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What is Sales Multithreading and how does it help you to counter the “Great Reshuffle”?

7 minutes read

Currently, we are experiencing the “Great Reshuffle” of talent. A time when professionals across the globe are changing their jobs faster than ever before.

According to LinkedIn’s data, over the last 3 months, job transitions globally went up by 28%. The turnover in the corporate leadership roles (i.e. the B2B buyers) is up by 31%.

So what does this mean for the sellers? It means they need to adjust their sales approaches in more ways than one. Here’s how we recommend they approach things during this great reshuffle in order to counter it.

In this blog, we’ll focus on one of the recommendations which is called multithreading. Multithreading has always been a best practice to follow in sales. But now, with the risk of the great reshuffle, it has become more important than ever for sales reps to practice it.

What is Sales Multithreading?

Multithreading is building relationships with multiple stakeholders in an account. Usually, these stakeholders may

  • Belong to different departments in their organization
  • Operate at various levels in the organization
  • Have different roles and responsibilities
  • And serve as champions for your product

Here is one one example of multithreading in sales: Let’s say, you sell a product that can serve both sales and marketing departments. You can say that you have effectively multithreaded within an account if you have

  • Established connections with the leaders of both sales and marketing departments
  • The leadership of both these departments champions your product, along with several frontline employees

Say you have a single champion within an account– a singular sales leader. What happens if that sales leader quits and leaves his organization (which is more probable than ever during this Great Reshuffle)? Now compare this to your ability to close, renew and upsell the deal when you have both sales and marketing contacts involved.

The Importance of Sales Multithreading

Data supports the importance of multithreading as well.

Even before the Great Reshuffle, having multiple contacts within an account was a known recipe for sales success. LinkedIn data shows the sellers who are connected to at least four people at an account are 16% more likely to close a deal with that company, compared to sellers who have less than four connections. This jives with Gartner’s findings that today, on average, 6-10 people are involved in the typical B2B purchase committee.

In this period of Great Reshuffle, multithreading is even more important because it helps protect your account against the strong possibility of key contacts leaving a company. If you have multiple, meaningful touchpoints in an account, you will be protected against that risk.

Advantages of multithreading in sales

Here are some advantages that you get by multithreading in sales:

  • Multithreading increases your chances of closing a deal as you are connected with multiple people in an account
  • It gives you an assurance that even if one of your champions on the purchaser’s side leaves at any stage of the sales process, you will always have another contact at your disposal who knows you well.
  • The approach of sales multithreading 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.

How can sales reps effectively multi-thread in sales?

Below are the steps to successfully multithread in sales:

1. Analyze the Target Accounts

The first step to multithreading is to analyze the target accounts and identify the crucial connections that should be made. Sales reps should closely study each target account and figure out:

  • How many people are involved in the buying committee in each account?
  • Out of the ones involved, with how many people do they have meaningful connections?
  • What level of influence do the existing champions of the sales reps have in the buying process?
  • Can your product be sold to any other departments in the customer’s company?
  • If yes, then what is the purchasing procedure for that department?

This analysis will help them to pursue multiple threads (contacts) in an account easily

2. Map out the key decision-makers

Once the analysis of the target accounts is done, sales reps should focus on establishing connections with the key decision-makers in an account. While at it, they should keep in mind that roles are more critical in getting that deal closed than titles.

For instance, while a CEO often has the power to sign or approve most transactions, those working under him/her are the ones who are often responsible for doing all the work that would help the CEO to make the decision. Meaning, in case there’s a project that may require your service or product, they’ll be in charge of vetting you and your competitors to find the ideal one. Therefore, sales reps should not head straight to the CEO’s office. They should first understand who’s who and how their role alters the chances of closing the deal and then make connections accordingly.

Also, sales reps should focus on multithreading across various departments in an account. For example, let’s say a rep has an existing relationship with the stakeholders of the IT department. But their product can also be sold to the HR department. Then they should try to establish connections with the stakeholders of the HR department as well.

In other words, the more connections a sales rep makes within an account, the better are his chances of closing deals with them.

3. Leverage the current champion as much as possible

Once the sales reps map out the key stakeholders they should connect with, they can reach the new champions within that account through the existing champions. Ideally, the existing champions would introduce a sales rep to the other key contacts within their organization.

Sales reps should ensure that they make this as easy as possible for their champions.

  • They can offer to lead a meeting with the existing champion and the new potential champion.
  • Or draft an email for the existing champion which they can forward on.
  • If, for whatever reason, one champion couldn’t get the salesperson through– they can leverage the network of other champions and see if they can get a warm introduction through mutual connections
  • Or they can connect directly with the new champions on LinkedIn
To get the new champions interested, the sales reps should highlight the success that they’ve already had within their organization and how they can join in on the party

4. Don’t Ditch your original contact

Once the sales reps get other contacts, they should not ignore their original connection. Because this will not only seem rude but will also reduce their chances of closing the deal.

Hence, sales reps should keep the lines of communication open with their original contacts and maintain a healthy communication with them in order to make them feel appreciated.

5. Use the right tools

While the sales reps must create as many connections as they can within an account, it also adds to the complexity of managing those contacts. When sales reps are dealing with a lot of champions from within an account, there is a possibility of them forgetting

  • The name of a champion
  • Or the role of a champion
  • Or the conversation they’ve had with a person in their last meeting

If they send an email to one of their champions and get their name or their role wrong, it would leave a bad impression on them. Therefore to make things easier for the sales reps, invest in tools that help them to connect and maintain contacts. And help them with email or any other forms of communication with the contacts.

One example of such a tool is Salesforce CRM.

Check out these sales statistics in the below blog which demonstrate that the sales turnover is exploring

15 Statistics that prove that Sales Turnover is Exploding. And Some Useful Tips for you to Reduce this Turnover at your Organization

Learn about the measures you can take as a sales leader to turn “The Great resignation” into “The Great Opportunity”

Read: 7 measures that sales leaders should take to turn “The Great Resignation” into “The Great Opportunity”

Learn about “The Great Reshuffle” and how can you mitigate the risk associated with it

What is the Great Reshuffle? How is it making selling hard? And how can you mitigate the risk associated with it?

Published on Mon Jan 10 2022

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