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Cross selling software for higher sales

Cross selling can be used as an effective tool of getting additional revenue from clients, offering them similar or complementary products. Studies show it costs four times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep an old one.

Cross selling involves five fundamentals:
  • You have to know your products very well.
  • You have to know your clients. To get the best results identify which customers are your best target.
  • Ask questions and listen for clues.
  • Pay attention to clients' needs and only suggest relevant products.
  • Suggest, don't impose. This way clients will feel comfortable and more likely to accept your offer.
Most of the time, cross selling is a natural process, involving a simple operation: telling customers about your products. In software marketing, the publisher needs to establish which software product can be correlated with another one and be sold together as a package deal. Both the selection and the price can be based on several customer and product criteria, which should be set up before deciding on using the cross selling technique. These bundles may be added to the online shopping cart or advertised as a special software promotion on the site.

Successful cross selling can be achieved by applying several rules:
  • Right timing. Don't push sales if it seems the client doesn't have the financial resources at that moment. Try to find out what the client's budget is and make your offer accordingly.
  • Relevance. Suggesting too many software products unrelated to the original one may overwhelm the client and lead to failure.
  • Post recommendations on the site. Professionals, experts or other customers may post their opinion and their recommendations on the site. It can show up as a list of related items bought by other customers that purchased the same product.
  • Place cross selling items throughout your site, where they can help shoppers learn about your software products and business. Try mixing and matching different items to see which combinations work best.
  • Offer a range of prices: low cost items may be considered impulse buys, but the clients may also purchase higher priced items that fit their needs.
The most important aspect in cross selling is customer satisfaction with the first software product they purchase, alongside with price and how well additional products fit their needs. In order for cross selling to work, the focus should be on the customer, not on pushing a certain software program. Before talking about additional products or services, the customer's problems must be solved. Also, the customer needs to know how useful is the product you're trying to sell in the first place.

What's the most important downside of cross selling? Annoying clients to the point they leave without buying anything. This occurs if you continue to sell after the customer says he's not interesting or when you're pushing a product that's not useful to the customer. In the end, combining customer service and cross selling will lead to increased online software sales.
Published date: June 27, 2006

Copyright 2006, http://www.avangate.com all rights reserved. This article was written by a Web Marketing Specialist at Avangate B.V. The author has in depth knowledge of internet marketing services and website analysis applied to the software industry and e-commerce development. Avangate is an eCommerce platform for electronic software distribution incorporating an easy to use and secure online payment system plus additional marketing and sales tools, such as an affiliate management system, automated cross selling options, software promotion management, software marketing services as well as consultancy on how to increase online software sales.


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