Managed services growth: 9 ways to upsell value to existing customers

By Shruti Ghatge, CEO at Zomentum

When Jeff Bezos touched outer space on his Blue Origin flight, the first thing he did after returning to earth was thank his loyal customers. Innovation, coupled with a plethora of service offerings, propelled Amazon from a bookselling platform to manufacturing suborbital space flights. But the story is incomplete without consumer reciprocity to Amazon’s evolving offerings. Now, you can buy almost anything you can think of on the platform, generating multifold returns for the company.

Taking a cue from the e-commerce giant, you can also realize exponential scale by expanding the scope of your solutions. Today, gaining new customers consumes much of your strategic initiatives. But retaining and attracting recurring revenue from your current base should be proactive. It helps identify opportunities, extend your services footprint, solidify client relationships, and increase revenue.

Touching new heights with existing partner relationships

To think growth, managed services providers must empower existing customers to drive predictable and repeatable success. Before strategizing on upselling or cross-selling opportunities, consider the following approaches:

  1. Create criteria to identify the right customers: Not everyone will need an upsell. To manage your time and resources wisely, outline the qualities that define a customer “in need.” Usage is a fundamental way to start looking into clients that might grow with your offering. These accounts with highly active users may be more interested in learning how you could bring them added value.
  2. Know what success means to your customers: Discuss how your offering will benefit your customers. Explore not only the immediate goals but also long-term plans. Know their priorities and customize your recommendations. Apart from building trust and genuine relations, you can match what your client wants to accomplish.
  3. Ask questions: Customers will eventually give you all the hints you need to understand what is working for them. It’s about asking the right questions. You will need to know their business growth to open dialogue that could lead to genuine upsell conversations. Become a customer advocate and put plans in place that help your customers achieve more by leveraging your services at scale.
  4. Keep a tab on stakeholders and introduce yourself to new ones: Different stakeholders can pop up with fresh demands depending on the journey from onboarding to renewal. Know the use case when new users sign up. Users from new departments indicate potential expansion. Further, users from a different unit in an existing department can bring upsell opportunities.
  5. Discover new use cases and show the flexibility of your solutions: Customer interests change. By providing evolving use cases, you show clients possible ways of leveraging your offerings. This way, you inspire them to take advantage of the industry’s best practices. Note they are not just purchasing a license access/service—they are also investing in you for your company’s expertise in the field.
  6. Look for patterns and bake upsells into your conversations: Study a few select customers in a particular sector and practice your upsell pitch. Then apply your learnings and tailor it to customers in other industries. Use the tools that can help you sell. Your pitch needs to live on in structured assessment reports, neatly formatted quarterly business reviews, and interactive quotes to present value comprehensively.
  7. Monitor your customers in the news: IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, strategic priorities, or geographic expansion news about your customers will indicate budget increases. They will also bring up new investment opportunities. Be aware of such interactions and pitch your offer accordingly. Always set a meeting to get in front of new personnel or to ask your key stakeholder about how these changes may impact business strategy.
  8. Timing is key: Approach your customers after completing a successful initiative or significant milestone with your product. Take the chance to ask your customer, what’s next? For that, you need to be transparent when relaying achieved milestones, so it becomes essential to set and track measurable goals for your customers’ existing service.
  9. Use social proof: Record the percentage of customers that use an add-on product in addition to the solution they have already purchased. Share these data points to strengthen your sales pitches. Also, as a business owner, you’ll always want to record testimonials and case studies. A firsthand experience from one customer to another can be powerful.

Refining profitability

Acquiring new customers is essential to your growth in the early stages of your business. Creating avenues for upselling at the right time can stimulate a cyclic revenue-generating process. So while you may not have all the data points of Bezos, if you engage in some of the tactics above, you’ll have what Amazon does—a deep understanding of your customers and a selling process centered around making purchases as easy as possible. Staying centered on the growth of your existing customers can create a rewarding revenue model for your MSP.

Interested to learn more about how to grow your MSP business through upselling and cross-selling to existing customers? Then join our Sales and Marketing Nerd, Stefanie Hammond, at her Boot Camp, “Selling Doesn’t Stop When the Contract is Signed” on September 14. Click here to register.


Shruti Ghatge is CEO at Zomentum. Zomentum’s Sales Acceleration Platform provides a friction-free upselling process for your clients with our interactive quotes. Click here to find out more Schedule a demo now


Zomentum is a member of the N-able MSP Technology Alliance Program (TAP). TAP is a growing group of trusted vendors we’ve teamed up with to offer a variety of third-party integrations and services to help MSPs better serve their customers. This blog is part of the TAP Blog Series through which we will provide you with relevant and interesting guest blog contributions from our TAP members.

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