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Multi-Threading in Sales: 11 Steps to Improve Win Rates 

Sales Training
Chris Orlob
February 12, 2024

There’s a right way and wrong way to “multi-thread” your deals. Those who get it right enjoy a 34% boost in win rates. On the flip side, those who miss the mark often find themselves:

  • Overworked and burnt out
  • Frustrated by lengthy B2B sales cycles
  • Under pressure due to falling short of their targets

If you're searching for a scalable, repeatable, and successful framework for multi-threading deals that actually close, you're in the right spot. In this guide, we'll cover:

  • What multi-threading entails
  • The importance of multi-threading in sales
  • Strategic multi-threading tips you can start using today
  • Common multi-threading mistakes to steer clear of

👉 Want to multithread your way to 34% higher win rates? Skip ahead and start closing bigger deals, faster with the multi-threading masterclass.

What does multithreading mean in sales?

In sales, multi-threading is a tactic in which a salesperson simultaneously prospects multiple personas inside the buying organization to increase the chance of closing a sale. 

Instead of relying on a single point of contact (POC), risking the chances of closing when the POC ghosts you or leaves the company, multi-threading involves building champions for your product with everyone who can influence the purchase decision. 

That way, multi-threading does not only derisk the sales process but also helps accelerate sales by helping you: 

  • Gain valuable insight into the company's needs
  • Address concerns from various perspectives and 
  • Build consensus among the key stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. 

To execute an effective multi-threaded sales process, you must understand the hierarchy of influence on the purchasing side and shape your sales cadence to capture interest in every stage of the hierarchy.

Here’s what we mean:

The hierarchy of influence in multi-threaded sales

Finding and empowering sales champions who will fight for you and sell when you’re not in the room requires that you first believe that everyone inside the organization has the potential to influence the buying decision.  

Ideally, the decision maker is not actually the decision maker– they are more like decision finalizers. Their ability to take action depends on the support and input from those around them. 

In that case, even stakeholders who don’t have the authority to sign the dotted lines can be excellent intel sources. They will give you an earful about the company’s internal politics: ‘who’s looking to get promoted,’ the company’s next-quarter goal, etc. 

With that understanding, you can then classify all your target persona according to:

  • Their role 
  • Their needs and desires
  • Their level of influence in the deal 
  • The desired action they must take to move the deal forward. 

The table below highlights the hierarchy of influence in a multithreaded sales approach. The information can guide you to develop targeted engagement strategies for each persona.

Consider the managerial category. The persona who owns this role carries out operational tasks. Their job is to ensure the team (the Users) have all hands on deck and are actively contributing towards business goals.

With that in mind, you know that their pain point is associated with helping their team perform better and develop a business case for their role as they seek advancement in their role. 

Therefore, that persona can be an intelligent source of internal politics, strategic goals, and performance issues that can help you develop a personalized use case for your product. 

Consequently, the expected action from them is to advocate your product within the department and before executives.  

Understanding each personal influence level and expected action reduces the likelihood of losing a champion because you pushed them to take action outside their jurisdiction. 

Imagine asking a sales rep to introduce you to the VP of Sales. Odd, right?

Single-thread vs multi-thread sales

The primary difference between a single-threaded sales approach and a multi-threaded sales process is that the single-threaded sales strategy focuses on one key contact. In contrast, multi-threaded sales involve engaging with multiple individuals across different departments. 

While the two sales strategies aim to close deals, multi-threaded sales enable a more comprehensive approach and mitigate risks associated with dependency on a single point of contact.

See the table below for a comprehensive comparison of single-threaded sales and multi-threaded sales process:

The benefits of multithreading for sales teams

Multi-threading increases your close rate 

Using multithreading improves your win rate by five times (480% higher than when you depend on just one person to convince their team to buy from you.)

That’s because multithreading emphasizes closing more sales deals by building relationships with many people involved. That way, your sales process doesn’t fall apart even if your sales champion leaves the thread.

Creates upsell opportunities

When you've already established a good relationship, you can use that to offer additional products or upgrades, creating opportunities for upselling. It's especially effective when you're selling to someone who has supported you before. Studies reveal that selling to previous champions results in 114% higher chances of winning. In simple terms, it means that working with those who already like your product can lead to bigger and faster sales.

It shortens the sales cycle

When done right, using multi-threading sales deals helps decision-makers in the buying group act more quickly than they would in a situation where only one person is involved. This is because you connect with various people, making it possible to listen and address everyone's needs and concerns at the same time. This way, both you and the buyers can reach a solution together, and it happens faster.

