Importance of Cross-Sell and Up-Sell for Key Account Managers

Home  /   Sales Development   /   Importance of Cross-Sell and Up-Sell for Key Account Managers
Importance of Cross Sell and Up Sell for Key Account Managers

The sales industry is at a significant juncture. Faster evolving technology, such as AI, social media, data gathering and automation, means sales professionals need to develop skills and competencies way beyond those expected even just a few years ago.

With all this comes another challenge – Companies are struggling with their new business pipelines stalled with very little or no solutions to address this concern.

The future proofing of any organization will not only require “landing” new business – but also equipping all client facing team members with the skills and internal processes to “expand” the business.

“Cross & Up Sell Opportunities”

 Consider the impact to the Organizations of not equipping their Key Account Managers with this skillset and mindset.

The client:

a) Doesn’t know the breadth of ‘ever evolving’ services the company offers because the Key Account Manager isn’t reminding them so they may end up giving additional work to other partners/suppliers.

b) Treats the company (understandably) as a transactional order taker rather than a valued consultant because the Key Account Manager isn’t proactively uncovering client challenges and offering solutions which means they’re more susceptible to changing to another partner/suppliers.

c) Stops being responsive to emails from the organization and de-prioritises interactions because what’s the point in engaging with an organization that always ‘waits’ (“what other work do you have for us?”) vs ‘gives’(“some of our other clients have been inviting us in to help them plan in some similar activities for next year because they’re interested in hearing the latest market trends and what’s working for other clients, would it make sense for me to spend a few minutes explaining how that’s been working?”)

They’re not having those conversations, not because they’re lazy – or they don’t care.

It’s likely due to some/all of these reasons:

  • They’re focused on delivering the current project and providing great client service and/or believe this is where they can add the most value
  • They see themselves as a project manager– rather than a creative/ ‘ideas’ person
  • They don’t think clients will welcome their input – or value their ideas
  • They DO have ideas – but they’re not sure if they’re any good (or even if it’s ‘their place’ to suggest them)
  • They’re not sure how/when to bring up ideas for new projects/services  – without coming across as pushy/’salesy’
  • They’re too busy to think about suggesting new ideas beyond the current scope of work

….and many more reasons!

All of this points to a lack of confidence (and direction and support) – rather than someone who doesn’t care.

How can Key Account Managers be more confident?

You can’t just tell account managers to be more confident!

If the Organization’s Senior Leadership team wants Key Account Managers to spot commercial opportunities in meetings, they need to know what to look for – and how to ask great questions and/or follow up.

If you’re in charge of the team and you want them to have the confidence to present/propose ideas to clients  – without being reliant on you or another senior team member being in the room  – they need to be shown how to do that.

And if you don’t want them to feel awkward about when/how to bring this stuff up – they need to know what effective client growth plans look like, why they’re important – and how to design them.

In other words, they need to be much more ‘entrepreneurial’ in their approach and have the skills and all the right systems, processes and resources they need to implement this with confidence.

With over 25 years of experience in leadership, sales and organizational development, we have enable countless sales leaders to build confidence in their teams to drive revenue growth velocity – by expanding key accounts and developing deep lasting relationships with their clients.

If you are interested in our sales training solutions, feel free to reach out.