8 Unique Ideas for Cross-Selling and Adding Value
But First — Why Focus on Customer Acquisition Cost?
The formula is simple :
- Decide on a specific period to evaluate — say, the first half of 2023.
- Next, take the total marketing spend and total sales spend in that timeframe and add them together.
- Then, divide the combined total of marketing and sales spend by the total number of net new customers added in the defined time period.
The Difference Between Cross-Selling and Adding Value
Pursuing cross-selling or value-added sales, or both, calls for using the same sales techniques you employed to land the customer in the first place: Trust, understanding needs and goals, provable outcomes, personalized support, etc. From there, the only distinction lies in how you aim to convince customers to put more of their technology investments in your hands.
Offering products or services that complement what a customer has already purchased from you. Looking for ways to help the end user make even more of the existing investment.
Seeking to move a customer to a version or tier of the original product or service you sold that delivers greater productivity, efficiency or other benefits.
Unique Ways to Cross-Sell, Add Value to Reduce Customer Acquisition Cost
Given the rampant sensitivities around technology spending today, you may find it best to start with a cross-selling focus. However, if a customer’s environment seems ripe for proposing ways to add value, go for it.
In either case, as long as you are looking out for the end user’s best interests, and especially if the organization already turns to you on a frequent basis for guidance, your insight and recommendations should be well received. As such, we’ve come up with some unique ideas to help you reach your cross-selling and value-added selling goals while reducing new customer acquisition cost. Let’s dive in.
1. Customized Bundles
If you haven’t already crafted individualized packages for customers, now is the time. Especially as a channel partner with access to ACS Cloud Services’ vast range of solutions, you can use your on-the-ground knowledge of each client to propose and provide exclusive bundles. These could even include hardware and/or accessories, depending on how creative you want to get. Then, with the customer’s input, you can deliver the best mix and match of those items to address specific workload needs.
These solutions can feature complementary technologies, reflecting more of a cross-selling technique, and/or upgraded options that would serve as a value-add. Say your customer operates in a very specific vertical and is expanding to a new location. Bundle some platforms proven to help that niche thrive and proceed accordingly. (We like to use our auto dealership division as an example for such an opportunity.)
2. Complementary Services
Speaking of complementary, what services do you deliver that your peers do not?
Maybe that’s assessments of, and recommendations for, telecom, network, or cloud spending, for instance. Maybe you boast an impressive network of IT contacts and can charge to play matchmaker for clients’ job openings amid the relentless skills shortage. Maybe you have deep knowledge of a specific SaaS platform and can deliver targeted training that empowers end users more than watching a generic video might do.
ACS Cloud Partners have full access to proprietary tools, like the FiberLookup™ and PricingPRO™ which help easily show clients what services are viable and the providers that can offer them in their area. Regardless of what your service expertise might be, put it to use. Include your unique capabilities in any cross-sell/upsell proposal.
3. Create a Sense of Urgency
4. Referral Programs
5. Anniversary Packages
A big part of cutting customer acquisition costs means retaining clients. One way to do that could be to acknowledge loyal buyers with a special offer each year on the anniversary they came on board with you. We do suggest including a thoughtful gift at the same time because you’ll essentially be asking the customer to keep spending through your company.
You don’t want to come off as tacky. Rather, combining a thank-you present with an anniversary offer for the coming year shows appreciation, dedication, and longevity.
6. Team Up
The indirect channel has talked about “co-opetition” for a long time. Done right, this partnering approach brings great benefits to your customers and to you. Consider teaming up with another type of channel partner (or two) in your region, one who holds capabilities you do not and vice versa. Then, craft packages that rely on both parties’ expertise. This approach must alleviate customers’ specific technology problems and provide value they would not otherwise easily gain.
We realize partnering is not easily done, especially if you’ve teamed with TSDs who have lost your trust. ACS Cloud Partners, now 21 years old, has stayed steadfast in its commitment to our channel partners. And we want you to know that is not changing, nor will it.
7. Trial Periods
Especially in a value-added selling situation, it can be worthwhile to give customers access to a premium version of a platform. This would, of course, entail you having the licensing wherewithal to act on such an offer, but what more ideal way to convince someone to upgrade than letting them have a trial go? Consider implementing a limited period during which the trial offer is valid, at a discounted rate. Then, if the customer chooses to upgrade, you could apply what they paid for the trial to the full price.
Not only does this show the customer what they’ve been missing, it also cements more loyalty in your favor and boosts your revenue base. Plus, you earn more money to underwrite new customer acquisition costs as you expand your footprint.
8. Upgrade Certificates
Instead of a trial period for an immediate change, this tactic serves as an invitation to upgrade at a later date. This fits into a cross-sell or value-added strategy. Either way, give your customer a “Certificate of Upgrade” for a certain technology enhancement you believe will improve their operations.
Set an expiration date if you feel that works best, though be sure to extend enough time (maybe six or 12 months?) to allow the customer to decide one way or the other without feeling pressured. The goal, of course, is to keep the organization coming back to you.
Conclusion: Don’t Forget ROI
Whether cross-selling or focusing on adding value, be sure to call out the return on investment you expect your customer to reap. Buyers expect this level of insight in the current economy (and that’s unlikely to change even as conditions improve.
Finance execs have become more savvy than ever about the importance of evaluating technology purchases.) As existing buyers lean on you for more solutions, you’ll grow your business while, with any luck, paying less on new customer acquisition costs. Then, as you do add net-new buyers, you’ll establish a whole cross-sell/value-added selling cycle with them, too. It’s the good kind of endless cycle.
As a partner with ACS Cloud Partners, we help you build your business through countless resources like our FiberLookup™ and PricingPRO™ tools and dedicated sales support teams. Our partners also benefit with customized commission structures and marketing techniques to increase revenue. Because of our established relationships with providers, you are able to market the full portfolio of products to your customers.