What is Multi-threading Sales and Why do You Need to Start doing it?
Those who are aware of B2B sales and its tactics know it already that nine out of ten times, closing a deal requires more than one person.
It’s a series of consensus-based efforts, and as mentioned in The Challenge Customer by the co-author Brent Adamson, a B2B purchase requires direct involvement of as many as 6.8 customer stakeholders.
We all have heard about the concept of “multi-threading”. But very few know how to ace this approach.
To start with, let’s know what exactly is multi-threading sales.
What is Multi-threading sales?
Is the future of your most valuable business deals in the hands of just one or two key relationships?
Then it’s time to change it.
We all know the risk of employee turnover and role changes. We all know that a contact involved in the initial sales discussion may have zero role to play in the final buying decisions.
In such a case, multi-threading sales come to the rescue as it involves developing multiple relationships with multiple stakeholders in the buying organization. Directors to directors, VP to VP, GM to GM, and so on.
It is reported that multi-thread makes average bookings 88% higher and reduces the deal cycle by 14%. Yet, as suggested by a LinkedIn study, only 9% of the sales deal is multi-threaded which makes it clear that the full potential of this approach is yet to be understood and discovered.
Multi-threaded selling cancels the adverse effects and risks that organizations face when they follow the Single-threaded selling approach.
To identify which approach is the best, let’s do a proper comparison and see what works the best!
Multiple-Threading v/s Single -Threading – Who Wins?
Single-Threading involves the relationship between a buyer and a seller to be limited to one-on-one relationships where a single sales representative handles the entire deal single-handedly.
Advantages of Single-Threading Sales
● The simplicity of Single-Threading Sales is the biggest advantage of this approach. Not only is it less complicated, but it also proves to be more efficient as the involvement of a single salesperson over time helps in creating a one-on-one relationship with the customer.
● It helps in creating lasting relationships with customers that transforms them into powerful advocates. Customer advocates empower key colleagues in their organization by supporting new product solutions.
● As Single-Threading Sales involves a single contact to focus on per client per company, it saves the time as well as the efforts of the other salespeople and gives them a chance to add more customers to their client portfolio.
Disadvantages of Single-Threading Sales
While Single-Threading Sales creates a stronger relationship with a client, it also has its disadvantages that overpowers the benefits:
● Since single threading is entirely dependent on “one” champion, the entire deal can fall apart if he/she leaves. The renowned HR and talent management strategist Dr. John Sullivan suggests that almost 70% of people leave their jobs in the first two years of joining.
● The possibilities of job-jumping and turnover are extremely high, which makes Single-Threading Sales nothing but risky.
● Single-Threading Sales makes a company over-reliant on a single person to advocate solutions. This may shift the deserving attention of the other decision-makers.
As you already know what Multi-Threading Sales is, let’s now look at its benefits and downsides.
Advantages of Multi-Threading Sales
- It doesn’t matter if your champion leaves at any stage of the process, multi-threading sales ensure that there is always another contact at your disposal who knows the buyer well.
- The approach of Multi-Threading Sales makes it easier to recognize the right time of closing a sale as multiple contacts from all the departments are involved.
- This approach makes it compulsory for the sales team to become proactive with their sales efforts. It also makes sure that the company doesn’t miss out on an opportunity when the prospect is ready to buy.
Disadvantages of Multi-Threading Sales
Multi-Threading Sales can go wrong when not implemented properly. However, if you learn the correct ways to optimize your sales strategy with multi-thread, the benefits will be obvious.
Other than that, there’s hardly any cons to this new approach of selling.
So, now –
How to Optimize your sales strategy with multi-thread?
Step 1: Understand the priorities of your prospect organization
If you are not aware of the priorities of the individual you are talking to and what are the priorities of his organization, you are going to have a really difficult time reaching out to the other stakeholders.
It is really important to know what their priorities are and if the solution offered by you is solving the issues that are higher on the list.
Like, you are far more likely to close a deal if you are working on one of their top 10 priorities instead of the one that doesn’t even come in the top 50 of their list.
Understand the priorities of the individual you are talking to
Ask the individual you are talking to about what are their top two priorities in the current times.
Understand the priorities of the department
Once you know about the individual’s priorities for the day, ask them about what would be the top two priorities of their department.
Step 2: Know everything that you must know (and beyond!)
Knowing about the priorities of your prospect organization is not enough. Before you jump onto calling out on other stakeholders, you must know the entire essential details about the company you are going to pitch your offerings to.
Take your time and research the kind of work the company does, who are its competitors, and if any of their competitors include your existing customers. Also, be prepared with a list of stakeholders who should be involved.
Step 3: Call out on the other stakeholders
When you have thorough knowledge about the prospect’s priorities, it’s time for you to get into the tactics.
It’s not a secret that the “how-to” tactical items enjoy special attention from the sales reps. Use this information to your benefit if you want the VP to let you push to the manager.
To do that, you can start by providing them an insight into their priorities and asking them what they are doing to handle these items.
Now that you are aware of the people involved in the deal and also about the potential stakeholders, it’s time for you to drive conversations. Let your prospect know that both of your marketing and sales operations will get involved as they see value in different fields and ask them to include them while you are presenting the demo.
Step 4: Drive demo conversations to future meetings
Following the above-mentioned steps will lead the individual you are speaking to bring in some other stakeholders from their organization.
The next step would be to connect other people from your organization to the people from your organizations sharing the same status. Like, connecting the VP to the VP, the manager to the manager, and the Director to the Director.
While you are suggesting a separate conversation with their VP of marketing with your VP of marketing or your operations manager with their operations manager, make sure you justify the reason for it.
Step 5: Prepare your VPs for the conversation
Just connecting your VPs to the VPs of your prospect organization is not enough. You have to prepare your VPs to have a successful conversation with them.
To do that, make sure you deliver all the necessary information to your VP about the priorities of each individual of the prospect organization that you contacted. Not only that, it’s your work to make it certain that your VP engages in a follow-up call with the VP of the prospect organization.
In the end,
Remember, multi-threading does not mean all stakeholders in one room
It is a separate 1:1 demo conversation with key stakeholders!
Even if you think you can handle all the key stakeholders in one pitch, you CAN’T. Plus, that is not what we call “multi-threading”.
Accept that a VP is interested to talk to the other VP. Just because you were on a demo with the stakeholders, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t involve other VPs, Managers, and Directors of your organization.
The main target of Multi-threading is to set up separate 1:1 demo conversations with key holders and the champion should work towards achieving that.
If you are feeling confused with this information overload, don’t be afraid to contact B2B sales and marketing consulting firms. They will not only help you understand the process in detail but also help you adopt it in your organization.
If you also want to shift to multi-threading sales,
and we will do the rest for you!