Let's start with the good news: The scales of cross-selling are tilted in your favor. Your best B2B customers want to grow their relationship with you. And it is a good bet that you would love to sell them more. BUT this only works when your customers see an expanded relationship as a logical evolution with a brand they know and trust.
Is your portfolio creating confusion - and planting the seeds of doubt? At the heart of your brand (I hope!) is a compelling promise, supported by a robust portfolio of products and services designed to make this promise a reality.
Do your customers understand this portfolio: how it all fits together; how the expertise they know you for translates to other areas of the business; how your approach and perspective across all offerings make you uniquely suited to deliver on what they need?
If there is a gap in understanding, portfolio architecture may be a key culprit.
It could be a brand architecture issue: Too many organic or acquired brands in the mix has left the portfolio feeling disjointed, complicating the customer journey and failing to convey a simple, seamless experience.
It could be a nomenclature issue: If there is no common protocol and process for how product and services are named, hierarchies, compatibilities and interdependencies across the portfolio are unclear and confusing.
Too often, brands are created and perpetuated for internally-focused purposes: To build some internal cache or to "stand-out" among internal peers; to uphold promises made during an acquisition; to try to signal something new and different; etc. But what about the customer? What does the customer journey look like - and do the names and brands in your portfolio simplify that journey and mitigate perceptions of risk every step of the way?
Put your brand architecture to work and change your approach to cross-selling.
Brand architecture is a risk mitigation tool for your clients. If you have strong relationships with your clients, the hardest part is behind you. Now you need to build their confidence in other areas of your business. Where there is confusion, there are unknowns. Where there are unknowns, there are business risks.
The names and brands in your portfolio do not sit in silos. The more your sales teams and your customers understand and appreciate how your products and services are part of a greater whole, the more successful you will be at growing and evolving your customer relationships.
Is portfolio architecture standing in the way of your cross-selling success? We'd love to hear what you think.