“Why Evolve?”: Researching The Best Upselling Techniques

By Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer

March 15, 2018

Upselling Techniques: B2B Upselling Examples To Sell More To Your Customers

If our recent research reveals one big truth about marketing or sales, it’s that your messaging and skills training can’t be monolithic, a one-size-fits-all thing. Different situations across the B2B decision-making process demand different messages and different selling skills. Because the upselling techniques and concepts that might work beautifully in a given situation could fail spectacularly in another.

What Upselling Techniques Sell More to Current Customers?

It’s a question we hear often.

That’s because research has a way of begetting more research. Just when you’ve uncovered some breakthrough way to navigate a key selling situation, there’s another one waiting in the wings, un-researched and in serious need of some testing and scrutiny.

One of those un-researched questions we kept getting was this: What upselling techniques do you use to sell more to your customers?  In other words, how do you handle what are traditionally known as the upsell or upgrade conversations, when you need to convince existing customers to migrate to higher-value solutions and services? We’re calling this the “why evolve” moment.

This dialogue can become urgent in a few ways. Maybe your company has implemented a material change to a base product, and you want your customers to migrate to that better experience. Or maybe you simply have a significant upsell opportunity in front of you that you need to capitalize on. Both are critical selling situations that demand some research on how best to get the job done.

That’s why we’ve continued our research collaboration with Dr. Nick Lee, a Professor at the Warwick Business School. Nick has spent nearly 20 years drawing from social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy to develop insights into salespeople and selling.

The Winning “Why Evolve” Upselling Technique

The research we did with the International Journal of Sales Transformation and Dr. Lee reveal that the most effective upsell message is based on the following framework:

  • Documenting results
  • Highlighting evolving pressures
  • Sharing “hard truths”
  • Explaining the risk of making no change
  • Showcasing the upside opportunity associated with making a change

The “Why Evolve” study is covered in depth in the latest issue of the journal of the same name.

You can learn so much more about our research, the results, and our takeaways from this study on the best upselling techniques by clicking on any of the links below.