Is it time to add a cross-selling strategy to your client success process? Quick answer—yes! It’s not only more efficient to sell additional products or upgrades to existing clients, it can have a massive effect on your bottom line. 

But client cross-selling is hard. In the business to business (B2B) world, where selling cycles are complex, intense and long, client cross-selling can be equally complex. Further, re-engaging the sales team into the process can be costly and downright complicated when it comes to relationship building. But your client success teams CAN take the lead in effective cross-selling strategies. It just takes a bit of strategy, some planning...and a few dos and don’ts along the way. 

Do: Empower Your Client

It’s the age of buyer empowerment. Buyers (now clients!) are educated and demanding and the old rules of sales no longer apply. So throw out the rule book entirely and embrace client enablement in your client cross-selling strategies. An empowered client loves connection and relationships, but on their terms. Make it easy for them to become your cheerleaders and champions through an omni-channel approach that proactively answers their questions. Connection fosters engagement. Engagement sets your cross-sell up for success. 

Do: Empower Your Account Teams

Forget sales enablement, we’re fully embracing account management enablement. Give your client services and account management teams the tools they need to foster the cross-sell themselves. Yes, we know, this team doesn’t love selling, but they do love process. And you can absolutely develop a positioning process for the cross-sell. 

At Proteus, we call the process “plays,” — strategic assets delivered on a timeline for maximum engagement. These are the emails, webinars, videos, and more that help you stay engaged with your customer while setting the stage for the cross-sell. The process is all automated so you can seamlessly position your non-sales teams to positively affect revenue. 

Don’t: Overwhelm Your Customer with Too Many Choices

There’s a fantastic experiment from social scientist Sheena Iyengar on cross-selling in a retail environment. At a supermarket in the mid-90s, Iyengar set up a sampling station and alternated between offering 24 and six choices of jam to shoppers. Of course, the goal of sampling stations is to sell more products—a classic cross-sell—but Iyengar was curious on whether the number of choices affected revenue. At the end of the experiment, Iyengar found that when she offered only six items, a significantly higher percentage of consumers added the jam to their carts. 

The same principle should be applied to B2B client cross-sell strategies. The cross-sell should be limited only to those that are concise, make sense and provide the most value to consumers. Now’s not the time to throw all the spaghetti on the wall. 

Don’t: Overwhelm Your Team with Too Many Choices

Iyengar’s supermarket jam experiment is just as much about human behavior as it is about purchasing power. The same principle can be applied to your client services and account management teams when they’re faced with 24 cross-sell opportunities versus six. Make sure your client cross-sell strategies have been fully vetted and are concise and automated for your team. By simplifying the process, these teams know the exact next play, when to play it, how it went and when to re-engage sales. 

Stop leaving money on the table and start investing in a client cross-sell strategy that works. Are you wondering if your client services and account management teams are missing opportunities for building revenue? We’ve got you covered. Download our free resources to easily assess your team and discover opportunities for positioning them for success.

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Proteus Team

Post by Proteus Team

We at Proteus have developed relationships with multiple leaders from a variety of different industries, product, and service types. From these conversations, we've gathered some great insights.