CRM Solutions Can Help Cross-Sell and Upsell
With some solutions, products are linked with others and appear on the CSR’s screen when their partners are selected. This method resembles a catalog, because the coordinating products typically are those that would be shown together on catalog pages.
Using this type of system requires catalogers to first gather and analyze marketing data, and then to write codes that link certain products. Most companies don’t do this for a wide enough range of products, experts lament. But when only a few products are offered, the pattern may become obvious to customers after a while, and response rates may drop accordingly.
Other systems offer products dynamically, that is, products are presented based on customers’ sales metrics or on products’ popularity. Thus offers are made because the system “knows” that customers who bought Product A also bought Products X, Y and Z.
Doug Way, principal of Kurt Salmon Associates, a global management consulting firm, says the best CRM systems also offer upsell, a strategy used by telemarketers for years. These systems require hard coding; they take a product and offer an upgrade. For example, with the right data at her disposal, a CSR might say: “I see you’ve ordered the Super Tennis Racquet; we happen to have the Ultra Tennis Racquet on sale this week. For just $50 more, you can have a racquet with these added features ...”
n Before you step up to the buying stage, be sure your company culture is compatible with the prospective CRM system. The reason some catalogers don’t have sophisticated CRM systems is because their call-center workforces aren’t quite ready for them. Either their CSRs’ skill-sets aren’t developed enough to handle the systems or the catalogers have such high turnover they can’t get reps adequately trained quickly enough to use the systems effectively. Indeed, CRM systems, especially the online/call center ones, require an investment in staff training.