Have you come across the popular Ad caption of McDonald’s ‘Do you want fries with that?’ Have you searched for flights through the global travel brand Expedia website and ended up booking hotel stay reservations and car rentals? These are two simple and straight examples of cross-selling.
Cross-selling is one of the most powerful ways to increase the sales of your organization. The flexibility in this is, you need not search for new buyers, but offer related products to existing customers. Let us be cautious of this, it’s not twisting the arms of customers to make them buy products they are not interested in.
Of course, commissions and incentives can motivate sales teams to cross-sell to some extent, but that’s not all. For effective cross-selling, your sales teams need relevant training on core products, selling across divisions and honest relationships with customers. Moreover, proper training can bring positive behavioral change in the sales force.
Here are four essential aspects of cross-selling training.
1. Sell across the organization
Train your sales teams on how to sell across the organization for effective cross-selling. Keep them focused on the allocated core products and allow them to master the product features and benefits. However, bringing awareness and imparting basic knowledge on products of other divisions is the key for success to cross-sell.
Mobile training is effective to train your sales force on product portfolio, features, benefits and comparisons. M-learning also comes in handy to know the basic features, benefits of products in other divisions and pass on the leads to the right person.
2. Know your customer
Knowing the complete profile and needs of your customers allows the sales team cross-sell effectively. For this, you need to create comprehensive buyer personas with their needs, pain points, interests, future plans, etc.
Product training helps your organization know the buyer persona and create a comprehensive product sales approach for that.
Example:If you are a medical equipment sales executive who deals with multi-specialty hospitals, you also need to know their related product requirements. For example, your core selling product is ICU Ceiling Supply Unit and hospitals also need surgical lamps and an electrosurgical generator with that. Knowing the customer needs will help the sales force increase the sales of other products too.
3. Know various benefits
Knowing the uses of the same product in various ways is also helpful to boost cross-selling. Sticking to the same example – ICU ceiling supply unit can be applicable for surgical, endoscopic, anesthetic and diagnostics applications as well as intensive care units. If sales executives know the various uses, their sales pitch would be far better and this will attract customers to buy further.
M-learningis best suited to train your sales force on product features and various uses of the product. It comes as a just-in-time support for them with bite-sized modules of 5-10 minutes.
4. Build honest relationships
Conversing intelligently with customers to find out a holistic view of their requirements plays an important role in cross-selling. Identifying the mood of the customer gives a hint whether to proceed further or not. Sometimes, in their eagerness to cross-sell, sales people may lose focus on the primary product and this turns out to be a spoil sport.
Building a good rapport with the customers, listening to them while they talk about their requirements and developing honest relationships with them is vital to cross-selling.
Sales process training with a scenario-based approach is useful to gain soft skills and interpersonal communication. Blended training with virtual classroom sessions also brings in maximum impact for cross-selling.
Cross-selling is all about knowing the needs of the customer and catering to them to the maximum extent possible. Instructor Led Training is crucial to impart conversational skills and proper online product training will increase the competency of the sales team for effective cross-selling.