Expansion Selling: Strategies, Tactics, and Tacos
This morning, I returned to my favorite place for breakfast. I ordered my standard bacon, egg, and cheese taco (look, we love our tacos in Austin). The cashier asked if I wanted to add avocado. An extra dollar…why not? She then asked if I wanted an iced coffee. I could use a morning pick-me-up…sure! And for just 2 bucks more, I could turn my taco into a burrito! Did my favorite taco shop just use an expansion selling strategy on me? I walked in looking to buy a taco. I walked out with a loaded burrito, a caffeinated beverage, and no regrets. More happiness for me, more revenue for one of my favorite restaurants. What’s stopping your organization from doing the same?
The Strategies Behind The (Expansion) Selling
Expansion selling is a strategy aimed at increasing the overall value of customer relationships by selling additional products and/or services to existing customers. Whether it’s tacos, SaaS products, or renewals—as industries become more competitive, more organizations are using this strategy to maximize the return on their sales and marketing efforts. Like I’ve said before, it’s often easier and more cost-effective to sell to your existing customers rather than acquire new ones. But what does that look like, exactly? Here are some of the tactics and strategies:
1. Upselling: Offering customers a more premium version of the product or service they are currently interested in to increase order value.
2. Cross-selling: Increasing the overall value of a sale by offering complementary products or services related to what they are already buying.
3. Bundling: Driving more value by combining multiple products or services into a solution set—making it more attractive for customers to purchase.
4. Personalization: Customizing offerings to meet the specific needs and preferences of the individual customer—increasing their likelihood to purchase based on a personalized solution.
5. Add-ons and upgrades: Offering additional features, upgrades, or accessories to customers during the sale—where their propensity to buy is highest.
6. Solution selling: Buidling a more flexible approach by focusing on solving the customer’s problem, rather than just selling a product or service.
7. Relationship building: Building strong, ongoing relationships with customers through regular communication and follow-up—increasing your understanding of what they need and when.
These strategies are not mutually exclusive, and companies often employ a combination of tactics to achieve the best results. The goal is to enhance the customer experience and build stronger, more profitable relationships over time by offering customized solutions that meet the specific preferences of each customer. And the better you know your customer, the more you can expand your offering in the direction of their needs. This is where expanded selling (and your revenue) starts to really soar.
Measuring Expansion Selling Effectiveness
I just threw a lot of strategies at you. And while I mentioned they’re not all mutually exclusive, it’s likely you won’t be throwing the expansion kitchen sink at your customers. That’s why it’s important to have a data framework in place to track key metrics and better understand what strategies are leading to the most growth. Time, effort, and every inch of movement an organization makes costs money—getting the best return on that investment is crucial. Here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used to measure the success of an expanded selling strategy:
1. Average order value (AOV): The average order value measures the average amount of money that customers spend during a single transaction. A higher AOV can indicate customers are purchasing more products or services.
2. Customer lifetime value (CLV): The estimated total value a customer will bring to the company over the course of their relationship.
3. Sales per customer: The average number of sales made to each customer, indicating the success of cross-selling and your long-term relationship with the customer.
4. Conversion rate: The percentage of customers who make a purchase, indicating the effectiveness of personalized selling and solution selling strategies.
5. Repeat purchase rate: The percentage of customers who make multiple purchases, which can indicate the success of relationship-building and customer loyalty efforts.
6. Customer satisfaction: Measured through surveys or feedback, which can indicate the success of overall customer experience efforts.
7. Net Promotor Score (NPS): A metric used to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction—based on a single question that asks customers how likely they are to recommend a company’s products or services to others.
These KPIs can be used to track progress and evaluate the success of an expanded selling strategy. But more importantly, it can help companies make data-driven decisions to continuously improve their efforts. As I mentioned before, you’ll likely try plenty of tactics and strategies to get a better understanding of which approach works best. That’s why your KPIs should be evaluated in the context of the company’s overall business goals and objectives.
You Have to Start to Start
No, that’s not a typo. Designing a selling strategy that fits both your business and customer needs can feel like a daunting task, but thoughtfully starting somewhere is the best way to get answers faster. I have a giant burrito and iced coffee on my desk to prove it. And if you need some help, MODintelechy has several years of experience designing, standing up, and supporting global organizations with robust expansion selling strategies. Reach out today, and we’d be happy to walk through it with you.