How to Prime Your Sales Prospecting Pipeline

Build your sales prospecting pipeline with a multi-threaded social selling approach.

August 9, 2016

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You’ve been there before: you’re speaking with a prospect, he’s excited about your offering, and everything seems to be going wonderfully—when suddenly, the deal drops dead. What gives?

Even if you’ve completely sold one decision maker, that’s no guarantee that your deal will move forward. In today’s buying environment, you need to reach out to multiple stakeholders.

Otherwise, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket—what happens if your contact changes positions or can’t convince others?

That’s why modern social selling calls for a multi-threaded approach.

Multi-Threading to Win More Deals

When it comes to priming a sales prospecting pipeline, most reps have been trained to focus on a single prospect or lead at each target company. But new research suggests that this approach is losing effectiveness in a modern, social-driven sales world.

Not only does a focused, one-relationship approach increase the potential that a deal could fall through unexpectedly, but it also fails to take into account the ways in which B2B sales have transformed. For buyers of all sizes, the number of decision makers involved has increased. In fact, CEB research reveals that on average, 5.4 people must now sign off on each B2B purchasing decision.

Enter multi-threading: to close more deals and mitigate the risk of a deal coming apart, sellers should build relationships with multiple decision makers at every target organization in their sales pipeline. Social selling practices can help tremendously with this process—and you can get a quick head start by following the guidelines detailed below.

Positioning Yourself As A Valued Resource

The most successful social sellers will all tell you the same thing about your sales pipeline: rather than focusing on winning deals, your number one priority should be meeting the needs of your leads. When you can become a valuable resource and a trusted adviser to your various contacts, the sales will follow naturally. As Koka Sexton, head of social media for LinkedIn, writes, “building your pipeline is as simple as taking the time to listen, engage, and respond in a meaningful way, on a regular basis.” Fortunately, social selling makes it easier than ever to develop this important habit.

Understanding Several Decision Makers

Multi-threading doesn’t mean you simply start cc’ing a few extra contacts on every email—you need to tailor your approach to each contact, and that means understanding what matters to each individual. Keeping tabs on multiple decision makers for every target account sounds like a challenge, but it’s easier than ever with social selling.

Spend a little time everyday keeping up with your targets on social platforms like LinkedIn to become familiar with their needs, goals, and priorities. See what they’re sharing, where they’re commenting, and whom they’re talking with.

This is also a great way to find other influencers you may not have known about. Once you identify a new decision maker, you can work on creating rapport. Try getting a warm introduction from your existing contact or contribute to a discussion that they’re involved in.

By incorporating multi-threading and social selling best practices into your routine, you’ll establish several strong relationships and bolster your sales pipeline in no time.

For more useful tips on sales prospecting, download our Sales Prospecting Toolkit.