The Art of Multi-Thread Engagement with B2B Buying Teams

The Team at Sona
Here's what we'll cover in this article

Imagine a world where 95% of your sales efforts vanish because you relied on just one contact within a prospective business. Sadly, that's the reality of single-threaded sales strategies, where deals have a mere 5% chance of closing. These outdated tactics leave you vulnerable to stalled deals, challenges in building trust, and frustratingly long sales cycles. But what if you could significantly increase your win rate simply by shifting your approach?

Introducing multi-threading: the strategic art of proactively building relationships with multiple stakeholders across the buying committee. This approach dramatically improves your chances of success – boosting win rates to 30%! It also accelerates the sales cycle, fosters stronger consensus among decision-makers, and provides invaluable insights into their unique needs.

Bar graph shows significantly higher close rates for multi-threaded deals (50%) compared to single-threaded deals (30%)

In this blog, we’ll guide you through the core components of multi-threading. We'll cover stakeholder mapping, personalized outreach, and powerful tools to streamline your process. We also provide a concise step-by-step guide to help sales teams effectively implement multi-threading techniques to transform your sales process and close more deals faster!

Transform your B2B Sales Process with Multi-Threading

A large assortment of pixel-art avatars representing a diverse array of individuals, symbolizing the vast and varied network of contacts in a B2B multi-threading sales environment. Each avatar is unique, denoting the personalized approach needed to engage with different stakeholders within a complex business landscape.

A LinkedIn study revealed a startling truth: only 9% of sales deals are multi-threaded. This means the vast majority of B2B sales teams are still relying on outdated tactics, leaving a huge potential for improved results untapped!

Imagine you're a salesperson focused on closing deals with marketing agencies. Traditionally, you might target the Marketing Director as your main point of contact. But what if that Director leaves the company right when you finalize the proposal? Months of effort could be wasted!

Multi-threading flips the script. By strategically building relationships with multiple stakeholders – like the Marketing Director, a Graphic Designer, and the Web Content Manager – you gain a deeper understanding of the agency's needs and create a network of advocates within the buying committee. When one person leaves, your connections with others ensure the deal stays on track.

The Breakdown: Why Single-Threaded Approaches Fail

Modern B2B environments are complex, involving buying committeesrs that, according to Gartner, range from 5-11 stakeholders across various departments. This complexity exacerbates the risks associated with a traditional single-threaded approach. Relying on a single point of contact leaves your deals dangerously vulnerable. Here's why.

  • Employee Turnover: As previously mentioned, focusing on a single person in the buying team as a contact significantly increases the risk of deal disruption from employee turnover. A recent LinkedIn reported that 81% of sellers experienced lost or stalled deals in the previous year due to a key stakeholder leaving the company. Furthermore, the risk isn't limited to the purchasing side alone; sales reps experience an average turnover rate of around 34% across industries.
  • Limited Insight: A narrow focus on one person obscures the organization's broader needs, reducing your solution's perceived fit.
  • Late-stage Objections: Unengaged stakeholders surfacing late in the process can derail hard-won negotiations with unforeseen concerns.

The takeaway is clear: single-threaded sales strategies are inherently risky and inefficient in today's B2B landscape.

Multi-Threading: Your Key to B2B Success

Multi-threading solves the problems laid out above by engaging multiple stakeholders, diversifying points of contact and mitigating risks. This strategic approach transforms your sales process with tangible benefits:

  • Accelerating the Sales Process: Streamline communication, quickly resolve issues, and tailor proposals with speed, shortening deal cycle lengths by up to 10%.
  • Mitigating Risk: Reduce vulnerability to employee turnover and disruptions by diversifying your points of contact.
  • Unveiling the True Need: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the organization's priorities and pain points.
  • Building Consensus and Stronger Buy-In: When multiple stakeholders feel heard, securing buy-in and ensuring smoother adoption becomes significantly easier – leading to a 42% increase in win rates.
  • Gaining a Competitive Advantage: By adopting multi-threading tactics, you position yourself to seize the untapped potential that a staggering amount of your competitors, according to the study discussed above, are still missing.

With a clear understanding of the power of multi-threading, let’s explore the tools and strategies necessary to identify key stakeholders and effectively navigate their relationships in the next section.

Mapping the Buying Team for Multi-Threaded Sales Success

Infographic titled 'Mapping the Buying Team for Multi-Threaded Sales Success.' Circles represent key stakeholders in a B2B buying team: Decision-Maker (CEO), Influencer (Manager), and Gatekeeper (Assistant). Lines illustrate connections and how information flows between them."

Understanding the inner workings of the B2B buying committee is the key to closing more deals – faster. By mapping and understanding the buying team, you'll gain insights to navigate complex relationships and target your outreach for maximum impact.

