Blog > Channel Incentives

How to increase cross-sell and up-sell

Written by Evanthia
What behaviors should manufacturers be incentivizing from their channel partners? 3

Fielo recently partnered with The University of California Berkeley Business School to conduct in depth research into the B2B market. Five business specialists devoted months to investigating, researching, interviewing, data crunching and statistical analysis.

After extensive research and interaction with B2B professionals, they found that two of the most fundamental behaviors that vendors want to incentivize (and struggle with) are:

  • Getting partners to promote their products over competitors’
  • Getting partners to push new products

Achieving these goals via cross selling and up selling


  • Upselling and cross- selling are the cousins of selling. Upselling is pushing another, often more expensive, version of the product that the customer already owns or is buying. Upselling accounts for the snazzy new fridge/freezer we bought when we already had a perfectly functioning version of each.
  • Cross- selling is selling products that are related to the one the customer already owns. It’s the nutri-bullet tagged on to the fridge purchase.
  • Bundling is cross-sell and up-sell’s nephew – it’s the package deal drawn-up by the supplier to make your life easier, the full set of garden furniture you bought instead of the table and chairs you came in for.

Amazon reported that cross-selling and up-selling made up 35% of their revenue and, according to Forrester, product recommendations are responsible for an average of 10-30% of eCommerce site revenue.

Higher levels of cross-selling and up-selling are the solution to most manufacturing companies’ pain points. The good news is that engagement software is perfectly tailored to enable you to drive and incentivize these behaviors from your channel partner base.

All of the facets of channel partner engagement software can be used for that exact purpose:

  • Rewards
  • Competition and gamification
  • Public Recognition
  • Tier systems & incremental progress
  • Self-improvement

Engagement marketing software helps suppliers sell products using simple incentive mechanics, where partners are publicly recognized and rewarded for up, cross or bundle selling products that vendors particularly want to flog at any given time. Points can be allocated based on purchase revenue or the sale of specific products, all of which can be redeemed for tailored rewards.

The system is win, win – you get to increase sales and deal size, while partner satisfaction and skills increase. Even customers get a slice of the pie, gaining extra products at a reduced cost. Tiered membership systems also mean you can keep track of your top sellers, and reward them for their top class game, keeping them motivated and increasing engagement from the most lucrative band of partners in your ecosystem.

Engagement programs also bring elements of competition and game mechanics into the equation, playing on participants’ enjoyment of light-hearted rivalries, missions, objectives, and childlike pleasure. This drives channel partners to engage more towards predetermined cross, up and bundle selling objectives.