10 Reasons To Transform Your Meek & Huddled CSR’s Into Cross-Selling Giants

Cross-Selling is a great way to boost revenues and profits by gently persuading existing customers to purchase an additional product during service conversations. Here’s why it’s so beneficial to your people and to your enterprise…

Ten really great reasons your CSR’s should make an effort to cross-sell to existing customers and clients.

  1. You Already Have The Customer’s Attention!

    This may sound obvious, but it’s a critical fact. Marketers wrack their brains thinking of clever ways to simply get prospects to focus upon their offers. When you have existing customers on the phone, you don’t have to compete with other companies for their ears-they’re already tuned into you, and only you. From a communication perspective, your signal-to-noise ratio is extremely favorable, so you may as well take advantage of this fact.


  2. You Can Customize Your Offer On The Spot!

    One of my clients cross-sells insurance. When clients phone in with a question about their homeowner’s policy, they’re treated to a quick offer that can save them money on their auto policy. The information as to what insurance clients currently have with the agency is displayed prominently on the CSR’s screen, so reps can always offer a pertinent, additional policy.


  3. Customers May Be In A Perfect Mood To Buy More!

    At a famous camera-maker’s four service centers, reps used to field thousands of calls every day from disappointed and angry folks whose film or cameras failed their expectations. They’d solve problems, and nothing else, until a senior executive asked this question: “Can we transform this cost-center into a profit-center by selling new items to these callers?”

    We showed them how to cross-sell carrying cases, photo albums, and flash attachments. The more effective CSR’s closed up to 50% of those to whom they made offers! Contrary to common sense, customers were happy to buy. Having been convinced their problems would be solved, they settled into a receptive mood.


  4. It Takes Less Time Than You Think!

    A concern is that conversations could ramble on and on if cross-selling is introduced. Actually, the opposite occurs. When reps are trained to control conversations, and they take on modest sales duties as well, they actually have explicit ways to “end” calls, where they may not have had them before.


  5. If Your Customers Already Like Your Products, They’ll Feel You’re Doing Them A Favor!

    Some CSR’s perceive that they’re intruding when they offer an additional product, but this is just not so. By definition, products and services offer value, and by offering more of them, you’re offering more value. Through what other means are clients to learn about your other items-advertising? By speaking to them, and being able to accept their orders, you’re also bringing them the ultimate in convenience.


  6. It Contributes To Profits In Two, Significant Ways!

    A simple way to calculate profit is to think of it as what’s left over after you take revenue and deduct costs. There are at least two ways to boost profits: raise revenues (or margins), or lower costs. By cross-selling, you do BOTH. When customers accept your offers, they spend more, which increases revenues. Because your only investment is your effort and your time, your financial outlay for the increased revenue is nearly zero. No wonder senior managers are sold on cross-selling!


  7. It Will Increase The “Capital” Of Everyone Associated With The Campaign!

    In general, CSR’s have a limited career path. They can climb into supervision and ultimately into operations management, but along the way they’re vying for very few slots.

    Salespeople, on the other hand, are always in high demand, and I’ve never met a senior executive who didn’t say she couldn’t “make room” for another top seller. Moreover, because sales folks hone their persuasive skills, they can move into numerous niches that call for negotiation skills.

    By starting in a cross-selling campaign, CSR’s can practice their selling abilities in a low-risk setting. If they meet the challenge, they can greatly accelerate their career progress, while commanding greater compensation in the bargain.


  8. Managers Will Have An Added Way Of Quantifying The Contributions Their Units Make To The Well Being Of Their Companies.

    It’s one thing to assert (and never an easy one to prove!) that your folks serve clients well. It’s another to actually show the added revenue your team has brought in. Which assertion would enable you to retain your headcount in an economic downturn, or justify weighty bonuses and promotions?


  9. It Will Change The Mentality Of Your CSR’s From Being Reactive To Being Proactive.

    They’ll learn, first hand, that it is they who control call outcomes, and not customers. They’ll become better at selling, and their general contact management skill will also improve. There’s even a chance that their new ability will serve them in their personal lives, as well.


  10. It’s Very Trendy Right Now, So Why Not Get With The Program?

    Cross-selling is a hot topic right now, and it’s generating excitement nearly everywhere. But more important, it looks like it’s here to stay. So, give it a try

Amit Nayak
ITESGrads India

November 2003

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