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Cross-Selling: Definition, Strategies and Examples

Cross-Selling: Definition, Strategies and Examples

Anirban Banerjee
Anirban Banerjee
November 18, 2022
5 min read

Most of us have all been in a situation where we walked into a fast food restaurant, glanced through the menu, and said, “I’ll just take the fries.”

The most anticipated response by the cashier would have been, “Would you like to try a new dip? Or if you just add Coke, you can get a meal in just one extra dollar.”

Now, only a fraction of us would end up saying, “No, I will just take the fries.”

Come on, we all love a good meal. So, that’s what most of us will go for: the better (and more fulfilling) option - a happy meal - a juicy burger, some crunchy fries, and a coke to go with them. 

Only the strongest escape without spending extra dollars on the cash counter 

Now, let’s step to the other side of the counter. That whole routine by the food assistant was smooth, right? 

Well, that’s the power of cross-selling. It comes with a substantially better offer that you just can’t resist grabbing. 

On your path to being the star performer of your sales team, you must already know how important cross-selling is. After all, the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while that of a new customer is only 5-20%.

Low-hanging fruit, eh?

Without further ado, let’s tap into the great power (and higher ROI) that cross-selling unleashes, along with some proven cross-selling strategies that work like a charm.

Cross-selling: what is it all about? 

This sales strategy is based on the idea that when a buyer visits your website, they are open to buying items related to their original product. What do you need to do to make it happen? Bring those related products to them on a silver platter. How can they buy something you have that they don’t even know exists? So, you need to make them aware of the new offers, discounts, or complementary products that they would be interested in. 

Know your prospects, understand what they’d be interested in, and pitch the right products at the right time. 

What’s better than selling one product? Selling two of ‘em...

The most salient example of cross-selling would be Amazon’s ‘frequently bought together’ or ‘customers also bought this section.

For example, when a customer is buying a mobile phone and see an offer on the product page to buy a compatible phone cover and mobile stand for his/her car. And they think, “That’s a good deal; my new phone would need a new cover.” And off they go to choose their favorite from a myriad of phone cover listings.  

Cross-selling & upselling: are they any different from each other? 

Let's clear that up using a couple of examples of cross-selling.

Example 1: 

If a buyer wants to buy a subscription to Adobe Illustrator, on the product page, it was suggested they buy a subscription to the photo editing software combo, which includes related products illustrator + photoshop + after effects.

That right there would be considered cross-selling.

If you recommend them to go one up by purchasing the premium version of illustrator or Adobe’s whole creative suite, that would be upselling.

Now that's a win-win situation.

Example 2: 

Let’s say your e-commerce business is listed on Shopify, and a buyer wishes to buy a simple study table. As they make their way to the checkout page, your website suggests they add a table lamp and a pen stand to the shopping cart- that is cross-selling.

If your website suggests, “Here are other tables you could look at” and shows some higher-end premium quality wood study tables, that would be upselling. 

Cross-selling strategies that will be fruitful for you

Premium support and instructor-led onboarding:

Wooh! Congrats, you made a sale. And congrats to your buyer; they bought a cool new SaaS product that’s going to solve many bottlenecks that pop up every day in their workflow. Now, they’ll start using it across the organization - making their way to an easier life. 

But is that always the case? Think about it; not everyone is tech-savvy. They might not know where to find what and how to use each feature and what path to use to navigate to the required screen. And honestly, nobody likes to go back to the product documentation ten times a day. 

Do you know what you could do to melt even more of their worries away? Provide training and onboarding sessions! Plus, dedicate certain support hours to your customers after they’ve bought their product. But…

That's right...

This could be your golden opportunity to cross-sell your onboarding and support services. You can put an additional price to adding onboarding sessions to your product stack and sell it as an add-on. This could be a great cross-sell for new customers who need help with the initial platform set-up. 

You could also bill them for support hours on an hourly basis. If you offer support hours for free, you can put a cap on them; for example, five support hours per month could be offered with the solution, and you can bill them for any more hours. This will help you increase the average order value and make more on the same deal.

Webinars and podcasts are the new buzz 

There are tonnes of them on the internet, but does anybody listens to them?

...but only if it's interesting enough for them. 

As of 2022, podcast listeners as a group have grown 29.5% in the last three years. Pretty cool, right? SaaS businesses are making great progress with podcasts by sharing valuable industry insights that business leaders and professionals can use. 

