Nobody’s upselling? There’s a practical answer!

“The final sales problem is that nobody is upselling. “Many AEs don’t want to call their old clients and upsell them,” says Harris. “They hate it. They can’t stand it. They’re afraid they’re going to get sucker punched with a, ‘Oh I really love you guys, but this thing is broken. Can you help me fix it?’” … (Richard Harris AA-ISP’s TOP 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals in 2015.)

That “thing is broken” problem Richard Harris raises in the quote above is a very real issue, which I’ve come across very recently. There is an answer, which unites sales and marketing as a team. It’s about creating practical customer-centric content that directly helps existing clients solve the “thing” that is broken.

For example in my last role at Causeway there were plenty of existing clients in our CRM, and which our accounts execs had a relationship with we could upsell to. Our CEO Phil reminded us all at an ‘offsite’ at Stoke Park (where they filmed Goldfinger) that ‘farming your patch’ (upselling to existing customers) was the way to pick up most sales.

Farm Your Patch? Click the pic for my piece ‘Growth hacking within the enterprise – a simple, effective exercise!’

What I realised was there was an opportunity especially in Telematics to better upsell (subject to testing) by creating how-to type content that helped existing clients get a better ROI from their existing investment. One tactic to help this happen efficiently is to proactively gather feedback from clients as part of account management. As from experience part of the connected problem is that each customer thinks their issues with your product is entirely specific to them. And in turn account execs are not surprisingly put off from asking about an existing client’s problems in this context. Again there is an upside. The more you know about the specifics the more you can map out more general content for the top of the pipeline which highlights mistakes than even the best industry players might be making. (And a nice example of the value of knowing the specific and the general in marketing, and how they relate; and bunch of ‘specifics’ that together show a pattern equal a ‘general’).

I was also helped and inspired in this respect by David Lennon at LinkedIn, who directed me to a case study (pdf, 2mb) from VistaVu which produces business management software for the oil industry which came up with a problem solving approach to lead generation – focusing on common operational mistakes:

“The company leveraged a thought provoking and unconventional advertisement with the heading “The 7 Deadly Sins of Oilfield Services Companies,” aimed at intriguing readers by providing a special report on common, yet costly, operational mistakes that even well-run companies can make.

“Within one week, the Display Ads campaign generated four to five times more leads than with any other online display advertising campaign across any network, on any site for VistaVu. Of the 20 new leads received, 19 were qualified for the sales team to pursue. Overall campaign cost per lead was also one-fifth of the cost that VistaVu typically spends for marketing qualified leads.

“In addition, the lead conversion rate was 2.4 times better (18.2%) than its benchmark with other online trade media display advertising. What’s more, VistaVu’s cost per lead (CPL) was approximately 75% lower when compared to its average CPL with other online advertising channels.”

So now you have two integrated content approaches to both generating new leads, and upselling to existing customers, that focuses on generic problems for new leads and specific ROI problems with your solution with existing clients, and with one feeding the other. But back to the original point of this post, upselling by solving existing customer problems. How do you go about that?

If you want to find out my tailored suggestion on how to go about that for your business drop me a line below. I’m happy to chat!

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