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Most of the time, you need to engage multiple stakeholders to get a deal across the line, so relying on a single internal champion just isn’t cutting it anymore. 

Solutions are growing in complexity, and budgets continue to become more restrictive. This means decisions are made unilaterally —  especially enterprise deals. 

So, how do you identify the right stakeholders and their priorities in order to close more deals?

Join us as we hear from Jamal Reimer, Owner at Outseller Consulting, and Andrew Mewborn, Sr. Account Executive at Outreach. 

When your goal is multi-threading into enterprise accounts, keep these big-picture items in mind:

  • Discovering stakeholder priorities
  • Tailoring demo conversations
  • Reading and analyzing reports and calls
  • Avoiding common multi-threading mistakes

Let’s go!


When to start multi-threading

Multi-threading in B2B sales means having more than one contact within an account. Many B2B sellers nurture a single relationship when they should engage with multiple stakeholders across an organization.

When do you start multi-threading?

Right away.

Here’s how a successful first multi-threading call might go…

“Andrew, I’m Jamal, and I sell software. I’m not even sure if you’re the right person to talk with, but I’m having conversations with a lot of your colleagues about XYZ business issue (not the software). I name all the people who I’ve researched on LinkedIn around them.”

This type of approach establishes that the seller is having many conversations with different ranks of stakeholders.

Putting in extra work with 10 to 15 people rather than going straight to the CISO is like tightrope walking. Would you rather have a single rope/path to the C-suite — or does having 10 to 15 ropes sound safer?


Knowing who to speak with

When you’re speaking with anyone within an account, whether they’re a stakeholder or a gatekeeper, the key is to be normal… Authentic. Sincere. Human.

When you don’t know if you’re talking to the right person yet, a multi-threading conversation might sound like this:

“Katie, I sell software that deals with XYZ business issue. If that touches your world, I would really love to get your input on a couple of things… whether a goal is easy or hard for you… what your work life is like, etc.”

Through dialogue, you’ll be able to tell whether you can help that person, and you’ll establish rapport and expertise. You should ask whether the challenges that they face also affect others. You learn who will care enough about an issue to want to fix it.

Consider asking for tips from your fellow BDRs who have moved to enterprise. They can teach you to:

  • Look at how previous deals were done in the past. 
  • Ask other reps on the enterprise side to share their mutual action plans. 
  • Collaborate with stakeholders who have expressed interest before.

Bottom line: Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use the same departments, the same people, and the same processes that have worked before. Have a real conversation with a real person about how you can improve their work life.


Addressing common multi-threading mistakes

Mistake #1 – Stepping on toes

Your champion might feel like you’ve stepped on her toes or cut her out if you speak with the CMO without her there.

To avoid this, give power and choice and voice to all customer stakeholders. Ask an equal number of questions. Leave it to them to decide how to set up next steps.

Another way to honor your champion who connected you with an exec is to bring your own CMO along. Or even set up a follow-up meeting between just the CMOs and let them build a relationship of their own.


Mistake #2 – Ignoring aversion

If the stakeholder perceives your solution as something that will make their job harder, be very clear that you’re speaking widely throughout the org about it.

Mention other people so they know it’s an institutional conversation. This also balances the conversation in case one connection goes sour or dark.

Later, someone else you’ve connected with could help persuade her reluctant coworker that your solution is, in fact, desirable.


Mistake #3 – Starting too late

Start at your first conversation. If you wait three, six, nine months to start multi-threading, you’ll jeopardize your one relationship.

You can’t win a chess game if you just play with one piece.


Mistake #4 – Not speaking to detractors

Communicate with potential detractors. Ask whether they feel they’re being included in the right way. Be honest that you need their voice (because you do!). Tell them you want to learn their opinions, even if those are negative towards your solution.

Don’t wait weeks or months to hear their objections. Try to clear that up as directly as possible.

Before we go, here’s a parting analogy about multi-threading. 

Multi-threading for enterprise sales is like gardening. You plant many seeds early, nurture them all for a long time, and grow a few flowers.

More information about Jamal Reimer and Andrew Mewborn and today’s topics:

For more engaging sales conversations, follow The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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