Cross-selling and upselling occur at the point of sale with a salesperson, but customer success managers can also play a role in either process.
CSMs can cross-sell and upsell when they spot an opportunity further down the line with a customer once they’ve already purchased the initial product.
Throughout email exchanges or phone conversations, customers might mention an interest in expanding into a different vertical or wanting more capabilities with the product they’re using — which can signal that they’re ready to hear about other options. Below are our best practices to learn how to cross-sell and upsell as a CSM:
1. Get to know your audience.
You may already know about buyer personas, but it’s important to get to know your audience once they’ve already bought your product, too. Use demographic and psychographic information about your customers — along with customer feedback — to create personas for your customers and understand their goals and challenges to identify the most helpful, relevant products you could cross-sell and upsell.
2. Build out customer journeys.
Along the lines of the first step, map out customer journeys to identify how they will use your product and how it will help them grow. When your customers get to the point where they’re seeing results (thanks to your product), they’ll start telling other people about it and driving referrals.
At that point in the customer journey, they’ll likely be excited to hear your cross-sell or upsell pitch and spring some extra money for your additional offering.
Wait until they’ve reached this point before trying to cross-sell or upsell. During the period after they’ve just purchased your offering — while they’re onboarding and before they’ve seen its value — you’ll have a hard time selling them on additional products or features.
3. Think about problems and offer solutions that map to products.
Before you even hop on a call or email and attempt to sell to an existing customer, take some time to review your product offerings and try to align them with your customer journey.
That way, you’ll have a clear idea of common challenges your customers face — and exactly which of your products you can try to cross-sell or upsell as a possible solution.
4. Practice active listening.
You might be able to cross-sell or upsell to your customers on the fly during a phone call or over an email exchange — so make sure to hone in on your active listening and reading skills for signals your customer might be ready to hear your offer.
If the customer is mentioning wanting expanded capabilities or a desire to reach their goals faster, it might be the right time to mention how your other products or services can help get them there.