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How To: Identify and Influence the Entire Buying Team

How to identify and influence the entire buying team using multi-threading and world-class technology solutions in B2B sales.

A Sales rep shakes hands with a customer during an in-person meeting


Chapter 1


Chapter 2

What is Multi-Threading, and Why Does it Matter for Sales Teams?

Chapter 3

Strategies for Effective Multi-Threading

Chapter 4

Tactics: Working With Your Champions

Chapter 5

How World-Class Technology Solutions Can Help

Table of Contents

Chapter 1


Selling and marketing are harder than ever. Old-school tactics are pushing modern buyers away, leaving revenue teams frustrated, inefficient, and unable to compete. In No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls, Latané Conant delivers the recipe for scalable, repeatable, data-driven sales and marketing strategies that work today.

In this How To, we provide a practical, tactical dive into some of the strategies outlined in Chapter 5.

In Chapter 5 of No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls, Mark Ebert, 6sense Senior Vice President of Global Sales, explores the implications of an essential B2B truth: Today’s buying decisions are made by groups, not individuals. In fact, depending on the size of a deal, the average buying group ranges from seven to 19 people.

Acknowledging that buyers purchase as a collective should transform the way sales teams approach deals. As Ebert explains, “Getting one individual on board does little for us if we need the buy-in of an entire buying team in order to close a deal.”

To go beyond influencing single stakeholders and build consensus across the buying team, modern B2B sellers need to:

  • Identify the entire buying group
  • Understand when to engage them (and with what message), and
  • Put in place plays to influence the buying committee
This approach is called multi-threading. Done well, multi-threading leads to larger deals, faster sales cycles, and fewer lost deals.
This How-To takes a deeper look at why leveraging multi-threading is a must for winning sales teams, and the strategies you can use to identify and influence the entire buying team.

Chapter 2

What is Multi-Threading, and Why Does it Matter for Sales Teams?


Multi-threading is the process of engaging and influencing multiple stakeholders in a prospective account to increase your chances of closing a deal.

Research shows the most successful sales reps are 13% more likely to multi-thread than their peers.

Rather than focusing on a single decision maker, multi-threading seeks to identify individuals from across the buying team and build relationships concurrently. This matters because although final approval may still rest with one person, the decision will ultimately involve input from multiple members of the buying group.

Influencing B2B Buying Groups

The latest research confirms today’s B2B buyers hunt in packs:

  • Buying teams have an average of nine individuals
  • But those numbers can fluctuate between an average of seven and 19, depending on deal size
  • Groups also tend to grow when businesses are restricting budgets during times of uncertainty

Buying teams usually reflect a complex web of influencers, decision-makers, and stakeholders. Your reps need a clear picture of this network so they can engage influential contacts and build a business case.

Although stakeholders have varying levels of authority and involvement within a purchase, it’s a mistake to ignore buying-group members who seem peripheral in influence. Every opinion counts. The more individuals you can influence within the buying group, the more likely you are to close the deal.

Close Bigger Deals, More Often

The benefits of multi-threading go beyond reaching closed-won. You’ll also see:

Faster Sales Cycles

Nearly all B2B deals involve multiple levels of approval. By bringing decision makers on the buying journey from the outset, you can sell them on your solution before it’s time to sign on the dotted line. This helps stop deals stalling as they pass through various levels of approvals so you can close faster.

Bigger Deals

The biggest deals come from company-wide initiatives. Showcasing value to champions from multiple areas of the business helps create consensus and unlock bigger budgets.

 Long-Term Foundations

Creating deep cross-departmental relationships positions you as a long-term partner, making it easier to sell renewals and supplementary deals.

 Increased Deal Security

Single-threaded deals leave you vulnerable to the stumbling blocks that are part and parcel of selling to another business. Your deal can veer off track if your champion is busy, ill, on annual leave, or –– worse still –– leaves their position. It’s not uncommon: More than 80% of sellers say deals have stalled or been lost in the past 12 months due to a key stakeholder leaving.

Ultimately, multi-threading builds trust, authority, and consensus that your solution will add value for prospective buyers. It also hedges against the messy nature of B2B deals. The more buying team members that are aware of your solution’s value, the more likely it is you can overcome inevitable hiccups during a deal and build lasting partnerships.


Chapter 3

Strategies for Effective Multi-Threading

We know the goal of multi-threading is to engage multiple buying team members to build trust and win over the group. But how can revenue teams accomplish this? Here are some core strategies for effective multi-threading.

Build Multi-Threading Into Your Business Processes

In a world where buyers work in groups, most businesses still use systems and processes that reward driving individual leads, rather than true demand (i.e. engaged accounts).

For instance: Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are inherently single-threaded, but if marketing is measured on driving MQLs, they’ll continue to pass solitary leads to sales. The same is true if your BDRs are comped on booking meetings with one contact. These approaches leave reps starting sales processes in single-threaded deals.

