The idea of diving deep into existing clientele is not new, but the idea seems to have caught the fancy of solution providers.
"Customers are looking at consolidating infrastructure with tremendous scope for scalability. They want a partner whom they can liaise with in a personalized manner across the board for end-to-end IT infrastructure," says Vipul Datta, MD, Futuresoft Solutions.
Cross-selling and deep-selling involve several tactical changes in an organization; one of the most important and fundamental being cross-training the sales force.
Raunaq Singh, director, Targus Technologies, says, "Sensitizing the sales force is the first step in cross-selling." What Targus has done is internally restructure and channelize its entire sales personnel to go to customers and present products across portfolios, as against its earlier approach where it had specific sales managers for specific lines of products and solutions.
This homogenous approach has ensured that existing customers are updated on Targus' new offerings. "Sales has been enabled to ensure that they can sell anything. The new approach has not only helped us improve on level of engagement with existing customers, it has also accelerated the multiplication factor," says Singh.
Another big driver for cross-selling is that costs are escalating on all counts--both at the customer-end as well as the partner's. Internal realignment of costs by solution providers becomes critical. "A thorough cost overhaul in order to achieve goals of optimization helps us understand what we have and what we have to achieve. These learnings are incorporated diligently into the business plan," says Datta.
A process of mapping costs has helped Futuresoft to understand that customers have to be mapped more efficiently. This has helped the company understand key accounts and offer a bouquet of relevant offerings like cloud, remote support, and a host of other optimization services that can help the company establish ROI for the customer in the short-term.
The company intends to keep this sharp focus as a strategy or opportunity point for the coming fiscal. "The 360-degree IT approach of cost optimization and deep-selling will keep us steady in the coming fiscal," says Datta. The big advantage that this solution provider has over others is its comparatively lower attrition rate (less than the industry average of 8 percent). "This makes work cohesive and helps realize objectives faster," he adds.
The journey to cross and deep-selling includes making certain allowances like doling out discounts, offering POCs, free consultancy, and dealing with post-implementation teething troubles to customers. So, will cross-selling be seen as an aggressive pitch? No. Trust is what counts, they say. The trade-off makes the deal worthwhile.
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