Hi, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us today to learn about our top 10 tips for driving customer demand. We’re Shanann Monaghan and Seema Rizvi, and we work at Google Cloud building upsell and cross-sell programs across our portfolio of products.

We’re very excited to share our top tips for building a powerful upsell engine that drives value for your customers and revenue for your business.

If you're just getting started with building upsell programs and campaigns, our tips are laid out in our suggested order of operation.

Tip number one is your starting point, and then we’ll layer on tips two, three, four, etc. until you have a well-built upsell engine by tip number 10. That means even if you're already an upselling expert, hopefully we'll have a couple of new ideas for you today.

Let's go ahead and jump right into tip number one.

Tip #1: Outline your vision for customer growth

This tip is a foundational starting point. What are you trying to build? How will it help your business?

In most businesses, you reach a tipping point where your current customer base becomes big enough that it can be driving as much or more revenue than your net new prospects. This is when it becomes critical for marketing to build a truly full-funnel lead generation engine. You're not only acquiring new business, but you're also engaging and growing your existing customer base.

Customer funnel of acquisition, engagement, growth, and advocacy

The image above gives you a look at that full-funnel marketing engine. All marketing organizations start by prospecting and acquiring new business, but over time, you need to invest in engaging and growing your existing customer base as well.

Ultimately, customers who are engaged and growing will become your advocates.

Developing impactful advocacy programs
We catch up with Dave Hansen, Sinead O’Grada, Tim Newborn, and Josh Zerkel to talk about the best ways to develop an advocacy program that’ll actually make an impact.

Tip #2: Find your upsell champions

As you build out your upsell engine it is critical to find internal advocates who understand why upsell is a key revenue driver and will support you in building out the engine to drive customer growth. At a minimum, you need alignment and buy-in from sales, operations, and customer success.

We’d recommend trialing a few upsell programs to see what works and what doesn't for engaging your customers. This will also help you to identify potential gaps in your processes and operations. Once you’ve had a few wins, you'll start to build momentum and interest in your upsell program.

When you've demonstrated some success, consider creating an upsell council across key stakeholders to formally align on goals, processes, funnel stage definitions, and criteria. Ultimately, you want to get to a place where upsell goals are part of the overall demand goals for the business and different teams are accountable for upselling. This is going to help set you up for success.

Tip #3: Organize your customer data

You can’t run an interesting or sophisticated upsell program without having access to organized and trackable customer data. Make sure you're tracking all of the following customer data points:

  • Demographics – Including location and job title.
  • Product usage – Which products and features are they using and how often?
  • Segmentation – By industry or business size.
  • Customer lifecycle – Are they onboarding, coming up for renewal, etc?

A mistake I've seen in many companies is that they jump right into building and trying to execute upsell campaigns before quickly realizing that they don't have the data or operations in place to support this.

The big tip here is to become best friends with your internal data or internal operations team. These are the people who are going to make it possible for you to have all of the infrastructure you need to run your campaigns.