How a Select Few B2B Salespeople Consistently Gain an Advantage

July 30, 2018

Sales Multithreading

Why do some B2B sales reps enjoy a 34% lift in win rate compared to other reps? Why do they fare even better when upselling and cross-selling, averaging 88% higher bookings and 14% shorter deal cycles? To help you realize a similar uptick in the personal sales metrics that matter, we’re going to let you in on their secret.

To Substantially Reduce Risk, Broaden Your Relationship Building Strategy

What are these successful reps doing that others aren’t? When they connect with a key decision maker in a target account, they’re not satisfied. Not yet, anyway. While other sales reps celebrate their “in,” successful reps are already strategizing ways to establish relationships with the six or so other members of today’s prototypical B2B buying committee. 

Getting in good with the entire buying committee isn’t just a no brainer from an intelligence standpoint. It also mitigates risk when something unforeseen happens with your main contact, which happens more often than you might think: The average tenure for the executive level team is two-and-a-half years. No matter how strong the relationship, a single contact could become a single point of failure.

When you focus on one decision maker – even if you’ve deemed this person the key decision maker – you put loads of pressure on one person to build and drive consensus among the rest of the buying committee. Since a major business purchase usually goes hand in hand with departing from the status quo, you’re really relying on your contact to work wonders.

Building Multiple Relationships Is Almost Always Worth the Effort

Your knee-jerk reaction might be to think that engaging the entire buying committee means more work for you. While it’s true you’ll need to nurture more relationships, the other option is to hover over your single point of contact for context, interpersonal workings, and myriad other factors that can sideswipe any deal at any time.

So, it’s either helicopter parent your main contact and continue to assume major risk, or get to know a few more folks, too. Only when you’re connected to more people within an account can you get a deeper, more complete picture of the account’s issues, challenges, and goals.

Activating a Multi-Threaded Approach

The first step is to figure out the account’s key players. Using advanced search in Sales Navigator, you can get a sense of the buying committee (which you’ll confirm later) by zeroing in on titles, seniority level, tenure at the company, and the like.

You’ll also see existing pathways via your network connections. Through your LinkedIn network, you might find that an acquaintance, former classmate, or colleague is also connected to one or more decision makers. The TeamLink feature in Sales Navigator automatically shows if anyone in your company is connected to the account. Either of these options are effective ways to identify potential warm introductions to buying committee members.

Engage the Entire Buying Committee

You can save your leads in Sales Navigator to stay informed with real-time intelligence about any new jobs, LinkedIn posts, or milestones associated with the buying committee. Plus, when you save leads, Sales Navigator will show you other decision makers you might have overlooked.

Even if contacts at your target account aren’t on the buying committee, they might be rich sources of insight into the account’s strategic objectives and key players. You may even be able to find an executive sponsor within the account who paves the way for connecting with the key decision makers.

But the biggest thing is to stop thinking of an engaged sales prospect as your “in” to the account, and more as your “in” to the rest of the buying committee. If you’ve proven that you consistently make good use of a buying committee member’s time, they will gladly connect you with other members. You just need to ask, and provide a logical reason behind your request, such as “Since she’ll be working closely with the technology, I want to ensure that her needs are covered before we propose a tailored solution.”

By finding the right people to connect with, securing warm introductions, and evolving your approach to engage multiple members of every buying the committee, you can join the 7% of sales professionals who win more often than the rest of the field.  

For more advice on making inroads with the people who matter most to you, check out our new guide, Read Me If You Want to Effectively Engage Decision Makers on LinkedIn.