Cross-selling strategies for B2B

If you read a few articles covering B2B sales tactics, you should have heard it a few times already: it costs several times more money to sell to a new customer than to sell to an existing one.

This would suggest that you should focus most of your effort on cross-selling to your existing customers. In practice, it is not that easy.

When it comes to business-to-business (B2B) sales, cross-selling is a top priority. By recognizing opportunities and taking action on them, businesses can increase revenue and increase customer satisfaction. Here are a few ways to improve your cross-selling strategy.

What is Cross-selling?

Cross-selling is the practice of selling complementary products to customers.

Cross-selling examples can be found everywhere, from fast-food restaurants (i.e: do you want fries with your burger?) to giant e-retailers like Amazon (i.e: customers also bought...) and is one of the most effective ways to increase your average order value.

While cross-selling examples are more numerous in B2C settings, leveraging cross-selling in B2B settings may be equally effective in terms of impact on revenue.

Know your products and services

It's essential to know your products and services inside out. This knowledge will help you identify tons of opportunities for cross-selling. For example, if you sell office furniture, you may be fast to suggest a printer to go with the new desk your client just bought.

Know your customer

The likelihood of your cross-selling strategy being successful is directly tied to the relevance of your product recommendations. Factors, such as the industry, size and type of goods or services sold by your prospects can help improve your recommendations. Nonetheless, nothing compares to knowing your customers like the back of your hand. For example, if you sell office furniture and know that your client is expanding into a nearby building, you may suggest they buy boxes to use in packing up items for the move.

Recommending genuinely helpful products to your customers is already half of the work done. The information you gather from customer interactions can help spur ideas for new products and services that will keep them coming back to you over and over again.

By focusing on customers, you will be able to offer the solutions your clients really need.

Use an AI recommendation tool

By now you must have realized that nothing beats recommending relevant products when it comes to optimizing your cross-selling strategy.

In some cases, however, it might be difficult to handpick the most relevant products to recommend to every one of your customers, especially when you have a large catalogue of products. When you have thousands of products to choose from, your first thought might be to give up the idea of recommending additional products and leaving it to your customers to tell you what they want as it might simply be too time-consuming. But, considering that selling additional products can increase your order value by as much as 30%, not using a recommendation engine is the equivalent of leaving money on the table.

In such cases, using a recommendation engine such as SalesHunter can be a lifesaver. Thanks to its AI capabilities, SalesHunter automatically recommends the most relevant products for each of your customers. The advantage AI has is that it can analyze data to find patterns and correlations that humans may not see. This technology is able to make recommendations for products and services even from large product catalogues that include thousands of products.

Conclusion

Cross-selling is an integral part of the B2B sales process. By identifying opportunities and taking action on them, businesses can increase revenue and customer satisfaction.

In essence, the traditional sale principle stays true: nothing beats knowing your customer's needs & product catalogue like the back of your hand.

In some cases, however, it might be difficult to be knowledgeable about all your products or customers. This is often the case for large manufacturing and wholesale companies that sell thousands of different products and cater to countless customers. In such cases, referring to an AI solution usually is the right move.

SalesHunter is one such AI solution, specifically geared towards the wholesale and distribution industry. Its recommendations have been proven to increase sales by more than 10% for several companies.