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How to Sell Integrated Products over the Telephone

Up-Sell, Cross-Sell and Bundling – Using the telephone to increase performance and results.

Your telephone sales and customer care departments are more then just standalone elements to your organization. They are integrated units that can work together to build your sales successes. Together, your team can sell more products and services and utilize your database for even more wins than you have today. Simply put, marketing and sales executives have begun to understand that the opportunity to grow business over the telephone begins with a strategic commitment to cross-sell, up-sell and bundle existing products and services. Sell more on each call. Use the marketing dollars you have already spent to maximum advantage. Promote better to customers. What’s the trick? The way executives are positioning their organizations to cross-sell, up-sell and bundle is through the utilization of their telephone sales and customer care centers.

Would you be surprised to learn that customers want more from your company then merely the product or service they initially purchased? Sure, they may buy item number one. But, if offered, they would purchase items two, three and four. The issue is recall. They do not know that your company offers items two, three and four. The organizations business strategy has not taken the proactive stance to offer items two, three and four in a consistent manner. The offer hasn’t been made. And customers will not take the initiative to ask.

Today’s call center is the one channel that can provide organizations, and customers, with a full service experience. It is no longer enough for your company to offer merely one magazine to a customer. Organizations must also offer, while the customer is ready and attentive, other magazines, books and videotapes. Today, companies fail when they own thousands of leads in their fully active database, and, do nothing with them. Organizations must blend E-mail, direct mail, outbound telemarketing and customer care into a complete package that promotes a positive customer strategy, and, customer experience. Call Centers can help do this. They do this by collecting the information that leads to better marketing. And, they do this by serving as the direct channel for the customer. With the right strategy, your company can make the offer. And, your customers can be motivated to ask for the offer.

So, you have the concept. Now, how do you begin a new, strategic commitment which promotes cross-selling, up-selling and bundling?

1. Understand the terminology.

The first cross-sell occurred when a company developed more than one product or service. The caveman must have realized that buying rocks weren’t enough. He needed wood, too. The call center is the ideal communications channel to cross-sell your products and services. When a customer purchases three books for his children, it is the call center that can offer an additional three audio books for a fraction of the cost. When a customer walks away with a new organizer for the new year, it is the blend of direct mail and outbound telemarketing that offer an enhanced package of covers, papers and pens that add to that organizer.

The up-sell is a more modern opportunity for organizations. Once a better product or service was developed, it occurred to call center executives that they needed to accentuate that offer to customers who don’t realize another offer exits. So, when a customer calls to purchase a new refrigerator, it only makes sense to offer an extended warranty and a microwave to complement the refrigerator. Customers do not know everything about your company. They don’t need to know everything. They just need to know what you want them to know.

Bundling is the process of tying products and services that work together and packaging them in a way the customer understands. If the customer wants cable television, call center’s bundle several pay channels with a complimentary television and a warranty program. Don’t forget the speakers! Customers get a discount for purchasing more then one product at the same time, and they come away with more value then they expected from their initial call.

2. Understand your customers and your script.

There are two definitive keys to building a successful cross-sell, up-sell and bundling program. First, understand your customers. What made them purchase a particular product or service in the first place? Who are they and why were they comfortable with the sales process? Why would their initial purchase indicate a propensity to purchase something else? Where are they located? Are there any trends amongst what your customers buy and what products or services you sell? Your customers have a wealth of terrific information that you may not be capturing. More importantly, you may be capturing it and still not using it. This leads to the second key: Script your agents to be subjective and insightful. Great cross-selling, up-selling and bundling occurs when your agents have been trained to ask the right questions, and, move to the right direction. Oftentimes, agents instinctively offer the easy solution for themselves, instead of the easy solution for the customer. The agent may believe his favorite magazine is the best sales product available, when in reality the customers’ buying propensity has indicated clearly that the agent’s favorite magazine is the least likely choice of the customer.

The script is KING! Collect data that will add value, immediately, to your cross-sell, up-sell and bundling strategy. Find information that will integrate the entire marketing program. Direct mail works best if the offer catches the readers’ eye. Use the data collected in your call center to develop a direct mail piece that is both impactful and meaningful. For instance, E-marketing can only work if your organization collects an email address and then utilizes the address over-and-over again. Again, an insightful message in your email campaign drives customer acceptance. What does this all mean? Your call centers script, initially designed to make a first “sale”, can become a much more dynamic tool for your business, going forward. By creating a cross-sell, up-sell and bundling strategy, your script becomes re-designed for tomorrow’s strategy and the next day.


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