What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is a common B2B sales technique where you sell additional products to provide customers with a more comprehensive solution.

Cross-selling and up-selling are often confused with each other. However, they are distinct sales strategies. Cross-selling is designed to sell complementary products as add-ons to an existing customer. 

Up-selling is selling a larger, more feature-rich, and expensive product/functionality to an existing customer. 

Why it is important 

Paul Farris, the author of Marketing Metrics, says that the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% while the chances of selling to existing customers are 60-70%. This is especially important for SaaS businesses, as they work on a subscription or recurring revenue model.

Besides the obvious increase in revenues, cross-selling also increases the value a customer receives. This increases the LTV of a customer. A customer who uses more than one product/service from you is more likely to stay longer. 

Best practices

  1. Before cross-selling, make sure you thoroughly understand your customers’ needs and user experience across segments or cohorts. Only if relevant solutions are shown to users at the right time, will cross-selling work. 
  2. Suggest products/services that are proportionate to the cost of the original order to make the offer attractive and viable.  
  3. Don’t overwhelm customers with too many unfamiliar products. The more familiar they are with the add-ons, the more likely they are to buy them.

Related terms

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