Cross-selling sales campaigns for CSMs

Molly Heslin
Molly Heslin Member Posts: 1 Navigator
Hi everyone - I'm a recent addition to the community and first time poster. Thanks for having me!

Our CSM team was launched in 2019, and we've recently doubled in staffing. In the past we've primarily focused on renewals and small upsells, but this year we have a much stronger initiative to cross-sell into different product lines. I've struggling understand where to start - I'd love to learn about repeatable processes/sequences we can implement to be most effective. Any suggestions?

We're smb SaaS, most sales take 4-6 months to close. 


  • Kati Hajjar
    Kati Hajjar Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    First Anniversary
    edited January 2022
    Hi Molly!

    We've also grown super fast here on our CSM team. There is huge pressure from the business to farm revenue opportunities--particularly cross-sells, so I feel the growing pains you are experiencing. We try to focus on communication first--making sure the CSM team understands why farming new opps is important to the business and the role they play in the relationship with the customer--e.g. how we are uniquely positioned as a trusted advisor to the customer which can make pitching a product demo an easier sell. It's so important to get buy in from the team to spend energy/time on this, especially if they will not be directly compensated/commissioned on the additional revenue generated. If that's the case in your org, I would consider other incentives like SPIFFS that can be good motivators.

    Next, product/services knowledge is KEY. People will not sell what they don't understand. We've invested a ton of enablement resources and time spent with our SMEs to ensure we are constantly training our CSMs on our products and solutions. It's an ongoing battle, but the investment is worth the returns. 

    I'd be happy to discuss how to refine from there. Here is my contact info if you'd like to connect: [email protected]

    Good luck!
  • Lukas Alexander
    Lukas Alexander Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited January 2022
    Hi @Molly Heslin, I did something similar in 2020 and it definitely was a learning curve for me as a leader but for our team as well. Here are a few things to keep in mind based on my experiences:

    1. Not all CSMs are good at or even interested in selling. I would not make this a mandatory target, but rather offer a type of incentive for leads that close-won. Remember, we can't grow if we don't retain, so it needs to be clear that retention is still the #1 priority
    2. To protect your CSM brand, I drove the message that CSMs are not sellers, but as our customer's advisor, our recommendations to customers on different products can be very impactful since we're positioning them as important to equating objectives to outcomes
    3. Clearly define the CSM "talk-track" when an opportunity is identified. If you have account managers, you probably don't want CSMs getting into pricing discussions
    4. Plan to train as early as possible on these different product lines. The last thing you want is for CSMs not to understand what they are recommending. Cision has a number of different product lines, so we had at least two months of product training

    I hope this helps!