Customer Success Guidelines for Maximum Upselling and Cross-Selling in a World Gone Cloud

This article was originally posted on CloudTweaks

With the growth of the subscription economy, companies can no longer assume that a sale means that the deal is closed. Companies need to prove their worth every minute of every hour, every hour of every day and so on. A big part of proving your company’s worth is ensuring customer success, which could make the difference between a consumer being open to upselling and cross-selling or not. Maximizing upselling and cross-selling is one of the most effective ways to ensure profitability. This is because most SaaS revenue generation occurs after the initial subscription process.


So without further delay, here are key guidelines to maximize your upselling and cross-selling capabilities.

1.Examine the Basics: Ensure That Your Product and Your Customer are a Good Match.

Customer Success starts with good market research. If your product is not a good fit with the customer segment you are trying to appeal to, you will never be successful. Ensure that your product, support infrastructure, company culture, philosophies, and services are a good fit with your customer. If the customer base does not click it is unlikely that the user will have a good experience. 39% of customers say that the #1 cause of churn is that customer expectations were not met. Facilitating customer success through understanding your ideal market segment provides an ideal opportunity for upselling and cross-selling.

2. Provide Great Support Through the Entire Customer Lifecycle.

Though the initial onboarding phase of the product is definitely the most support-intensive, it is important to ensure that the customer has access to great support all along the way. Providing your customer base with online tutorials, live chat and webinars will ensure that adequate and appropriate support is at their fingertips. Doing so will minimize frustration, and ensure that the user experience is enriching and engaging. This will increase the chance that the customer will be open to upselling and cross-selling.  Gartner recommends employing user experience design techniques and practices to better engage portal users. 

3. Use Metrics, but More Importantly Review and Refresh Your Metrics

We all use metrics to see where our product falls short. Tracking user interactions will reveal causes of churn and allow you to address them before they become a problem. This is why it is important to be critical of your metrics. Review your measuring system on an ongoing basis. Do not be afraid to adjust it. You have everything to gain from an increasingly effective methodology.

4. Think Cross Selling and Upselling from Day One

Keeping the end goal in mind is a life lesson we all aspire to live by. Customer success is no exception. The roots of churn are often found in the initial engagement phase of a sale. Ensure that your onboarding processes are efficient and quickly move customers from the learning phase to the point where they are receiving value from your product. Showing the consumer how to obtain the full value of your product early on, will lay the groundwork for upselling when they reach the point where their needs grow past what the product can offer. Frustrated customers are not only unlikely to renew their subscription, but may also have negative things to say about your product and affect other users.

Upselling and Cross-Selling cannot occur unless the customer is set up for success. Ensuring that the product suits consumer needs, is backed by adequate support, constantly improving, and elicits a positive customer experience helps guarantee future profitability.

5. Do not Be Afraid of New Technologies. Investigate!

Remember why you came out with your product or solution in the first place? It was probably to make someone’s work more efficient, productive etc. If you sell technology to improve your customers’ work or life, why shy away from using technology to help you sell more and ensuring customer success?

There are a lot of solutions out there that support customer success. Whether it is a great analytics platform, onboarding tool, or onscreen guidance and engagement, it is all there. Stay updated and investigate technologies that can elevate your solution’s user experience and make sure that it is the easiest, most intuitive, contextual and simple. That way your users will be much more receptive to your upselling and cross selling efforts.

Head of Corporate and Marketing Communications at WalkMe and Contributing Author to SaaS Addict blog.