B2B sales can be pretty complicated. Modern businesses seek consensus from a wide array of employees before deciding on a solution. These days, the average B2B deal involves 6.8 stakeholders which means multi-threading is more important than ever.

Sales

What Is Multi-threading and How To Win With It?

B2B sales can be pretty complicated. Modern businesses seek consensus from a wide array of employees before deciding on a solution. These days, the average B2B deal involves 6.8 stakeholders and Gartner research suggests that number is up to 10 people for more complex products.

Sales is a relationship business. It can take time and careful nurturing to go from prospecting and cold outreach to closing a deal, especially for high-ticket items.

Multi-threading is a sales approach that recognises that the buying process has changed. Over the years, it’s become more collaborative and complicated. If you want to close big deals, you need to adapt.

What is multi-threading

Sales multi-threading is the process of engaging multiple stakeholders in a deal. It differs from the traditional single-thread approach that involves a one-to-one relationship between the SDR and a buyer.

Put simply, an average of 6 to 10 people decide on a B2B deal. You want to engage as many of these decision-makers as you can. Sales multi-threading involves your sales team building relationships with several people inside an organisation. This process should give you a better chance of closing each deal and even speed up your sales cycle.

Only having one point of contact (single-threaded sales) is a risk. Any prospect can leave, be promoted, or transfer to a different department, leaving your team back at square one with their replacement. Similarly, multi-threading offers other avenues if progress with one prospect slows down.

Single-threaded sales vs Multi-threaded sales

A single-threaded sales approach still has a place. A single SDR can concentrate on building a solid one-on-one relationship with a prospect. These relationships can be durable and long-lasting. 

However, a single relationship is vulnerable. The average annual turnover rate in the UK stands between 15% and 17%. That could be your SDR, your prospect, or both! Work it out, and there's a 22.5% to 29% chance that your deal breaks down during the year because of turnover alone.

Multi-threaded deals have far less chance of falling apart. If someone leaves, you've still got the other relationships.

Additionally, multi-threaded deals fit a modern B2B sales approach. Think about how deals happen when your business wants to buy a new product. It's rare that you turn up to the office and find out there's a new addition to your software stack. Things just don't work that way anymore.

Instead, multiple stakeholders are part of the process. Leaders ask employees for their thoughts on products or get them to test or demo several solutions. Then, all things being equal, the best one wins. Multi-threading is a type of sales that connects with and builds relationships with many different people at the organisation, not just the primary decision-maker.

Benefits of multi-threading

By now, you should be starting to see the potential of multi-threading. However, if you’re still on the fence, here are a few of its most significant benefits.

More deals

Finding an excellent prospect is exciting. Things get even better when you can track down the perfect decision maker. But how many times has your average SDR been in a position that looks great, only for it to fall apart for whatever reason? 

Multi-threading means your deal doesn’t hinge on a single contact. If someone gets too busy or their priorities change, you can still chase the deal with some of their colleagues.

It accelerates the sales cycle

Complex deals take a lot of time. Getting buy-in from a prospect can take weeks or months. Too often, your contact will be fully onboard with your solution but lack the authority to push the deal over the line.

We’ve all seen encouraging deals grind to a halt because your advocate inside the company has to run it up the chain of command. This situation can seriously extend the sales cycle because you have to keep selling to each new decision-maker in sequence.

With a multi-thread approach, you know exactly who you need to target. Instead of selling your solution one step at a time, you can target each decision-maker simultaneously and accelerate your sales cycle.

Richer analytics

Analytics is an essential aspect of the modern sales approach. Multi-threading allows you to build more connections and have more conversations. Additionally, each contact is with a different department, role, or team lead. 

If you have enough data, you can start identifying which roles respond best to your offer. You’ll better grasp their priorities too, and you can even begin to tailor your pitches with more precisions.

Whatsmore, if you or your sales team are talking to more stakeholders, you can get a better sense of their business. Having the right information, and understanding any obstacles up front, will help you adjust and adapt your approach.

OK, now you know what sales multi-threading is and why it's important. Let's look at how you can win with it.

How to win with multi-threading

Don't forget your old friends when you make new ones

Imagine this scenario. You're an SDR, and you've been using single-threaded sales. You've built a relationship with a contact, but now you want to pivot to a multi-threaded sales approach.

You do some prospecting and cold outreach and connect with a few other decision-makers in the same company. Maybe your initial contact assists you with some introductions. Suddenly, you've got a whole new set of people to speak to about your product or service.

While it's essential to put in the work to build these new relationships, don't forget about your initial contact. Keep them in the loop with how the deal is progressing and ensure they still feel involved. The alternative is appearing rude and ungrateful, which might actually harm the possibility of doing a deal.

