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What is Multi-Threading in Sales?


December 3rd, 2023

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The term “multi-threaded sales” has begun to gain more attention in recent years, particularly among enterprise and B2B sales teams. Why? 

Because purchasing decisions in the modern world are rarely made by a single individual. In most businesses, virtually every step forward in the sales process is defined by your ability to build consensus among multiple departments.

Developing relationships with various stakeholders isn’t just a way to accelerate the sales cycle, it can also be crucial to maintaining an “in” with your most crucial customers, as employees and executive boards evolve. Multi-threading in sales could be the key to unlocking new revenue opportunities, and increasing customer lifetime value. 

What is Multi-Threading in Sales?

So, what are multi-threaded sales? Sales multi-threading is a technique which involves connecting, and building relationships with multiple stakeholders within a company. It’s a method companies can use to increase B2B sales win rates, and close more deals. 

Instead of building a strong relationship with a single point of contact, you identify relevant stakeholders throughout the business. This allows you to build rapport with influencers, gatekeepers, and c-suite decision makers alike. 

The goal is to create a web of powerful relationships within your target company, boosting your chances of conversion success. 

Multi-Threading vs Single-Threading

To put the concept into context, let’s look at the difference between a single threaded sales process, and a multi-threaded sales process. With the traditional “single threaded” strategy, salespeople focus on building a crucial relationship with a champion, or stakeholder in a business. 

You focus on transforming that person into someone who guides the decisions of other stakeholders in the team. This method has its advantages, such as the ability to build stronger, longer-lasting bonds with champions who can become valuable advocates for your sales process. The strategy is also much simpler than trying to build relationships with various people.

Alternatively, multi-threaded sales require the development of relationships with multiple critical decision makers. It requires more effort, but helps companies avoid issues like losing access to advocacy if your champion leaves your target company.

The Importance of Multithreading in Sales

In the past, single-threaded sales were the norm. They allowed for a simpler sales process, and encouraged members of the sales team to hone their relationship-building skills with a focus on a single person. However, back then, closing deals was a lot easier too. 

Now, the average B2B deal is overseen by an average of 5.8 decision makers. The more complex or expensive a contract is, the higher the number of stakeholders involved. This means even if you have a great, long-lasting relationship with a single stakeholder, your chances of success dwindle.

The more connections you have to your target business, the better your chances of closing a deal. This is why the multi-threaded sales technique has become so popular. 

Not only does multi-threading in sales help you build consensus among decision-makers, it can also help you to:

  • Better understand your target company: Building relationships with multiple stakeholders gives you a deeper insight into pain points and needs. This means you can tailor your sales pitch more effectively. 
  • Maintain momentum: Around 1 in 5 decision makers resign from a business every year. If you only have a single point of contact in a business, you lose influence. Multi-threaded sales ensures you can continue to connect with a brand, even after a stakeholder leaves.
  • Speeds up purchasing cycles: A multi-threaded sales strategy can help to accelerate the sales cycle, by ensuring team members don’t have to wait around for other stakeholders to learn about a product or service, and decide whether to purchase.
  • Increased sales opportunities: One of the biggest benefits of multi-threaded sales is the opportunity to unlock more sales opportunities. By connecting with a number of stakeholders, sales teams can sell more products and services to each decision-maker, targeting their specific needs and pain points.
  • More advocates: A multi-threaded approach to sales can also give you access to more advocates and champions who can help refer you to additional customers in the future. If you build strong relationships with your contacts, they can contribute to extra revenue for you. 

Implementing Multithreading in Sales Strategy

Successfully implementing multi-threaded sales strategies into your business processes, you need a comprehensive strategy. Multi-threading doesn’t just mean interacting with as many stakeholders and decision makers as possible. 

It involves identifying the right stakeholders for your needs, learning as much as you can about their requirements, and tailoring your sales strategy accordingly.

Step 1: Identify crucial stakeholders

The first step in an effective multi-threaded sales strategy is identifying decision makers and key stakeholders within your target organization. Tools like LinkedIn can be excellent for this, offering insights into influential and authority figures that impact the decision-making process.

You can use tools like LinkedIn to research your client organization, and understand their decision making process. Plus, you can even reach out to stakeholders via LinkedIn, to begin your initial outreach and start building rapport. 

After identifying your stakeholders, you’ll need to prioritize your interactions with them based on their level of influence in the decision making process. 

Step 2: Build relationships

Relationship building is essential to an effective multi-threaded sales approach. You can’t just focus on connecting with a single stakeholder. Instead, you need to emotionally engage each decision maker you’ve identified. Tailor your communication and outreach approach to the unique pain points and priorities of each stakeholder you identify. 

Establish regular communication channels (based on your customer’s preferences), and follow up with regular conversations, in-person, over the phone, via email, and through social media. The more conversations you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to build trust and rapport. 

Use regular interactions not only to proactively address concerns or objections your stakeholders have, but also to establish trust, credibility, and expertise. Showcase your knowledge of the industry and focus on delivering clear value.

Step 3: Leverage Your Stakeholder Relationships

The third stage of the multi-threaded sales approach involves leveraging the relationships you’ve built with stakeholders to advance the process. This could involve identifying opportunities to cross-sell and upsell products and services, or introduce new stakeholders to the sales process. 

Sales teams also need to maximize their relationships with stakeholders to gather valuable information that can inform their strategy. The more insight you can gather into the target business, and potential stakeholder objects, the more you can customize your pitch.

Collecting feedback and data can give you a competitive advantage when it comes to actually pushing the sale of your product or solution, and closing deals.

Step 4: Collaborate with your Stakeholders

Just as its important to collaborate with your “champion” in a single-threaded sales strategy, it’s also important to collaborate with various stakeholders during a multi-threaded approach. Involving stakeholders and decision makers in every stage of the process ensures you can understand their needs, rapidly address concerns, and identify additional sale opportunities. 

To boost collaboration, you’ll need to establish clear and consistent lines of communication, and ensure your decision-makers are informed and engaged throughout the sales journey. Arrange regular meetings, check-in with your stakeholders, and ask regular questions.

Additionally, constantly request feedback and input from your stakeholders, to adapt your approach.

Step 5: Maintain Relationships with Decision Makers

Once you’ve established relationships with your decision makers, it’s important to maintain them. Nurturing relationships with your stakeholders is crucial to increasing customer loyalty and retention, as well as unlocking opportunities for future sales and business growth. 

To maintain stakeholder relationships, sales teams need to commit to regular communication with their contacts, and should focus on providing ongoing support or value. This could involve delivering a personalized onboarding experience, training services, or just access to news and insights.

Additionally, you should be willing to go the extra mile to ensure the satisfaction of your stakeholders after they purchase a product, addressing any concerns they have proactively. 

Unlocking the Power of Multi-Threaded Sales

Multi-threaded sales strategies are a powerful way for organizations to increase revenue, improve chances of success, and accelerate the sales cycle. By effectively identifying crucial stakeholders throughout your target business, and building relationships with them, you open the door for long-term growth. 

You can leverage these relationships to not only close more deals in record time, but also access new sales opportunities in the future. The key to success is ensuring you have the right strategy to build and maintain connections with critical decision makers. 

Learn more about the power of multi-threaded sales, with insights from the experts. Join the Hard Skill Exchange today for behind-the-scenes insights and training from industry leaders.

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