How to Master Multithreading in Sales and Customer Success

Elen Udovichenko
March 25, 2024
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Sales isn’t just about getting the contract signed. In reality, there are multiple stages of the buyer journey as well as an average of 7 decision-makers involved. As a salesperson, you need to build relationships with every one of them at different steps of the process. And to do that you should become a master of multithreading.

In this guide, we explore the fundamentals of multithreading and its benefits and provide practical tips to implement it in your sales and customer success processes. You don’t need to be a master to start this guide, but you will become one.

What is multithreading in sales?

Multithreading in sales is the process of communicating with many stakeholders at the target organization throughout the selling process as well as post-sale. Remember the last time when you had a new person join the demo call out of the blue? Multithreading helps you discover those people who can potentially influence the buying decision and communicate with them individually. 

However, it is not only about communication; it is about building a personal relationship with each one of them. This practical process acknowledges that the modern sales cycle is complex and collaborative and requires sales professionals to weave through a web of influencers, champions, and decision-makers.

At heart, multithreading allows the sales team to reach more stakeholders, thus acquiring deeper insights into the prospects’ business needs and building stronger relationships internally, leading to higher chances of success. Multithreading also helps you reduce the risks of a personnel change mid-sale or spot a shift in organizational priorities early on.

Single-threading vs. multithreading

Whether you are a salesperson or a customer success person, your key priority is to improve your relationships with the customers. There are two main approaches to do that: Single- and multithreading.

Let’s understand the specifics of single-threaded vs. multi-threaded communication in sales.

What is single-threading?

Single-threading is the opposite of multithreading. It implies creating a one-on-one relationship with a single key contact you will rely on to close your deal. This is a traditional communication style.

Key differences between single-threading and multithreading

Both threading styles have positive and negative aspects. Their main difference is the depth and breadth of the engagement with your contacts.

Why choose multithreading?

According to LinkedIn research, top salespeople are 13% more likely to multithread than their contemporaries. But why is that?

Multithreading allows you to build stronger relationships with your prospects or customers, better understand their pain points, and thus be able to tailor your product offering accordingly. This leads to higher win rates as well as helps successfully close bigger deals.

“Multithreading is not a catchphrase. It is a must if you want to close deals in companies with 100 or more employees.”Ricky Pearl - Co-founder, Pointer

The following section will dive deeper into the solid benefits of multithreading.

Benefits of multithreading

Multithreading doesn’t mean complicating your sales process. On the contrary, it allows you to navigate the challenges of enterprise selling and win complex deals. It brings value and improves the experience for both sides. The benefits for salespeople include:

  • Shorter sales cycles 

Communicating with just one person at a company means your prospect can get cold feet or will need to talk to other people before sealing the deal. With the average sales cycle being 84 days in B2B sales, talking to multiple people and working in parallel can speed up the process because you will discover their pain points early on.

  • Increased win rates

Through connecting with multiple stakeholders, you will build deeper relationships within the target organization. You can understand their needs and requirements and will be able to offer a better solution and make the decision-making process go smoothly, thus increasing deal closure rates.

  • Deeper prospect insights

With multithreading, you can thoroughly explore the prospect’s organizational structure and decision-making process. Communicating with multiple stakeholders across different departments and roles makes it possible to learn about their needs, thus, you can better adapt your sales approach to appeal to each stakeholder.

When it comes to the buyer experience, multithreading has a few perks to offer too:

  1. Different members of the buying team may have unique questions or concerns. Multithreading enables salespeople to provide specialized expertise to each individual, addressing their specific needs and preferences more effectively.
  2. With multithreading, salespeople can engage with various decision-makers concurrently. This facilitates faster decision-making processes as each member of the buying team receives the information and support they require promptly, minimizing delays in the sales cycle.
  3. Multithreading reduces the risk of miscommunication within the buying team. By ensuring that all stakeholders are kept informed and involved throughout the sales process, salespeople can minimize misunderstandings and discrepancies, leading to smoother interactions and more successful outcomes.

Multithreading in customer success

Having more than one point of contact within an organization proves to be even more important once the deal is closed. Imagine if the person you’ve been working with leaves the company. The new hire might come with a different solution so if there’s no one else at the company who can advocate for your product, you will most likely be replaced too.

But there are more use cases where multithreading can enhance customer success efforts:

  1. Multithreading allows customer success teams to collaborate effectively with various departments within the organization, such as sales, product development, marketing, and support. By engaging with multiple stakeholders simultaneously, customer success managers can gather insights, address concerns, and coordinate efforts to deliver a seamless customer experience.
  2. Multithreading enables customer success teams to provide personalized support and engagement tailored to the needs of individual stakeholders within the customer's organization. By understanding the roles, responsibilities, and objectives of each stakeholder, customer success managers can deliver targeted assistance, training, and resources to maximize the value of the product or service.
  3. Multithreading allows customer success teams to identify and mitigate risks by engaging with multiple stakeholders who may be impacted by potential issues or challenges. By proactively addressing concerns and coordinating responses across different departments, organizations can minimize the impact of issues on customer satisfaction and retention.
  4. Customer success teams can leverage multithreading to gather feedback from various stakeholders within the customer's organization regarding their experience with the product or service. This feedback can be valuable for informing product development priorities, identifying areas for improvement, and driving customer-centric enhancements.
  5. Multithreading facilitates the identification of upselling and expansion opportunities by engaging with multiple stakeholders who may be involved in decision-making processes related to additional products, features, or services. By understanding the needs and objectives of different stakeholders, customer success managers can tailor their approach to present relevant upsell opportunities and drive revenue growth within existing accounts.

Overall, by leveraging multithreading, customer success teams can enhance communication, alignment, and customer-centricity, ultimately driving long-term business success.

