MarketSoft’s Cross-Sell Hub, an enterprise-wide business-process engine designed to connect opportunities with the line of business and channel best able to close the deal, targets a much sought-after niche. The lead-management tool links people, processes and data to help users sell more to current customers.
The technology — which automates the creation, delivery, tracking and measurement of cross-sell opportunities across all lines of business — allows organizations to use existing CRM systems.
MarketSoft formally introduced Cross-Sell Hub in June to serve the financial-services market, where the need for cross-selling is acute, said Mike Kozub, vice president and chief marketing officer. As financial-services companies expanded through acquisition, “cross-selling” became a common catchphrase, but it lacked teeth for many years because there was no way to handle it efficiently, Kozub told CRM Buyer Magazine.
Beyond Lip Service
Because industries like financial services face saturated markets, the only way to increase revenue is to sell more products to current customers.
“Financial-services companies are trying not to miss opportunities within different branches,” said Yankee Group’s Sheryl Kingstone, program manager, CRM strategies.
MarketSoft’s new offering aims to eliminate a major disconnect in financial-services organizations, which typically are made up of an array of diverse, independent business lines all competing for the same customers.
In the future, Cross-Sell Hub could help solve similar problems in other sectors, Kozub said. He sees future opportunities to improve cross-selling in the telecom, travel and leisure, and consumer-electronics arenas — all of which are characterized by multiple products sold through multiple silos to the same customer.
Making money should not be the only motivation to cross-sell, Kozub said. “Companies that do cross-selling just to raise revenue are not as effective as those who listen to customers to satisfy their next needs. This is the dream of CRM — treating every customer as an individual.”
The Cross-Sell Hub’s main components include the following:
Cross-Sell Hub is easy to configure and easy to link with existing systems, Kingstone said, but a major obstacle for MarketSoft is tough economic conditions. “Customers are trying to leverage their own internal sales initiatives instead of purchasing yet another IT solution to solve a niche problem,” she pointed out. “If customers choose to develop these capabilities internally, it could hurt MarketSoft.”
Kozub acknowledged that homegrown cross-sell products are MarketSoft’s biggest competitor. Although customers are enthusiastic about the potential for successful cross- selling, motivating companies to use MarketSoft’ technology is a challenge, he said.
The typical deployment starts at US$500,000, depending on the complexity of the companys business units and what it takes to tie them together, according to Kozub.