Bottom-up Selling

A bottom-up sales strategy is a go-to-market approach in which a salesperson focuses on building relationships at the individual or department level, rather than targeting high-level decision makers. This approach is often used in B2B selling, particularly in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), where are multiple users and influencers are involved in the buying process.

Bottoms-up selling typically involves a longer sales cycle, but can be effective in building a strong and dedicated customer base. Furthermore, the many relationships and touch points allow for products to become “stickier” within an organization; such products & services are less prone to customer churn.

The bottom-up approach to sales often begins by identifying and prospecting to individual users or groups at a department level. Once these smaller groups are using the product or service, they can act as advocates and help drive adoption within the larger organization.

Famous examples of successful bottom-up GTM strategies include:

  • Figma
  • Okta
  • Calendly
  • Zoom
  • Slack

Bottom-Up Selling FAQs

What is bottom-up selling? 

Bottom-up selling is a go-to-market approach that targets lower-level or individual decision-makers within an organization, such as department managers, to gain buy-in and build momentum upwards.

What are the advantages of bottom-up selling? 

Faster sales cycles, overcoming organizational bureaucracy, capturing grassroots support for products or initiatives, and expanding influence within customer organizations are all potential advantages of bottom-up selling. 

Are there any disadvantages to bottom-up selling? 

The primary drawback of the bottom-up selling approach is the high amount of time that’s required on planning and coordinating it without the guarantee of ever moving up.