Identifying Key Stakeholders: Build Your Multi-Thread Foundation

Your first step in effective multi-threading is identifying everyone involved in the decision-making process. Focus on these crucial roles:

  • Decision-Makers: Typically hold titles like CEO, CFO, CTO, or Department Heads. These are the individuals with the final say in the buying process. Uncover their strategic goals and demonstrate how your solution aligns with their business objectives.
  • Influencers: Often include Managers, Senior Engineers, or other subject matter experts who heavily influence the decision. These stakeholders might not have the final say but are critical in shaping the perception of your solution. Understand their pain points and tailor your messaging to show how your product addresses specific challenges they face.
  • Gatekeepers: Often in roles like Executive Assistants or Office Managers, these individuals control access to key decision-makers. Building relationships with gatekeepers is vital for navigating the sales process effectively. They can provide insights into the best ways and times to reach the various decision-makers and any ongoing internal considerations.

Going Beyond Digital: Offline Interactions Expand Your Reach

Don't limit your stakeholder mapping to digital research alone! Offline interactions at conferences, industry events, or trade shows can uncover hidden stakeholders and provide valuable insights into the buying committee's dynamics. Strike up conversations, ask insightful questions, and exchange business cards – these connections can significantly enhance your multi-threading efforts. 

For a deeper understanding of maximizing ROI from such offline activities, explore our Essential Guide to Offline Attribution: Maximizing ROI Through Offline Channels.

Visualize Success: The Power of a Stakeholder Map

Once the buying committee members are identified, the next step is to visually map these relationships. This map will illustrate:

  • Who's Who: Clearly see every player in the buying committee, their roles, and how they interact with others within the organization.
  • Relationships & Influence: Understand how decisions are made and who the most influential stakeholders are within the committee.
  • Potential Bottlenecks: Identify areas where the process may stall, allowing you to proactively address these challenges and streamline the sales cycle.

Benefits of Stakeholder Mapping

A well-constructed stakeholder map gives your sales team significant advantages:

  • Strategic Targeting: Tailor your communication to resonate with each stakeholder's unique priorities, dramatically increasing the impact of your messages.
  • Efficient Resource Allocation: Know who to engage with and when to maximize your sales team's time and effort, ensuring that resources are spent on the most impactful activities.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: A stakeholder map provides a shared understanding for your sales team, ensuring everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals.

Personalization for B2B Sales Success: Crafting Messages that Resonate

An illustrated diagram depicting a network of six diverse individuals connected by lines, symbolizing a multi-threaded approach in B2B sales. Each person is encircled in blue, highlighting their integral role in the network, and reflecting the interconnectedness essential for personalized sales strategies that resonate across various stakeholders in a company

Move beyond generic sales pitches that get lost in the noise and win over the B2B buying committee with personalization. Tailored messaging builds trust, addresses individual pain points, and positions your solution as the perfect fit for their needs. This laser-focused approach delivers tangible results – McKinsey & Company found that 76% of consumers said receiving personalized communications was a critical factor in prompting their brand consideration, with 78% more likely to repurchase.

No One-Size-Fits-All: Understanding Unique Stakeholder Needs

In B2B sales, a one-size-fits-all approach falls flat. Effectively engaging with the buying committee requires an understanding of the distinct priorities of each key player:

  • Decision-Makers: Focus on the strategic impact of your solution. Highlight ROI, scalability, and how it aligns with their long-term business goals.
  • Influencers: Provide detailed technical information, emphasizing features, compatibility, and how your solution solves their specific pain points.
  • Gatekeepers: Prioritize clear, concise messaging about usability, ease of integration, and the support you offer.

Strategic Messaging for Each Stakeholder

The table below illustrates how tailored communications significantly enhance engagement compared to generic messaging strategies:

Table titled ‘Tailored Messaging Strategies for Stakeholders’ shows messaging strategies for different stakeholder groups. Columns include ‘Stakeholder’, ‘Generic Messaging’, and ‘Personalized Messaging’. Examples include ‘Decision Maker (CEO)’ with generic messaging of ‘Increase efficiency’ and personalized messaging of ‘Accelerate growth by X% and gain a competitive edge’.

By tailoring your messaging to address each stakeholder's unique priorities, you demonstrate that you understand their needs and position your solution as the ideal fit.

While crafting personalized messages is crucial, the complexity and scale of modern B2B environments often demand advanced technological support to track and analyze these personalized engagements effectively. The following section will delve into advanced techniques for uncovering hidden influences and using technology to optimize your multi-threading strategy.

Unlocking Hidden Dynamics with Intent Data & Identity Resolution

A spiderweb graphic illustrating the complexity of B2B sales and the need for intent data and identity resolution tools to untangle hidden stakeholders.

Traditional sales strategies often rely on building a one-on-one relationship with a single stakeholder. However, in complex B2B environments, multiple decision-makers are involved. Intent data and identity resolution (often referred to as account identification) empower you to see beyond the obvious, transforming your multi-threading outreach.

  • Intent Data: Analyze website activity and content engagement to identify multiple people within the target company who show interest in your solution – expanding your reach beyond the single thread.
  • Identity Resolution: Connect anonymous online behaviors to specific individuals with decision-making influence. This allows you to create relationships with the right decision-makers and personalize your sales approach effectively. For a deep dive into identity resolution, check out our blog: The Essential Guide to Account Identification: Turn Your Website into a Goldmine.

With these tools, you gain an unprecedented view into the buying committee. No longer are you limited to single-threaded engagement – you can strategically target and build relationships with the right decision-makers, driving faster, more successful deals.

