Account Planning

The Benefit Of Tracking White Space In Your CRM

Posted On
April 12, 2024
Resource Type
Account Planning
Account Planning template and metrics for key account management software

Upsell & Cross-Sell From Your CRM


Implementing effective cross-selling and upselling strategies can provide tremendous benefits for growing your business revenue and building customer loyalty. By offering customers additional products or services that complement their original purchases, you can increase the revenue earned per customer, improve customer lifetime value, drive higher profit margins, and strengthen customer relationships.

Cross-selling refers to offering customers additional products or services that are related to their original purchases. For example, if a customer purchases a laptop computer, the salesperson could cross-sell a laptop bag, external hard drive, and printer.

Upselling refers to encouraging customers to upgrade or enhance their original purchases. Using the laptop example, this could involve upselling the customer to a more powerful laptop model, extended warranty protection, setup and training services, etc.

Capturing Key Opportunity Data for Segmentation

To effectively segment your existing customer base for cross-sell and upsell opportunities, it’s important to capture key data related to closed deals. This allows you to understand which products customers have already purchased from you, the size of those deals, and categorize open vs. closed business.

Specifically, you’ll want to track the following opportunity data:

Closed/Won Status: Marking an opportunity as closed/won in your CRM system is crucial. This status indicates the deal has been completed, which segments it from active, open deals still in the pipeline. Having a closed/won checkbox, tag, or status provides the categorization needed.

Deal Size: The total contract value or deal size should be tracked for each closed opportunity. This allows you to quantify existing business and segment customers into tiers based on the revenue they generate. Larger deals may warrant customized cross-sell offers.

Products Purchased: Your CRM system should indicate which specific products, SKUs, or service lines were purchased in the deal. Knowing what a customer has already bought is key to targeting relevant upsells and cross-sells to that account.

Capturing this structured opportunity data provides the foundation you need to analyze cross-selling potential. You can quickly segment and prioritize customers based on deal size, products purchased, and whether they have open or closed business with you currently. This informs what and how much to offer in cross-sell and upsell campaigns.

Using Amount Types to Categorize Current and Closed Business

One of the most powerful features of a CRM system is the ability to categorize and segment your opportunities and pipeline. By using Amount Types, you can break down your data in a meaningful way to understand current open opportunities versus closed and historical business.

For example, you can create Amount Types like “Open Opportunities” and “Closed Business” to represent these different categories. The key is to apply these Amount Types at the opportunity level based on the stage. Open, not closed opportunities would fall under the “Open Opportunities” Amount Type. Once opportunities reach closed/won status, they would be categorized under “Closed Business.”

With this segmentation, you gain visibility into the size of your current open pipeline versus the amount of business you’ve historically closed. The “Closed Business” Amount Type helps visualize customer lifetime value over time. As you close additional business quarter over quarter and year over year, you can see that cumulative value grow through reporting on the “Closed Business” Amount Type. This provides insight into the long-term value of your customers.

Proper use of Amount Types allows you to break down your pipeline data in any number of creative ways. You can build custom reports and dashboards filtered by Amount Type to showcase the metrics most important to your business. Using colors and ordering, you can make key Amount Types like Open Opportunities stand out. This helps prioritize the data you care about most in your day-to-day work.

Integrating Cross-Sell/Upsell Functionality into your CRM

Optimizing cross-selling and upselling in your organization starts with choosing the right tools and integrating them into your CRM system. There are a few options to consider:

Native Apps

Many leading CRM platforms like Salesforce offer native configure, price, quote (CPQ) applications. These are pre-built into the CRM and allow you to set up guided selling, rules-based pricing, and quotes. Native apps provide seamless integration and a unified interface for reps. The main limitation is less flexibility compared to custom platforms.

Third-Party Apps

If you need more advanced functionality, third-party CPQ tools like FPX or Tacton can be integrated into your CRM. These leverage the CRM data but provide customized workflows, predictive modeling, and intelligence. The tradeoff is less out-of-the-box unity with the CRM. IT resources are required to connect APIs.

Visualizing Cross-Sell and Upsell Opportunities

Integrating cross-sell and upsell functionality into your CRM system allows sales teams to easily visualize white space opportunities across their book of business. This visualization can happen in several places within the CRM:

Dashboards and Reports

Sales managers can build dashboards and reports to show cross-sell performance by rep, region, product line, or other segments. For example, a dashboard could display the number of cross-sell opportunities created versus closed by each sales rep over a period of time. Or a report could show the conversion rate of cross-sell opportunities by product line. Dashboards give teams insight into performance, while reports can be used to analyze trends and opportunities.

