Dear SaaStr: What are some best practices for selling a new product/service to your existing SaaS clients?

First, make sure your NPS is high.  And drive it even higher.

Here’s the bottom line: if your NPS is say > 40 or so, a significant portion of your customers love you. If your NPS is say > 60 or so, a ton of your customers love you.

Businesses are looking for solutions to their problems.

If a business’ very favorite vendor has another solution to another of their problems — they’ll want to take a look. You’ll actually be doing them a favor:

  • They’ll take the call.
  • They’ll attend the webinar.
  • They’ll read the email.

But if your NPS is low, they won’t.

So my #1 best practice is get your NPS up. Then, basically any approach will work. Call. Email. Blog. Tweet. Have customer success do a soft sell. Have sales do a hard sale. It will all work — to the segment of your customers that truly love you.

And if your NPS is low, segment it. And reach out not to the customers you think are happy — but the ones that have told you they are. The ones that say they’ll recommend you to others.

Second, be thoughtful about selling products to different stakeholders at your existing customers.

Almost every SaaS founder I know and who has spoken at SaaStr has said just now hard it is to sell into a new stakeholder as a customer.  If the CMO already buys from you, e.g., it’s a lot easier to sell her more products than to sell a CRO to whom you don’t have a relationship with a new product.  It can be done, but it takes a lot more time, money and energy.  It took HubSpot years to penetrate CRM/sales even after building deep relationships with marketers.

Spencer Skates, CEO of Amplitude, has a great deep dive here on that topic.  It was his #1 mistake going multi-product:

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