The holiday season usually relates to a boost in sales numbers for a typical B2C business, this can also hold true for B2B organizations. The key lies in breaking down the top influencing factors that can drive a closure or purchase while also identifying what can prep warm prospects now to eventually sign on the dotted line in the new quarter of the new year. Q4 can actually be a time to boost sales before the year draws to a close or prepare prospects for a final deal closure at the start of Q1.
The period leading up to Christmas is actually a great time to qualify leads for the upcoming quarter as well. For sales teams, the two key focus areas during this end of the year duration should revolve around building a healthy sales pipeline and warming prospects for the new year or driving as many closures from a segmented list of prospects from the current year’s business and outreach list.
How can B2B companies keep their sales as robust as possible during the holiday season?
Choosing the most Impactful Selling Channels
Your sales automation is (hopefully) already being used to track your prospect’s online behavior, what they do or share via their social media, whether they are most receptive to emails or LinkedIn outreach.
For sales reps that are focused on driving as many end of year closures as possible, identifying a few top selling channels can help them focus efforts on these areas and craft sales pitches and triggers that can further their prospect’s buying interest. While doing this, it is important to account for a prospect’s behavior during the holiday season: are they taking personal time off, do they have more time on their plate to deal with your sales messages, is there a fair amount of interest in your product based on their behavior and engagement metrics if you measure how they responded through the year to sales outreach and campaign of various kinds…?
These factors can also help sales reps focus on only those prospects that could lead to an end-of-year closure, while also enabling them to identify which ones can be pushed into a sale at the start of the new year.
Personalized Sales Offers and Product Trials
Incentives can drive not just sales reps efforts but also customer wins!
In the B2B / SaaS marketplace, one of the greatest tools that sales people can capitalize on is their product and service demo. Prospects can do their fair bit of research to drive their own buying decisions, with the endless information available to them in today’s digital marketplace, most B2B buyers are known to drive purchase decisions without wanting to interact with middlemen or sales reps, this is common knowledge today.
However, prospects who have been showing keen interest or certain buying intent triggers can be pushed into a final purchase using a simple method –> incentivizing a sales or product demo!
Using existing marketing and sales data and intelligence to understand what your prospect might be interested in during the holiday season can allow sales leaders to formulate interesting holiday season packages, offers and demos that can drive not just a demo or discovery call but lead to an associated up sell or cross sell of a cheaper service or products (for example: a one month free set up or product trial).
Identifying the Most Lucrative Holiday Selling Period
Your B2B prospects, just like you, are preparing for the end of the year by prioritizing tasks and planning their time offs if at all. Insights into the average prospect behavior during the holiday season, based on previous year’s data and sales email open rates can allow salespeople to identify the most lucrative time frame during which to boost and run holiday sales campaigns.
Most sales leaders would choose to start their holiday sales campaigns earlier in this quarter and run it until well into the start of the new year, teamed with the right follow ups and sales messaging. This can help account for prospect leaves while also helping to nurture the ones have time on hand to listen to your pitch and messaging before the close of the year.
Capitalizing on Direct Mail
The holiday season is a time to deepen customer and prospect relationships. Most leading brands will use this period to send their top customers direct mail in the form of interesting gifts and value-add products. Using this time to pick your top prospects of the year (based on who has a higher chance of converting in the near-future) and sending out a simple direct mail even in the form of a handwritten note and value-add gift with your logo can contribute to your holiday season sales efforts.
The holiday season is actually a great time to boost business outcomes, even in the B2B market. For sales leaders who understand this, a great lot can be achieved before the start of the new year. While several sales and marketing teams talk about the holiday slump towards the end of the year, this is actually a time to focus on those low hanging fruits that competitors may not be focusing on and drive your own sales output!