increase sales by upselling and cross-selling
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January 2, 2020

Agency Resources, Scaling Your Business 5 min read

How to Use Upselling and Cross-Selling to Increase Revenue

Established companies mostly have no problem selling their products or services. But for agencies who aim to boost their revenue further, there is a way to increase sales without the need of sophisticated marketing strategies that take time and money. This is by using the upsell, cross-sell method. 

Upselling and cross-selling are all about balance. Clients don’t want to feel misled, as can happen in upselling. Nor, do they want to lose focus on what brought them to you in the first place, through cross-selling. 

So, the key is encouraging clients to have an open mind about other products. You’re providing opportunities for services they likely also need. Learn the difference between upsell and cross-sell here. 

How and When to Upsell and Cross-sell

Upselling is encouraging customers to buy more expensive options, upgrades, or add-ons to drive extra profits. 

Deliveroo’s upsell strategies are subtle yet effective. They increase add-ons sales simply by giving customers more options before they check out. 

example for cross-selling

Want a bigger smoothie to go with your sandwich? How about an extra dash of smoked paprika and mozzarella cheese? You might think you just added some extra stuff to your meals, but Deliveroo has enticed you to entirely new deals. 

Cross-selling is selling another product or service related to the customer’s previous purchase. 

A good example for cross-selling would be Zalora:

example for cross-selling

Zalora is a master of cross-sell strategies! When you’re finalising your shopping cart, they recommend other items that they think would spark your interest based on what’s inside your cart. 

These two effective techniques increase sales and encourage clients to buy more. Learn how to master these techniques in this section. 

Upselling your digital services

upselling digital services

There are many upselling options for digital agencies. For example, you can offer premium versions of the same service to your clients.  

An example would be Standard DNS vs. Premium DNS. While Standard DNS can do the job well, Premium DNS has added features that clients will benefit from such as dedicated servers, the fastest SSDs, full server control, and more. 

Providing flexibility is another great way to upsell. Digital agencies tend to offer more “à la carte” services. Clients can choose from customisable options like extending contract periods for a reduced fee or allowing clients to pay for extra services in installments. 

Almost any stage of your sales cycle is a good time to apply upselling. 

READ: Why You Should Not Settle with Free Web Hosting

Cross-selling your digital services

cross-selling digital services

Digital agencies have so many opportunities to cross-sell. For example, if a client has purchased website hosting, you could offer a web security service to go with the hosting. Or, if the client registered a domain with you, take it as an opportunity to cross-sell email hosting to imply a consistent branding image. 

There are many upselling and cross-selling techniques. But don't go overboard. Recommend only what your client can use for their own success.

READ: Learn Creative Ways to Brand Your Domain with ccTLDs

Limit upselling and cross-selling recommendations 

how to upsell and cross-sell recommendations

A successful cross-sell begins with a solution to a client’s problem, so it’s best to keep things simple. 

Giving too many options to clients can be counterproductive and overwhelming. If you’re hired to design a landing page, focus on that. Then, you can point out how you can help in other ways such as content writing for that landing page. 

As for upsales, targeted recommendations can maximise your chance of a successful upsale. Limit yourself to three recommendations. 

For example, if a client orders a domain name, ask if they need web hosting, domain privacy, or email hosting as well. These are essential services the client will need to avail at some point. So, it might as well be from you. 

Get to know your clients

use web analytics to target clients

Thorough audience research guarantees effective upselling and cross-selling. Take time to review your clients’ websites, social media, and other information. 

Use website analytics. You can track where your clients are coming from, how long they spent on your site, and what they're interested in. 

Gain specific insights regarding what they want, need, and prefer.  This will help you make solid upsell/cross-sell recommendations. 

Apply the 25% rule

never exceed 25% of the original value

The total value of products should never exceed 25% of the original order.  

As an agency, you can suggest packages to your clients. An example would be, if your client is already using your web design services, you can offer marketing services. But remember, don't exceed 25% of the original cost. 

Upselling and cross-selling creates a smoother, more stabilised, and less frantic transactions. 

You will form tighter, lasting bonds with existing clients. And you won’t have to spend so much time and energy finding new clients. 

How to Bundle and Package Services

Bundling items encourages upselling and cross-selling. It allows users to see how your different products and services fit together. 

It also allows you to boost revenue. Clients can opt for one option or see how everything fits better together through a package. 

Agencies are in a great position to use packages. Generally, a bundle consisting of three services is a good number.  

The most important thing is deciding what to include in packages. Many firms create plans based on client types. They'll have plans for ecommerce, service-oriented businesses, and other differentiated packages. This makes it easier for clients to choose what's best for their needs. 

Check your analytics as well. See what sells and bundle those popular items together. Don’t separate popular services into different packages thinking you’ll earn more that way. Clients don’t like that and will turn to your competitors. 

Time to upsell and cross-sell your products! 

Always remember to put your clients’ needs before anything else. Suggesting products or services they might not even need makes them feel that your only intention is to make more money from them. Keep you offers as personalised as possible — those that can really help their business grow.  

That’s how you turn regular customers to loyal customers. Loyal customers will keep coming back to renew their products or services, and possibly even end up upgrading. And that means more sales for you.

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