Episode TwoHundredThirtyTwo

The Definitive Guide to Multi-Threading in Sales

Guest: Jake Dunlap, CEO of Skaled Consulting

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About This Episode

When you multi-thread in sales, you’re taking control of the outcome. You worked hard to get that big meeting — why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to close?

CEO of Skaled Consulting and multi-threading wizard, Jake Dunlap, joins me in this episode of The Sales Engagement Podcast to chat about everything multi-threading:

  • How to get the meetings that matter at the ToFu
  • 3 practical tips for a successful Discovery Meeting
  • How to successfully use LinkedIn to multi-thread

Let’s take a closer look at Jake’s advice.

ToFu meetings

There’s one main reason why a decision-maker agrees to a meeting, according to Jake and the research his team has done.

Not the most convincing buy-in, is it?

Fortunately, when it comes to enterprise deals, we can leverage a strategy called multi-threading. To successfully kick off this process, you need to understand two things:

  1. The buyer circle (who’s involved, their roles in the organization, pain points)
  2. How to adapt your communication style according to who you’re talking to

Jake points out that “if you’re not good at adapting your communication between end-users and executives, that’s why you get shut down.” At the initial meeting — aka, Discovery — you’ve got to use the appropriate message in order to understand the organization’s priorities.

Plus, when you bring in multiple decision-makers, you need to know how and for whom to use specific messaging.

3 tips for successful Discovery

Jake provides three pointers he uses in the Discovery portion of a multi-thread sale.

1. Ask the right questions. You wouldn’t ask the CEO the same questions you ask sales operations, would you?

Depending on who you’re meeting with, know whether or not to ask high level or more tactical questions. An executive isn’t going to care about the nitty-gritty details of your product.

Jake says, “The #1 reason you’re not getting the meetings you want is you sound junior. You’re talking about tactical problems — you’re not talking about strategic problems.”

Moreover, set the expectation for the following meeting early on in Discovery. Here’s an example:

Typically, we involve the Directors of Marketing and Sales a week or so down the road. Does that work for you?

2. Have a level one and level two demo. Again, you’re not going to show an exec the same features you’d show an operations person.

Make one of the demos more high-level, connecting it to business outcomes and revenue. Demonstrate where process optimization happens and how it impacts the business.

Use the other demo level to demonstrate specific tactics for the end-users.

3. Stop with the I’d love to’s. I’d love to loop in marketing. I’d love to meet again soon. I’d love to send you some more info on this.

Just. Stop.

You’re in control of the meeting — that means you set the precedence for the next meeting and who should be involved. 

The buyer doesn’t know what the normal process for this is. Jake advises you to tell the buyer the next steps and the next-next steps. Don’t leave it up to them.

An extra pro tip for successful Discovery: Don’t bank on organizational champions.

They have their own jobs to do. It’s highly unlikely that a champion is going to do the work it takes to get you to the next phase. It’s up to you to be that bridge.

This is where it’s so crucial to know how to adapt your communication. It helps, Jake says, to become fanatical about what your individual decision-makers care about.

Do they tend to communicate professionally or casually? Do they care about new features or new acquisitions? What do they value inside and outside of work?

One way to get the answers to these questions is to use LinkedIn.

LinkedIn & multi-threading

The thing with using LinkedIn for multi-threading is that you need to build up credibility before you come in with an ask. Here’s how Jake does it:

  1. Connect with every decision-maker in the organization in the first two weeks. 
  2. Produce content at least once or twice a week to nurture those connections.
  3. Focus on the industry you’re selling to, not your sales peers.
  4. Comment on decision-makers’ posts.
  5. Direct message an engaged decision-maker with a native video that adds value.

Then, depending on the connection’s response, you can start discussing a meeting. That’s how you build credibility and trust with a buyer. It’s not going to happen as soon as they accept your invitation to connect.

The gist

If anything, Jake wants enterprise sellers to walk away with these three main points:

  1. Don’t be afraid to drive the next steps in a Discovery Meeting. Make the process sound like a standard path forward.
  2. Don’t underestimate the Discovery questions you ask and the order in which you ask them.
  3. Prepare extensively for your meetings. You worked hard to get that big meeting — make it worth your while.

Successful multi-threading isn’t easy. But, it’s worth it if you value your and your buyer’s time.

Follow Jake on LinkedIn.

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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