Are you trying to achieve your end-of-the-year sales targets?
For most salespeople, the end-of-the-year push can be chaotic and overwhelming. But with the right planning, you can meet your sales quota and create a stronger pipeline for the upcoming year – without the added stress.
B2B prospecting gets a bad reputation around the holidays – out-of-office replies, increased no-shows, and a heavier focus on closing business. But prospecting in quarter 4 is all about gaining momentum and using it to your advantage.
When you stop prospecting, everything takes a hit, not just your closing ratio in December. A loss in your pipeline means fewer sales, lost revenue, and more work to do after the holidays. If you lose your momentum now, it can have a negative impact on stress levels and future income. Keep your sales pipeline full – sell during the holiday season.
Superhuman Prospecting Outsourced SDRs & The Holidays
The holidays are often regarded as a time “not to call” prospects, but we have seen quite the opposite here at SHP. While we shut down our operations between Christmas and New Year’s, and do not call on those days specifically, our SDR Metrics show that prospects are actually picking up the phone more between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We analyzed our top 10 decision-maker “connectors,” or those top 10 callers who are able to reach decision-makers during the holidays last year versus this year prior to the holidays, and the results were interesting.
Take a look at our SDR metrics in both images below. The column we outlined in red shows our decision-maker percentages on dials. The top image is our SDR metrics during the holiday season from 11/1-12/24/21. During that time, we reached more decision-makers than in other parts of this year, as shown in the bottom photo from 1/01/22-11/09/22.
If decision-makers weren’t answering their phones during the holidays, we wouldn’t have such large percentages in that outlined column compared to the rest of the year with more dials. There are many other misconceptions sales leaders face around the holidays, we’ll talk about them below.
B2B Prospecting and the Holidays
We know it can be difficult to find the willpower to keep making your cold phone calls during the holidays, but we promise it will be worth it! If our SDR metrics didn’t convince you to keep cold calling – here are some more top reasons to continue prospecting during the holiday season.
Slower Times Equals More Outreach
We all have a tendency to allow disruption during the holidays – an illogical excuse not to put in the effort. In slower times, you need to focus on reaching more sales opportunities. Prospecting should be at the forefront of your outbound strategy.
Cold calling remains as one of the best ways to nurture your current prospects and have direct conversations with potential prospects. These conversations can give you a better idea of the current market and allow you to build a better connection with them. Especially since going remote over the past few years, we’ve witnessed an increase in decision-makers picking up the phones and having more conversations during this time period than before than pandemic.
The holidays generally represent the closing of the fiscal year for most of your customers. This is the time of year when companies are looking to expense write-offs and use leftover money in their budgets to get things they want and need. They are also comparing costs and resources for the upcoming year.
Get creative with your touchpoints and interactions. Ask questions about their upcoming goals and tailor your pitch accordingly. The more you find out about their needs, wants, and budgets – the more you can offer them.
Focus on Continous Improvement
Continuous improvement is based on the four principles of identification, planning, execution, and review. Use the holiday season to take a look at your funnel and your metrics. During re-evaluation, compare the things you learn through experience with the principle guidelines for success on a sales call.
Where do you struggle the most during your sales cycle? There are people who excel at cold calling but not at closing, and there are others who excel at building rapport. In order to close a deal, all of these aspects must work in harmony.
Look at everything from your lead quality to your return on investment. What can you do to better prepare for the upcoming year to help fix these issues? This could mean working with an outsourced SDR company to close more deals, implement a better sales tech stack, or partner with a consultant for their sales methodology.
Build Better Relationships
The holidays are all about connecting – in business it’s no different. Where do you have the most opportunity for success? Look at your sequence touchpoints and identify those who have engaged with you in the past but have fallen by the wayside in favor of higher priorities. Set a goal to identify an X number of those prospects who you would like to put into an end-of-year re-nurturing campaign.
Reevaluate Your Messaging
During the holidays, we find that most people tend to be in a better mood or in the “holiday spirit.” Use this time to your advantage! Make small changes to test what works and what doesn’t through your conversion rates.
Does your message best resonate with the market you are trying to reach? Try making small changes to your cold call script or cold emails. Test the language, features, and benefits of your offering to make sure your message best resonates with your prospect- enough to move them ahead to your defined next steps.
Incorporate more personalized messaging and stand out from your competition by testing different strategies. Think – sales pitch videos or personalized voice messages. Keep your messaging simple, but don’t be afraid to try new things.
Keep Your Employees Engaged
The holidays can be a hard time for your sales staff. Business owners and sales managers need to offer their sales reps support and keep them focused on positive behaviors most likely to improve sales. Employees need to believe they can make a difference in the future of the company and their jobs.
Set reasonable expectations and realistic goals around the holiday season when there is less time to accomplish goals over breaks. This isn’t the time to make massive changes or double your quota. Encourage routines with breaks, better time management, and promote strong mental health throughout your organization.
Plan for the Year Ahead
Retailers count on the holiday season to make up to 30 percent of their annual sales, but B2B sales departments do not expect as much. Many teams find that their close rates dip by 10–20% in December, which is why prospecting is so important all year. Ultimately, good prospecting means not taking days off. But in this ultra-competitive environment, you should aim to work smarter, not harder. Make sure your outbound marketing strategy is complete and your team is aware of your goals and expectations.
With all of these holiday prospecting misconceptions, it can be difficult to keep making cold phone calls. This creates a massive opportunity for the strategic few, who recognize their competitors are off the ball.
Some sales and marketing gurus believe that the customers you acquire during the holidays may even bring in more profits than usual. Start planning and get ahead of the competition. Demonstrate that you and your company provide more value than the rest by being available and communicating all year round!