But a sales rep — or even the sales team — shouldn’t be responsible for influencing an entire account. As 6sense’s Mark Ebert wrote in No Forms, No Spam, No Cold Calls: “Everyone across the revenue team — marketers and sellers alike — needs to be dedicated to multi-threading accounts, or connecting with multiple personas across the buying team, right from the start.”

The simplest way to guarantee your team multi-threads is to build it into your SLAs and comp.

At 6sense, an account is only qualified once it has three engaged contacts. Even if a lead comes inbound from a form-fill or demo request, we follow up with that person and two additional people at the company. That way we know when an account is handed to a rep, they’re off to a flying start.

Make Use of The Entire Revenue Team

Multi-threading isn’t just about engaging more people on the buyer side. There should be multiple people involved on the seller side, too.

An effective way to do this is to introduce peers in like-for-like positions. No matter how great your reps, buyers like hearing from people in their positions. (If you don’t have direct peers then consider recruiting stakeholders at a similar level.) A direct introduction and conversation is most effective, but ghost notes and peer-to-peer nurtures are viable alternatives.

Along with introducing relevant peers, lean on the rest of your revenue team:

  • BDRs are your multi-threading wingmen (and wingwomen). Involve them throughout a sales process to help uncover and engage multiple stakeholders. If you’re having a hard time reaching certain members of the team, get a BDR to follow up.
  • Marketing can deliver targeted ads and content to warm up other members of the buying groups. Organizing an event or webinar that addresses the specific pain points and challenges of multiple stakeholders within the target account can be an effective way to engage multiple members of the buying team at once.
  • Use AI as an extra teammate. Peripheral members of a buying group can be nurtured using AI assistants like conversational email, which follow up with complementary resources and answer basic questions to evaluate interest until they’re ready to take action.

Consider the Bigger Picture

The best multi-threading taps into the overall strategy and goals of your target accounts. By understanding how each department’s goals fit into the wider company initiatives, you can tailor your approach and messaging to better address the needs of multiple members of the buying team.

Publicly traded companies’ strategies are usually more readily available through earnings transcripts and press releases. But do some digging on any companies’ websites, social, or newsrooms and you can usually figure out their overall focus.

As we mentioned earlier, positioning your solution as a fix for wider company initiatives can unlock budget from multiple teams and large deals.

Multichannel, Multi-touch

McKinsey recently reported that B2B buyers now use more channels when researching potential vendors — up to 10 channels in 2021, compared to five in 2016.

But whether it’s LinkedIn, Drift videos, voicemails, WhatsApp, or email, we all have our preferred channels. You have to find the right channels for the right stakeholders.

Even if you find the right channel, don’t expect one or two touches to move your buyer swiftly down the path to purchase. Our CMO also recently shared that it now takes 32 activities to progress an account from Stage 1 to Stage 2 — double the previously reported number.

This sounds like a lot of work, but don’t forget it’s a team effort. You can also make personalized tweaks to the core messaging around an account’s pain points and your value prop for individual contacts to be used across multiple channels and cadences.

Add Value

In a world where your buyer is surrounded by distractions and competing messages, you have to be useful to stand out. Whichever channel you’re using, always consider how you’re adding value. If you can put your prospect first throughout the process, they’re more likely to help out when you do have an ask.

Think of it in a 3:1 ratio — offer value three times before making an ask.

This holds true when you’re approaching the wider buying group. Connecting on LinkedIn and sending a sales pitch won’t cut it. Instead build authority by consistently sharing valuable content. This is a simple way to build recognition with multiple stakeholders and increases the likelihood they’ll engage with you further down the line.

Playing the long game can pay off later during discussions with the wider buying group. By then, you’ll sit top of mind as a credible resource.

Chapter 4

Tactics: Working With Your Champions

Your champion can tell if you really care about what they stand to gain from purchasing your service. In other words, sell with empathy.

Put in the effort to understand their problems and how you can solve them. They’re more likely to help you out when you ask for a favor. Because you’re going to want to ask for favors…

How to Get Your Champion to Make Introductions

Your buyer may not have all the information you need, but they can help you find out who does. It pays to be transparent — most buyers can smell insincerity a mile off. When asking champions to bring in more contacts, explain why.

Below are some examples of how to make the most of your champion’s internal contacts and knowledge.

Give Them the Credit

Bring your buyer along for the journey by giving them the credit:

I’m keen to find out more about [pain points] you’ve pinpointed. It could be helpful to get [insert team or colleague]’s perspective on it. Are you open to inviting XYZ along to our next call or introducing me?

Share Experiences

Call on past experiences to emphasize the importance of bringing more stakeholders into the conversation:

I find deals often stall when [positions XYZ] from [insert teams] aren’t involved early in the conversation. What’s your relationship like with your colleagues in these roles? Would it be worth bringing them along to our next call?

