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When companies build demand generation programs, they often emphasize top-of-the-funnel, net-new lead creation. Marketers accordingly focus on developing their content marketing, automation, and analytics to improve inbound lead targeting with the hopes of generating a large quantity of high-quality Marketing-qualified leads.

But what about upselling to your existing customers? Marketers often miss that big opportunity within their existing accounts. In addition to maintaining a healthy level of account renewals, marketers must constantly evaluate the upsell/cross-sell opportunities in their customer base.

If successful and happy with your products and solutions, your current customers will be a consistent and more predictable portion of your revenue mix.

To start exploring revenue opportunities in your account base, you need a cross-functional team. Consider some of the stakeholders and internal advocates across the company in various departments who regularly interact with customers in various—in sales management, customer support, customer success, product marketing, finance, customer marketing, or communications.

Here are a couple of initial steps to take:

  1. Lunch meeting with stakeholders. Have a mini kickoff meeting with a group of 4-5 folks. Lead a discussion about the journey customers are taking from initial products to upsell. Brainstorm on ways the company could upsell more.
  2. Customer references. First, take inventory of case studies: How many have to do with upselling and could be used more widely across your customer base? You may need to revise or write a couple of case studies to cover your new products. Second, build a list of customers that you can reference, along with a short blurb on what products they use, in what area, pains the product solved, and the value that the customer received.

Now that you've got the initial team and marketing assets together, here are three ways that your marketing demand generation engine can get focused on existing accounts and increase revenue potential.

1. Use your account data and industry trends to develop a target account list

A good first step is to identify common characteristics across successful customer accounts and use those findings to build a profile of target accounts. Identifying those characteristics and mapping them to current accounts ensures that efforts aren't spent on the wrong organizations or wrong audience, and resources don't get spread too thin, thus leading to inconsistent results.

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image of Dan Ziman

Dan Ziman is CMO of LeanData, a provider of lead management software for account-based sales and marketing strategies.

LinkedIn: Dan Ziman

Twitter: @lostintheflog