Aligns sales process to changing buyer preferences

Buying decisions now involve typically 6-10 people in B2B organizations. This increased complexity makes the sales environment more competitive and requires timely B2B sales skills

Sales teams are adopting sales enablement programs to support Account Based Selling better to keep up with changing buyer behaviors,  

If you're already using multi-threading, you're well-prepared because it aligns your sales approach with the changing buying journey, making your team more proactive and adaptive to the evolving landscape.

How to multithread effectively: 11 strategic tactics to help you skyrocket sales 

  1. Do your research
  2. Identify and empower your bulldog champion
  3. Single-thread every communication
  4. Offer value before an ask
  5. Make contact before the first meeting
  6. Align everyone on a single agenda
  7. Multi-thread on multiple touchpoints
  8. Keep emails shorter as you move up the ladder
  9. Reference internal language
  10. Measure and optimize as you go
  11. Summarize the call - before sharing the recording

1. Do your research

There are one thousand and one tips on how you should research your prospect. For a multi-threaded sales process, you want to hone in on these three key items:

Understand who you should involve in the multi-threading process

Everybody cares about different things, and you need to be speaking to those things. 

Know the number of people you should involve

According to Gong's research, successful deals usually involve at least 3 people from the buyer's side in meetings. But this number can change depending on the size of your target account. 

In their experience, having 3 to 5 different roles in a 10-person account works best. If you're reaching out to a big company, aim for about 18 to 20 contacts.

Now, in a huge enterprise company, there are about 6 layers of key decision-makers. For each decision maker, you want to connect with 3 layers, including users, intel sources, and managers. This adds up to 18 contacts, which is just right for a large organization.

Be clear on how to involve those people

As we mentioned earlier, the success of your multi-threaded sales campaign hinges on having a strong belief that everyone can influence sales, no matter how little. 

So before reaching out, be clear on their pain points, interests, and level of authority. Then, extract insights from your CRM to tailor your outreach accordingly. 

To connect with executive leaders, Krysten recommends reading a couple of thought leadership they've written about and mentioning it when you email them. It shows you've done your homework and can kick off the conversation on the right foot.

2. Identify and empower your bulldog champion

You want to triangulate among different stakeholders to find a bulldog champion. Your bulldog champion is the one who is willing to run through brick walls to get the deal done right.  

You’ve got to find that person because creating a budget is a series of internal sales conversations that they are going to have on your behalf.

Nothing is set in stone in sales, but you want to find someone with the following qualities:

  • They genuinely care about fixing that bottleneck
  • They have great product knowledge
  • They’re influential internally
  • They’re assertive. 

A person with a weak personality will probably not get the job done.

So, when you spot your bulldog champion, you should educate them with business cases and coach them on how to discuss value propositions or ROI with their boss.

The current market condition paints a clear picture: it's champions, not just salespeople, who close deals. That's why champion development is more crucial than ever. Our repeatable process for champion development empowers you to consistently close six- and seven-figure deals – even when you are not in the room.

3. Single-thread every communication

Although multithreading involves engaging with various individuals to progress a deal, you still have to single-thread every communication actually to get a deal to close. 

That means you should be engaging in personalized one-on-one relationships with everyone involved in the multi-threaded sales sequence. 

The mistake some sales reps make is that they consolidate everyone into a single email thread. This creates confusion and friction, as no one person feels accountable, assuming someone else is handling it. 

The result? 

Ambiguity regarding roles and objectives, especially when dealing with a dozen individuals, each with their unique agenda for the deal.

While communicating one-on-one in multi-threaded sales takes more time, it has immense benefits. 

  • It sparks replies and encourages stakeholders to communicate more openly. 
  • It facilitates a personalized multichannel connection through emails, text messages, or LinkedIn, 
  • It creates a conducive environment for understanding the unique perspectives and desires of each individual. 

👉 Related: Find out the best SDR training programs for your sales team.

4. Offer value before an ask

Salespeople debate whether you should go for a direct ask or informational multithread. While both approaches have their merits, informational multithreading stands out for its consistent effectiveness across various scenarios. 

The key principle behind this approach is offering substantial value upfront before making any modest requests, such as seeking an introduction to a team member. This method ensures that your engagement with prospects is not merely transactional but rooted in providing meaningful insights or assistance.

5. Make contact before the first meeting

Imagine you've got a meeting set up with the VP of Sales, but there are probably two or three other key players in the deal who haven't joined the conversation yet. The trick is to reach out to these folks before the initial meeting even happens.

