The strategic priorities for many of the CEOs I work with are successfully launching new products/services, integrating mergers and acquisitions, and expanding their customer base. As a result, cross selling (e.g. selling add-on services, new lines, etc...) emerges as a hot topic.
I think that's misguided.
Because if there is a cross selling problem, then the real issue is that you have a selling problem. Many leaders are loath to admit this, but here's what I mean.
Selling when it is successful, is about understanding a potential client's circumstances and objectives, and matching what you offer in an effort to improve their situation. Solve a problem; enhance performance, and the like. This makes identifying opportunities for new offerings quite natural. When I investigate further, I invariably find that sales professionals are still in pitch mode. Telling, not selling. There isn't a cross selling problem. It's a selling problem.
That distinction is important because it informs how leaders address the issues of growth for their business and success of mergers. A selling problem isn't likely solved with some training-a response that rarely achieves its desired result.
This is a leadership issue. A leadership issue that requires a crystal clear strategy, a culture that supports collaboration with sales, and measuring leading indicators predictive of strong results in addition to revenue and profit.
The revenue growth of a business is a job for the senior leaders. What are you doing to ensure the right kind of growth for your company?
I've written an article about this titled Why Cross-Selling Efforts Fail if you have more interest in the topic.