Six Steps To More Successful Cross-Selling

Although upselling takes a lot of the attention when it comes time to boost the bottom line, its close colleague cross-selling should never be overlooked. For a start, it's generally a more natural sales process to suggest another product or service that compliments an item your customer has already decided to buy. Where as convincing them to purchase a more expensive model may not be appropriate, perhaps even exploitative in some cases, simply suggesting additional items can show the experience of a salesperson and help customers to anticipate needs they weren't aware they had. That being said, when you want to persuade people to up their spend across different products you'll need to make sure it's really something that benefits both parties. That's why we put together these tips to get more mileage from your cross-selling efforts. [caption id="attachment_1456" align="aligncenter" width="490"]red haired woman on phone Practice cross-selling that makes your customers smile.[/caption]

Six Steps to Keep Your Cross-Selling Sharp

1. Understand When it Won't Work Not everything you offer is suitable to add extra items. Focus your cross-selling efforts on those products and services that make sense as a combination, increasing your base of satisfied customers and the success rate of your sales team in the process. 2. Carefully Choose Your Channels Certain sales channels fit more naturally with cross-selling than others, subject to the industry you serve and your brand's position within it. Test comprehensively across all routes to customer that you think will be valuable, but maintain only those that you prove will drive a bigger spend. 3. Target the Right People Some customers simply aren't a good fit for selling your extra services, even when what they're buying makes perfect sense as a bundle. There are particular types of customer - and you probably know them in your own business - who are more likely to lose you money when you sell them more. This can include buyers who exploit generous warranties and those who are habitual returners. While every customer is of course welcome, it's important to know when the might become a drain on your resources and which products or services are more likely to prompt that reaction. 4. Set Targets As with any aspect of sales and marketing, what you measure matters. Track numbers like average product per customer and how it relates to customer retention rate, as well as setting milestones for your cross-selling tactics to reach as your wider strategy matures. 5. Use Data to Add Insights If your sales team says that certain cross-selling initiatives simply aren't working, never fail to pull the plug. Your sales efforts are better served on those areas that are proven to spike sales, rather than chasing activity that not only yields low returns, but also carries the risk of annoying your customers. 6. Check Back for Satisfaction  Even after you make the sale, you want to make additional efforts to make sure the customer is happy with the purchases they walked away with. Repeat business from those to whom you can cross-sell regularly is a sales team's dream, so check in especially closely with those who show such tendencies and fix any problems they have early, so that they think of you the next time they need help with something you can supply.   When implemented with caution and care, cross-selling has the potential to be the perfect solution for a slow sales period. To make the most of it, though, your business must make sure to target the right customers at the right time, then continue to test sales figures and customer satisfaction level to ensure the tactics are truly working.

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