Want to master the art of sales multithreading? Our next blog will share in-depth strategies for using intent data and identity resolution to streamline your sales process. You'll learn how to target multiple stakeholders, personalize your outreach, and move the deal forward with buy-in from across the buying organization. Stay tuned!

5 Steps to Master Multi-Threading and Win More Deals

Now that we've covered the essential concepts, it's time to put your knowledge into practice! Here's your step-by-step guide to mastering the multi-threaded sales approach to transform complex deal cycles into closed deals.

Step 1: Research and Map Out Stakeholders

Start by thoroughly researching the target company to identify all decision-makers, influencers, and gatekeepers within the buying committee. Utilize resources like LinkedIn, company websites, and industry news to understand their roles, priorities, and how they are interconnected.

Step 2: Personalize Your Messaging for Each Stakeholder

Tailor your outreach to address each stakeholder's specific needs and priorities directly. This demonstrates a deep understanding of their role and how your solution can benefit them.

Multi-Threading in Action: A Personalization Example

Let's say your solution offers workflow automation software. Here's how you could personalize your messaging:

  • For a Decision-Maker (CEO): "Our software has helped companies like [similar company] increase efficiency by 25% and reduce operating costs. Schedule a demo to see how it can boost your bottom line."
  • For an Influencer (IT Manager): "Our software's seamless integration with [their existing tech stack] minimizes disruption. Want a quick demo to see how it works?"
  • For a Gatekeeper (Executive Assistant): "Could you help me schedule a brief introductory call with [Decision-Maker] to discuss streamlining their workflows? Here's some quick info on our solution's potential time and cost savings."

Step 3: Coordinate and Facilitate Stakeholder Outreach and Meetings

Coordinate your outreach efforts so that multiple threads are executed concurrently – a hallmark of the multi-threaded sales approach. Proactively facilitate meetings with several stakeholders to maximize efficiency, prevent miscommunication, and build consensus faster.

Multi-Threading in Action: Coordinating for Success

Here's how this coordination might work in a real-world scenario. Imagine your sales reps learn the IT Manager has compatibility concerns and that the CEO is focused on ROI. Here's how coordination helps:

  • Coordinated Outreach: Send the IT Manager detailed technical specs while providing the CEO with a case study highlighting cost savings.
  • Multi-Stakeholder Meeting: Organize a meeting where the IT Manager can address compatibility directly and the CEO can see how those technical aspects translate into bottom-line benefits.

Key Takeaway: This example shows how proactive coordination resolves potential roadblocks and facilitates a smoother path to consensus within the buying team.

Step 4: Actively Monitor Feedback and Adapt

Building trust within the buying committee requires continuous tracking of stakeholder engagement and the ability to adapt your strategy in response to their feedback.

Multi-Threading in Action: Proactively Addressing Objections

Imagine an identify resolution tool like Sona Identification reveals that a key decision-maker, previously enthusiastic, shows decreasing engagement with your website. Real-time alerts allow for swift action:

  • Identify the source: Analyze their recent interactions. Did they express hesitation about pricing in a meeting, or focus on a competitor's feature comparison on your website?
  • Engage and explore: Reach out to understand the shift in sentiment. Acknowledge their concerns and be prepared to address any specific objections.
  • Offer alternatives: If pricing is an issue, explore flexible plans or highlight ROI-based value. If features are the sticking point, emphasize your product's strengths.

Key Takeaway: Delaying these interventions could lead to a stalled deal. Real-time monitoring and proactive response enable you to address potential objections early, keeping the deal on track and demonstrating your genuine commitment to their success.

Step 5: Leverage Real-Time Insights for Maximum Impact

Utilize tools like Sona Identification, which provides real-time insights into stakeholder behavior directly within your CRM and messaging systems, ensuring your outreach is always timely, relevant, and primed for maximum impact throughout every step of the multi-threading process.

Conclusion: The Time for Multi-Threading is Now

Modern B2B sales teams face significant challenges, from navigating customer job changes to addressing the needs of multiple buyers. The concept of multi-threading—engaging multiple individuals across different departments within a complex buying team—has shown to be transformative. By moving beyond single threading, where only one salesperson interacts with a single person on the buyer's end, a sales rep can develop multiple relationships concurrently, increasing the likelihood of closing bigger deals.

Understanding the key players, employing intent signal-based insights, and tailoring your communications are essential components of a successful multi-threading strategy.

Ready to take your multi-threading skills to the next level? Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we'll cover advanced multi-threading tactics and the technologies that will put you ahead of the game!

Sona: Your Partner in Mastering Multi-Threading

Unlock the full potential of multi-threading with the Sona Growth Platform, designed to streamline B2B sales. Enhance your ability to build relationships, handle objections, and navigate complex negotiations with multiple decision-makers. Sona Identification empowers you to understand the hidden networks within your target accounts, while Sona Attribution provides insights to aid your multi-channel approach to engage the buying team. 

Ready to outpace your competition and accelerate sales? Contact us today and see how Sona can transform your multi-threading success!

Talk to a Revenue Growth Expert

Schedule a FREE call to see how Sona can help you to grow your revenue and transform your business.