In B2B sales, it's often assumed that success is a simple equation: build solid relationships, offer a robust product, and run with high-intent leads passed on by the marketing team. Chalk it up to product market fit, or enough of a fit to land deals with individuals who request demos or attend events.
In reality, sales teams reliably secure B2B deals not just by focusing on a single point of contact or lead, but by providing value and consultative support to multiple stakeholders within the buying organization.
This approach, known as multithreading, is a game-changer in the B2B sales landscape.
Multithreading in sales involves engaging with several decision-makers or influencers within a prospective client's organization. By doing so, sales teams can navigate the complex dynamics of B2B buying decisions more effectively, ensuring that they are not solely reliant on a single contact who may change roles, leave the company, or simply not have enough influence to drive the decision in their favor.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the concept of multithreading, its role in Account Based Marketing (ABM), and how it can enhance the 'reach' metric in ABM. (Read our comprehensive guide to ABM metrics for more on this.)
We will also discuss the cost and efficiency of outreach in a multithreaded approach. So, whether you're a seasoned sales professional or a B2B marketer looking to optimize your strategies, this article will provide valuable insights into the power of multithreading in B2B sales.
The Problem with Single Threading in Sales
What if I told you that single-threaded deals only had a 5% chance of closing in the opportunity stage? Surprising, isn't it? This statistic comes from a study by UserGems, which analyzed 500 closed won and closed lost opportunities using machine learning models to predict a deal’s likelihood of winning. The stark reality is that relying on a single-threaded sales approach significantly reduces your chances of closing a deal.
What is Single Threading in B2B Sales?
Single threading in sales refers to the approach where a salesperson builds a relationship with only one key contact or decision-maker within a prospective client's organization. While this method may seem efficient and straightforward, the data suggests that it carries significant risks that can hinder the sales process.
The Drawbacks of Single Threading in B2B Sales
Dependence on One Contact: The single-threaded approach places the entire sales process's success on one individual. If this contact changes roles, leaves the company, or loses influence, the sales opportunity can quickly evaporate. For instance, Becc Holland, CEO & Founder of Flip the Script, shares her experience as a sales development representative (SDR) where she painstakingly built rapport with a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at a significant account, only to have the CRO change jobs before the sale was finalized. This resulted in hours of prospecting going down the drain, not once but twice, as the second CRO also left before the deal could be closed.
Limited Reach and Influence: Single threading limits the salesperson's reach within the client's organization. With an average of 6-10 decision-makers involved in a typical B2B deal, according to Gartner, relying on a single contact can significantly reduce the salesperson's influence over the buying decision.
Risky and Unnecessary: Putting all your sales eggs in one basket is risky and unnecessary. If you're talking to one person in the buying organization and you hear a "no" once, the deal is probably dead. But if you're talking to multiple people, you could hear a "no" a few times and then hear a "yes", which you only need to hear once.
The same cohort of closed won deals were able to jump to a 30% chance of closing using multithreading. Let’s check out how this works below.
Understanding Multithreading in Sales
Multithreading in sales is a strategic approach where salespeople build relationships with multiple decision-makers or influencers within a prospective client's organization. Rather than relying on a single point of contact, multithreading allows sales teams to weave a network of relationships, ensuring they have multiple touchpoints and avenues of influence within the client organization.
The Benefits of Multithreading in Sales
Increased Chances of Closing Deals: As we've seen single-threaded B2B deals have a mere 5% chance of closing. By contrast, multithreading significantly increases the likelihood of closing a deal by diversifying the points of contact and influence within the client organization.
Mitigating Risks: Multithreading mitigates the risks associated with single threading. If one contact leaves the company or changes roles, the sales opportunity doesn't evaporate because there are other relationships in place to keep the deal moving forward.
Enhanced Influence and Reach: With multithreading, salespeople can reach and influence multiple decision-makers, thereby increasing their impact on the buying decision and providing optionality as to what types of deals could be signed. This is particularly important in B2B sales, where buying decisions often involve multiple stakeholders and the ability to “build a case” for a purchase internally. Moreover, 'reach' is a crucial metric in Account Based Marketing (ABM), and multithreading directly contributes to expanding this reach within target accounts.
The Role of Multithreading in B2B Sales
In the complex landscape of B2B sales, multithreading is not just a nice-to-have strategy; it's a necessity. With multiple decision-makers involved in each buying decision, sales teams need to engage with various stakeholders, understand their unique needs and concerns, and tailor their sales approach accordingly. Multithreading enables sales teams to do just that, making it a crucial strategy for success in B2B sales.
Why you should prethread before a demo call
Prethreading is the process of establishing multiple points of contact within a prospective client's organization before a key event, such as a demo call.
This strategy is crucial for several reasons. First, it ensures that you have multiple touchpoints within the organization, which is the whole idea behind multithreading in the first place. Second, it prevents the perception that you are trying to 'go around' or 'over' your initial contact within the organization.
The Benefits of Prethreading
Building Trust: By reaching out to multiple stakeholders before the demo call, you demonstrate respect for the organization's decision-making process. This can help build trust with your contacts and increase the likelihood of a successful demo call.
Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Demo Call: Prethreading allows you to tailor your demo call to the needs and concerns of multiple stakeholders. This can make the demo call more relevant and engaging, increasing the chances of a successful outcome.
Increasing Reach and Influence: Prethreading expands your reach within the client organization, allowing you to influence multiple decision-makers. This is particularly important in Account Based Marketing (ABM), where 'reach' is a crucial metric.
How Marketing Can Help With Prethreading
It’s hard enough to book one meeting with a qualified account, let alone stepping multiple related targets through pre-sales motions. This makes prethreading a fantastic target for effective marketing support in the close partnership required for ABM.
There are a variety of ways marketing can support prethreading so sales can focus on building existing relationships and have quality conversations:
- Targeted Outreach: Marketers conduct initial research and segmentation of target accounts and identify key decision-makers and influencers for sales to engage.
- Personalized Content Creation: Marketers craft personalized messages and content for each stakeholder, warming up these contacts for subsequent sales outreach.
- Sales Enablement: Marketers provide sales with personalized content and campaigns, equipping sales with the right messaging for each contact.
- Data Analysis and Insights: Marketers analyze data on target accounts to inform prethreading, helping sales identify influential stakeholders and understand their needs.
- Expanding Reach: Marketers execute multi-channel campaigns targeting multiple stakeholders, engaging them across various channels to warm them up for sales outreach.
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How many contacts per account is enough?
The answer here will entirely depend on the complexity of your product, how many viable uses across an organization you have, and how much your product costs. But in enterprise B2B sales that target a majority of an organization, the number of multithreaded contacts can reach above 10.
In fact, the same study we cited regarding close rates as low as 5% for singlethreaded deals, notes that your chances of closing a multithreaded deal peak at 14 engaged contacts within the buying org.
As ABM campaigns range from a small number of accounts (4-5) per sales member up through 10+, the level to which you’ll push multithreading is a noteworthy input to the account selection process. In short, 4-5 multithreaded accounts can involve building relationships with more contacts than 10 or even 20 singlethreaded accounts.
In conclusion, with the B2B purchasing process becoming less centralized and job changes at an all-time high, multithreading in sales is no longer just a helpful strategy - it's a necessity. Prethreading, supported by targeted marketing efforts, enhances this approach by diversifying points of contact within prospective client organizations.
However, the effectiveness of these strategies depends on the quality of your sales and marketing teams. That's where MarketerHire can help. We provide access to the top 2% of marketing freelancers who can optimize your B2B sales efforts.
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