cross market with partners to mutual benefit (remember data protection regulations!)?
9. Can you evolve into packaging products and services as one stop solutions to meet customer requirements?
Contact Gordon Carmichael for further information or to discuss developing a Cross Selling strategy for your business.