Measuring Upsell/Cross-sell Success: The Customer Expansion Model

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Do you know the impact marketing has on upsell/cross-sell business at your organization? Our recently arrived Vistaprint swag order nudged me to write about the importance of analyzing cross-sell and upsell business.

Vistaprint is a master of the cross-sell model for B2C. Heck, we purchased about 25% more marketing SWAG than we thought we would. Do you want that mug with your logo on it? Sure. Your order is almost complete—do you want to purchase additional notepads for 50%? Sure. I’m guessing Vistaprint has all kinds of metrics to analyze its B2C offers.

B2B is different. Cross-sell and upsell opportunities can happen months or years after the original deal. As marketers, we are all concerned with acquisition and funnel measurement—but how do we measure the success of future deals? This is especially troublesome since Marketing typically loses visibility once the deal happens.


 Customer Expansion Model

In most industries, existing customers are much easier to convert than new customers, but many marketing metrics focus on acquisition. The key for marketers is to shift some of those conversations to demonstrate how Marketing impacts existing customers.

A great place to start is to create a Customer Expansion Model to start providing hard numbers to management. The model will help your organization analyze how it sells to existing customers as well as tie marketing activities to those successes.

Sample Metrics: Marketing’s Impact

Digging a little deeper, here are some sample numbers you can get out of a Customer Engagement model. In the below example, company ABC is generating $400 million of upsell/cross-sell deals annually.

By tying Last Touch (or other similar field) to the opportunities, Marketing can take a seat at the customer retention table. If 300 of those Won have a Last Touch (Website, Webinar, etc) that is tied to Marketing, that’s $300 million worth of business that marketing is influencing.

  • 2,000          –   New Biz Won in 2013:
  • 800 (40%)  –  Upsell/Cross-sell Opptys Generated
  • 400 (50%)  –  Won
  • 300 (75%)  –  Marketing Influence:

The Customer Engagement Model: Where to Get Started

Starting simple, you can create three stages. If you are using Marketo, you would create this model in the Modeler.

  • Stage #1: Customers. This is the bucket that tracks Contacts in every new business Opportunity that becomes won. These people are all candidates for upsell/cross-sell.
  • Stage #2:  Renewal or Cross-sell. A #1 person hits this stage when the lead is added to a cross-sell or upsell Opportunity.
  • Stage #3: Expansion Won. When #2 becomes won, you’ve reached expansion success.


Note that all of above is simplified and there are many details to work through to customize the model for your organization. For example, if you are not using Last Touch, you’ll need to figure out another way to track success back to marketing. Whatever you decide, getting on the path to Customer Expansion measurement should be on your 2014 radar.


Josh Verrill

Services: Strategy, Assessment, Ongoing Services

“RevEngine Marketing has helped Dyn reach amazing results. Within 60 days, REM helped Dyn establish repeatable best practices to improve marketing efficiencies over 50%. That enabled our business owners to focus on the business, not on our system.
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