There are two primary types of sales: product and solution. For the enterprise, solution selling is not as cut-and-dried as a product sale, where there might be just one product with one person, or a few people at most, making decisions. Increasingly the enterprise is buying products even without a human involved, via ecommerce. So, if you’re an enterprise salesperson, you’re more than likely selling solutions. In a solution sale, there are many, many stakeholders. And, as expectations and needs change over time, the more stakeholders you’re going to have. Some will have metrics they want to hit while others will have portfolio or architecture concerns. It’s your job to satisfy them all.
It’s OK to have a primary contact, but you also need to explain to him or her that you need to involve others in the organization. You will want to embrace a multitude of stakeholders. When you begin to seek them out, you must find out what makes everybody’s bell ring and what they’re looking to achieve. Always keep a constant line of communication with your main contact so they know you will always detail others’ motivations, challenges, and feedback. Maintaining this open dialogue throughout all the stakeholders is crucial. It helps to engender buy-in as time goes on.