You should consider setting up a three-step outreach sequence and follow-up plan with tools like Outreach or Salesloft. The main aim is to make contact before that first meeting, keeping them in the loop about the upcoming discussion and encouraging them to schedule a separate meeting if needed. 

Taking the initiative not only sparks important conversations but also builds your credibility within the organization by highlighting the relevant stakeholders you're engaging with.

6. Align everyone on a single agenda

Managing diverse titles to achieve a single agenda is one of the challenges of multithreading sales. It involves continuous evaluation of the ongoing threads and ensuring that each conversation contributes to the overarching objective.

Without this, you risk the conversion, leading to potential message disconnection. You can do that in the following ways:

  • Create a multi-threaded sales sequence around your sales objectives.
  • Share insights across threads to create a comprehensive understanding of the organization's needs and challenges.
  • Establish criteria for when a thread has achieved its purpose or when it's appropriate to conclude discussions with a particular stakeholder.

7. Multi-thread on multiple touchpoints

A powerful strategy to stand out in the cluttered world of sales is to be active on different channels, not just email alone. Besides emails, consider using LinkedIn (social media), Phone calls, and voicemails. This is particularly impactful, considering that executives receive hundreds of emails daily.  

Here's an example of a multi-threading in action across three channels:

  • Thoughtful social media commentary: Begin by identifying a post made by the executive on platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter. Leave a thoughtful comment that shows you've engaged with their content, especially focusing on company-specific topics, product launches, or team events. This distinguishes you from the multitude of emails flooding their inbox.
  • Reference in LinkedIn connection request: On the same day, when reaching out to connect on LinkedIn, reference the earlier comment or post. This reinforces your engagement and helps establish a connection.
  • Send an email to notify the executive of your upcoming meeting with one of their team members
  • Send a voicemail to inform them about the email: This voicemail serves as an advertisement for subsequent emails or texts. Now, instead of randomly scouring their cluttered inbox, they purposefully look out for your email. That’s how you support personalization with visibility.
  • Inform your sales champion about the email. That way, you’re increasing the likelihood that the champion actually reminds the executive of the meeting and maybe convinces them to attend it. 

This is how you multi-thread on multiple platforms to ensure sales success. However, keep this next tip at the back of your mind when crafting those emails. 

Looking for ways to elevate your cold email game and start seeing real results? Our cold email online course is designed to help you break through the noise and accelerate pipeline

Learn the fundamental principles of copywriting, email sequencing, and storytelling that have driven emails with a 90% open rate and a 25% positive reply rate. 

Discover the strategies that have enabled others to book hundreds of meetings, generate $3M of pipeline in just 3 months, and achieve a 2X increase in ACV on outbound efforts.

8. Keep emails shorter as you move up the ladder

When multithreading high-level executives, the rule of thumb is clear: keep emails shorter as you ascend the organizational ladder. In fact, you should optimize for sending emails they can consume without needing to scroll. 

The rationale behind this strategy is to respect their time and cut through the clutter of the numerous emails they receive daily.

Imagine you’re sending a follow-up message to the Chief Growth Officer; the email structure should have the following three paragraphs:

  • What happened in the recent team meeting
  • The upcoming steps
  • The quantifiable impact on pipeline growth (a crucial concern for the Chief Growth Officer.)

The effectiveness of this approach lies in its simplicity. Higher-level executives, dealing with a constant influx of emails and direct messages, benefit from brief, impactful communication. The emphasis is on the outcomes and impact rather than sharing your product’s functions.

Want to learn how top salespeople are selling to CFOs and take your income and revenue to the next level? Check out our advanced online course on Selling to CFOs.

9. Reference internal language

When you can, use the same words the organization uses. If they call it a "project pipeline" or their sales reps "agents," go with that. Matching their inside lingo not only makes you sound like you're in the know but also creates a comfy, familiar vibe.

Even in your email subject lines, try slipping in their lingo. It's not about tricking anyone, just sparking their interest. When target accounts see a subject line that talks like they do internally, it makes them curious, wondering how you're in sync with their lingo. It's all about building a connection

10. Measure and optimize as you go

There is no impulsive buying in sales. Prospects don’t accidentally buy. So, if your multithreading campaign yields success, you want to know what works. Here are a couple of things you should consider:

  • Measure changes in the average number of contact roles on an opportunity. A positive change in data might suggest an improved engagement with various stakeholders within the prospective organization. Perhaps your new messaging or sales script did the magic. 
  • Measure the average number of calls/emails during a sales cycle. Are you seeing a faster resolution on deals where the rep asks to invite other people to the next call? What time of calls/emails yields more positive engagement?
  • Measure the average number of people who reply to email threads during a sales cycle

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, and what you measure is determined by your specific sales goals.  