Account Overview Pages

When sales reps are reviewing an account, they can immediately see potential cross-sell opportunities on the account overview page within the CRM. Account overview pages typically show open opportunities, closed/won deals, key contacts, and account details. By adding cross-sell opportunities as another section, reps have instant visibility into potential expansion areas for that customer.

Opportunity Record Pages

As sales reps are progressing an existing opportunity through the sales funnel, the opportunity record page can show recommended cross-sell or upsell products and services to discuss with that customer. These contextual recommendations increase the likelihood that reps will proactively discuss expansion with the customer during existing conversations.

Creating Cross-Sell Templates Based on Region and Product Type

One powerful way to identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities is to create templates in your CRM system based on region and product type. This allows you to quickly see white space gaps where you can be selling more to existing customers.

The key benefits of effective cross-selling and upselling include:

Increase Revenue Per Customer: Every additional product or service sold to an existing customer improves revenue earned per customer. Upselling to higher priced items also boosts average order value.

Improve Customer Lifetime Value: Customers who purchase more over time across multiple transactions tend to have higher lifetime value. Cross-selling and upselling helps turn one-time buyers into repeat customers.

Build Stronger Customer Relationships: Helping customers meet more of their needs builds trust and loyalty. Customers appreciate when businesses proactively recommend useful products and services. This improves customer satisfaction and retention over time.

Leveraging cross-selling and upselling helps businesses grow by generating more revenue from existing customers. When implemented effectively, these sales strategies provide win-win outcomes, delivering more value to customers while also improving the bottom line.

Some best practices for creating effective cross-sell templates include:

Segment customers by geography and industry. Look at your major regions and verticals and build customized bundles and packages tailored to each. For example, suggest different upsells for customers in APAC vs EMEA or for manufacturing clients vs healthcare organizations.

Build bundles and packages for major regions/verticals. Analyze which products and services are commonly purchased together in major segments and create templates that suggest those natural cross-sell opportunities.

Recommend based on current purchases. Look at what a customer has already bought from you and suggest relevant upsells based on that. If they purchased product A, the template can automatically show product B and C as natural add-ons. The key is to put some thought into tailoring recommendations based on the specific customer profile, rather than just showing generic products. This avoids overwhelming customers and focuses on cross-sells that make the most sense based on their region, industry and current solutions.

Prioritizing Key Data with Colors and Ordering

Within your CRM’s cross-sell/upsell application, you can visually prioritize key data using colors and the order in which information is displayed. For example, you may want to highlight open deals versus closed/lost deals. Open deals represent opportunities for new business and should be prominently displayed. Closed/lost deals represent missed opportunities, so you may want to display them further down in a muted color.

You can also order deal categories by lifetime value. Display your most valuable customers at the top in a bright color, followed by medium-value customers in a neutral color, and low-lifetime value at the bottom in a subtle color. This allows you to quickly identify where the biggest opportunities lie.

The ability to categorize, color code, and order deal data allows you to draw attention to the most important information. This ensures sales reps are focused on the top priorities and biggest areas for business growth. With the right visual presentation of data, your team can more effectively identify and act on cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Risks

When implementing cross-selling and upselling, it’s important to avoid common pitfalls that can damage the customer experience. An overly aggressive approach can annoy customers and make them less likely to make additional purchases. Here are some tips for avoiding the major risks:

  1. Personalize recommendations: Leverage your CRM data to tailor suggestions based on the customer’s previous purchases, interests, and demographic info. Generic offers feel insincere.
  • Measuring Success of Cross-Selling and Upselling

Cross-selling and upselling can have a huge impact on revenue growth and profit margins if done correctly. However, it’s important to track key metrics to ensure these sales tactics are actually working and improving the customer experience. Here are some key metrics to monitor:

The key steps covered in this article include:

  • Visualizing white space opportunities by integrating a cross-sell/upsell app into your CRM
  • Creating templates to identify product gaps based on region or asset class
  • Capturing closed/won status to segment open versus closed business
  • Using amount types to categorize open opportunities versus closed/lost deals
  • Prioritizing key data with colors and ordering
  • Properly implementing these practices in your CRM will optimize cross-selling and upselling, driving business growth. Don’t leave this low-hanging fruit on the table. Take action today to configure your CRM for identifying and capitalizing on these opportunities with your current customer base. 
Posted On
April 12, 2024
Resource Type
Account Planning