My blog post Seven Requirements for Successful Up-selling listed the seventh requirement for successful up-selling as needing happy and satisfied customers. Based on the sources quoted in that blog, SaaS providers who are successful at up-selling have lower selling costs for those up-sells and higher growth rates.
There is not anything profound in this requirement but it is absolutely required. It’s simply that if customers aren’t happy or delighted with your current product they aren’t going to expand usage to other groups or add on other features. If they are unhappy enough they will of course look for ways to avoid further use of your product.
There are several ways that you can figure out if customers are happy and if they aren’t happy you should address this issue before you work on up-selling.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a common measure of customer satisfaction, specifically whether a customer will recommend your product to others. You can think about this as they will recommend both externally and internally. High scores across several positions at a customer are a strong indicator of the willingness to be persuaded to use other products and help sell your product into other groups.
- Customer survey results are another good way to measure customer satisfaction. These are typically periodic surveys sent to customers that ask about product and provider specific questions. This is sometimes done in addition to NPS or to provide details about why a customer gives a specific NPS score.
- Outstanding problems can be another measure of whether the timing is right to work on up-selling. Most every customer understands that no product or provider is perfect all the time so are tolerant of existing problems if they believe that the problems are being addressed and will be resolved in a timely manner. It’s the unresolved or chronic problems which can cause difficulty with up-selling your products.
The level of desired NPS scores and customer survey scores is dependent on your own internal targets for these surveys and judgement should be exercised about when to contact a customer about up-selling based on the scores especially if they are in the middle someplace.
When all seven of the requirements for successful up-selling are in place you should have substantial success with up-selling and growing your existing accounts.