Today I gave the following response to a client CEO who forwarded an article on success factors in cross-selling and bundling for existing customers.
By the way, publishing your answers to client/customer questions in your blog or FAQ section is fast becoming a best practice for savvy companies. Why?
- First: we tend to get the same questions from multiple people, so rather than rewriting the answer each time or searching your hard drive, just send the link to your blog/site where your answer already resides.
- Second, your answer will invariably include relevant keywords that can bolster your natural/organic page rankings on Google, et al.
Here is my reply to the client CEO:
I think this is good info and a strategy worth pursuing or at least evaluating. Based on my experience, I would add three things to his list of success factors:
Cross-Selling is Sales-Driven; Bundling is Marketing Enabled:
Cross-selling is based on the premise that there are natural synergies or overlays between existing offerings, so it is not a stretch to go to a client using product/solution A and pitch prod/sol B. Cross-selling will happen because the sales team recognizes the opportunity to sell (and thus earn) more and feels comfortable enough with the pitch even though it may be outside of their expertise comfort zone. Bundling requires some market evaluation to determine the size of the opportunity and the business case for how to attack that opp, i.e. defining the packages/bundles, identifying the resources needed to develop packages/bundles (marketing lit, accounting/billing, training, compensation, etc.) and where packages/bundles make sense for specific industries, company sizes, etc.
Alignment of Sales Incentive/Compensation with Cross-Selling Revenue Goals:
Despite collective wishful thinking that cross-selling and bundling will occur because sales has been communicated to and educated, there needs to be an incentive that causes them to go outside of their comfort zones, knowledge-wise. So there doesn’t necessarily have to be a new or enhanced incentive/comp program but we need to show a very direct and simple link between cross-selling and their income.
Related to the first two points above, the sales team needs to feel comfortable with the pitch and that they can increase their earnings by cross-selling or selling bundled offerings. Just because initiatives are put in front of sales doesn’t mean their behavior will follow. They need to feel supported with the right tools, incentives, training, education, etc. and pointed in the most lucrative market direction.