Don't assume anything based on job titles

Remember we said that complex B2B deals could involve up to ten decision-makers? Well, these stakeholders could be spread all over the company. The challenge for any SDR is finding the key decision-makers.

Some organisations have a hierarchical power structure where the CEO controls everything. At the same time, other businesses spread the power of decision-making around. As systems and products have become more complex, the latter setup is far more common.

Good prospecting is all about great research. Let's say you sell a tax SaaS product. Yes, you could spend all your time trying to get in touch with the CEO. As a result, your cold outreach could involve dealing with their gatekeeping personal secretary. But is that the wisest investment of your time?

What happens if you do reach the CEO? There's a good chance they'll pass on any investigation and research on your product to their CTO, product manager, or even the relevant department head.

Most businesses delegate particular decisions to specific teams or individuals. These employees report to the person who signs the cheque, but they have a fair degree of autonomy, influence and trust. These are the people the CEO will listen to; similarly, these are the people you need to convince.

Another thing to consider is that many of the people responsible for choosing the tech a business uses don't even consider themselves buyers. Many people in the sales world refer to this cohort as anonymous buyers.

Anonymous buyers aren't as quick to give up their details, which makes prospecting more difficult. They can become leads, but first, you'll need to give them something. The good news is that they're actively searching for solutions, so excellent content marketing, demos, or easy-to-find information can all turn these users into leads.

Build relationships that span the breadth of the organisation

As we mentioned, if there are six to ten decision-markers on a complex B2B deal, then each critical prospect is distributed around the business. Obviously, the buck stops somewhere, and it's essential to be in contact with the key decision-maker.

However, multi-threading is about expanding your reach to others with a say in decision-making. 

There are lots of reasons why this is important. Let's say your product is pretty specialist. The potential of your product might only be evident to someone who works in a particular department.

If your solution proves beneficial for a particular team leader or department head, they can be the best people to speak to. Often, they have a direct line to the CEO, and they can advocate on your behalf. Of course, with a multi-threading approach, you want to ensure you have several different relationships.

So, when you are starting with a multi-thread approach, your prospecting has to be spot on. Identify all the key decision-makers in the business you are targeting. Then, attempt to build a relationship with all of them. Your cold outreach approach should use multiple channels, like emails, calls, and even social media.

If your prospecting efforts couldn't build out a solid organisational map of which team members influence buying decisions, you can ask your primary contact. You can do this subtly or by straight up asking for names of who decides what.

In some situations, your contact will give you the names of the other people you should speak to. In others, they'll be far more cagey. Either way, they should help you flesh out your list of prospects, which you can use for cold outreach.

Top tips for B2B multi-threading

You’re almost ready to get out there and start multi-threading. However, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this B2B sales approach.

Research is everything

If you’re doing any cold outreach, you’ll already know how important research is. But with multi-threading, it’s essential. There are many more people to contact, each of them having their own priorities. 

So put the work in to find out:

  • Who these people are
  • What their objectives are
  • Why would your product appeal to them
  • Why objections they might have

Get buy-in from your whole team

Sales multi-threading is about getting buy-in from several prospects in your buyer’s organisation. But you also need commitment from your own team. Some team members, like C-suite execs and VPs, want to have conversations with their equivalents. So make sure they’re comfortable with reaching out.

It won’t always be necessary, but it will boost your chances of converting some challenging prospects.

Prepare your team

One of the interesting things about multi-threading is that it could involve thrusting non-sales staff into a role outside their area of expertise. That can have advantages and disadvantages. 

Sure, your VP might not be the slickest salesperson; however, they will have authenticity and authority. These qualities can be persuasive, especially when paired with good preparation. So make sure you give them the correct information and solid answers to the sort of objections they might face.

Invest in tools that help you convert

The modern sales process has evolved alongside advances in technology. There is a range of different tools that allow you to keep track of each contact, like customer relationship management (CRM) tools. However, they’re so commonplace that they don’t offer a huge edge anymore.

When it comes to effective multi-threading, you need something a bit different. trumpet offers sales teams a way to centralise their sales cycle. It's an especially powerful tool when you have multiple points of contact in the same organisation.

Instead of sending out sales emails with a few dull attachments and hoping to stand out from the crowd, trumpet can build slick, professional-looking, personalised sales room pods that will wow your prospects. 

With the ability to add attachments and documents, host and schedule meetings, and deal with queries and objections from inside the pod, you can accelerate your sales cycle considerably. trumpet’s analytics tools can help you keep up to date with where each deal is and which prospects are most engaged.

Whatsmore, you can use trumpet for onboarding new users in the right way. This process can do wonders for user retention as your users ease into their early days with your product. 

If you want to unlock the power of multi-threading, trumpet can help elevate your outreach, get meetings, and close deals.

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