Imagine this: you’re a mortgage loan officer for a bank. You’ve been in the game for a while, and you’re excellent at what you do. As you sit at your desk filing paperwork for the latest mortgage, your supervisor comes by with an ask – “See if they want to open a checking account, too.” You politely nod yes, but on the inside, you are screaming.

“Why should I take time away from the job I know I’m good at to offer a cross-sell opportunity I’m not even sure I can close? I could be closing the next mortgage instead of wasting my time here.”

Whether at a bank or elsewhere, the weight of manual cross-sell hangs heavy on the shoulders of sales reps, in part for this reason. Good salespeople thrive on closing deals, and they’re drawn to opportunities that will be most fruitful to their quotas. When forced to manually cross-sell, teams find themselves in an unnerving predicament. Sure, they’d love to add value to the sale, but at the end of the day, the risks can outweigh the benefits for them.

Accurately anticipating needs is not only necessary but expected in today’s sales process. That’s probably why nearly 90% of salespeople emphasize its importance. To personalize and anticipate cross-sell needs effectively, the sales team needs some support.

How Automation Supports Smarter & Simpler Cross-Sell

Remember your role as the frustrated mortgage loan officer? What do you think would make you want to follow through with the cross-sell? If the sales process was easier? If the qualification process was already taken care of? If you felt the opportunity was more likely to close?

All of the above?

According to McKinsey, more than 30% of sales-related activities can be automated. This automation makes cross-sell smarter and simpler for sales reps in several ways, and it can lead to more effective sales overall. Just look at some of the stats:

  • Companies that incorporate high-level automation into their sales process generate around 16% more leads compared to those that incorporate low-level or no automation. (Hinge Research)
  • High-performing sales teams are 2.3x more likely than underperforming teams to use guided selling. (Salesforce)
  • 61% of businesses leveraging automation reported exceeding revenue targets in 2020. (HubSpot)
  • Early adopters of sales automation see higher customer satisfaction. (McKinsey)

Automated cross-sell is more enticing to sales reps because it makes those opportunities easier to close. Instead of blanketing every sale with the same cross-sell options, automation uses AI and machine learning to offer smart, individualized recommendations backed by data. Once a quality cross-sell opportunity is found, the automation presents it to the right rep, in the right department, at the right time. Relevant sales materials can be attached and even pre-filled to make that process faster and more convenient for the rep to complete with their customer.  

Automation also standardizes the cross-sell process and aligns it to marketing so everyone is collaborating more effectively. Marketing can use website metrics, form submissions, email open rates, or other data to trigger the automated workflows based on relevant customer behaviors. Shared analytics dashboards let marketing and sales track what is working and what isn’t to tweak and improve the cross-sell approach over time.

What’s Standing in the Way of Cross-Sell Automation?

If automated cross-sell is so helpful, why isn’t everyone doing it? Not every sales team has the “luxury” of automation. Some organizations are missing the tech infrastructure to support it. Others are struggling to fill an IT role for someone who can build the cross-sell automation intelligence. Many organizations also struggle with data silos that hide potential opportunities from broader teams. These challenges are frustrating and can slow automation adoption, but they’re not impossible to overcome.  

Ideas to Overcome Automation Obstacles

At this point, 91% of businesses with more than 10 employees have a CRM in place. So, the opportunity for automation is already in sight. Most of today’s CRM solutions provide workflow tools, task assignments, and trigger notifications a business can use to manage the sales cycle. If you do nothing else to automate cross-sell, start there! Team up with your CRM provider or consultant to train your teams on how to make the most of those capabilities. From there, internal strategy meetings can help you massage out the finer details and put some of those processes in place.

If your organization uses multiple solutions, the next question to ask is whether systems integration should be on the table. Combining the capabilities of CRM and Marketing Automation for example opens up a whole new world of analytics to inform automated cross-sell and move customers through sales stages based on marketing triggers. Similarly, an integration between a CRM and a CX solution could keep sales teams looped into the bigger picture of their customers’ journeys after they close the initial sale. Are they happy? If not, it may not be the best time to reach out with a cross-sell opportunity.

If you really want to take your cross-sell automation to the next level, consider adopting a no code solution. No code helps you overcome automation obstacles in three ways:

  1. It doesn’t require an IT team to execute: A visual, drag-and-drop interface means everyday users in sales, marketing, and services can build their own automated workflows and processes without the help of a developer. Workflows draw on machine learning/AI and can be duplicated across departments or divisions as desired.
  2. It brings together data you already have: No code automation solutions will gather data from your CRM, marketing automation, ERP, email, or other relevant applications to populate workflows and inform actions. They give you deeper automation functionality than a typical software solution to expand the usability of the data you already have.
  3. It makes the process intuitive for sales: Timely, data-backed product and service suggestions are routed to the appropriate sales rep via the no code workflows, making cross-sell more personalized, intuitive, and effective.

Sales teams that are automating cross-sell are motivated to engage with opportunities because they see the value of what’s before them. Data informs the likelihood of closing the sale and the automation streamline the process so reps don’t have to dig for information or blindly offer a solution without knowing it’s the right fit. To get help improving your cross-sell strategy or learn more about the applications of no code for cross-sell, reach out to us.

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