6 Tips To Facilitate Cross-Selling Skills In Online Training

6 Tips To Facilitate Cross-Selling Skills In Online Training
Summary: Cross-selling can significantly increase your revenue and improve customer satisfaction. However, honing the negotiation, communication, and sales abilities that are required can be a tricky task. In this article, I’ll share 6 tips to facilitate cross-selling skills in your online training.

How To Facilitate Cross-Selling Skills In Online Training

Cross-selling is the fine art of offering varied goods and services to your customers. As opposed to upskilling, which involves add-ons and more expensive items, cross-selling is all about meeting consumer needs and suggesting complimentary products that provide real value. For example, a customer who is purchasing auto insurance may also be interested in health or life insurance services. In most instances, the products are related but not similar. Here are 6 tips to help you facilitate cross-selling skills in your online training so that you can improve your company’s bottom line.

1. Create Online Scenarios That Foster Effective Communication.

Communication is the key to cross-selling. Employees must be able to actively listen to the customer to determine their needs, and then articulate how additional products might be useful. Instead of forcing your employees to learn the art of communication on-the-job, you can offer them real world experience via online scenarios. Create a variety of different situations and customer types that employees may encounter on a regular basis. Encourage them to identify how certain products or services will offer the customer real value. At the end of the online scenario ask them to analyze the performance and pinpoint areas for improvement. Did they achieve the desired outcome? Or do they need to fine tune their active listening and communication skills?

2. Offer Micro-Product Online Video Tutorials.

Employees should know all of the perks of your products, including their features, specs, and customer benefits. However, they don't have a lot of time to sit through long online training courses to get the information they need, especially if they are with a customer. Create micro product video tutorials that are 1-to-2 minutes in length. Cover all of the essentials and include links for employees who require more details. Make sure you mention which products complement each other so that employees can make recommendations. Use a responsive design tool to make mobile-friendly video tutorials that employees can access on-the-go. These microlearning online training materials are also ideal memory refreshers, since they can be consumed quickly. Microvideo tutorials can also be in the form of brief online scenarios, online training simulations, serious games, infographics, and charts.

3. Develop Pairing Online Training Simulations. 

In addition to video tutorials that include product suggestions, you may want to develop pairing online training simulations to improve knowledge retention. They also give employees the chance to apply their knowledge in a practical setting. Rather than just matching up complimentary products in a point-and-click online training activity, they must choose pairings based on the customer's needs and their inherent value. For example, a product pairing might be suitable for one customer, but another customer may require an alternative product to solve their everyday problem. Pairings aren't set in stone, and a real world online training simulation drives this point home. Include fictional customer backstories in the online training simulation and incorporate realistic images and situations to make it more immersive.

4. Get Everyone Onboard.

Cross-selling skills online training isn't just for your sales staff. In fact, every employee in your organization should participate. This is particularly true for staff members who interact with customers regularly, such as customer service associates and IT support staff. Your sales team may be required to take more extensive online training courses because they are the "front lines". However, everyone needs a good dose of product knowledge and communication skills. In some instances, certain departments may even need cross-selling training for products that only they provide. For example, customer service associates may be in charge of service contracts or extended warranties. Personalal online training paths are essential for cross-selling training, due to the fact that each employee will have access to different products or services. Thus, you should conduct workplace observations, surveys, and interviews before assigning coursework.

5. Stress The Benefits With Serious Games.

In order to successfully cross-sell, employees need to know the benefits and applications of each product. How will the customer use it to improve their lives or achieve a goal? What personal benefits does it offer? Most customers already have an idea of what they're looking for, but cross-selling broadens that scope and uncovers "hidden" problems or needs. Develop serious games that test product knowledge by asking your employees to highlight the benefits of certain products. After they successfully explore the product they move onto the next level. You can also gamify your online training course design by adding badges, points, and other incentives. When an employee completes a module or passes an online assessment they receive a reward, which improves their motivation and drive.

6. Emphasize The Importance Of Authenticity.

Customers are more likely to make a purchase if their sales person actually means what they say. They must be authentic, passionate about the products, and genuinely know their stuff. Get them excited about the products and services they'll be offering by cultivating a strong online learning culture. Stress the importance of ongoing online training so that employees are more motivated to explore new products and achieve their potential. Encourage your staff to record themselves giving their "sales pitch", then upload it your organization's social media page or forum. Their peers can leave online training feedback that helps them perfect their approach and become more authentic representatives for your brand.

Cross-selling benefits all parties involved. The organization adds another source of revenue and the customer receives the products or services they truly need. Customers are also likely to give you repeat business, since you went above and beyond to make product recommendations. Repeat business translates into loyal customers, favorable reviews, and referrals.

Are you working with a distributed sales team who needs round-the-clock access to online training materials? Read the article 6 Tips To Use Mobile Performance Support For Your Sales Team to learn how to use mobile performance supports in your sales training program.