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Why Every Business Needs to Cross-Sell and Upsell

Anna LeeLast updated on January 2, 2024
3 min

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Most businesses focus on acquiring new customers to make more sales. That’s what’s required for any business to continue operating and growing. However, most human beings don’t enjoy being sold to.

The world has moved on from the hard sell and avoids salespeople who are too pushy. So how can you adapt if you want your business to succeed?

We’ve teamed up with The Entourage, Australia’s leading training and business coaching provider, to share some of the key principles to successful selling, as well as the biggest missed opportunities for any business to capitalize on.

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Scaling your sales strategy

Did you know that the average small business spends 11% of its time on revenue-generating activities?

To build a modern sales organization, view sales as a function of your business. That means spending the majority of your time, especially as a small- to medium-size business, on revenue-generating activities.

“You need to be spending 80% of your time on revenue-generating activities.” — Jack Delosa, Founder of The Entourage

To see real results, you need to focus on sales in a holistic way that cultivates a buyer’s mindset in your customer from the start.

By creating a buyer’s mindset in your customer, you’re creating a connection with the customer every step of the way. You’re asking them the right questions to guide them through the process to help them make the best buying decision.

Scaling customer connections is the key to any successful business. Whether you’re teaching this strategy to your marketing team, sales team, or support teams, it all comes back to putting your customers first.

The biggest missed opportunity for businesses

As businesses develop their customer base and audience, especially when refocusing on customer-centricity, the biggest missed opportunity for many is that they don’t resell to existing customers.

If you’ve already created a buyer’s mindset in your new customer and you don’t continue to resell to them at regular intervals, then you’re missing out on massive amounts of revenue.

It’s far easier, quicker, and cheaper to enable and initiate the transaction for repeat purchases, especially when you do it in a way that shows them how you can add significant value. That means upselling, cross-selling, or down-selling, so let’s break down each type so you can easily leverage and implement them.

What are upselling and cross-selling?

To get started, let’s talk about the two most important sales strategies: upselling and cross-selling.


Upselling is when you encourage your customers to purchase a more premium product. This can include upgraded service, features, or additional offers.

This strategy allows you to get more revenue for less money while providing a more premium product or service that better suits your customer’s needs.


Cross-selling is when you encourage the additional purchase of something with the product or service they were about to buy or have already bought.

This should be a lateral product or service that enhances or complements their initial purchase, giving you the opportunity to personalize their customer journey.

By cross-selling, you’re able to increase conversion rates and deepen the customer’s attachment to your business.

Our top tip? Offer bundles and discounted packs to incentivize customers to purchase more than one product or service.

What is down-selling?

Next, let’s talk about down-selling. Down-selling is when you offer a more budget-friendly option as an alternative.

This helps customers who are:

  • Not ready to buy the premium option

  • Not ready to purchase the same product again

This strategy allows you to still get revenue while building brand loyalty and showing your customers that you understand budget constraints.

Offering your product at different price points helps you maintain the value of your premium products without cheapening them with discounts.

When you’re building your sales strategy, make sure that you avoid introducing lower-priced products or services too early so your team is set up to succeed.

Selling to existing customers

As your business grows, it’s important to focus on:

  • Adding more products or services

  • Increasing revenue-generating activities to increase your customer base

  • Adding significant value to your existing customers to increase customer loyalty

In reality, we should be doing all three. And the ability to do this will come back to creating a buyer’s mindset by understanding who your customers are and what they want, and then showing how you can help.

By focusing on this, you’ll be able to scale your sales process across departments and team members—no matter where they’re based. This will maximize your opportunities to generate revenue and grow your business.

This post was created in collaboration with Anna Lee at The Entourage. As the Digital Marketing & Partnerships Specialist, Anna is responsible for the execution of digital marketing campaigns across the business such as SEO, paid advertising, and paid search, as well as working with strategic partners to support the development of organic lead generation pipelines and marketing revenue.

Published on July 14, 2022.

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