So, what's cross-selling?
Can you provide more value by selling complementing products that your client can render more benefits when clubbed together? Here is a very good example. Retailers in clothing industry, pair products which are often related like – shoe with socks, jacket with blouse, caps and glasses. So you have heard about up-selling, the very famous Mcdonald's ways how hard they try to sell you a large cola/pepsi at 20x the profit margins, while the burger costs just 0.25 cents. Yes?
Do you believe in a shared economy?
Sharing collective learning among a group of startups, is not something new. Not all experts believe in cross-selling model of providing collective sales. The big problem is under utilization of your sales work force, when there is less team collaboration. Many companies have reaped 100x benefits by cross-selling opportunities by utilizing data, identifying strong connections, and establishing amazing sales touch points. A lot of startups have found cross-selling very complementing!
Every opportunity comes from a circumstance. Whether it is a event, a 5-minute pitch at an elevator with a CEO, your professional work often grows very easily when you have a mutual means of generating business, very cost-effectively. Not every organizational sales prefer to share their data, but crowdsourcing data can help you improve the network many folds. In a world of connected identities, new opportunities happen with trust.
Many startups to IPO level companies have collectively collaborated to grow their market network. One best example is making a collective marketplace for ideas. There are a lot of unsolved real world problems are generated by users each day. Each of these could become a potential usecase with the help of developers, designers and hustlers who work on a concept, experiment and observe the market.
Engaging your teams to collaborate with each other, and generate more sales, is a collective progress. Learning from the shortcomings of others and collectively making a feedback loop to your marketing campaigns can largely reduce your sales costs. Whether your company has 2 or 20 sales executives, collaborating between each of them matters. Seamless collaboration internally and externally is possible with the advent of technology. Collective utilization of such a workforce is more necessary in a growing world of connectivity. Collaborative learning with multiple teams can help you learn about your own shortcomings, from a outsider perspective.
Not only it gives you the advantage of staying ahead in the game, sharing data collectively gives room for tracking sales progress, and expands your network dominance. Clients who really look forward to new feature requests, deal with bug-fix can easily collaborate with such platforms. Closing a feedback loop is critical to the success of any product. In the world of collaborative sharing and affiliate marketing, cross-selling differs with a personal touch and a trust factor that makes referrals convert.
But before we even talk about cross selling, think about your own bread and butter. As an established business, cross-selling helps. But, in the shoes of a startup founder, selling your own products and services more important then generating business for any other company. Having a process for sales plan, is crucial in cross selling.
What is the best way to drum up your sales?
Foreseeing a need of your client and providing a real advantage to your client, with an opportunity very relevant and trustworthy. Startups which work with multiple clients, understand a "common need" with the help of a collective business intelligence. Associating every problem, mapping the right products, requires in-depth analytics, patience and expertise.
Consider a event like wedding, where one can cross sell event planning, wedding photography, return gifts, catering, housekeeping, event management, dance and stage management. Research about what your client might need, understand their concerns, their goals, past challenges, experiences and expectations.
Cross selling increases retention.
Customers having purchased from two vendors, really would appreciate how seamlessly one product complements the other. Not only that, avenues of opportunities grow when such positive models are shared with their networks. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool in sales, followed by many startups who identify a particular requirement for client, and cross sell opportunities.
It's all about providing your client the right mixture of products or services. There is a very good advantage of cross selling products together, it's more like feeling two kids, with one spoon. A few might not need few of your services. Analyze the first purchase try to recommend them by listening.
Acknowledge the fact that you are helping somebody else business, and understand if the feeling is mutual. It is very necessary to understand which services should be clubbed together for a client with a very low budget. Having a product centric focus to your customers problems provides a good customer satisfaction in the long run.
It is imperative that your field sales representatives understand if the client really is interested in taking a additional services. A no is a no. Respect refusal. In a connected world it is more necessary to keep a track of what you have sold, and compute monthly commissions on basis of customer retention. We would recommend you to invest voice after automation weekly followups with both the client, and your partner product has been cross-sold.
Holding regular meetings virtually with the client representatives of both the startups/business, will help the client more suggesting new future requests, which can be improve the collective collaboration between the two startups. Engage your customer and foster that relationship for the long run. A collaborative business with many network partners, will boost your sales mutually.
Have the skin in the game. Beware of one sided relationships. If there is only one passionate party in it's unrequited love. Involve your cross selling partners, and ensure it's is not a one way relationship. Every partner need to show from time to time, how they have invested in a proportional value in every relationship. Make sure you are not the only one who has had an active commitment and an obligation to make the deal successful.
Opportunities knock your door at any moment. Each product has a lot of strength when used together, and the benefits are many especially when it adds more value to your client over your profit margins. So stay positive and actively listen to anyone who might need support.
Keep the lights on. Happy selling folks.