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SaaS upselling
11 min read

Ultimate guide to SaaS upselling

Ultimate guide to SaaS Product upselling

Would you like to have some fries with your Burger?” This is the most common dialogue you’d have heard from a McDonald’s cashier. The McD cashier just tried to upsell their signature fries with your original order of a burger because come on, we all know how well fries go with a juicy luscious burger. Now, that my friend is a classic example of upselling. This blog post is all about upselling your SaaS product in the best way possible.

SaaS upselling is the technique of making your customer purchase something of higher value than he/she originally had planned to buy. As easy as that might sound, in practice, it is quite a tactical move and needs good amount of analysis and well-planned strategies to successfully achieve the goal. Research shows that it is easier to upsell your product to an existing customer than a new one.

How to upsell your SaaS product? 

Here are a few SaaS upselling strategies that you can apply to upsell to your customers.

  1. Ensure that your upsell is relevant to the original purchase of your customer
  2. Check if your pricing is appropriate
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Focus on upselling benefits and advantages rather than features
  5. Listen to your customers
  6. Your upsell should be at the right time and right place
  7. Add a personal touch to your upsell
  8. Let your SaaS product upsell itself
  9. Introduce user-generated content

The above example of McDonald’s is very apt to understand this point. Fries go really well with a burger and that fact has been exploited here to allure the customer to make a higher purchase. Similarly, you cannot force your customers to buy what they don’t need. You’ve got to entice them with an irresistible offer to ensure that they get tempted to make that additional purchase. Here are a few instances -

  • With a smartphone, sell a compatible cover
  • With your software, sell premium support feature
  • With a car, sell insurance

The above techniques may be too obvious but also too hard to resist. And that’s the point. Create a need for your upsell in the minds of your customers and you’re sute to succeed.

Identify the economic strata of your customers. Are they rich enough to afford your expensive upsell or will they decline it because of its high price? If they are rich and can afford your upsell, then go ahead and continue selling your products to them. If not, then down sell your product by offering easy payment options like monthly installments etc. It’s always easier to pay small amounts rather than a huge chunk at once. If your product is really good and the need of the hour, then you have nothing to worry about.

Make things easier for your customers. Never try to upsell multiple products at once. Offer the most appropriate products one at a time. Do not bombard your customers with too many pop-ups and offers to confuse them further. Additionally, get into the shoes of your customers and figure out easy ways to upsell your products. For example, allow your customers to make their first purchase before trying to upsell another product to them. If you’ve ever visited GoDaddy.com and tried purchasing a domain there, you’ll realize that they try to upsell add-ons at the checkout page itself. Little do they realize that it confuses the customer further rather than make things easy for them. Ensure that you keep your tactics minimal and simple.

List down the benefits that your customers will have if they purchase your SaaS product along with the add-on that you’re upselling. Do not simply mention the features that your upsell exhibits. Take Company XYZ for example. Company XYZ made it really easy for its customers to understand why they need the support feature additionally with the original product. Here’s why -

“Support service at your finger-tips. Wherever you go, whenever you need it, our team will be with you to assist you with your work and make each penny count till end. Tally-Ho!”

These words did not mention much about the features of the support add-on, but mentioned why the customer would need it. This smart move was indeed resourceful for Company XYZ.

Create short surveys that your customers can easily take. This will provide valuable insights about what your customers feel about the product that you are selling along with additional functionalities that they’d like to have to improvise the usability of your product. This way, you could figure out from your customers what to upsell and how to do it.

Hubspot is the most classic example in this case. Have you ever been asked an irrelevant question by Hubspot, if you’re on their mailing list? Never! Well, that’s one of their specialities. They try to personalize their upsells by tracking the history of each customer and offering them something different and useful each time. For this, you need to maintain a customer cycle and customize your upsells based on different actions taken by your customers. This may be complicated to execute, but if it’s done right, then you’ve conquered the space.

It’s always nice to personalize your upsells to customers. In this mechanical world, where everything is automated and machine-generated, it is a welcome feeling to see some personal touch. Try using first names or past searches of customers to try and upsell your products. It will definitely add brownie points for you. “Try our new shampoo” sounds too dull as compared to “Hey Tom, try our new shampoo to look dapper for your next meeting!”

Have you heard of Dropbox? It’s a cloud storage software that lets you store and share content online. Its functions and features are very simple and self-explanatory. It works on a self-upsell model wherein each user is provided with a minimum amount of free storage. Once that gets used up, you’ve got to upgrade to a higher version. This model is inevitable as you definitely need the additional storage space after some point in time. Identify the correct limit for your product and offer upgrades to your customers at the right time. If your product is great, then your customers will certainly opt for it.

Another effective way to make your upsell is to instill trust in your customers about your product. How do you do that? Introduce customer reviews, testimonials and ratings to make it easier for new customers to trust in you and make that purchase. A business like Amazon works on ratings and reviews where you make an online purchase of small and big items based on user comments and experiences. Try to incorporate useful experiences of people who have used your product and exhibit them to your future customers.

These are a few upsell strategies that you could employ to upsell your SaaS product. The secret behind a successful startup is to always give your customers more than what they expect (pun intended) Happy Upselling!