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Sales • Jan 3rd, 2020 • Daniel Bishop

How to Cross-Sell and Upsell Using a CRM Software

Optimise your customer lifetime value by cross-selling and upselling with the help of your CRM.

Optimise Your Customer’s Value

If a sales rep successfully closes a sale and feels like the job is finished, you might want to have a serious talk with that employee. Don’t get me wrong, making the initial sale is very hard in most cases, and your employees should be proud, but that doesn’t mean they can stop encouraging the customer to buy more.

A study shows that 70% of responders say it’s much cheaper to retain customers than to generate new ones, and these are your prime targets for upselling and cross-selling. 

A customer that’s already been with you for some time is more likely to take your suggestion on buying more similar products or upgrading to a better one. It’s much easier to show them all the other features, and upgrades than to try and present them to someone who’s not used to even the basic package.

So without further ado let’s delve deeper into these sale techniques, the benefits they provide and how to improve them using CRM software. 

Cross-selling and Upselling

Both of these techniques can increase your sales but in a different way. 

With cross-selling, you are offering items that naturally go with your customers’ first choice. For example, if you sell them a fishing rod, your next logical offer should be fishing nylon and some fishing boots. 

If they already made a choice it’s easier for you to sell them more items that they will need.

Upselling is a bit tougher to achieve because you are basically saying ‘’that item is really neat, but don’t you want this bigger and better model?’’

Taking the same example of a fishing rod, if you are trying to upsell you would offer a different, more expensive one with more features and higher quality material.

Upselling often uses comparison charts so that the buyer can visualise all the benefits of the more expensive item.

In both of these cases, the goal is to inform your customers about different products or features of your service and in return increase the value of their order.


The benefits of these techniques come in more forms than just increased sales.

Your customer satisfaction will increase.

By doing your job properly and targeting your customers with products they actually need they will feel you really care about them.

Happy customers also tend to stick around longer, hence your customer lifetime value (CLV) will increase.


Using these techniques can have their drawbacks. If you constantly offer your customers things they don’t want, they will get agitated and completely stop buying.

This is why it’s crucial to analyse customer data related to your cross-selling and upselling marketing campaigns. By doing so you will know which customer needs to be handled with which method.

Power of CRM

Gather And Segment Data

By understanding your existing sales data you will be able to predict your customers’ future behaviour. 

First segment your customers with your CRM so that they’ll be more receptive to your upselling or cross-selling offers. Segmentation can be done in many ways like demographics, age, job, gender or location. 

Lead scoring is another perk that will help you. With it, you can score your leads or even existing customers with points depending on their ‘’performance’’. With this data, you can create buyer personas for your customers that will help you understand their goals and needs. It will also show you which products and services you can upsell or cross-sell.

This data will tell you:

The frequency and type of sales (single sale, recurring sale, contract-based, non-recurring)

Possible trends from recurring sales

What services and products are complementary

Follow Customer Journeys

It’s very important to monitor your customer journeys as that will tell you when is the correct time to upsell or cross-sell. The best time to offer your customers more is when your product or service begins showing results, and your customers start talking about it.

If you do it at any other point of their journey your efforts will most likely prove futile, as the product has still to prove its worth.

Pinpoint The Bad Apples

By following your customer journeys you’ll also be able to find those you should steer clear from. These people are called Revenue Reversers and Service Demanders.

Revenue Reversers have the appearance of a genuine buyer, but if you dig a bit deeper you’ll notice that the revenue they generate is just for a short period of time. These shoppers usually return your product by taking advantage of your return policy and, in turn, create a fictional rise in revenue. 

Service Demanders are the ‘’May I speak to your manager?’’ type of people. They usually call your customer service for every little problem that they have, without trying to solve it by themselves first. What’s worse they don’t follow your service announcements and end up calling your support team when a company vacation has been announced. Even when they do purchase additional or more expensive products/services you’ll end up spending more money on providing the support they don’t need.

When you notice that your customer behaves by one of these models, make sure to mark it down in your CRM so your salespeople don’t waste time on them. 

Use All The features!

CRM software nowadays has many useful features, so there’s no reason not to use them all in your sales campaigns.

Using the most obvious features like lead management and segmentation is easy. But if you utilise other useful CRM features like email marketing, and campaign management, your upselling and cross-selling efforts will bring in more results.

The email marketing feature allows you to create professional-looking emails, which combined with the proper data about your customer produce a hyper-personalised email message. With it, you can also schedule your emails to go out at the moment when your customer is most likely to read it.

With campaign management, you’ll be able to monitor every step of your campaign and decide when is the time to strike. Unlike monitoring your customers’ journey, with campaign monitoring, you’ll be able to determine which campaign proved the most successful for upselling and cross-selling.

Other than tracking your email campaigns, your PPC and Google Ads campaigns will also be monitored.


To be successful at cross-selling and upselling you need to know every small detail of your customer’s life cycle. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make natural offers that feed into your customers previous purchases. 

If implemented correctly a CRM software will minimise the risks of you missing your target audience and aid you in increasing profits.

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