3 Easy Steps to Increase Upselling

'Upsell' is a marketing term for the practice of suggesting higher priced products or services to a customer who is considering a purchase. The most ubiquitous and basic example of up-sell is likely the grammatically incorrect yet oft-spoken, “Would you like to super-size that?"

In the fast paced and competitive environment of today’s markets, the need to achieve a greater share of wallet supports the need for up-sell to your current customer base.

1. Optimize activity management
Up-selling is used not only to increase profit, but, to build customer retention as well. Today’s customers are far savvier than a decade ago and require the personalized touch which CRM when utilized correctly can provide. An effective CRM system enables a company to conduct coherent management of their interactions with customers by capturing and collating related tasks, conversations and meetings. Some of these details are critical when suggesting products.

2. Increase customer retention and reduce costs
The proper use of a CRM system enables the fostering of customer relationships in a measured and methodical fashion. It provides a holistic picture about an individual customer and customers similar in purchasing patterns. It identifies and enhances the ability to upsell to customers by measuring what works and more importantly what doesn’t work. By measuring what does and does not work, the company has the opportunity to improve their communications with customers, enhance their product offerings and streamline the process.

While this holistic approach benefits the customer by providing an optimum product mix, it also benefits the company. The company now has the ability to reduce marketing and production costs by focusing resources on those items which produce the highest demand and provide the best opportunities for bundled up selling.

3. Ensure everyone is in the loop
By collecting data within the CRM system, customer information becomes accessible to all members of the sales staff across teams and geographies. This access to all customer communications and transactions allows anyone who 'touches' the customer to understand their needs and requirements. It also allows for the comparison of customer purchasing behavior. For example, the system can provide upsell opportunities based on the total customer base.

Using a CRM solution to enhance upselling
Customers today are constantly comparing products and searching for user generated feedback. The sales force knows their company's product line, but should also have a holistic view of prospective customers to ensure they are offering the best possible product after carefully understanding the customer's needs and expectations.
An effective CRM solution ensures certain key factors are highlighted or customer-centric suggestions are shared as alerts with logged-in users to increase win ratios using available information for each customer. Data mining tools can be used to match products with a customer segment most likely to purchase them using historical information. The most appropriate product options can then be displayed when a lead is created in the CRM system, thereby preventing the sales person from sharing a laundry list of products with prospective customers.

In addition, increasing the volume of sales by upselling products which are marginally costlier can also add to bottomline revenues and improve customer perceptions. Empowering call center agents with a CRM software which efficiently recommends products based on past purchase information will ensure more effective use of call time and larger call volumes.
As a CRM solution grows within a company, the actionable intelligence from the system becomes more powerful. It becomes easier for each of the service channels to pursue sales and marketing goals. By mining the information in the system, additional channels for pursuit of upselling can be achieved and new products can be introduced.