Cross-Selling – The 6 How-To-Do-It for Key Account Managers

The main strategies of cross-selling up-selling can be broken down into 6 strategies for successful Key Account Management as detailed below. If these are followed, they give good results, as has been proven in the past.

  1. Check if your Key Account Managers have the skills required for cross-selling: Implementing a good cross-selling strategy is where things might go wrong. A piece of very good and sound product knowledge is a must-have for your Key Account Managers. At the same time, they cannot go overboard and push the prospect to say yes to you. Each Key Account Manager’s product portfolio should be kept to a size where they know each product in their portfolio well and get familiar quickly with new additions.
  2. Cross-selling requires that customers get a good fit and benefit: Sales for the sake of selling does not work. You cannot push unrelated products to prospects. They will buy only if they see a good fit for the product for their needs. A good idea would be to create a solution for many products that would be of more value to the customer than individual products. An integral part of cross-selling is also counseling and advice to customers in helping them make the right choice. Moreover, in providing them good customer service long after the purchase is made.
  3. KYC is a good technique to find out the woes and the wows of your customers regarding your products: Key Account Managers should always keep the customers engaged and happy without being intrusive, at the same time, gleaning insights from the customers about existing products through questions and surveys. This information should be used to fill current gaps and work on new products to fill a possible gaping need.
  4. Be more than a salesperson to your clients: Clients always see salespersons as trusted partners and feel good when the salesperson behaves like one. To ensure that valuable information regarding each Key Account and client preferences and peeves stays with the salesperson, you should work on a database with all essential information and share it with the sales team. This can help salespersons to make customized recommendations to each client and explain how a certain product may benefit him by using specific examples assimilated through the database.
  5. Sales and relationship analytics through Automation: Automating the sales process helps in keeping a close watch on client decisions and purchases and then identifying clients who are most likely to buy additional products from you. These automation tools use buyer profiles and personas through a scoring or weight-age method to identify hot prospects.
  6. The right message and the right move at the right time are crucial to cracking a deal: Account Managers should know the buyers enough to understand what their next move should be when to make their next move, how to do it, what to say, and what will seal the deal. They should also have a finger on the pulse of which campaigns are working and which are not and which click with whom.

Cross-selling needs establishing clear account planning processes, setting expectations, training the team adequately and continuously, and monitoring results, not to forget course correction whenever the need is felt. Technology is the one thing that ties together all cross-selling efforts.


Milind is CEO & Co-Founder of DemandFarm. Having practiced and evolved the ‘account farming’ principle for over a decade he established DemandFarm and is passionate about delivering the best B2B key account management tool to serve the needs of key account managers. Milind also serves on the Board of LeadEnrich & is a Strategic Adviser.

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