This Upselling Process for SaaS Companies from Process Street has been designed to guide an account or customer success manager through the process of upgrading an existing customer to a premium tier pricing plan for a subscription SaaS product. 

The process is designed to be integrated with a subscription payment processing platform like Chargebee so that the completion of the process automatically changes the subscription status of the client. 

Upselling customers is one of the most valuable approaches a SaaS company has to both increasing revenue and increasing customer satisfaction. A successful upsell reveals new value to the customer and wins a greater extent of their growth. 

The Pacific Crest SaaS Survey provides us with 5 key stats about upselling in the SaaS ecosystem:

  • It’s 68% more expensive to acquire $1 from a new customer than it is to upsell current customers
  • For SaaS companies, the median cost of acquisition of $1 from a new customer is $1.18. The median cost of acquisition of $1 from an upsell is $0.28
  • It’s 9x more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain current ones
  • 70-95% of revenue comes from upsells and renewals. Only 5-30% come from the initial sale
  • The median SaaS company generates 16% of its revenue through upsells.

Ready to give it a go? Let's get started. 

First steps:

Record important details

Use the form fields provided to record important details. 

Send an email to gauge interest

The first step in the process is to reach out to the customer you have identified as being a good candidate for upselling. 

You can use the email widget below to make this initial contact. 

Record the customer's response

How did the customer respond to your email?

Record their answer in the form field below. 

Send an email to schedule the call

Your customer is willing to schedule a call sometime in the future to discuss their use of your product. That's a good start. 

Use the email template below to send them a follow-up email asking if they would like to schedule a call for some time in the coming weeks or months. 

Send a thank you email anyway

Unfortunately not the ideal response, but that's ok. They may be experiencing some difficulties within their organization or are simply too busy to discuss their usage of software tools at the moment. 

Regardless, it's important that you send them a thank you email anyway for getting back to you and to encourage scheduling a call at some point down the line. 

You can use the email template below. It includes a sentence at the end that is intended to capture their attention and potentially reconsider scheduling the call.

Phone call:

Prepare for the phone call

It is important to thoroughly research the company you are contacting. Understand as much as you can about their operations and usage of your product before the call. 

These are existing customers who enjoy your services; the chances of upgrading are high. 

Use the form fields below to record the date of the meeting, link or upload a file containing company info, and add your notes on where you have identified opportunities to upsell.

Begin conversation with a customer-centric approach

To upsell successfully to an existing customer, it is important to know their needs and their experience of your existing product. 

You can use the form fields below to attain answers to important questions relating to their business and their experience of your services. 

If you fail to upsell the customer, you still gather valuable data which can help drive your business forward. 

Counter objections with premium features capabilties

If your customer has mentioned that it would be nice to have more users on their team within the platform, you could explain that the next level of subscription would alleviate that problem. 

If there is a certain task which the customer does regularly which would be easier and simpler with the availability of the premium features, then explain those benefits. 

Use your rich product knowledge to explain how the next tier of pricing would work for them. 

Edit this task to include common objections you receive from customers

Important: As tempting as it may be to sign people up for expensive subscriptions, if they don't need it be honest with them. We can be successful in business without ripping people off. 

Ask the customer to upgrade and offer a deal

If you don't ask, you don't get. 

Ask the customer if they would like to upgrade to the next pricing plan.

Offer the customer your special offer deal for existing customers. Offer the deal whether they had already agreed to upgrade or not. This helps build trust and loyalty amongst your customers - crucial in the world of SaaS.

Use the form fields below to record your progress.

You can also tempt users to start bigger projects with an upgrade email full of rich information detailing the value of your premium features. Learn more about that here, along with other great tips on how to use tools like Zapier and Dropbox to upsell.

Record key takeaways from the call

Regardless of the customer's decision to upgrade or not, it's important that you record key takeaways from the conversation. 

Think about answering questions like:

  • Why/why not they decided to upgrade? 
  • Do they sound satisfied with your product and customer service?
  • How do you foresee the development of their product usage?

Final step:

Enter the details of the new deal

If the customer is going to upgrade, enter the details of the new deal here. 

You can integrate this step with a subscription payment platform like Chargebee through Zapier to automatically change the Plan ID for the customer. 

Send a follow up email to thank the client

Regardless of the outcome of this upselling attempt, it is important to thank the client for their feedback. 

If you don't upsell them today, you may still upsell them tomorrow. And they're still a paying customer. 

Use the email widget below to thank the customer for their time. 


Sign up for a FREE account and
search thousands of checklists in our library.

Sign up for a FREE account and search thousands of checklists in our library.