Demand generation marketers shouldn’t have to justify their roles, but here we are.
But we’re not only justifying our roles. We’re justifying them and jumping through flaming hoops to prove we can go above and beyond. Somehow upping the number of sales-qualified leads (SQLs) you generate each quarter and crushing your pipeline quota isn’t always enough to keep leadership happy.
You may have to dig deeper and do things like help your Sales team close their deals faster. A great way to do that is with multithreading through paid media, which Isaac Ware, Director of Demand Generation at UserGems, covered in his DEMAND session earlier this year.
Multithreading is the practice of developing relationships with multiple decision-makers to more efficiently and successfully close deals. Multithreading through paid media uses ads to speed up—and close—more deals. It’s targeted aircover for the sales team.
By multithreading with paid media (aka ads) you can target the buying committee and ensure you’re engaging with all the important stakeholders involved in a deal, including the influencers (the people who provide insight into a potential purchase without an official “vote”) and gatekeepers (the people who control access to the true decision-makers).
Isaac and his team at UserGems use “the three musketeers” to multithread effectively. He said, “Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Operations are the three musketeers. We want all three of those teams involved in every deal.”
One or even two of these roles won’t cut it. “We’ve run a lot of tests by multithreading through paid media,” Isaac continued. “Every single time, the results show that we need all three musketeers involved.”
Multithreading has been common among Sales teams for years, but also in other industries. LEGO, for example, targets more than just parents. The company’s Marketing team also targets kids, knowing they greatly influence their parents’ purchasing decisions.
Multithreading with paid media is gaining steam in the B2B world as well, largely due to the increasing complexity of buying committees. In fact, the average buying group for a complex B2B solution now involves six to 10 decision-makers—and all of them need to know who you are and how your product can help them.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to get to know all 10 decision-makers for every potential deal—and your chances of getting them all in a Zoom room are slim to none. Multithreading through paid media is the only realistic way to get in front of everyone.
According to Isaac, there are three primary ways multithreading can help you help your Sales team. It can:
Let’s dig into each tactic.
The minute an opportunity opens in your customer relationship management (CRM) tool, let different members of that prospect’s buying committee know you’re talking with someone else on their team.
Imagine yourself on Salesforce’s Marketing team and you just noticed a fresh opportunity, with the main point of contact for the deal operating under the Sales umbrella. Now, ask yourself, “Who else at Salesforce could I involve in early conversations?” Maybe someone from the Marketing team? How about Revenue Operations or the Data team? Yep to all three.
So, target these other teams to introduce yourself via an ad. Something simple like, “Hey, your team recently told us you’re trying to [insert the problem your product is solving for them]. Do you want to join the conversation?” It’s simple, but often enough to grab their attention and start a dialogue. Here are a couple of examples of UserGems doing this.
While Isaac warns these ads may not translate directly to demo requests, they’re frequently mentioned on sales calls, which can help build relationships and kick off conversations that accelerate a deal.
“You won’t typically see a massive increase in multithread demo requests,” Isaac said. “What you will see, though, is these ads pop up on sales calls or referenced in emails… the ads are what got them interested or what pulled them into a deal.”
Pro tip: Use UserGems to track your deal’s champions, aka your three musketeers, as they change roles, and also to surface the buying committee directly in your CRM. Then, use those lists of key decision-makers to build laser-focused audiences to target across social media channels.
Notice who wasn’tamong Isaac’s three musketeers. Any guesses?
Yep, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Issac and his team want nothing to do with the CFO at this stage of the game. He said, “You don’t want to multithread with everyone…CFOs are massive blockers in deals, so you don’t necessarily want them to join the conversation. What you do want to do, though, is to show them social proof.”
Your goal with these ads is simple: Make sure the CFO and other high-level decision-makers know about your company and the pain points your product solves before they enter the chat (because, let’s be real, we all know the decision-makers will arrive at some point). The last thing you want to do is to bring a CFO into the room who doesn’t know the first thing about you.
Ask yourself: What do CFOs care about? What questions will they inevitably ask? What are their biggest pain points? Then, tailor your ads accordingly.
Think of these ads as a way to get ahead of the curve and address potential snags that could slow down the deal. Testimonial-specific ads are a great place to start.
Ask anyone on your Sales team, and they’ll tell you at least one of their deals is stuck in the mud. Whether a prospect ghosted them, interest simply waned, or budget cuts put the deal on hold, there’s always somethingslowing a deal down. Getting in front of previous champions can help you get those sales rolling again.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, either. Targeting a previous customer with an ad congratulating them on a new job (you can use UserGems to see when previous champions changed roles) can be enough to remind them of their past success with your product, pull them back into a conversation, and convince them to get the band back together.
It’s a simple tactic, but it works. According to Isaac, these previous champions close about three times more often than first-time champions.
We’re not surprised. People trust people.
In fact, in a recent Forrester survey, more than 90% of respondents said that buyers completely or somewhat trust peers in their industry. On the flip side, salespeople from vendors are the least trusted group Forrester tracked, followed only by social media influencers and national media. The report concludes: “If building buyer trust is the goal, it’s wise to build strong relationships with the influential voices that buyers turn to for information rather than just seeking to connect with buyers directly.”
Who do buyers trust more than their peers who’ve used—and loved—your product? We’d imagine the list is probably pretty short.
UserGems also reported that including past-Gems in new deals can lead to 114% higher win rates, 54% bigger deal sizes, and 12% shorter sales cycles. That’s a win-win-win in our book.
Attribution is becoming overly complex across the digital media landscape, so you may be wondering if it’s even possible to prove multithreading with paid media actually works. It does, but Isaac explains a simple way to find out for yourself.
He suggests starting by reviewing your pipeline to identify which accounts to target. Then, divide them into two groups and conduct a split test. One group gets no multithreading love, while the other one gets love in the form of LinkedIn ads.
“We kicked off our paid media multithreading campaign in a similar manner—dividing contacts in our CRM and assigning them a value,” Isaac shares in a related article. “Half of the accounts were then multithreaded with paid ads, and half weren’t. The aim was simple: to test the impact of the campaign on our win rate, deal size, and the length of our sales cycle.”
The results were impressive.
According to Isaac, deals with multithreading through paid media:
“One of the main drivers of the results is having more prospects involved in the deal,” Isaac elaborates. “Whenever we run analysis on this, the more prospects, the better. It impacts every single bit of the sales cycle.”
Metadata (and its product MetaMatch) can help take your multithreading strategy to the next level.
Use MetaMatch’s to match the personal emails of your decision-makers to a single business profile, allowing you to find your target audience across B2B and B2C channels, like Facebook and Instagram.
Then, push your audiences from MetaMatch directly to your ad channels, and let Metadata go to work, automatically optimizing for pipeline and revenue—all with fewer headaches, more flexibility, and far less manual work.
Want to see if multithreading with Metadata and MetaMatch could speed up your deals? Request a demo today.
Want to hear from more smart marketers? Watch more DEMAND sessions.