Don’t let the December Dip spoil your new year’s sales figures

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

By Ryan Welmans, above, CEO, Sopro

Christmas is coming and attention is turning to elves, shelves, parties, presents and terrible knitwear. If you work in B2B sales or marketing, this is a cause for concern. From customers to prospects, and even to your own team, it’s easy to think people are winding down for festive break, and it’s just not worth bothering…

But don’t be led astray.

If you choose to hibernate your sales and marketing activity, then don’t expect quick results when you pick it back up again. To put it simply: no prospecting means no leads. If you stop reaching out to potential customers in December, you’ll cut off your lead flow and collapse your sales pipeline just in time for the new year! And you’ll waste huge amounts of time when you restart, waiting for the campaign to become productive again.

Every good prospecting campaign involves a sequence of personal emails, with well-timed follow ups to encourage or remind prospects to act. Most positive responses come from the follow up stages, which means it takes time getting a stopped campaign back up to speed.

Take it from me that prospecting in December really does bring results. To take ourselves as an example, the leads Sopro generated in December 2021 had the second highest close rate by month that year. Sure, many of those deals landed in January… but the pipeline was made safe with a constant lead flow of leads and the only downside was a slightly increased time to close pushing contracts into the new year.

The point is, and I’ll say it loud for those at the back…  the conversion rate was not affected by Christmas. 

So, how do you keep those B2B leads flowing when Mariah Carey is on mega loop and the scent of mulled wine is in the air?

Try Sopro’s seven tips to overcome the December Dip

  1. Don’t be daunted by an OOO

So you’ve received a few of the dreaded Out of Office messages? Then you have the exact date they’re back from their holiday… schedule a follow up a couple of days after they’re back and start up the conversation with a rested prospect with a reset budget.

  1. Run a December promotion

Get into the festive spirit, keep your message topical, or offer a discount or incentive. Running a time-sensitive deal can give hesitant prospects a push, encouraging them to commit now rather than wait for a new season.

  1. Get gifting

Everyone loves a pressie, and ‘tis the season for giving, after all. If you’ve got some top prospects who haven’t converted yet, sending a gift can be a small gesture that pays big. Just make sure to include a personal note.

  1. Don’t be a Scrooge

Remember to incentivise and reward your own sales team during this time. Like your prospective customers, your team will be looking forward to the upcoming festive break, and as they push a little harder to keep up their sales during December, it’s important to make sure they feel valued and rewarded.

  1. Check there’s someone on call

You can’t change the fact that your prospects are out of office, but you can make sure that there’s adequate cover for your sales team. If a prospect decides that the quiet time between Christmas and the New Year is just right to look at your product or service, make sure someone’s there to help them with their purchase.

  1. Focus on the leads that will convert

When fewer leads are coming in, you need to focus on the ones most likely to convert. Lead scoring lets you assign value to prospects according to how far they have moved from expressing initial interest to revealing purchase intent.

  1. Create the right content that will nudge buyers

If you find yourself with more time on your hands, auditing and improving your sales collateral and marketing content will help to entice new leads and keep them flowing through the funnel. It’s a great time to try out more testing and find out what really works best.

To give you a head start this Christmas, check out Sopro’s The State of Prospecting report, which details the lessons we’ve learned from sending 40 million prospecting emails over the last six years.

 

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024