When it comes to working a multi-threaded deal, we’ve all been there. 

It’s an intense and complex process — and having multiple people in the buyer journey isn’t the only element that makes it tough. Layer in the pressure to make your numbers and a tough external landscape — and it’s a pressure cooker.

You have to control what you can — so make sure you keep your multi-threaded deals on track by avoiding the top three unforced errors.

Mistake #1: Forgetting to see the whole playing field

Ever watch a football game where someone gets tackled by surprise? It sometimes happens because they’re so focused on the goal, they can’t see anything — or anyone — else. 

This happens all the time with multi-threaded deals. You know who ultimately needs to sign off to make that deal happen so all your outreach and communication is tailored to that person. The trouble is, you’ve gotten so laser-focused on your champion, strong supporter, or decision maker that you’ve forgotten there are still other people in the path of getting to yes. One bad word or note of caution from finance, legal, procurement or IT, and your good deal takes a major hit.

Pro tips:

  • Keep track of every single person engaged on the account. (Note: there are apps that can do the heavy lifting for you, automatically capturing contact details and enriching that knowledge as information changes).
  • Uplevel your approach by getting really tight on who’s involved. Beyond avoiding blindspots, this information will contribute to a richer understanding of buyer personas — from when they get involved in the cycle to their unique concerns to how much sway they have over the decision. This is all great information for sales and marketers alike.

Mistake #2: Failing to understand relationships in your buying group

When winning teams watch game tape, they’re not just looking for which players have the best throwing arm or the greatest accuracy. They’re also watching for how the team works together. Who takes the ball down the court? How do two or three teammates tag up to defend the goal? Does one person get thrown the ball every time?

Any sales motion requires the same kind of effort. If you don’t understand the relationships between the contact roles in your buying groups, how can you effectively use them to move your sale forward? You can’t. 

That’s partly an issue because many sales teams track roles and relationships in a spreadsheet or app that doesn’t sync with their company’s CRM. In other cases, they track one or two core people (at best) — or there’s no tracking of relationships or lines of influence at all. This is a problem because if sales managers and marketers can’t see it in the CRM, they can’t troubleshoot in real time or provide needed air cover.

Pro tips:

  • Remember that in enterprise B2B sales, buying groups average between six to 10 people per deal. You’ll want to know as much as you can about them.
  • Map the relationships between buyers inside your CRM — start today if this isn’t already being done. The integration with the CRM is the key here; without it, you’re running the risk of missing opportunities to leverage relationships yourself or through others on the team like managers and marketers.
  • Consider apps that are 100 percent native inside of Salesforce that can easily map contact relationships. You’ll be able to do so much with the relationship information that’s automatically updated in real time. 

Mistake #3: Rowing the boat alone

It’s sometimes easy to think that working a deal solo is the most efficient path to close. But just as a target customer’s buying group comprises a team of people, the best salespeople aren’t afraid to pull together and rely on others internally to lend a hand. Reps that think they can handle it all, on the other hand, are just setting themselves up for failure. 

The reality is no one can be everywhere at once — and working with teammates measurably improves outcomes in a world where it takes six to eight touches just to produce a truly good lead. Just by aligning with marketing, for example, companies improved closing by 67 percent. Being open to a manager’s coaching can produce real results as well; forecast deals win rates in companies where managers coach more than sell is 8.2 percent higher and revenue attainment is 5.2 percent greater.

Pro tips:

  • Look for ways to engage the full power of your team. Perhaps that’s bringing in a C-suite executive at the precise right moment for a personal conversation with the corresponding role on the customer side. It could even be as simple as ensuring your sales leaders know about a change in buyers’ relationships so they can advise on the best ways to adapt.
  • Keep marketing in the loop the whole way through. Marketing provides the air cover sales needs to move deals along. If all the engaged contacts and their relationships with each other are known, marketing can identify the key people to target in campaigns. They can help shape fresh approaches and content throughout the sales cycle.

Multi-threaded deals are the norm in enterprise B2B sales. If you make your CRM the single source of truth, remember you’re dealing with more than one buyer, and draw on your internal resources for support, you’ll successfully close more of these deals. Looking for more insights on best practices and trends? Check out our latest ebook Revenue 2.0: 5 Predictions Shaping Go to Market Teams in 2021.