Single Threaded Trap - iSEEit

The Single Threaded Trap

Single Threaded Trap

Today we want to cover an interesting topic of running sales campaigns with a single contact on the client side. Genuinely called single threaded.
While the benefits are few and the potential risks of the deal falling apart are high, it’s a very common issue that sales people run into.

We all had sales campaigns where our contact that we liaised with and relied upon stops returning your calls as if they fell off the face of the earth. Here goes your forecasted deal, your manager is furious and asks for finding another way to secure the deal, but your contacts are limited and time is short… Been there and done that!

Why do we let this happen?

In our research we identified the top 4 reasons why sales people will step into the trap of the least resistance.

Comfort with the initial connection:

We want to build a good relationship with the initial contact that showed interest in our offering which could lead to a sense of comfort and reliability, making us hesitant to branch out and risk the established trust.

Limited Access through Gatekeeping:

These initial contacts or evaluators are often lower ranked technical owners, project managers, members of service organizations or running a formal evaluation process. Their primary goal is to obtain and consolidate information and therefore gatekeeping and limiting access to the other stakeholders.

Limited time and resource constraints:

Sales people, especially with larger territories of opportunities to spend less time on research and limited access to other potential personas. Expanding contacts requires additional time and resources, so it seems easier to prioritize the relationship with the existing contact.

Perceived efficiency Risk Aversion:

Focusing on a single contact can seem more efficient, especially if that contact appears to have significant influence or decision-making power.

Furthermore, engaging multiple stakeholders can complicate the sales process, introducing more opinions and potential objections. The fear of derailing or slowing down the deal let’s salespeople and the customers contact keep it “on a slow flame” or “under the radar”


While the above is more than understandable, the risks of running the campaign on a single contact are diverse and painted in all colors. Let us summarize the top 5 risks we have identified, we are sure every one of you will have at least one story to tell about this.

Loss of Deal if Contact Leaves: If the sole contact leaves the company or changes positions, the relationship and progress towards a sale can be lost, leaving no foundation within the organization to continue pursuing the deal.

Limited Organizational Buy-in and Misalignment with Broader Needs

Engaging with only one contact restricts the opportunity to uncover broader requirements and help build consensus among other stakeholders. This lack of buy-in can lead to resistance or rejection of the proposal when it reaches the wider decision-making group.

Misalignment with Broader Needs: A single-threaded approach may result in a solution that is tailored to the needs or perspective of one individual, potentially missing the broader requirements or pain points of the organization, leading to a mismatch between the offered solution and the organization’s actual needs.

Reduced Deal Size and Scope: By not engaging with multiple stakeholders, salespeople may miss opportunities to expand the scope of the deal by addressing additional needs or areas where their solution could be applied, ultimately limiting the potential value of the deal.

Increased Vulnerability to Competition: Relying on a single contact makes it easier for competitors to enter and influence the account, especially if they adopt a multi-threaded approach and engage with other stakeholders who might have differing views or unmet needs.


On the other hand, the benefits of running a multi-threaded campaign are manifold and can significantly elevate the success rate of sales efforts.

Firstly, it increases deal security by diversifying contacts within the organization, reducing dependence on a single liaison and safeguarding the sales process against unforeseen changes. Secondly, it ensures broader organizational buy-in, as engaging with multiple stakeholders allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the organization’s needs, leading to solutions that have consensus support. Thirdly, a multi-threaded approach enhances understanding of customer needs, providing a deeper insight into the organization’s challenges and enabling a tailored value proposition that resonates across departments. Fourthly, it reduces the risk of competitive displacement, creating a stronger barrier against competitors by solidifying the solution’s value across multiple touchpoints within the organization. Lastly, it fosters faster sales cycles, as engagement with numerous stakeholders often accelerates internal discussions and decision-making processes, streamlining the path from proposal to deal closure.

These advantages underscore the strategic importance of adopting a multi-threaded approach in B2B sales, So how can we overcome our natural hesitance to go multi-threaded?

Set yourself up for multi threading

For an average B2B sale there are 6-7 stakeholders involved.

Don’t ask yourself if but how you gain access to multiple stakeholders.

  • Research the organization to understand its structure and key players. Study your company’s wins and which buying personas turned the needle.
  • Use LinkedIn and the company’s website to identify stakeholders in relevant departments.
  • Build a customer buyers map and build a plan to get access to them
  • Leverage your contacts, colleagues, partner companies to learn more about them and potentially get introduced.

Cultivate the mindset of resilience & curiosity

We know sales people hate setbacks, however set your mind up that there will be multiple obstacles and uncertainties or roadblocks. Stay curious and add value to your contact and once you have built a relationship get ready to test your “potential champion”

  • Ask for their knowledge on other stakeholders who might be impacted by your solution.
  • As for introductions framing this request ensuring the solution meets the broader needs of the organization

Discover pain points & criteria for success of multiple stakeholders

In order to understand the broader needs, it is important to cross-check with each stakeholder their view on the discovered pain points and qualify their unique requirements. They could differ based on the position or department, especially if you quantify their pain points.

  • Engage with different stakeholders to understand their unique challenges and quantify their pain or needs.
  • Customize your messaging to address these pain points directly

Actively search and develop multiple champions

As multiple stakeholders will be involved it would be ideal and safe to have the majority of them as your champions. If there are 7, try to thrive for at least 4 champions.

  • Identify potential champions within the organization who see the value of your solution and can advocate for you.
  • Provide them with the information and support they need to be effective advocates.

Identify the Economic buyer and get access

The economic buyers as the ultimate decision maker will have their own criteria of success, often very business driven and attached to a higher business strategy.

  • Make sure to have gathered enough information needs and potential benefits to spark the interest of the EB for your value proposition
  • Leverage your company’s executives to get a meeting with the EB. Your champion will help if the value proposition is promising.
  • Prepare well to present your value proposition to EB, validate their criteria for success and confirm potential next steps and additional stakeholders


Embracing a multi-threaded approach in B2B sales not only mitigates the risks associated with relying on a single contact but also opens up a world of opportunities for deeper engagement, more significant impact, and better sales outcomes. By diversifying your contacts within an organization, you unlock the potential for broader buy-in, more tailored solutions, and ultimately, more successful sales deals.

The journey from a single-threaded to a multi-threaded strategy requires a deliberate shift in mindset, strategy, and tactics. However, the benefits far outweigh the initial effort, setting the stage for more resilient, effective, and rewarding sales processes.


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