How to implement multithreading?

Multithreading is a powerful tactic that requires a thought-out strategy. Here’s your step-by-step guide to implementing multithreading in your sales process.

1. Identify key stakeholders

First of all, you need to identify the key stakeholders in the prospect’s company. Spend time understanding the organizational structure of a typical target organization. For medium and large companies, there should be at least 5-6 people to contact: The buying committee, including problem owners, end users, and economic buyers. If you are unsure about the structure, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are the decision-makers involved in the purchasing process?
  • Which departments or teams will be impacted by the offered product?
  • Who else can influence the buying decisions?
  • What are their priorities? (e.g. cost, timeline)

2. Do your research

If you want to develop a relationship with them, you should ensure you know enough about them. You should become an expert in that organization's structure, architecture, known problems, and strategic objectives. It serves you with its linguistic elements, makes the product look like at home, and helps them easily comprehend you.

  • What are the pain points or challenges the customers are dealing with?
  • What are their next quarter or yearly targets and issues they want to sort out during this period?
  • Who are the decision-makers, and what are their roles and responsibilities?
  • What are their internal processes like, and how do they make decisions?

3. Tailor your approaches

After your research, you must build relationships with multiple people to create an understanding and supportive environment. Your aim should be to please them. They need to communicate with you as a human being, not another robotic salesperson who sends or tells them static texts. Customize your communication and method of engagement to meet the preferences of different stakeholders.

  • Personalize your communications by creating messages and interactions tailored to each stakeholder's needs and preferences.
  • Highlight relevant benefits by emphasizing how your product/service is pointed directly to the specific problems or targets related to the role of each stakeholder.
  • Offer tailored solutions by submitting customized solutions or proposals that align with the objectives and problems determined through your research.
  • Foster genuine connections by thinking of how to develop relationships and trust through active listening, empathy display, and genuine engagement during stakeholder interaction.

4. Leverage technology and tools

Technology and tools also play a crucial role in multithreading. Adapt your engagement methods using different channels and formats, such as email, phone calls, video meetings, or in-person visits, depending on specific preferences. Here are some ways to leverage technology effectively:

  • CRM systems: Customer relationship management (CRM) systems will help you gather and manage customer data, track interactions, and build and maintain relationships with various stakeholders.
  • Sales engagement platforms: Use sales engagement tools with email automation, workflow management, and analytics to ensure a single focus across disparate organizations.
  • Customer collaboration tools: Utilize collaboration programs like project management software, messaging applications, and shared document platforms as devices to boost the quality of communication and efficiency within your sales team.
  • Analytics and reporting tools: Implement monitoring and reporting tools that will help monitor the success of multithreading strategies, measure key performance metrics, and gain valuable insights into customers' behavior patterns.

Multithreading DOs and DON’Ts

Multithreading is such a world that you can be hooked on its mesmerizing world and make some common mistakes. Here are some essential do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while multithreading:

  • Build genuine relationships

Consider practical working together with those same broad-based stakeholders in the community. Get acquainted with your audience's distinctive insights, challenges, and what they aim for, and match up your message and interaction with the unique qualities of your audience.

  • Have a valid and specific reason for the meeting

Everybody has valuable time, especially decision-makers. Ensure all stakeholder interactions are purposeful and productive. When you outline the reason for the meeting, focus on the specific point, such as a problem or solution or just delivering the briefing, to show you value counselors’ time and priorities.

  • Provide value at every touchpoint

Deliver measurable value, individualized feedback, and informed responses that reflect the nuanced issues and barriers many stakeholders encounter. Moving on from the analysis of the causes of the current homeless crisis, it is essential to develop a smeared approach that will combat this problem from the bottom up.

  • Maintain consistent communication

From the outset, behave like a proactive and constructive interactor with almost everyone in each phase of the sales process. Engage with the environment in routine mode by following the chosen feedback rules and responding without delay to any doubts and questions.

  • Give them social proof

Provide proof of your product or service quality through testimonials, case studies, or references from happy customers. This creates a sense of credibility and trust among the stakeholders, as they can see that others also benefit from the offering. Demonstrating genuine success cases removes doubts and objections, which paves the way for moving the sales process further.

  • Don’t neglect lower-level contact

Focusing only on top-level decision-makers and paying little attention to lower-level contacts within the organization is wrong. Each stakeholder, at any level or position in a company, can influence the buying decision and is an integral part of the sales process.

  • Don’t overwhelm with irrelevant information

Try to avoid persistently bombarding stakeholders with information that might be inappropriate or generalized and, thus, does not address their real needs or interests. Personalize your communication by making it easy to understand and showing its value, not to bore or turn it off.

  • Don’t assume a one-size-fits-all approach

Do not try to incorporate the same strategy because it may only work with some stakeholder groups. Remember that each stakeholder group is unique and requires an appropriate communication style and method that fits their needs and preferences to ensure effectiveness and engagement.

  • Don’t forget to follow up and follow through

Set a schedule for repeat engagement and interaction with the concerned parties after the initial engagement. Regularly follow up on past conversations, update progress, and meet all deadlines to show care and responsibility.

  • Don’t rely solely on technology

While technology may help improve multithreading, utilizing automated tools is not the only way. Strike a balance between technology, human connection, and personalized engagement to build solid relationships and generate sincere interactions with all your stakeholders.

Ready to give it a try?

The concept of multithreading isn’t new. But it’s now more important than ever given the growing demand for customer centricity in B2B sales. After all, people buy from and want to engage with people, not businesses. So give yourself a competitive edge by building meaningful, personal relationships with the key stakeholders who can act as your internal advocates, even when you’re not in the room.

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