September 12, 2023

Bottom-Up Sales

Bottom-Up Sales Meaning?

Bottom-up sales is a B2B strategy based on building relationships with individual or small teams of intended end users of an application within an organization. The vendor reaches out and connects to these users through free trials, marketing campaigns, discounts and other incentives.

The end goal is to generate interest and obtain buy-in from tech-savvy end users and leverage this to get decision makers higher up in the company, sold on the product. The users become expert proponents and articulate the product’s value and impact on every day operations. In this sense, it is ‘bottom-up’ as opposed to the top-down technique where the vendor starts by wooing senior management and top decision makers.

The vendor communicates directly with users without the need to worry about advertisers, third parties and other ‘gatekeepers’ interfering with the customer journey. Even when they do eventually move to approach management, chances are decision makers are already aware of the product thanks to the internal advocates created. The vendor can typically close the sale quicker than the more drawn-out process characteristic of the top-down sales technique.

The bottom-up sales strategy is of great value to:

  • Start-ups as well as micro and small businesses that may not have the substantial resources needed to run a conventional marketing campaign targeting large enterprises.
  • Products with a large user base whose utility can be propagated by word of mouth.
  • Products that will be used by only part of the company’s staff.
  • Low cost products.

Key to the success of this method is the ability to create and present a product that users will want. It requires extensive analysis of user data and usage scenarios as a means of implementing a product that’s ready for users out-of-the-box.

Bottom-up and top-down strategies are not mutually exclusive. A company can adopt a hybrid approach that combines the two.

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