Upselling in the contact center? Make it part of your retail strategy

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In retail, it’s all about the sale. But it’s important to remember that sales aren’t just made by in-store employees, e-commerce sites, and apps. Your contact center holds huge potential to drive revenue too, but only if your associates possess the right sales skills.

Most retailers don’t harness the untapped potential of their contact center employees, which means you could be leaving money on the table. Take advantage of this opportunity by training your contact center associates in upselling, or working with an outsourcing partner that specializes in inside sales.

By focusing your contact center more on upselling, you can increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance the overall capabilities of your customer experience (CX) team. With the help of artificial intelligence-generated insights and AI-powered training, associates can improve their problem-solving abilities and customer satisfaction scores by 20%, according to KPMG’s 2023-24 Customer Experience Excellence Report.

Use data to identify upsell opportunities

For associates to have upselling opportunities at their fingertips as they’re interacting with customers, there needs to be a lot of information and insights working behind the scenes.

Dive into your data to analyze customer preferences, intents, purchase histories, and shopping habits. The right data analytics will bring patterns and trends to light that can help identify cross-selling and upselling possibilities most appealing to a particular customer. Tailored, relevant offers also make an interaction feel more personalized.

But great data alone isn’t enough; your associates need to know what to do with it. Make sure they’re trained  to access data efficiently, interpret it, and apply it most effectively based on the customer. It’s also important to teach associates how to recognize customers’ needs as they’re talking to them so they can recommend relevant products or offers in real time.

Give associates the right training to succeed

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your associates know how to upsell, even if they have other sales experience.

Offer training to contact center associates that gives them the knowledge and techniques they need to upsell effectively. Make sure they have in-depth knowledge about your brand’s products and features so they can confidently discuss and promote additional offerings where they make sense.

A key part of this training should focus on active listening and consultative selling. This type of needs-based selling approach encourages associates to act more as advisers, recommending various solutions to customers based on their needs, rather than just pushing a specific product.

Incentivize employees to upsell

Associates likely will need motivation to start upselling, especially if it’s new to them, so incentivizing needs to be part of your strategy.

Put incentive programs and commission structures in place that reward associates for successful upselling. Celebrate employees who consistently reach or exceed their upselling targets, and tie upselling to career advancement opportunities to keep associates engaged.

As part of this incentivization process, it’s important to track associates’ performance and give continual feedback along the way. Monitor upselling and sales conversion rates and give real-time feedback and coaching to employees based on their performance. Use call monitoring and quality assurance to identify areas to improve.

Build a customer-centric culture

Associates will feel empowered to make more (and better) upselling attempts when they truly know what your customers need. They can only make proactive, personalized recommendations if they really understand your customers’ intents.

Put customers at the center of your sales strategy and let associates know that meeting customer needs is the top priority. Emphasize the importance of building long-term relationships with customers, not just focusing on short-term upselling goals.

Make sure your associates have effective communication and problem-solving skills, and know how to deliver empathetic support so they can create positive customer experiences that build loyalty and grow revenue. Building trust and rapport with customers is vital to a successful upselling plan.

Partner with a CX expert

Incorporating upselling into the contact center takes a thoughtful strategy, the right training and upskilling for employees, and smart choices when it comes to implementing the best technology, such as AI-enabled intelligence. As your contact center gets better at identifying potential upsells, you’ll uncover opportunities to grow revenue and customer experience will improve. It’s a win-win.

But you don’t have to do it on your own. Consider working with a partner that specializes in inside sales and has and a proven track record of retail industry expertise. Leave your inside sales efforts in expert hands so you’re free to focus on what you do best.