Multi-threading: a fintech’s guide to contacting multiple people in the same company
Is it okay to contact multiple people from the same company when prospecting? What does it involve? When multi-threading, your goal is to get multiple people from the same company engaging in the same sales conversation. Each brings a different perspective when evaluating the problem your product or service solves.
Although people within the same company might experience the same problem, different departments and roles can have varying use cases for your product, alongside experiencing the impact of your problem differently.
The downside of multi-threading rears its head when you start pestering 10 colleagues with the same messaging—trying to guess the decision maker—and they compare notes (the bad kind). Be careful you don’t go overboard.
Multi-threading based on seniority
Let’s say you are in a company like Fiserv, a B2B fintech company with solutions around payments, processing services, risk and compliance.
From snooping on their case studies, I learnt Fiserv does enterprise deals selling to a VP-level buyer persona. However, these decision-makers may be hesitant about random cold emails: forcing you to take a roundabout route to get to them.
When you multi-thread based on seniority, you would start with someone within the same department as your buyer persona, then work your way up.
We’ll name this first point of contact, Prospect 1. And you would craft your message intending to learn more about the problem you think your product/service might solve for them.
Once you start a conversation with Prospect 1 and can glean clear insights into how their company views your problem, its impact and who it affects, you can launch your second outreach campaign targeting the final decision maker. Here, the two don’t happen simultaneously.
In the Fiserv example, there’s a testimonial where Bank OZK’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) highlights the “ability of customers to learn their overall cash flow position without having to enter a lot of details into the bank’s system,” as one advantage of using Fiserv’s financial data warehouse solution (yes, I also don’t know what a data warehouse is and yes, it sounds important ;).
Assuming this is the insight you’d uncover after your conversation with prospect 1, you could then hit up the CTO and lead with it.
“Hi, talked to XYZ and learnt that your customers can check their cash flow position through your banking app, but they have to go through 5.233 different steps…”
With this approach, you’d be contacting multiple people in order; with the preceding conversations designed to make the final one with the decision maker richer and feel like a referral.
Multi-threading based on how prospects experience the problem’s impact
In a previous article, we analysed how digital identity company Sphere Identity’s solution helps organisations reduce the rate of customer abandonment during onboarding, caused by manual Know Your Customer (KYC) verification processes.
In this example, the problem directly affects compliance department heads, but departments like customer success might also experience the impact of tedious customer onboarding KYC processes; with customers, turning their noses up and shaking thick fingers at them all day.
While prospecting the compliance decision-maker, you might simultaneously start conversations with the head of customer success about the problem, its impact and what you are seeing is an expert who’s helped similar companies with similar issues. Your aim would be to spark internal conversations about the problem you solve.
What not to do while multi-threading
Don’t cold email people from the same company simultaneously as a method of guessing the decision maker, “hey janitor at XYZ, we have a wonderful check out product”. It can create the wrong impression should the recipients talk amongst themselves.
According to Scott Britton, co-founder of CRM productivity company Troop (acquired by Salesforce in May 2022), this behaviour gives the impression that you’ve not done your research and communicates an air of self-importance.
Don’t use the same messaging for people in different departments who might experience the same problem differently. For example, if someone is selling Open Banking tech to a payments company, the pain points and desires they’d focus on will differ when prospecting an innovation manager, versus a head of payments.
If you decide to multi-thread, ensure you know your buyer persona well and the people that surround them. Create different messages for each group, and use multi-threading to curate different perspectives on the problem you intend to highlight for your prospects. Don’t use it as a volume-based elimination method.
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A writer, in a marketer's skin, wearing a cold emailer's floppy socks. The unorthodox combination of these is what you've probably experienced in this blog. Freelance cold email manager; open to working with teams on cold email campaigns, copy, ICP research (snooping()and custom list building. Connect with me on LinkedIn