Leveraging Digital Sales History to Drive New Revenue

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Tech stack assets like CPQ and CRM can guide sales engagements by leveraging digital sales histories. Let’s look at two specific examples of how this process works in the context of upselling and cross-selling.

It’s common knowledge that it’s easier and cheaper to sell product to existing customers than it is to sell product to new customers—it only makes sense. Many of the time-consumptive early cycle activities are not necessary. The trust is established. The prospect is likely to be familiar with the messaging and value claims made by the vendor. It may be as simple as identifying an opportunity, getting an appointment and making the pitch.

CPQ Drives Cross-Selling and Upselling

The ability to cross-sell additional instances of your product to other units within the same organization, by exploiting high-value internal references, is one element that differentiates great sales teams from good sales teams. The same can be said of sales teams that are able to demonstrate the value of increasing the investment already made in a product by upgrading or upselling that product to a more sophisticated model.

CPQ is great at helping sales reps find opportunities to upsell additional functionality or more advanced products to existing users. The data contained in CPQ about product, release level, model number and product generations are readily available to identify specific functional limits for common configurations.

Tying this data to historical product installation and customer transaction records reveals specific customer accounts with upgrade potential.

Everyone understands how product recall programs involve isolating customers who have a particular model or production series installed. Those customers are contacted with information about replacing their defective product. Upselling works in a similar fashion except you aren’t replacing a defective product; you’re selling an enhanced version or functional add-ons to an existing product.

New generations of a product or new product features all offer upselling opportunities within the customer base.

Cross-selling opportunities can be identified in a similar fashion. For example, if you have a successful product installation within the electronics division of a large enterprise, CPQ and CRM can identify the specifics related to the product installed and how it is used. The same value delivered to the electronics division may also deliver similar value to another division that specializes in scientific instruments or industrial equipment.

Both divisions may have independent manufacturing operations, finance groups, R&D or product management. If your product serves one of those units within one division, it will likely offer value to the corresponding unit within the other.

Reviewing the actual proposal presented for the original sale will also provide a wonderful guide for messaging to the audience addressed in the cross-selling transaction. Proposals generated with the CPQ product represent a rich information source for this type of sale. They allow you to identify what messaging and value were offered and accepted during the original sale and thus evaluate those elements in association with the pending offer.

Finally, your existing customer, backing your play with the new opportunity in the form of internal reference or even as an independent product advocate, is the best help and most credible support available in any sale.

Finding Opportunity in Obsolescence

If you sell products for a living, you probably have accounts that have some ancient version of your flagship product installed. It seems like no matter what your current products are capable of, the customer seems satisfied and happy to continue on with the product that someone’s grandfather sold to them.

Before you become too frustrated with these accounts, remember two things. First, you have a great example of value delivered, especially if you are thinking in terms of ROI. Secondly, the world changes and sooner or later, these customers will find themselves in a jam with the old product.

It is important to keep an eye on these accounts and let them know that their business is appreciated and valued by you and your company.

CPQ can help identify products and product configurations that are ripe for replacement due to obsolescence. Using this data, along with CRM customer information, lists can be created for trickle campaigns and periodic check-in calls.

Although customers don’t like to be forgotten, they also don’t like to be badgered. So, the goal in these situations should be to let the customer know you are there and that alternatives are available. The day will come when action is necessary. When that happens, they will know who to call.

Upselling and cross-selling are only two of the ways you can dig for gold in your tech stack. If you are missing out on these capabilities, look into some of the technological enhancements you can make within your operation. CPQ and CRM are two great places to start.


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