How to Upsell Your B2B IT Services

In the IT industry, it is all well and good expanding brand awareness and generating high-quality leads, but if you are enthusiastic about further developing the growth of your B2B Business, you need to focus on creating loyalty and retaining your existing customers.

Your sales team have already made tremendous efforts in building your client base, and the last thing you want are your hard-earned customers slipping right through your fingers. So, what do you need to do to improve the lifetime value of your clients and keep them satisfied? The answer is upselling: a sales strategy that involves encouraging clients to purchase an enhanced version of a product or service at a greater cost. Every B2B Enterprise should be taking advantage of this marketing tactic if they are eager to boost their ROI.

As a savvy B2B marketer, you have already encountered the challenges of selling your products and services to clients, so you probably think squeezing more coins from their pocket is almost impossible. However, the most pleasant aspect about upselling is that you are already more than halfway to winning your customers over – simply because it is for existing clients. By now you know your clients pretty well, and have expert insight into their company, so most of the hard graft has already been achieved. Besides, it would be difficult for your clients to refuse amazing offers from a company whose products and services are currently serving them great purpose; they already see value in your business!

Below are some useful tips on how to build a stronger business relationship with your customers and make them even happier with your valuable upsells!

The Right Client

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Before you begin upselling, you need to identify the key clients that will currently benefit from your other products and services. It is important to target the appropriate clients because it isn’t always convenient for an upsell; it is too soon to provide a service upgrade for new clients who have recently purchased from you, or perhaps your existing product or service is sufficient for your client’s needs, if only for the time being. For these reasons, you will attain the best results from those client’s in need of support, and who are ready to drive their business forward. A great idea would be to focus on your older clients, as they have a longer business relationship with you and already trust your services. These clients can be categorised based on their profitability, so you can differentiate between your thriving customers and the less enterprising ones. Your best performing clients are consistently looking for new ways to evolve their business, and their dedication to stay on top of their game will keep them interested in what your company has to offer. Plus, they probably have the funds to invest in their business, and will be prepared to spend money to remain ahead of their competitors (an easier way to make bigger profits). On the other hand, the clients who are struggling will require the most effort and resources, and therefore will be more open to your proposals to help them overcome their business obstacles. You can monitor your clients’ purchase history and compare their progress, to find out which clients can benefit the most from your services.

The Right Opportunity

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After you’ve selected your key clients, you should think about what they need to feed their progress. To provide the most influential upsell opportunities there are two factors you need to consider: a deeper understanding of your clientele, and implementing a niche-driven strategy. Upselling is less challenging if you choose the most suitable opportunity for your clients; the more it appeals to their needs, the less chance of them turning their nose up at the offer.

So, how do you gauge the right opportunity? You can begin by creating detailed profiles for each client; it should involve thorough information regarding their company aims and objectives, work habits, dislikes and likes, failures and achievements, and a brief of their business journey so far. Keeping track of their progress will help you to determine where their plans are failing their business needs, making it easier to spot potential opportunities to fulfil their goals. If possible, do not hesitate to tailor your services to their unique KPI’s, as this will appear more appealing to your clients and have a greater impact on their business. However, before making any attempt to upsell, you need to ensure your clients are profiting from your current service, and their experience with your business fulfils their expectations. Your clients will be unwilling to fork out a greater expense for additional services if the one you are already providing falls short of their needs. Listening and gaining feedback from your clients allows you to provide the best solutions for their needs, and lets you fill in the relevant gaps that will promote their company growth and customer satisfaction.

The Right Approach

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Now that you’ve discovered the right opportunities for your clients, you need to plan a strategic and logical sales approach to prove your upsell is a worthwhile purchase for them. The trickiest part about upselling is convincing clients to dish out more money than they had originally planned, especially if they are on a limited budget. But you need to think about it like this; you are only capitalising on the product or service they are already paying for, so the add-on will not appear as costly if you sell it correctly. First, portray the upgrade in a way that makes your customers see the unique value that your service has for them. When they are convinced that your product or service is essential for their business, you come across as understanding and trustworthy, creating a higher chance that they will listen to your advice. Your expertise will make them feel that you have their best interests at heart, as you are consistently meeting their needs and supporting them through their business journey, consequently building a stronger relationship. During your pitch, focus on describing the benefits of the upsell rather than its specific features, and how it will make a positive impact on their organisation, otherwise they will discard it as pointless and a waste of money. If your clients happen to be uninterested in your offers, try not to pressurise them too much, as they may feel that you are trying to line your own pocket and your best interests are in your own company rather than theirs.

The Right Publicity

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When you are not directly making telephone sales to customers, you can still increase awareness of your products and services; effective marketing strategies will entice your customers to try anything new that will potentially benefit their organisation. There is no doubt that forcing yourself into their mailbox will grab their attention; you can include them in e-newsletters, send how-to guides, manuals, or discounts of products and services you think may appeal to them or compliment their business. You could also try to encourage your sales team to establish a special rapport with your clients by conducting ongoing conversations regarding their progress, and discuss success stories about other clients. Developing this kind of relationship enables you to generate new ideas to strengthen your services, and for clients to find inspiration and have faith in your work accomplishments. As you already know, social media is a commonly used platform for gathering information, especially for professional B2B services. It is a useful source to promote your products and services, and you can create social media groups and online discussions to strengthen your network with valuable clients.

So, there are the few valuable pointers to get the ball rolling on upselling. As you have witnessed, generating new leads is not the only way to grow your B2B Business; however, generating new ideas to enhance your clients’ business will guarantee enormous profits for your own. If you are determined to get the best advantage of your clients, reach out to VSL experts, and watch your ROI soar through the roof!


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Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.