Should CSMs Own Cross Selling?

By Jay Nathan
 / Published August 13, 2018

So, if your cross sell opportunities involve selling into a new group within an existing customer or against a competitor’s new logo sales executive, consider having an AE handle the opportunity.

I love Dave Kellog‘s analogy of “dead farmers.” The idea is that you never want a farmer selling against a hunter.

Farmers are typically those sales people who handle expansion sales – CSMs or Account Managers. Hunters are the new business sales folk responsible for bringing in new logos.

So, if your cross sell opportunities involve selling into a new group within an existing customer or against a competitor’s new logo sales executive, consider having an AE handle the opportunity. The CSM should be informed and supportive of the deal.

We have a client who has both upsell and cross sell opportunities within their existing customers. In their case, we decided to give CSMs the responsibility for selling product add-on modules to existing customers. New business reps maintain responsibility for cross selling new products into existing customers. CSMs identify and support cross sell opportunities, and both get credit for a closed cross sell opportunity.

This is one of many points that makes the question of “who owns revenue” more nuanced than one might expect for a B2B SaaS company.

About the Author

Jay’s focus at Customer Imperative is on developing the team to deliver highly impactful revenue growth and customer experience outcomes for world-class clients as a thought leader in the customer success industry. See full bio ›

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