11. Summarize the call– before sharing the recording

Summarizing the call before sharing the recording helps in presenting the most critical information in a digestible format, preventing overwhelming stakeholders with unnecessary details. Keep it simple: 

  • Here's what we talked about. 
  • Here's what happened. 
  • Here's our next step. 

6 Multithreading mistakes that turn champions to gatekeepers

  1. Asking your champion for introductions too soon in the sales process
  2. Breaking the silence in the executive quarters
  3. Poor research & data decay
  4. Overloading champions with information
  5. Starting the process too late
  6. Not connecting people at similar levels

1. Asking your champion for introductions too soon in the sales process

When you ask a prospect to introduce you to someone higher up in their organization, you’re essentially asking them to vouch for you and your product.  

That is normal.

But making such a request on the first or second call might be counterproductive if they’ve not fully grasped the idea of becoming your champion. 

Imagine receiving a second email from someone you barely know, asking you to connect them with others in your network. It's a situation that can leave you thinking, 'I don't know you well enough to vouch for you.'

A successful introduction is not just about knowing names but establishing a foundation of trust and credibility. 

So, avoid the temptation to push for introductions prematurely. Give your prospects the time and space to assess your offering and build confidence in your partnership. 

2. Breaking the silence in the executive quarters

Many executives won't be actively participating in every meeting or stage of the deal. It's essential to resist the urge to solicit their opinions through constant emails. 

Bombarding them with messages asking for feedback can be counterproductive and may even hinder the deal-making process.

Instead, adopt a strategic approach to keep executives in the loop without overwhelming them. Craft concise and informative emails that provide a snapshot of recent developments. 

  • Briefly share what transpired in the last meeting,
  • Explain its impact on them
  • Outline the upcoming steps 
  • Including dates. 
  • Share the video recording (optional)

By keeping it brief and focused, you maintain their attention and demonstrate respect for their time.

👉 Recommended: Grab the 7-point cheat sheet for selling to CFOs.

3. Poor research & data decay

Data decay is another mistake sales professionals must avoid in multithreading. Often, you may reach out to a contact, assuming they are still in a particular role, only to discover they left months ago. 

The recent increase in employee attrition intensifies this issue– the average turnover rate across industries is 19%. This means that one out of every five prospects on your leads list won’t be employed by the same company a year from now. Therefore, sales reps need to recognize that data from 2023 may no longer be accurate in 2024. 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help you stay updated. If you create a saved search for a specific title, you’ll get notified of new additions to your targeted titles and can always have fresh prospects in your sales pipeline. 

The tool also notifies you when key contacts leave a company, ensuring your prospecting efforts remain timely and relevant.

4. Overloading champions with information

Even if your rapport with a sales champion is strong, overloading them with an excess of information or frequent updates can prompt them to disengage from the multithreaded sales sequence.

The abundance of information might cause your champion to unintentionally become a gatekeeper by limiting the flow of information. 

Furthermore, this perception may influence their discussions with colleagues, diminishing their level of interest and impact on the deal. Avoiding such situations is crucial to maintaining a positive relationship and ensuring that your champions remain effective advocates for your product or solution.

5. Starting the process too late

Salespeople often ask, “When should I start multithreading?”. The answer is clear: initiate multithreading the moment your SDR schedules the initial meeting. This is the ideal starting point for a well-coordinated and inclusive approach to the sales and buying process. You're able to bring your executives into the thread early; not during discovery calls as some reps do. 

6. Not connecting people at similar levels

Sales leaders know that prospects prefer conversing with those they perceive as peers. In practical terms, managers prefer discussions with managers, VPs prefer interactions with fellow VPs, and members of the C-Suite prefer engaging with others at their level.

Failure to align with individuals at similar hierarchical levels can create bottlenecks in the multithreading cadence. For instance, attempting to connect managers with C-Suite members might create a mismatch in communication styles and priorities. 

It could be perceived as being out of sync with the organizational structure, potentially hindering the smooth progression of the multithreaded sales process.

Multi-thread your way to higher win rates with the multithreading masterclass

Ready to expand your footprint and get "high and wide" access to multiple influencers in your top B2B deals? 

Sign up for the multithreading masterclass today

Get access to the multi-threading techniques (exact words, scripts, and templates) Kristy Conner learned from almost 10 years as a top-performing enterprise AE at companies like Outreach, Tableau, and Salesforce. 

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