Make it Easy

If you’re asking them to loop in more stakeholders, make it easy — provide the message to forward on:

Hey, I think we can bring a lot of value to your colleagues in [insert team]. If I send you an email detailing the benefits do you think you could forward it to them and CC me?

Get the Lowdown

Before introducing yourself to more stakeholders, simply ask your champion for the 411 on the other people on the call. This includes details about their goals, personalities, and ways to win them over.

Loop Multiple Stakeholders into Demos, Meetings, & Calls

Once you’ve been transparent about your reasons for introducing other members of the buying team into the conversation, you can take proactive steps depending on where your deal is in the sales cycle.

If you’ve already booked a demo or meeting, consider who else you can loop in. Remember, contacts don’t all need to be decision makers; an individual contributor’s opinion can influence a deal.

Pre-Meeting or Demo Multi-Thread Message 

Actively approach other members of the buying team before a demo. Send a brief invite, outlining the reason for the demo and giving them a reason to join. For example:

I’m meeting with {colleague name} on [[time / date]] to discuss how we can help [[solve X pain point]].  

I know [[problem X]] often has an impact on {{job title}}s, too. Would you be interested in joining us?

No worries if you can’t make it, I’m happy to keep you updated or set up a separate call.

Speak soon,

Post-Meeting or Demo Multi-Thread Message

If a member of the buying group couldn’t make your demo or meeting, all’s not lost. The meeting is a compelling reason to reach out. You also may have unearthed some key information during the call to pique their interest.

Here’s a template to get you started.

I just had a great talk with your colleague [Name]. We discussed [insert].

I know {{job title}}s are often affected by these areas. Here’s an example (insert relevant case study) of how {{similar job title/team}} did Y with our solution.

Let me know if you’d like to join us next time, or if you’d like any more information. 


You don’t need to reinvent the wheel for every contact, but tailoring your message to a stakeholder’s role or pain points will spark much greater interest.

Chapter 5

How World-Class Technology Solutions Can Help

The idea of multi-threading isn’t new. Sales managers have long preached the value of talking to multiple people in an account. The problem? It’s always been difficult to execute and track, especially at scale. Sellers can’t easily:

  • Find contacts in an account
  • Quickly understand what matters to them, or
  • Measure who is or isn’t engaged within the buying team

World-class technology solutions are changing this by making the benefits of multi-threading more accessible to sales teams.

Uncovering & Understanding Buying Groups

Effective multi-threading relies on understanding:

  • Who is in the buying team
  • What are they interested in
  • Who is and isn’t engaged
  • Any gaps in the buying committee and who they are

In the past, sales teams haven’t had easy access to this information. Instead reps have relied on internal champions open to sharing information, piecing together buying teams based on fragments found online, or hopeful cold calls and emails.

Today, technology makes it possible to identify buying groups, understand the motives of each member, and enable sales teams to interact in the appropriate way.

Uncover the Buying Team

It’s no use uncovering a buying team if the account isn’t looking to buy. Sales Intelligence tools can help you uncover in-market accounts — i.e. the ones actually looking for solutions like yours.

Once you know an account is primed to buy, it’s time to identify members of the buying team. Some B2B platforms provide the option to purchase contact data if it’s missing from your CRM. This empowers reps to quickly build out accounts with quality contact data for multiple contacts.

Once you have the right people within the buying team, at the right time, the next step is delivering the right message.

Understand What They Care About 

Your multi-threading has a much greater chance of opening doors if you tailor initial outreach based on the problems your prospect is actually looking to fix. 

Best-in-class solutions can show your reps the keywords that personas are using as they conduct research online, as well as the content they’re consuming. This makes it simple to tailor messaging for individual personas within an account and grab their attention.

For example, if a buyer is researching “predictive models,” it’s a fair indication that’s a key pain point that can be highlighted in your messaging.

 Measure Engagement and Spot Gaps

Once you’ve started your outreach to the buying team, top B2B platforms let you check on your progress at a persona level. Leading solutions can reveal at a glance whether you’re hitting your multi-threading goals.

This signposts any individuals you’re yet to engage, helping you plan your multi-threading to target and the rest of the buying team. This is not only useful for reps; it helps leaders quickly spot gaps and ways then can help their team, too.

As 6sense’s Mark Ebert states, with the right technology, reps “can see ‘this is your next best action. This is the next persona you need to engage. Click here to instantly purchase their contact data. Click here to add them to a cadence …’ In a matter of three clicks, they can easily do what we’ve been telling them to do forever: make multithreading a reality.”

Learn More in Our ‘No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls’ Resource Center

Interested in learning more about taking your sales and marketing effort to the next level by uncovering and targeting the accounts most likely to buy? Visit our Resource Center to find more How-To’s like this one inspired from the pages of Conant’s book.

All of 6sense’s proceeds from book sales go to GoodSense, the charitable arm of 6sense whose mission is to do our part for our community and beyond.

No Forms.
No Spam.
No Cold Calls.

Picture of The 6sense Team

The 6sense Team