Again, if you’re offering something valuable, don’t just offer it. Cross-sell! 

Create a podcast or webinar subscription model for your business and grant exclusive access to those who subscribe. 

Bundle up your products to cross-sell

If you have a stack of products that solve various pain points of your potential customers, it could go two ways. You could either sell them separately or pitch a combination of them as a package with discounts. So, bundle your products accordingly and pitch away your bundles when you are on calls with your prospects. Who knows when you might hit the jackpot!

Reward loyalty 

Show your love to your loyal customers by showering them with offers

Loyal clients have stuck by you for so long and put their trust in you that it should not go unnoticed. Reward them for the same by providing points or giving exclusive discounts on related products and offers for customer loyalty.

One way to do this would be whenever they purchase from your store or website they get credited with certain points, which they can get in cash as a discount on their next purchase.

By focusing on the existing customers, you will not only increase the average order value but also increase customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value.

Use customer stories to pitch additional products

Sharing a successful case study never goes wrong. When you jump on sales calls with your prospects, keep some historical data ready with you. We’re talking about the ROI-impacting metrics of your existing/previous customers. Create case studies out of your existing customer journeys where you have sold additional products before, and share those with your clients. In such cases, nothing speaks better than numbers and revenue figures. Use conversation intelligence tools (like Wingman) to understand customer behavior so that you can anticipate when an existing customer might want to buy more products from you.

It also helps build product reliability as your prospects now know that product is being used by similar organizations and is greatly benefitting them.

Adding categories such as Amazon‘s Customers' also bought this section.

Don’t forget to follow up 

Routine calls and check-ins with your customers are more beneficial than you might think. Yeah, we’re talking about monetary benefits. 

Yeah, everybody needs a bite of that pie!

Checking in with your clients from time to time not only helps you maintain customer satisfaction with them but also helps you find the right opportunities to cross-sell as soon as the need crops up. Be their buddy that checks in frequently. If your customers can vent to you about their business problems, you will always have an insight into the customer needs and pain points, and so you will be able to recognize the right cross-selling opportunities for related products as deals just waiting to be closed.

Classic cross-selling examples 


Freshworks is a SaaS platform that provides simplified marketing, sales, support, and IT solutions. Freshworks cross-sells the add-ons like additional bot sessions and field service management on their checkout page by simply suggesting them to their customers without creating an urgent need to buy them. 

If you choose to use a similar cross-selling approach, try and be witty and creative with how you execute it. Freshworks’ checkout page says, “enhance your Freshdesk with add-ons” - which tempts their buyers to explore their plug-ins and add them to their shopping cart. 

Mobile Monkey

Mobile Monkey helps companies to scale the automation of both inbound and outbound sales outreach using a range of messaging services like web chat, SMS, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and email.

When Mobile Monkey wanted to promote its Instagram verification guide, it used the marketing strategy of putting together complementary items.  

They offered free access to their Instagram DM automation tools for a limited trial period to give their customers a taste of their super-useful tool. By the end of the trial, they could see a significant hike in their conversion rates as the customers extended their trial period to become full-time customers!  

Time to celebrate? Hell yeah!


The SaaS tech company is an all-in-one business platform that allows companies to create websites, landing pages, marketing automation, and more. With podcasts being the new buzz in the industry, Kajabi identified the golden opportunity to cross-sell them as a feature. They launched a new podcast platform for their customers where they can upload and launch their podcasts for everyone to view/listen to. This not only gives Kajabi’s customers a platform to launch their content but also gives them the right industry exposure. 

But how do you know what other related products your customer could use? Well, research always works, but data works the best! And the right data can do wonders!

Get the data you need to cross-sell, with Wingman 

If you know what worked in past to help you cross-sell, you can craft a method to recreate that successful moment. 

Ah, that sweet smell of victory.

With the right insights into your customers’ pain points and requirements, you can find the right time for cross-selling and increase your ROI and customer retention.

Wingman offers you those granular insights into your customers’ buying preferences to help create cross-selling strategies that work. Powered by AI, Wingman transcripts and bookmarks the pivotal points in your sales conversations. It helps you identify buying patterns in your customers’ behavior that makes them buy more of your products. 

Moreover, it helps you on call by providing live assistance and battle cards in real-time. This way, you can easily tackle sales objections, make your way out of tricky situations, and use the right value propositions when cross-selling your products. To get intelligent assistance with Wingman, book a demo with us today!

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