Account Planning

How to Identify Your Top Accounts to Upsell in Q1

Posted On
December 8, 2021
Resource Type
Account Planning
top accounts to upsell

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

In sales, though, a bird in the hand can be worth way more than that – because after all, growing a current account is a lot easier and more efficient than landing a new one. 

If you can identify just one possible upsell opportunity per account, you’ll accelerate faster to quota than you could by hunting for new business.

Here’s how you can determine which of your accounts have the most potential and how to pick out those specific opportunities to upsell in Q1.

1. Mind – and Find – the Gaps in Your Product and Service Lines

If you haven’t mapped out upsell opportunities before, here’s the best way to find the most qualified accounts.

Take each account you currently have. Put these in a column on the left side of a chart on a spreadsheet or piece of paper.

Then, take everything you could possibly sell – every product, every service, every package, every feature. Anything that will retire your quota. Put them across the top.

In the chart, make a note of every one of those products and services that you’ve already sold to. Also include those that are already under contract. Include the total dollar amount.

Finally, look at what isn’t filled in. The blank gaps, or white space, are where upsell possibilities lurk. 

Of course, not each product/service gap will be viable. You may not be able to jump in and chase down those white space deals right away, because there may be other constraints (more on that in just a bit). 

But, what you do have is a bird’s eye view of where your current accounts sit today and where there are gaps you can pursue. Some of these gaps will be natural continuations of current solutions (such as upgrading a service, or taking advantage of a newly-released feature). Some won’t be connected at all (which are more accurately called cross-sell opportunities).

Regardless, remember this: It all starts with the chart.

(By the way, our key account management app, CRUSH, lets you automate this vital feature.)

2. Build a Timeline to See the Future

When selling, time is of the essence – in more ways than one.

Some of your products and services may be on a natural upgrade schedule. If so, that makes finding new opportunities easier, because you’ll already have a plan for when to propose upsells and upgrades.

If you don’t – or even if you do – it’s important to note the purchasing timelines for your customers and determine when they may have another need and will be in a position to buy.

For example, you may have identified a few needs in your initial discovery. Maybe the client couldn’t tackle all of them at once. Maybe they had to prioritize and pick something to take on first – which would be the first sale in that account.

Now’s the time to take those off the back burner and see which of these deferred priorities they can bring back onto the table.

You should also make note of their natural buying cycles. How long does it take to create and close a new opportunity? There’s no use proposing an upsell in Q1 2022, for example, if their buying cycle won’t start up again until Q1 2023. (Although you should still mention it to the client sooner rather than later. It’s good to have it percolating in the cash coffee maker.)

One reason finding the top accounts to upsell is a lot easier than hunting new business is you already have a great idea of a specific customer’s buying timeline. Why? Because you’ve sold to them before! Isn’t it wonderful? Just like magic.

Timing isn’t everything, though. Sometimes, you need a little more info, which leads us to the next step.

3. Find the Budget and Need

An upsell opportunity exists at the intersection of two additional and critical criteria:

  1. The customer needs it, and
  2. The customer can afford it

Identifying both the need and the budget for your current accounts can help you better illuminate your opps in the upsell chart and buying timelines you’ve built. It’s awfully hard to sell something to a sophisticated buyer if they don’t have a use for it or the spend to pay for it.

This is yet another place where upselling is far easier than closing new business: you probably already have a good idea of their needs and budget.

That last part – knowing their budget – is huge. Why? Because one of the biggest obstacles salespeople face on a daily basis is trying to wrench, pry and drag how much their prospects have to spend.

Once you’ve already formed that relationship (easier to do when you strategically relationship map, btw), though, you have a decent enough idea of the purchasing capacity your customer has. Now you can better inform them of which opportunity to pursue (if any).

Cross-reference that with capabilities you and your contacts both think could provide a measurable benefit to the organization, and you’ll fill in the last puzzle pieces in your upsell strategy.

And then comes the complicated part…

Just kidding. In reality, finding upsell opportunities in your top account doesn’t have to be that complex or arduous. You don’t have to go that far into the weeds to start getting a much better idea of what is out there.

The above steps will take you a long way down the path of farming new revenue from your current accounts. This could be just as lucrative as your new business efforts.

If you want to accelerate and automate this process to make your campaigns that much more successful, Prolifiq CRUSH can give your Salesforce CRM that vital capability. Check out a quick video or schedule a demo to see for yourself. 

Posted On
December 8, 2021
Resource Type
Account Planning