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Bottom-Up Selling

What is Bottom-Up Selling?

Bottom-up selling is a sales technique where a sales team invites multiple potential customers to try out their product or service and convince them to implement the product into their operational activities. This selling technique utilizes a one-to-many marketing strategy in which the salespeople target as many potential customers as possible to purchase, use and benefit from your product.

Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up: The Difference

The Top-Down Selling strategy is another sales approach in which a sales team targets company leaders and key decision-makers of a company to sell their products. In this sales process, the sales reps show the best-quality and highest-priced product to their potential clients. If the clients do not show any interest in the product offering, the sales rep will showcase another lower-level product. The sales rep continues to show even lower-priced versions of the product until the client exhibits an interest in the product.

Unlike the Top-Down Sales technique, the Bottom-Up Sales model targets individual customers that translates into smaller contracts with a more predictable sales revenue.

The Bottom-Up Sales technique works well for SaaS businesses, whereas the top-down approach is used by companies that have multiple versions of a product available for sale.‍

Benefits of Bottom-Up Selling:

Below are the benefits of the Bottom-Up Sales strategy:

  1. A broader scope of prospective clients
    If you make use of the bottom-up selling strategy, you do not have to personalize your sales pitch for a small group of people. You can pitch your product to as many clients as you want in multiple industrial domains and organizational hierarchies. This gives you the opportunity to improve your pitch after each marketing campaign.
  1. Possibility of Bottom-Up marketing
    The executive management of a company relies on its workforce to come up with innovative solutions for its problems. The decision-makers of a company are more inclined to the recommendations that come from their employees rather than a sales team. The marketing of your product can be achieved via word-of-mouth or referrals from the satisfied customer base.
  1. Ease of communication between the sales team and the prospective clients
    The sales team will not have to spend a lot of time explaining to the clients their pain points, available solutions, and your products. You simply invite them to use the freemium version of your product.
  1. Ease in the prediction of sales figures
    The bottom-up sales approach makes it easier to predict the sales figures of a company because the sales team can make use of conventional mass sales techniques that acquire a specific percentage of trades from every sales pitch.

Drawbacks of Bottom-Up Selling:

Below are the disadvantages of bottom-up sales efforts:

  1. Smaller deals
    The target audience of bottom-up selling is generally lower-level employees who do not possess a lot of decision-making power. These employees generally buy your product for themselves or their team rather than the company-wide adoption of your product.
  1. Higher risk of churn
    When the main point of contact (POC) leaves a company, there is a chance that the new replacement does not subscribe to your product. This risk of churn is high in the case of bottom-up selling.
  1. Longer sales cycle
    The sales team might have to get approval from the executive management team to make a sale. If your point of contact (POC) fails to communicate the features and functionalities of your product to the executive management efficiently, it might slow down the sales process and result in longer sales cycles.
  1. Less customization of sales pitch
    Unlike the top-down sales approach, where you target a few handpicked executives, it is difficult to have a high degree of customization and segmentation in the sales pitch and messages in the bottom-up sales model. This leads to a lower conversion rate of potential leads to customers.

When to use Bottom-Up Selling:

The Bottom-Up Sales approach is primarily compatible with companies that use the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Some examples of well-known SaaS companies that make use of the bottom-up approach are:

  • Dropbox - Online storage provider
  • Zoom - Video conferencing software provider
  • Slack - Business messaging service provider
  • Atlassian - IT software management solutions provider

These SaaS companies invite potential clients to use the trial version of their product offerings and then try to persuade them to subscribe to the product.

How to use Bottom-Up Selling:

Here are a few steps that a company can take to implement the Bottom-Up Selling model:

  1. Understand the customer
    The most important step to ensure the successful implementation of the bottom-up selling approach is to understand the pain points and needs of the customer. It helps the product development team to bring in new features that could be integrated into future versions of the product. It is also recommended for the sales team and marketing team put some effort into improving the customer journey.
  1. Use content marketing techniques
    The marketing team should plan a good content marketing strategy to ensure a successful bottom-up approach. Online content marketing can help a company pitch its products and services to a broader target audience as compared to other traditional marketing techniques. It can help you to improve the credibility of the product and company.


There are many sales approaches that a company can pursue to sell its products. You need to consider the pros and cons of each sales approach before you select one for your product.

Bottom-Up Selling is when the sales team target multiple prospective clients, invite them to use the trial version of the product, and persuade them to buy the product. This sales strategy is fit for SaaS businesses because their end users understand the value of the product. Unlike the top-down sales model, you do not target the executives of a company for bottom-up selling; instead, you try to target the lower-level employees of a company.